Our 5-day Winter Walking Skills is the complete course to develop the essential hill walking skills required for staying safe in Scotlands mountains during winter.
We focus on the fundamental skills; personal movement to prevent taking a slip (crampon-ing, step kicking and cutting), using an ice axe, self-arrests, winter navigation, planning and preparation, snow pack analysis, avalanche avoidance, emergency procedures and understanding the winter environment.
You’ll have lots of opportunities to practice these skills, refine your technique and put your new skills to good use climbing mountains.
This course is mainly practical and based out on the hill. We run them from Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.
This is an excellent course that will leave you with the confidence and knowledge to safely go winter hill walking.
· Day one we look at how to prepare for winter, what we carry, how we carry it and why we carry it. We also look at weather and avalanche forecasts and what they mean to us. Once on the mountain it’s all about safe and efficient travel, good footwork, simple uses of ice axes, self-arrests and avalanche awareness.
· We continue to develop our personal movement skills on day two which includes cramponing and moving on steeper terrain, different types of self-arrests, more avalanche awareness and snowpack analysis, and emergency procedures. We also introduce basic winter navigation. Today we’ll go on a longer mountain journey.
· Day three of the course is our navigation day using maps, compasses, identifying features, taking bearings, timing and pacing. Being able to navigate is essential if you plan to spend time in the mountains. Winter navigation is a core skill that allows you to plan a safe day and manage yourself away from avalanche hazards and in poor conditions.
· On day four you have responsibility for decision-making, route choice and navigating as we put all that we have learned into practice. As a team you will plan and lead a mountain journey. This is another great way to experience the dynamic winter environment and helps contextualise what has been covered earlier in the course, with your guide alongside to give coaching and advice if needed.
· Our final day is a review of everything covered, refining techniques and an opportunity for you to be completely satisfied with your winter skills.
The weather and snow conditions can affect the order in which skills are covered meaning the itinerary can sometimes change.
· Learn how to use crampons & ice axes
· Develop avalanche awareness
· Improve your navigation skills
· Emergency procedures
· Become independent in the mountains
· Understand the winter environment better
· Qualified & experienced guides
· Small groups sizes
Ice axe, crampon and helmet hire are included in the course fee. If you need to rent winter boots, Cairngorm Mountain Sports are an excellent choice - 01479 810903.
Being comfortable and protected from the elements is all about having the right equipment. Here's what equipment we recommend bringing.
We use the Aviemore youth hostel as our base during winter, which is also a great place to stay. Here are some local accommodation options.
If you are a student group or a hill walking club, we offer discounted winter skills courses, please get in touch for more information.
Plesae get in touch if you have any questions.