Our 2-day Winter Walking Skills course (weekend) covers the fundamentals hill walking skills required for staying safe in Scotlands mountains during winter.
There are lots of techniques to introduce and practice; 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.
These skills are all coached each day in the context of a mountain journey. Once the course is finished you’ll have a good understanding of them, allowing you to get out into the mountains to practice and consolidate.
This course is mainly practical and based out on the hill. We run them from Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.
Two days of our course 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, avalanche awareness and basic winter navigation.
· 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’ll also build on winter navigation; planning and preparation, identifying features, timings and pacing, and taking bearings.
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.
Please get in touch if you have any questions.