Essential 5 Day Winter Mountaineering Skills in the Cairngorms £375pp

Nothing beats being in the mountains in winter. Clear crisp air, sparkling snow and the sound of your boots crunching their way to the summit.
During this weeks winter skills course in the Cairngorm National Park, you will learn all the essential skills needed for you to plan your own fantastic winter adventures in the mountains.
The skills we teach will stay with you forever.

We are really keen on coaching safe movement skills over different types of terrain, from iced up rocky summits to firm snow slopes and everything in-between, both in your winter boots and when wearing crampons, this is a key core skill for safe balance avoiding trips and slips.

You will learn about weather forecasting and avalanche forecasts, we will teach you simple repeatable snow pack tests to improve your awareness and avoidance of possible avalanche prone slopes.

Most of all we aim to have fun, while your enthusiastic experienced instructors show you their winter playground.

2021 Dates

Jan 11th – 15th
Feb 8th – 12th
March 1st – 5th

Booking ended

Where is the course? Who is it suitable for? What do I need?


This winter skills course takes place in the Cairngorm National Park which is a fantastic place for learning the basics on easy angled ground right through to classic winter mountaineering with a wide choice of area’s, routes and objectives to choose from.

Who is the course for?

Ideally you should have a fair amount of previous 3 season hiking experience, as you will allready know a fair amount about the type of ground and weather conditions that can exist in the hills and mountains of the UK. You should also have a good level of general hiking fitness. If you have some summer grade 1 scrambling experience then all the better.

Course Ratios and instructors

Maximum ratio’s during the week are 6 clients to 1 instructor. Our instructors all hold a minimum of Winter Mountain Leader with excellent local area knowledge and years of experience delivering mountain skills to civilian, military and SAR personnel.

What kit do I need?

You will need clothing and footwear suitable for winter mountaineering.

Please read our winter skills kit-list for full details and also feel free to ask us for advice.

We will provide helmets, ropes and other technical and emergency group kit.

Crampons, walking boots and walking axes can be hired at Mountain Spirit, Nevis Sport and Ellis Brighams, They are all in Aviemore.

Alternatively you can hire Crampons and Axes from us for £50.00 per set for the duration of the course – early booking essential.

What will I learn?

During the week long course, we will be coaching you in 4 Key Foundations Skills:

  • What the mountain area weather forecast means to you
  • How to make sense of the avalanche forecast, plus use the Be Avalanche Aware information and the NIVO Test
  • Route choice and planning with Map and compass navigation applicable to winter
  • Coaching useful techniques for walking in those big boots and when wearing crampons

Below are some of the skills you will learn during the course, and they will stay with you for a lifetime!

Use of walking axe
Ice axe arrest
Crampon and boot techniques
Techniques for safe travel on steeper ground
Refresher of existing personal skills
Safety in the winter environment
Mountain Weather forecasting
Lots of Winter navigation
Appraisal of avalanche risk
Avalanche hazard forecast, snow pack study, Emergency snow shelters
What to do in an emergency, basic overview of avalanche transceivers and companion rescue (we deliver additional focused modular courses)

By the end of your winter skills course you will be much better prepared for your adventures in the winter mountain environment and above all you will have had expert tuition from fully qualified instructors with a wealth of worldwide winter mountaineering experience.