Awareness and avoidance of avalanche risks is an essential skill to master when operating in the Scottish mountains in winter. Even in lean conditions, the drastic fluctuations we experience in temperature and weather means we often have a very active and reactive snowpack, with highly localised variations in snow profiles. Good judgement in this terrain comes from experience, an understanding of what has been happening on the mountain beforehand, and the ability to interpret both the weather and snow conditions during your journey, and adapt where required.
Using the SAIS “Be Avalanche Aware” model, this course will introduce you to both the theoretical and practical processes involved in route planning, selection and alteration based on the conditions, as well as how to identify and avoid key hazards and hotspots. We will cover some theory before heading out onto the hill. We use the Cairngorms area as one of the most reliable for snow levels.
We will provide all technical equipment such as probes, shovels, helmets and learning resources. You will need your own winter clothing, boots, crampons and ice axe. (*NB: axe and crampons available for hire from us if required. We also have affiliations with local hire providers)