The mountains of Scotland in winter are indisputably beautiful, but can seem wild and daunting at times. However, with the right skills, equipment and knowledge; we can gain real mastery of and confidence in this unique and fulfilling environment.
Highly Qualified: We only employ the most experienced and highest qualified instructors, always fully insured and working entirely within remit of our national governing body awards and qualifications. We are all members of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (the highest qualifed and most respected professional mountaineering organisation in the UK) so you’re in the best of hands!
Low Ratios: Always and only small group sizes allow us greater individualised coaching, instruction and feedback, as well as creating a highly sociable atmosphere making you feel valued and welcome.
Client Focussed: We pride ourselves on the fact our courses focus on YOU and your development. We seek to build this competence and knowledge by delving deeper into the winter syllabus than most course providers. We don’t just cover the basic technical skills associated with use of winter equipment such as ice-axes and crampons, but also the planning, preparation and knowledge required for you to operate safely and independently in the mountains in winter after your course.
Premium Products: All our residential courses include all home-cooked food, accommodation and instruction within the price. We seek to offer a full experience that leave you both competent and confident in the winter environment and your own skills by the end of the week. The residential courses in particular allow a huge amount of contact time compared to day-only courses, allowing us to get to know you better and deliver a more personalised, sociable and meaningful course. Perhaps most importantly of all, we want everyone to have fun, together, throughout the duration of the course.
We offer a variety of courses suitable for all levels of experience and abilities:
• Winter Skills (2, 3 and 5 day)
• Winter Mountaineering (5 day)
• Winter Climbing (5 day)
Have a look to see which one is right for you!
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Fitness grading/trip difficulty:
It is worth noting that, in winter, the weather conditions have a significant effect on the physical difficulty of the day. The combination of shorter daylight hours, inclement weather and varying snow conditions can produce altogether more physical days than in summer. An “Introductory” day in strong winds and heavy snow can feel like a more taxing affair than the same route under firmer snow and blue skies! 😉 However, we will always adapt to the conditions and needs of the participants. 😊
Introductory: suitable for winter newbies or those of limited experience. Due to the nature of winter hillwalking, it is recommended that participants have some summer hillwalking experience, fitness and relative currency as a bare minimum. Multi-day courses will require an element of stamina.
Challenging: previous winter hill experience is highly desirable and a good current level of hill fitness is required. Multi-day courses will require an element of stamina.
Demanding: previous winter experience and good current level of hill fitness is required. Being “multi-Munro-fit” may often be necessary to allow us to access some of the more remote routes. Multi-day courses will require a degree of stamina.
A grading system of ‘chillis’ is used to indicate the ‘spice’ factor.
*It is worth noting that, in winter, the weather conditions have a significant effect on the subjective and objective spiciness of the day. Battling across Cairngorm plateau in high winds, deep powder snow and zero visibility feels and is a lot different to crossing it under blue skies atop crisp neve! 😉
🌶 = a logical first progression for those who wish to move beyond summer hillwalking. Having some summer hillwalking experience and currency is a bare minimum. These days focus on improving core winter skills, knowledge and techniques in a social and supportive environment. (1:6 max)
🌶 🌶 = moving into the realms of increased self-reliance, these courses are perfect for participants looking to take more control of their own winter skill progression. Core and intermediate skills learnt on the course will be clearly structured and reinforced to allow further practice and progression on a personal level following the course completion. (1:6 max)
🌶 🌶 🌶 = for participants with existing core winter skills and techniques looking to develop further. Intermediate skills will be introduced and developed, with a focus on improving technical and environmental knowledge, safety and confidence in a more challenging environment (Grade 1-2 terrain). Prior winter hill experience and good fitness required. Prior summer scrambling/climbing is desirable, as a rope is likely to be employed due to exposure or technical difficulty. (1:4 max)
🌶 🌶 🌶 🌶 = Moving into the realms of technical winter climbing (Grade 2-4 upwards). Prolonged serious terrain. Ropes, specialist climbing equipment, dual axe systems and more advanced techniques will be introduced and honed. Prior winter hill experience, good core winter skills and summer scrambling/climbing experience is required, as participants will need to be conversant in techniques such as abseiling, belaying and removal of gear. (1:3 max)
Winter Course Grading/Difficulty Overview:
#WinterSkillsLongWeekend – 3 day 🌶/ 🌶🌶
#WinterSkillsWeek – 5 day 🌶/🌶🌶
#WinterMountaineeringWeek – 5 day 🌶🌶🌶
#WinterClimbingWeek – 5 day 🌶🌶🌶🌶
Winter Courses – early bird discount
#Winter Climbing Week – 5 Day Residential Course£775.00 – £795.00
#Winter Mountaineering Week – 5 Day Residential Course£675.00 – £695.00
#WinterSkills Week – 5 Day Residential Course£475.00 – £495.00
#WinterSkills Long Weekend – 3 day residential course£345.00
Bespoke Date Payment£50.00 – £300.00