Our Winter Skills Courses are run in the Cairngorm National Park near Aviemore in Scotland.
Our aim of the 2 day Winter Skills Course is to give you the essential skills and experience for keeping yourself safe in the winter hills.
You will see what to carry, how to use an ice axe and crampons safely and efficiently, use correct footwork to kick steps, self-arrest (how to stop a slip with your ice axe), help you to understand about route choice in the winter taking into account the latest weather and avalanche reports, gain the necessary skills for winter navigation, understand what to do in an emergency, practice how to build an emergency snow shelter.
Use and choice of ice axe and crampons
Prerequisite – Some summer hillwalking experience and a degree of hill fitness will ensure you get the most out of the course.
Price - We work out the price of this course on a daily amount as extra days can be added if required. The total price for 1 or 2 people for 1 day is £220. The total price for 3 or 4 people for 1 day is £250.
As most of our Winter Skills Courses are booked at short notice we require the full amount of the course fee at the time of booking.
Please phone or email with your own dates.
Included in the price of the course is the use of an ice axe, helmet and crampons but please let us know in advance if you require these.
Winter boots need to be well insulated and breathable and have sufficient stiffness to allow you to kick steps in the snow and take crampons. Boots need to be at least B1 rated (preferably B2) and be able to take a C1 crampon.
E.g. Scarpa SL Active (B1), Meindl Himalaya GTX (B1), Scarpa Manta (B2), Garmont Pinnacle GTX (B2).
If you are not sure about the rating of your boot please see the link to Needle Sports Shop in Keswick who have a good page explaining it.
If you do not have suitable winter boots then please book a pair well in advance from the following shops in Aviemore or from a suitable shop near to you. If you are hiring boots then it may be advisable to get a pair of crampons and get the shop to fit them for you as well.
Ellis Brigham Tel: 01479 810175
Cairngorm Mountain Sports Tel: 01479 810903
Nevisports Tel: 01479 810239
We ask clients to arrive on the evening before the course starts (if possible) to discuss the equipment, fit any crampons if required and check out the weather and avalanche reports and organise a plan for the next 2 days.
We will then meet somewhere convenient on the first morning of your course for an update. A typical day lasts from 8.45/9.00am until 4.00/4.30pm.
The cost of the course is for the instruction and the hire of an ice axe, a helmet and crampons if required, please see the Booking Page for accommodation options.