Winter Mountaineering Course Scotland

Winter Mountaineering Course

from £370.00

Our 5 day winter mountaineering course is for people, who would like to learn a bit more than just the basics. The course will naturally cover the basics of winter mountaineering in the UK, will also go beyond it. We will meet in the morning in Aviemore and drive to the hills after an introduction. The main locations we use for the winter mountaineering course are near Cairngorm where fewer groups tend to be. However, when the weather blocks us from getting to the Ski area we drive to Drumochter Summit area, which is also suitable for any winter skills course. All our instructors are qualified Winter Mountain Leaders or Mountain Instructors and have years of experience in running winter courses.

The first 2 days will cover the use of ice axe, crampons and how to walk on steep snow slopes. It also entails a deep understanding in avalanche awareness and how to safely plan a day in the winter mountains. Most of all we focus on practical skills. We will practice ice axe arresting while wearing a rucksack and fit crampons on steeper ground. This is not only a great skills, but is also great fun. The third day is kind of a flexible day where the course can either focus more on already covered skills or it could include some rope work.

Winter Mountaineering Course Scotland

Finally the highlight of the course is a 2 day expedition with navigation and staying in s snowhole. You will build a snowhole from scratch in a remote area in the Cairngorms and then stay in it for a night.

We provide more kit for free than anyone else, so you don’t have to buy or borrow it. In our winter skills courses we offer the free use of ice axe, crampon, helmet, mountaineering rucksacks, goggles and warm hats. At the expedition we also provide a snow shovel, cookers, bivi bag, winter sleeping bag and sleeping mat. Finally after this winter mountaineering course Scotland, participants should be self reliant walkers in the Scottish hills.

We offer group discounts for groups of 3 and over. Just click on book now at the date you want to book, increase the number of participants in the basket and update to see how much you can safe.

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Can’t find the right date or trip? Simply contact us and we will try our best to organise a different date for you.


  • Reviews 2 Reviews
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Course, Guided Tour
  • Activity Level Extreme
  • Group Size Small Group
All about the Winter Mountaineering Course.

The 5 day winter mountaineering course is going much beyond the 2 day course. Based in the Cairngroms near Aviemore you will acquire skills that allows you to be a proficient winter mountaineer in the Scottish hills. On our courses you will learn how to walk on hard packed neve snow and build confidence to walk on steeper ground. You will also learn when and how to walk with crampons and how to use an ice axe to cut steps. While out winter walking you might also do a lot of digging and cutting in the snow. It is very important to know how to use the ice axe efficiently so to be fast and safe energy. We also try to dig an emergency shelter if the snow condition allows it and see the pros and cons between digging a snow shelter and using a group shelter.

Very important for walking in the winter is also avalanche awareness. We will talk about how to detect the signs for unstable snow packs, how to prevent being caught in an avalanche and route planning for a day in the hills and what to do in case of an avalanche. Last not least there will be a lot of sliding down a slope to practice ice axe arrest. This is a very important part on at the course and we will spend some time on ice axe braking and use different techniques. We also train on how to stop sliding without ice axe which most courses don’t offer.

The 3rd day on the 5 day winter mountaineering course is fairly flexible. You can learn how to use ropes and set up snow  belays or work and improve on the skills learned on the first 2 days and also work on winter navigation.

On the last 2 days we will go on an expedition to stay overnight in a snowhole and walk up at least one of the bigger hills in the Cairngorms. Sometimes we have to dig our own snowholes to stay in. Let’s hope the snow is soft for that. These two days will also be a great opportunity for navigation and if the weather allows we  could go out for some navigation at night.

Additional to the course we also take photos and videos during the course, which we will send you after the course for free.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • Qualified Winter Mountain Leader or MIC
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Helmets
  • Ski goggles
  • Warm hat
  • Bivi bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Sleeping bag and liner
  • Snow shovel
  • Mountaineering rucksack
  • Limited transportation to the hills
Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Accommodation
  1. Day1 Winter Basics

    Meet up in Aviemore in the morning and get on snow to work on the basic winter skills.

    • Walking in snow, kicking steps
    • Cutting steps with an ice axe
    • Different techniques of cutting steps
    • Using crampons
    • Learn about snow and avalanche risk
  2. Day 2 Trips and Slips

    Meet in Aviemore and find another, different snow slope in the Cairngorms. Work some more on those winter skills and move on to how to stop yourself from slipping or sliding down the side of a hill. To finish the skills off you should be able to stop sliding with an ice axe arrest.

  3. Day 3 Advanced Skills

    Learn how to navigate in the winter. Since there is many features of a map covered by snow you need to be much more precise than navigating in summer. Also will introduce you to safety and rescue procedures. In the evening pack all the gear for a 2 day expedition.

  4. Day 4 Walking and Digging

    Go out for an overnight trip in the Cairngorms. On the way you can also learn some more about navigation, safety and rescue procedures. In late afternoon find a good spot for digging a snowhole.

  5. Day 5 Navigation

    This day we continue working on winter navigation on our way out from the snowhole.


Accommodation is not included in the price. However we can help you to find the right place for your needs.
There are many places to stay in Aviemore and the the surrounding areas. It is advisable to book well in advance, especially at a year with a good skiing season.

The night from Tuesday to Wednesday will be in a snowhole.

Some accommodation in the area:

SYHA Aviemore
SYHA Cairngorm Lodge
Aviemore Bunkhouse

Why Us?What we offer byond the norm!
  • We only teach practical skills, like fitting crampons on steep ground and wearing a rucksack for the ice axe arrest. (Most other providers don’t do that)
  • We provide more kit for free than any other private provider
  • Theory session with route planning for winter and avalanche awareness
  • We give you the “Be Avalanche Aware” leaflet for free.
  • We are proud in what we do
  • We offer this course almost every week between mid January and early April
  • We guarantee the course if one person has booked on it

avalanche awareness

We would advise not to buy your own ice axe and crampons just for the course. We will advise you on the course what would be best for your own needs.

If you use our crampons you need either B2 or B3 boots. Have fitting ones with your own crampons but they have to be at least stiff B1 boots.

There is always enough snow between Mid January and Late March. In the unlikely event of lack of snow we can offer alternatives.

We would only advise 4 season winter sleeping bags. Either synthetic hollow fibre or down filling is suitable.

Overall Rating
Bob Everet
Reviewed On 22/03/2017

Went on a 5 day winter mountaineering course with Andreas in February. He is a very knowledgeable instructor with many stories and has got a great way on passing on winter skills. The night in the snowhole was priceless and it was worth every penny. Might bring my wife next time.

Reviewed On 23/03/2015

Thanks for a brilliant 5 day course in Aviemore. We learnt so much and gained confidence in ice axe arrests, crampons, walking in snow, navigation, avalanche risks,not to mention learning about the nature and wildlife of the mountain. All this was with our brilliant instructor Tim, who made it fun and a very positive experience. We always seemed to have a coffee break just before we needed it - which is perfect! can't wait to come back for more.


Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price per Person Availability    
26th January 2019 - 30th January 2019
Places Available
2nd February 2019 - 6th February 2019
Places Available
16th February 2019 - 20th February 2019
Places Available
23rd February 2019 - 27th February 2019
Places Available
9th March 2019 - 13th March 2019
Places Available
16th March 2019 - 20th March 2019
Places Available
30th March 2019 - 3rd April 2019
Places Available