Winter Skills Course

Winter Skills Course

from £155.00

The 2 day winter skills course in Scotland will be in the Cairngorm hills near Aviemore and covers all aspects of winter hillwalking in the UK. These  courses run every weekend from January to April, because we like to give you as many options as possible. Most of all we focus on practical skills. We will practice ice axe arresting while wearing a rucksack and fit crampons on steeper ground. In order to learn the ice axe arrests easier we stagger the training and mike sure everyone has a great time. So we are not just going through the motions, but offer a course worth every penny. The winter skills course also covers avalanche awareness. How to plan a day walking in the hills and prevent being caught out. Furthermore we have a look at detecting unstable snow. If necessary we also cover some winter navigation and map reading.

Winter Skills Course UK

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.

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. Finally after this winter mountaineering course, 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.

Make someone happy with a Gift Certificate.

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

tripadvisor

  • Reviews 8 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Course, Guided Tour
  • Activity Level Moderate
    3/8
  • Group Size Medium Group
    6
All about the Winter Skills Course.

With 10 years experience on running winter mountaineering courses we have fine tuned the programme and teach only practical skills that will help for future winter mountaineering excursions.

This winter skills course will take you to the Cairngorm mountains near Aviemore. After the course you will have the skills to walk in the winter mountains of Scotland with confidence and be safe. On our courses you will learn how to walk on hard packed névé snow and build confidence to walk on steeper ground. We also show you how to walk with crampons and how to use an ice axe to cut steps. The ice axe is a very versatile tool and we show our participants how to use it in different situation. Be prepared to dig some holes.

A very important part of winter mountaineering is to understand the risk of avalanches, how to interpret the avalanche reports and how to plan a day in the hills even with considerable avalanche risk and still be safe all the way.

Last not least there will be a lot of sliding down a slope to practice ice axe arrest. This is not only a lot of fun but also a very important part on at the course. We also train on how to stop sliding without ice axe which most courses don’t offer.

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
  • Climbing helmet
  • Mountaineering rucksack
  • Ski goggles
  • Warm hat
  • Friendly, relaxing and professional environment
  • 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 basic 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 head up to 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. The key focus on this day is ice axe arrests and how to prevent sliding down a hill.

Accommodation

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.

Some accommodation in the area:

SYHA Aviemore
SYHA Cairngorm Lodge
Aviemore Bunkhouse

Why Us?What we offer beyond the norm!

With so many other outdoor providers running winter skills courses it is a wee bit harder to stand out from the crowd. However, we believe that we do by providing a more realistic course and offer more than most others. Here are listed some things we do that most winter skills courses out there don’t do.

  • 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
  • 8 year experience in running winter skills courses
  • We give you the “Be Avalanche Aware” leaflet for free.
  • We are proud in what we do
  • We offer this course every weekend between early January and early April
  • We guarantee the course, even if only one person has booked on it

avalanche awareness

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

The safest time for snow is between late January and mid March. You usually have snow conditions before and after that period but you may just have to walk further for it.

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.

Overall Rating
5/5
nritchie2016
Reviewed On 16/04/2017
5/5

A group of six of us organised to go on the Winter skills course in early February, some with a fair amount of experience of climbing and others with a lot less. By the end though, Andreas had taught us enough new things that we realised he had years of experience on us all. He is an incredibly thorough, well-educated guide and we all managed to have a great time learning from him. Plenty of laughs, plenty of serious skills training and we have all decided that we will be using him again next year for the longer Winter skills course. Can't recommend Andreas enough.

Peter
Reviewed On 01/03/2017
5/5

I undertook this course to gain an introduction to winter mountaineering and to learn and practise the necessary skills! Overall it was a fantastic two days and I learnt a huge amount, and the course has allowed me to feel much more confident about heading into the mountains during winter. The course covered the fundamentals of winter equipment, the use of crampons and ice axes, ascending and descending correctly, navigation, ice axe arrests, and building snow shelters. An additional aspect that I found particularly helpful was being taught in the way of route planning and avalanche awareness, which I now know to be a very important element to winter mountaineering. I thoroughly recommend this course to someone who, like myself, has had no exposure to mountains in winter time! The course was led by Andreas, who has an incredible natural expertise for mountaineering and teaches and guides using a very encouraging, patient and hands-on approach, which allows you to find your own feet. His knowledge goes far beyond expectation and it is evident that he is well experienced in this field. I would have never known about the many ways to interpret snow, and the origins of the cappuccino! Definitely going to do another course with Unexplored Scotland soon!

Steve M
Reviewed On 28/03/2016
5/5

Simply put, this was a fantastic course that I can easily recommend for anyone wanting to learn essential mountaineering skills in winter conditions. My friend and I, as beginners, were fortunate enough to have unfettered attention with our guide, Andreas. His incredibly professional style allowed him to bestow what we now know as essential knowledge whilst maintaining a personable and friendly manner throughout. Fantastic tempo to the course and you feel the more time you spend with Andreas, the more skilled you become. Thoroughly enjoyable end entirely worth every penny.

James D
Reviewed On 14/03/2016
5/5

The first thing you learn about Andreas is that his is an expert opinion. Andreas has a lot of care and pride in what he does and I felt I was being delivered a professional instruction far beyond what I was expecting for the price. The Winter Skills Course flows naturally and there is no rigid stop and start for instructions. Andreas is teaching you from the first minute to the last but without overloading you with unnecessary or flashy tit bits. Over the weekend I learnt how to route plan for winter conditons, avalanche awareness, some navigation, ice axe arrest, step making, crampon using, snow shelters and most importantly how to be safe in my future pursuits. I can't recommend Andreas strongly enough. Simply he gives you more for your money. If you are undecided between course providers like I was, go for Unexplored Scotland - you'll be happy you did.

buzzybee75
Reviewed On 23/03/2015
5/5

Thanks for a brilliant 2 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.

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price per Person Availability    
12th January 2019 - 13th January 2019
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£155.00
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19th January 2019 - 20th January 2019
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£155.00
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26th January 2019 - 27th January 2019
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£155.00
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2nd February 2019 - 3rd February 2019
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9th February 2019 - 10th February 2019
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16th February 2019 - 17th February 2019
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23rd February 2019 - 24th February 2019
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2nd March 2019 - 3rd March 2019
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£155.00
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9th March 2019 - 10th March 2019
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£155.00
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16th March 2019 - 17th March 2019
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£155.00
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23rd March 2019 - 24th March 2019
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£155.00
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30th March 2019 - 31st March 2019
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£155.00
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6th April 2019 - 7th April 2019
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£155.00
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