(13 customer reviews)

Winter Skills Course

From: £158.00

2 day winter skills course in the Cairngorms near Aviemore. The course covers all aspects of winter mountaineering in Scotland.
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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.



What is included in this course?

Items that are included in the cost of the course 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

Not Included

  • Accommodation


Day 1

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

  • Walking in the snow, kicking steps
  • Cutting steps with an ice axe
  • Different techniques of cutting steps
  • Using crampons
  • Learn about snow and avalanche risk

Day 2
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.

More Info

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 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

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 of 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

13 reviews for Winter Skills Course

  1. RobReveloBeck

    Brilliant weekend in the Cairngorms! Andreas is a very thorough, enthusiastic and fun teacher. I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to get out into the mountains in the winter, and I’ll definitely be coming back to for more next year.

  2. pathfinder

    I booked the course not knowing what to expect but I was in need of some expert knowledge to learn from!. So I thought I would give it a go.I soon realized I was in the right place!. Andreas was very welcoming and made you feel very comfortable. We had two fantastic day’s on the mountain ,which I learned so much about all aspects of winter mountaineering. I now feel so much more confident going out in the mountains!. On the strength of this I’m going to book another trip for next year.

  3. jcytam

    Had a great weekend learning and practising the important winter hill walking skills. Andreas, our guide, was friendly and very knowledgeable, and the course content was approachable and relevant. The weather was uncharacteristically pleasant too but I’m not sure how much control Andreas has over that! Would strongly recommend, and I hope to come back and have a look at the other courses on offer!

  4. MrsBurnsLovesChips

    Just back home from a 2 day winter skills course on Cairn Gorm with Unexplored Scotland. Andreas is an excellent instructor. Patient, a good teacher and very knowledgeable. I have a fear of heights but he was understanding with this so I quickly felt able to face my demons (my nemisis being a high, steep slope) and was able to fully participate in all the activities across the 2 days. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend. Highly recommend booking with Andreas. You will learn a lot with this friendly and highly experienced mountain instructor. The other reviewers have covered the various elements of the course so I won’t repeat them here. I will add that we got more with Andreas than other companies offer. I attended the course on my own and was made very welcome by my 2 fellow participants and Andreas. Thanks to all!

  5. mciver223

    I really enjoyed this 2 day course learning new skills from Andreas along with 3 others in our group. Andreas patiently prepared us for the conditions on the mountain and soon we were practising Ice Axe arrest in the snow which was great fun. Next day on the summit we learnt more winter walking techniques including using crampons and building snow shelters. I now feel more confident walking in winter conditions and look forward to build on my new found skills. I would most definitely recommend a course with Andreas.

  6. nritchie2016

    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.

  7. Peter

    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!

  8. Steve M

    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.

  9. James D

    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.

  10. buzzybee75

    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.

  11. LDP-Walker

    Four of us, experienced summer walkers, came up and spent a weekend doing the winter walking skills course with Andreas.

    Absolutely fabulous. Andreas has a very practical style, he gets you out on the hills and on the snow very quickly, but all the time you are learning. On the walk in he is doing navigation work, pacing, timing and pointing out both the strengths and weaknesses of OS maps.

    Once on the snow we kicked steps, cut steps, used crampons, did multiple self arrests with and without an ice axe, falling in every possible direction, on our backs with a rucksack on head fisrt was the most sporting. We now have the confidence to go out into the hills in winter conditions.

    A great weekend worth every penny

  12. LilMissRandomness

    Absolutely fantastic weekend! Well planned and instructor was full of useful knowledge. Essential skills for winter mountaineering!

  13. Nick

    What can you learn on a two day Winter Skills course with Highland Ascent? With Andreas as your instructor the answer is A LOT!
    I have done quite a few winter walks in UK mountain ranges, and thanks to Andreas have developed new skills and more importantly more respect for winter conditions.

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