The Winter Skills course covers the fundamentals of walking in the mountains in winter. It will transform you from a summer walker to a confident winter walker.
It’s a great way to learn the essential skills you will need to safely enjoy the UK’s mountains during the winter months. Whether you’d like to feel more confident moving on snow and ice, or have plans for a bigger, international expedition, our Winter Skills course is a great first step.
Delivered by qualified and experienced winter mountain professionals, the course takes place entirely outdoors and covers a range of topics including the use of crampons and ice axe, navigating in winter conditions and avalanche awareness. You’ll look at how to prepare for winter walking as well as what you’ll need to wear and carry with you.
Our experienced instructors will share their knowledge with you and answer any questions you have about exploring the mountains of the UK in winter.
Each day begins with a short ‘classroom’ session over breakfast in Aviemore in the heart of Scottish Cairngorms. The group will discuss the plan for the day, look at the weather forecast and talk about clothing and equipment before heading out to continue the learning in the local mountains. The end of the day finishes with cake back at the cafe whilst the group recaps the day.
Public courses take place throughout the winter or if there’s three or more of you in your party you can pick your own date. Book online using the live availability checker or contact us to find out more.
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Frequently Asked Questions
We deliberately keep numbers low to ensure your safety and the attention of your instructor. Our Winter Skills course runs with a maximum of six people. All sorts of people come on our courses from all sorts of backgrounds and all ages but what they all have in common is a desire to become more confident in the mountains in winter.
Of course! Around half our clients come on their own. It’s a great way to meet other like-minded adventurers.
Absolutely! Children aged twelve and over are welcome on our Winter Skills courses when accompanied by a parent, guardian or carer. Discounted prices are available for children aged 12-15 and for family groups.
The Winter Skills course takes place over two consecutive days. We typically start at 9am and aim to finish around 4pm each day. The aim is to enjoy yourself and the pace reflects this.
Our Winter Skills course takes place in the heart of the Scottish Cairngorms in Aviemore.
Many people choose to make a weekend of it and there are lots of accommodation choices around the area. We recommend sites like booking.com and airbnb.co.uk to seek out a local gem. In the summer there are numerous camping options in and around the area too.
We’re proud to offer some of the best value outdoor courses in the UK. Our two-day Winter Skills course costs £100 for children (aged 12-15) and £125 for adults (aged 16+).
You can either choose to pay in full when you book online or if you book by phone you can avoid the online booking fees imposed by our booking provider.
If you’d like to spread your payments with Klarna, you can book now and pay in 30 days or pay in 3 instalments over the next 3 months. For example you can choose to pay the £125 as 3 monthly instalments of around £42. Klarna is safe and secure and payments are interest-free.
You’ll need outdoor kit for a whole weekend in the hills whatever the weather!
Remember to bring enough food and drink with you to last the whole weekend and some money for breakfasts and cakes!
There’s a full kit list below. Please have a look at the weather before setting off and dress accordingly. Better to have an extra fleece and woolly hat in your bag just in case. Remember we’ll be outdoors all weekend in all weathers so be sure to have the right gear. If it’s looking wet then keeping spares clothes to change into in your car is also a good idea.
- Comfortable hill walking clothing – personal base layers and trousers (not jeans)
- Waterproof jacket with hood
- Waterproof trousers (separate to your walking trousers)
- Spare warm/fleece jacket
- Walking boots or walking trainers
- Comfortable walking socks
- Warm hat and gloves or sun hat and sun screen (weather dependent)
- Vacuum flask for hot drink and/or re-usable water bottle
- Personal first aid kit and personal medication
- Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 Explorer map for Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa (OL17)
- Compass (long-edge type such as the Silva Expedition 4)
- Day walk rucksack – approx. 20-25 litres
- Packed lunch and snacks for each day
The Winter Skills course requires a moderate level of fitness. It is a practical course where you will be walking for a good part of each day, and learning along the way. Any health issues should be talked through with your tutor prior to the start of the course.