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winter skills 

scotland - 4 day

A fully immersive Scottish winter experience - learn, refine and develop all things winter; from ice axe and crampons to winter navigation and avalanche awareness. 

Scotland has more guaranteed winter conditions compared to the Lake District, we recommend booking a Scottish trip for more reliable snow and ice 




This is a longer and more comprehensive course designed to introduce hill walkers to the delights of winter walking in Scotland.

We will build more on the basic winter skills introduced from the 2 day course and look to develop a more immersive experience and understanding of the winter environment. 


Day 1 will  run from 8:30am until around 4:00-5:00pm and meet initially at Tiso cafe in Aviemore 

Any subsequent days meet at the Cairn Gorm ski centre; we use the cafe here for debriefs at the end of the course

Being based in Aviemore and using the ski centre as a base will allow for quick and easy access to this high mountain area of the UK.


Day 1:

Planning & Preparation

How to store and carry your kit and organise your winter hill kit.  Personal admin for bad weather; snow, ice and wind

Movement on snow 

Looking at using the boot as a tool, using the edges of the boot and kicking steps for security in steep, snowy ground

Ice axe technique

For security and balance on steeper terrain and for cutting steps to aid movement up and down the slope

Ice Axe Braking/Self Arrest

Looking at techniques from self belay through to halting a slip and arresting slides and tumbles, from feet first to head first and gaining control 

Day 2:


Fitting crampons correctly, walking in crampons and front pointing.  We will look to use crampons on a variety of terrain including snow, ice and rock in ascent and descent. 

Avalanche awareness

To stay safe and develop understanding of a hazardous and dynamic landscape.  We will look at weather forecasting, avalanche reports and observations of the snow in the real world when out on the hill 

Winter navigation 

All those summer features become covered by snow; practice on a different scale map and winterise your navigation; looking at appropriate techniques and gaining confidence to navigate in white out conditions 

Day 3:

Steep Ground
Further movement skills on steep terrain, looking at solid movement to build confidence 

Snow anchors & belays 

Looking at their application and limitations.  From a buried axe belay to a snow bollard 

Look at managing a member of the party up and down the slope - using a rope to tie in around the waist and belay a member of the part either up or down 

Further winter navigation practice

Further navigation skills and contour interpretation in the snow

Evening session

Planning a mountain journey - this will be the journey undertaken on day 4, using the weather forecasts for the next day we will plan a safe and appropriate journey to the teams skillset and experience 

Day 4:

Undertake the planned mountain journey and summit day

Hoping to summit winter a munro where possible 

Use all skills gained on the course - refine, practice and develop all skills and knowledge in this journey to be safer and more independent in this environment 

Dealing with winter emergencies - visiting snow shelters and looking at the concept of how to construct an emergency shelter.  We will discuss the idea of a shovel up as well as look at a fully constructed snow hole if possible. 



This course is non residential - please get in touch for recommendations on where to stay as we can provide a list for accommodation

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Be able to look after yourself in poor weather, 

Understand your kit and its limitations in the winter environment, 

Be more confident in ice axe and crampon techniques (snow dependent),

Be a more confident navigator, 

Be in a strong position to head out whatever the weather  


You will need to wear suitable clothing for winter mountaineering, including a full set of waterproofs, warm layers, hat & gloves, ski goggles and winter mountaineering boots.

These boots should be rigid and rated to B1/B2 standard (we can advise during the booking stage).

Boots can be hired from LDM, subject to sizes and availability of our stocks.

We can provide crampons, ice axe, helmets and other technical equipment.


Expert Instructors:

Our course is led by experienced instructors with a deep understanding of the Scottish winter environment. They are dedicated to providing high-quality instruction and ensuring each participant gains a solid foundation of skills.

Practical Application:

We believe in hands-on learning. Our course includes extensive practical exercises, allowing participants to immediately apply what they've learned in real-world situations.

Small Group Sizes:

We maintain small class sizes to ensure focussed attention and ample opportunity for questions, discussions, and where possible one-on-one guidance. 

Positive Learning Environment:

We foster a supportive and encouraging learning environment where participants can feel comfortable asking questions, making mistakes, and building confidence in their abilities.

Quality Equipment for Hire:

We can provide B2 boots for a small fee, as well as ice axes, crampons and helmets.  All of these are high quality and selected from premium outdoor brands, making sure you have a safe course with the best kit. 


Course Ratios

1:6 Ratio - 6 people per 1 instructor

Our instructors can teach up to 6 people on this course. 


This course is open to the public and has 6 spaces per course.

Minimum 2 people to run


We can provide additional instructors so if courses are full then please still enquire.  



Experience of hill walking in summer conditions. 

You will need to be fit enough to be able to walk in the snow carrying a rucksack.

Please contact us to discuss regarding any queries 


All technical equipment can be  provided & hired from LDM. 

Crampons & axes can be hired for the course  (£5 per day to use)

You will need to wear suitable outdoor clothing and have appropriate mountain footwear 

(B1/B2 boots - these are rigid to take crampons)

We have a selection of boots to hire subject to sizes and availability 

Boot hire is £10 per pair, per day

Click here for a video on winter kit


Our venues are carefully selected and tailored to get the most out of the programme. 

The course is based in Aviemore - from the Ski Centre on Cairngorm. 

This course is non residential

Winter course conditions: It may be necessary to change the outline of the courses to offer general mountaineering/mountain skills programmes.

2024 dates

29th Feb - 3rd March 2024

Book Now

All dates can be booked through the booking system

Hire our Lake District Mountaineering instructors for private and tailored programmes.

Suited to your goals & ambitions to make the most of YOUR time in the mountains. 

Day rates: 

1:1 £220

1:2 £250

1:4 £300

1:6 £360



We look forward to hearing from you and working towards your mountaineering ambitions and helping to achieve your goals. 

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If calls are missed we will respond when possible, please leave a voicemail or text message where possible.

Thank you

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