Winter Mountain Experience
The Winter mountain environment can provide a great range of learning opportunities for young people in a residential setting. While learning essential skills to enjoy the winter hills safely, we give participants the opportunity to develop their teamwork, leadership and problem-solving skills and combine these to achieve classic summits and snowy challenges. A great alternative to traditional ski trips, these weeks produce lasting friendships and life-long memories.
A 5-day course based in the beautiful Cairngorm National Park suitable for all levels of ability - no experience needed, just enthusiasm!
From our comfortable bunkhouse base, our experienced team of friendly instructors guide you and your participants through the essential skills needed to operate in the hills in Winter before we head out on adventures that put these skills into practice.
A typical first day might involve getting kitted out before heading out to learn how to walk in crampons safely and efficiently, how to stop yourself if you slip by using your ice axe and which areas are same to travel through without getting caught in an avalanche. In the evenings we hold a short session to complement the day's learning and introduce topics for the next day. Itineraries can include some or all of the following (weather dependent):
- Walking in crampons and using ice axes;
- Avalanche theory, avoidance and safe Winter travel;
- Snowpack analysis;
- Building emergency shelters from the snow and snow holes;
- Emergency scenarios and procedures;
- Winter-specific first aid;
- A Winter journey and mountain summits;
- Winter navigation.
If there are participants with more experience in your group, we split into teams and move participants on to looking at more advanced skills such as Winter belays, movement over steeper ground, Winter mountaineering and Winter climbing. The course is tailored to the needs of your participants and we can arrange groups according to aspirations and experience.
All instructors on our Winter Mountain Weeks are qualified to either Winter Mountain Leader or Mountaineering Instructor Certificate level and so we have a great range of experience to draw on when delivering our Winter courses. For more information on these awards, please see our Safety page.
Location and Galleries
The Cairngorms offers a diverse range of terrain for delivering Winter courses and we have found it extremely versatile - there is always somewhere to go and something to do in Winter and we can find a range of 'sweet' spots away from the crowds and the weather to meet our needs. The past two Winter seasons have offered some stunning opportunities for us to get out - if you'd like to see what our Winter courses are all about, take a look at our Winter Galleries here.
Cost - £675.00 per person
Our prices include:
- 7-day programme: 5 days of instruction and guiding, with an arrival day/evening session and departure day;
- All accommodation costs - our base is a comfortable bunkhouse in the Cairngorms National Park;
- All instructor costs;
- Food for the programme - we supply the ingredients for breakfasts, packed lunches and a nutritious evening meal each evening along with menu cards for the group to cook with;
- Hire of an ice axe and crampons for each participant;
- Free use of any specialist equipment used (e.g. shovels, probes, snowpack analysis kit).
You need to arrange:
- Transport: to/from the Cairngorms and during the programme - we can arrange these elements for you, including minibus hire (including D1 minibus drivers) at an additional cost;
- Personal kit for participants: we provide comprehesive kit lists, kit information and discounts with retail partners if participants need to purchase anything. We can also arrange hire of winter walking boots and warm jackets if required.
Costs are based on a minimum group size of 10 participants - please get in touch if you would like to join us with a smaller group.
Email to discuss your requirements or call us on 01433 651449 - our friendly team in the office will be happy to chat through your requirements and answer any questions. Leave us a message if we're not in - some days we might be out on the hill, meeting participants, on another call or transporting kit.