Scottish Winter Skills Week

Location: Scotland, Glencoe
Price: £400
Ratio 1:6
Length: 5 days

Feb 17-21 2020

Who is this course for?

This Winter Skills Week is aimed at people with limited experience of snow and ice covered mountains who would like to extend their summer activities to high mountains in winter. It offers an opportunity to learn about the special requirements of winter clothing; equipment; ice axe and crampon skills. A strong emphasis will be placed on navigation and safe route choice. Time will be spent each day assessing the weather and snow conditions in order to show methods of detecting potential avalanche terrain and choosing the safest and easiest routes of ascent and descent.

You will develop an in-depth practical knowledge of all the skills required to move about the mountains in winter conditions, competently and confidently.

To get the most out of these five days we recommend that you have summer hill walking experience and have a level of fitness that will allow you to undertake five consecutive days on the hill. Winter hill walking is arduous so a good level of fitness will allow you to cope with what, at times, can be harsh and physically demanding conditions.

Course content

 The following will be covered over the week:

  • Five full days of practical instruction outside in the hills
  • Appropriate selection of personal equipment and kit suitable for winter mountains
  • Personal movement on snow including kicking steps and using your ice axe effectively
  • Use of crampons in ascent/ descent
  • Emergency procedures including snow shelters
  • Winter navigation
  • Avalanche awareness and safe route choice
  • Route planning in winter taking account the weather, conditions and avalanche risk

Outline plan

Day 1:

  • Kit checks and discussion
  • Essential skills in the hills
  • Step kicking/cutting
  • Ice axe arrest
  • Walking in crampons
  • Snow cave shelters

Day 2:

  • Essential skills in use to ascend a 1000m mountain by a straightforward route in order to reinforce previous days training. Group survival shelters.

Day 3:

  • Essential skills navigation
  • Map & compass
  • Pacing & timing
  • ‘White-out’ techniques

Day 4 & 5

  • Client led days: now is the chance to use your newfound skills. You will be given the opportunity to plan and lead your own mountain days in company with Jeremy.

Course pre-requisites

You need to have been in the mountains before this at some stage. Also, we will be out for five full days in the hills in winter- it’s hard work and you need to be fit. A bit of training before hand will come in use. You do not need to be a climber and you will not be entering ground that requires the use of a rope. 


This is not included in the course, we are based in Glencoe and there are lots of options nearby on sites such as and

Start time/ Finish time

We meet at 0830 on day 1 and finish by approximately 1800 on day 5. Once we receive your booking we will send you comprehensive information about when and where to meet, and the kit you need to bring. 

Other information

If you have specific questions then please do email or phone.