This course is designed for those with no previous experience of winter mountaineering or for those who want a refresher in the skills needed to walk or climb safely in Scotland in winter.

The Instructors’ aim is to introduce you to a variety of mountain areas in order to learn and practice a range of winter skills. These include: movement on snow and ice with axe and crampons on steep ground. The emphasis is on a progression of winter skills so that you are able to tackle the Scottish Winter Mountains with increasing competence and confidence. The course concentrates on general mountaineering days, such as walking the ridges in the the Grey Corries of Locharber or bagging of the winter Munros, such as Ben Nevis, Aonach Beag or others of choice.

A theme common to all groups is safety, whether through the teaching of navigation skills, avalanche assessment or basic route choices due to prevailing conditions. At the end of the week, you should have the confidence and the skills necessary to venture in to the Scottish Winter Mountains independently.

The course covers:

Safety in the winter environment
Basic navigation skills
Appraisal of avalanche risk
Refresher of existing personal skills (if appropriate)
Ice axe arrest
Use of crampons and ice axe on steep ground

Emergency Shelter construction

Other areas for discussion could be:
Basic rope work, including belaying
The construction and use of snow anchors

Outline Programme
Day 1: The course begins at 9 am with the Course Briefing. The briefing covers essential information for the week ahead, including equipment required. Today is an introductory day concentrating on the use of crampons and ice axe on steep ground. We also include practice of arresting slips and falls. During the day we will look at the practical assessment of avalanche risk.
Day 2-5:Mountaineering Days. These will be long mountain journeys, where the emphasis is on safety, navigation, mountain weather, snow-craft and general mountaineering skills. As the week progresses you can expect to put these skills into practice on increasingly steeper ground. The days are tailored to suit the abilities of the group, along with your aspirations. The venues chosen by the staff always take account of the prevailing weather and snow conditions.

Equipment Loan

There is a limited number of ice axe and crampon sets that will be available on a first come first serve basis. If you require more information on specialist equipment please Contact Us.

Course Directors and Ratios

Dave will generally be the course director and we limit students to 8 per course to maintain quality of instruction to you the student. A course does require 2 students as a minimum to allow a particular course to go ahead


A detailed equipment list that will be sent to you upon booking. Over the years, we have gained an incredible amount of experience and expertise in outdoor equipment and clothing. We have applied this to each trip that we offer and recommend what we believe to be the most suitable items for your trip.

Additional Information

If you wish to discuss any aspect of the course or your suitability for it, please Contact Us

DatesLocation and PriceAvailability
20-24 Feb 17AviemoreAvailable
£300Book Now
27 Feb-3 Mar 17AviemoreAvailable
£300Book Now

Available – Course is available but not yet garenteed to run due to current numbers

Garenteed – This course will run

Full – This course is fully booked and unavailable for additional clients

Additional Dates

The above selection of dates are only a selection of set weekends, alternative dates are available for both groups and individuals. Contact Us to discuss personal requirements


We recommend that you have travel insurance policy that caters for the activities you will undertake on your trip with Cumbria Ventures. For a list of insurers who specialise in mountaineering and trekking, please see our Travel Insurance page