Winter Navigation courses are either 1 or 2 days in duration as personally required and is also encompassed by our 5 day Foundation Winter Mountaineering course. The course is designed to provide a competent summer navigator with a set of skills to enable them to move safely around typical Scottish winter mountains. Some previous experience of winter mountaineering is essential as it does not cover basic movement skills.

The Instructors’ aim is to introduce you to a variety of mountain areas and situations where map and compass skills together with accurate pacing and timing is essential to the safety especially during white-out conditions. The ultimate aim is to increase your competence and confidence to navigate in these serious conditions.

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 course duration, you should have the confidence and the skills necessary to venture in to the Scottish Winter Mountains independently.

The course covers:

Basic navigation skills

Map and compass use in servere weather

Map preferences for winter

Stratergies for avoiding obstacles during navigation legs

Appraisal of avalanche risk
Understanding weather constraints in winter

Outline Programme
Day 1: The course begins at 9 am with the Course Briefing. The briefing covers essential information for the day(s) ahead, including equipment required.

Plenty of opportunity will be given to learn new skills or refresh old ones with an emphasis towards the end of the day(s) to assess those newely aquired skills

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


Available Dates

Basic winter navigation skills are covered on our 5 day Foundation Winter Mountaineering course however if this does not suit your requirements arrangements for both groups and individuals can be made. 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