2 Day Winter Skills Course

2 days, 2 nights
Tour Type:
Skills course
Group size:
1 - 6
3 out of 5

Winter Skills weekend in the Cairngorms

For many, winter sends a shiver down the spine but for a few of us it’s a tingle of excitement. It’s a great privilege to experience a crystal clear horizon some 70 miles distant. You seldom have this opportunity during the warmer months. The reflection of the sunset colours on the ice and frost make winter in the mountains a magical time. This course gives you the confidence and satisfaction of knowing how to be safe and comfortable. This can be a unique and beautiful but sometimes hostile environment.

These 2 practical days out in the Cairngorm Mountains concentrate on all the skills and techniques required to move efficiently and safely over snow covered mountain terrain. This introductory course is a solid foundation for any aspiring winter walker or climber. The skills are not taught in isolation. The course is delivered from the perspective of prevention (rather than cure) in a progressive manner. You will have plenty of time to practise and gain confidence before you leave.


  •  2 nights accommodation at Fraoch Lodge (one room per household – i.e. single occupancy if you are travelling on your own)
  • meals from morning of first day to lunch on 2nd day (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner)
  • instruction from a qualified, local, experienced guide
  • pick up/drop off from Aviemore station or Inverness aiport
  • transport to the hill



  • cramponing techniques
  • how to use winter boots
  • ice axe arrest

NB navigation skills are taught separately on our Advanced Winter Navigation Course or alternatively on a 5 day winter skills course


10 top winter skills tips 

Why choose a winter skills course?

How do I prepare for a winter skills course?





2 Day Winter Skills course in the Cairngorms

This winter skills course takes place in the Cairngorm Mountains – universally recognised as providing Britain’s most consistent winter conditions. Through our experience of instructing in this environment Scot Mountain Holidays have developed a clear, concise and structured approach. Our courses are delivered in a fun and progressive manner providing you with a clear understanding of all the necessary skills..

The course takes the form of 2 practical days and begins with an introduction to suitable equipment and moves through the various skills required for secure and efficient movement over steep, snow covered terrain. This is followed by the various techniques that are required in the event of a loss of footing or a sliding fall.

Boots, ice axes and crampons:
• Suitable boots
• Suitable length, design and carrying of the axe
• Various types of crampons, their uses and boot attachment systems

winter skills weekend

a bonus ascent of Cairgorm at the end of a day of winter skills training

Basic avalanche assessment:
• Snow pit analysis
• Appreciation of the conditions under which windslab forms and its recognition
• Avalanche triggers, precautions and emergency procedures

• Good foot placement and step kicking
• Step cutting on various types of snow and ice
• Use of crampons and various techniques appropriate to the terrain
• Self belay and self arrest techniques

winter skills weekend

How heavy is snow?

You might also want to enquire about a winter navigation weekend.

We asked our guests what sets Scot Mountain Holidays apart, why they return year after year:

“the social aspect”  –  “the camaraderie, food and conversation”   –
“the company of the hosts”  –  “so warm and welcoming”  –  

 “a profound sense of belonging”  –  “the welcome of Rebecca’s home cooked meal”  –  “Andy’s skills as a guide, naturalist and leader”  –  “stewardship, sustainability and a small footprint”  –  “in harmony with the land”  –  “a slice of rural Scottish life”

Scot Mountain Holidays is the ONLY adventure tour operator in Highlands of Scotland with a combined home and guest lodge. We strive to be more than just an tour. We aim to provide you with a ‘home away from home’ on your adventures. We thought of no better way of doing this than to welcome you into our own home.

We have owned and operated Fraoch Lodge as our home base and business since 1999. In that time, we have come to embrace our guests as members of our extended Highland family.

We source our meals from locally produced and home grown ingredients to provide you with the most delicious flavours and traditions the area has to offer (while minimising our impact on the environment, too). Our dining room and lounge are shared spaces where we gather with guests and friends to share in the holiday and offer you extensive knowledge of your tour.

No matter the season, the Cairngorms and Fraoch Lodge is a place to relax and explore all its beauty and comforts, and we hope to make you feel as at home as we are.

Top quality food

Enjoy top class family friendly and freshly prepared food.

dessert at Fraoch Lodge

Chowing down on some well deserved dessert for dinner after a hard day out on the hill.

We have achieved Gold Star Awards from the world’s most highly respected green accreditation scheme, Green Tourism, and were awarded Highly Commended in their Green Star Awards 2013 for both Scot Mountain Holidays and Fraoch Lodge. We offer a Green Travel Discount of £15 to any guests who travel to us by public transport. Our primary aim is to minimise the carbon footprint of our holidays, and to this end we donate 1% of the price of our tours to the RSPB’s Abernethy Reforestation project.

It is a holistic approach we have to the care of the environment. Andy your adventure guide has a passion for the natural world – whether it’s the flora, fauna or fungi. He has a background in geology and a lifelong interest in natural history, as well as being a keen gardener.  He knows a Golden Plover from a Dotterel, a Green Shank and a Dunlin. He also makes no apologies to being very excitable upon spying a Golden Eagle!

For further information, please don’t hesitate to check out our Environmental Responsibility page, or contact us directly at info@scotmountainholidays.com.

Gold award - Green Tourism

Gold standard for Green Tourism

Special offer