Advanced Winter Navigation
Do you want to be able to navigate confidently in winter? Would a white-out make you panic? After this course, you should be confident about navigating in whiteout conditions. You will have the skills to cope.
The Cairngorms are an ideal training ground. Winter conditions are remarkably consistent. The terrain is quite subtle meaning that you’ll need to apply all you new skills.
The 2 days focus on obtaining the skills and correct approach for maximising your navigational skill level. We concentrate on contour interpretation and ‘play safe’ tactical techniques. We cover timing, pacing and compass bearings yet we develop a wide array of skills to avoid the pit-fall of an over reliance on these 3 techniques. You will increase your ability to gather information from the map and be able to apply corrective techniques.
- 2 nights accommodation at Fraoch Lodge
- 2 breakfasts
- 1 dinner
- 2 packed lunches
- pick up from Aviemore station or Inverness airport
- transport to the hill
- instruction from a highly qualified, experienced, local guide
- appropriate navigational equipment for winter
- winter navigation tactics and limiting the effect of error
- recognition of contour features and their use as waymarkers in the winter mountains
- problems associated with navigating by certain features in the winter mountains
- recognition and use of different slope forms
- Navigating by and measuring slope aspect
- time and pacing (micro- navigation) techniques
- tactical navigation techniques incl. aiming off, attack points, collection features etc.
- “Inappropriate” and appropriate winter techniques e.g. hand railing and dog-legging
Understanding Winter Navigation
Why choose a winter skills course in Scotland?
This course focuses in on the having the right tactical approach. Accuracy in any particular skill is obviously important but it’s also vital that you accommodate error and minimizing its effect on your overall accuracy.
It’s about having an array of techniques at your disposal so you’re not dependant on the absolute accuracy of any one particular skill. Most people get lost when they allow the error to become greater than the range of visibility. A 10% error in distance or direction over 500m is going to be a quarter of that over 2km so it’s important you contour interpretation is good. That way you can recognize more contour features (way-marking points) and in doing so keep your legs (section of route between way-marking points) short.
White-out conditions can very much encourage you to abandon any attempt to interpret the lie of the land. We demystify white–out conditions (excuse the pun) which are often as much/more to do with a combination of everything being white in flat light conditions as they are to do with actual bad visibility.
A basic knowledge of how to use the compass and map reading is helpful and good hill fitness is also desirable.
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.
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 email@example.com.