Snow Hole Expedition
Snow Hole Expedition
The challenge of a snow hole expedition is unique, the rewards are unrivalled and the memories are unforgettable. Help construct a comfortable communal snow hole lit by the reflected light of candles! Wake up to the absolute silence of a pristine winter wonderland bathed in the soft light of a Cairngorm dawn. Snow-holing in Scotland is for some one of the most remarkable experiences.Snow Hole Expedition is absolutely an unforgettable experience.
Although at times tough and not necessarily for the faint hearted, this isn’t an SAS survival course. The focus is on it being an experience to be enjoyed, not endured. The aim is to go deep into the winter mountain wilderness and put in the time in to make our communal snow-hole comfortable. Our inspiration isn’t your local rabbit warren but the Sistine Chapel!! Well, almost. We construct a snow-hole designed specifically for Scottish conditions.
- 4 nights accommodation (including one in the snow hole)
- 3 days guiding
- all meals during the trip
- transport to the activities
- cooking equipment and specialist snow hole equipment
- pick up/drop off from Aviemore station or Inverness airport
NB You need to provide your own sleeping bag for a snow hole expedition. You will also need your own winter boots, crampons and ice axe, but these can be hired locally.
Check out the highlights of the Snow Hole Expedition filmed by Lonely Planet:
The challenge is unique, the rewards are unrivalled and the memories are unforgettable. Help construct a comfortable communal snowhole lit by the reflected light of candles! Wake up to the absolute silence of a pristine winter wonderland bathed in the soft light of a Cairngorm dawn. Snow-holing in Scotland is for some one of the most remarkable experiences.
Although at times tough and not necessarily for the faint hearted, this isn’t an SAS survival course. The focus is on it being an experience to be enjoyed, not endured. The aim is to go deep into the winter mountain wilderness and put in the time in to make our communal snow-hole comfortable. Our inspiration isn’t your local rabbit warren but the Sistine Chapel!! Well, almost. We construct a snow-hole designed specifically for Scottish conditions. We make it big with a vaulted roof for good ventilation. We snow-hole, we don’t snow-hovel! Once the hard work is done it’s time to snuggle into your cosy sleeping bag, sit back, relax, and enjoy the camaraderie of the shared experience. Andy, your guide cooks up a delicious home-prepared 3 course meal for us all to enjoy together. Who else can boast home-made Carrot and Cardamon soup in a snow-hole!
The trip starts with a day of the necessary winter skills training on the high snowy flanks of Cairngorm before ascending to its lofty summit. We then return to Fraoch Lodge for the night before setting out for our 2 day expedition for the intervening night in the snow-hole. We then return to Fraoch Lodge for the final night and one of Rebecca’s delicious evening meals before you depart after breakfast the following morning.
Andy has over 35 Snow-hole Expeditions to his credit over nearly 20 years and is one of the few instructors in the UK deemed competent by HSE criteria to lead Snow-holing trips. He is Scotland’s leading exponent of the activity and through the exposure his trips have had in the press and media, snow-holing has greatly increased as a winter activity in its own right.
To read Andrew’s top ten tips for successful snow-holing go to our blog
Experience & Fitness:
Guests should have plenty of stamina and a good level of physical fitness to cope with three physically demanding days in the winter mountains. The 2 expedition days will involve about 4-5 hours walking with around a 10 kg rucksack, in what could be difficult conditions. On the 1st Expedition day the walk-in is followed by at least 4hrs of sometimes heavy digging. Guests should have had some previous hill-walking experience, preferably in winter though this isn’t essential.
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 a 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.