How to prepare for a winter skills course
Words of wisdom from the Met Office and the BMC.
Andy Bateman, our company director, is the main guide for Scot Mountain Holidays. He is a qualified winter mountain leader with 15 years experience instructing in the Cairngorms. He says there is nothing like local knowledge for being aware of the avalanche hotspots and how to avoid them. He keeps a very close eye on the weather from this time of year (November) until winter passes towards the end of April and is out on the snowpack so frequently that he has almost as good an eye for predicting the avalanche weaknesses as the SAIS team.
We also work with experienced mountain instructors who deliver mountaineering and climbing courses for us. The instructors live in the area and have in many cases instructed for the RAF outdoor centres when they were based in Grantown on Spey. All instructors who work for us have a wealth of local knowledge.
Winter courses offered by Scot Mountain Holidays
It is essential if you are planning to go out in the hills on your own or even with a small group of friends that you should all have had some formal training in personal safety skills so you know how to use your crampons & ice axe effectively and have all the gear necessary. Navigation is perhaps the least valued of these skills, but arguably the most valuable. We also offer training in winter navigation techniques.
Winter holidays offered by Scot Mountain Holidays (including expeditions)
If you would like to get out in the winter but are not confident of managing on your own, you might want to join an organised group. Take a look at our dates and see if we have anything which will suit your commitments.