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Winter is coming...

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

Hurrah! Finally it seems winter is on its way! The Highland Mountains in Scotland have snow! For those who struggle with January, give yourself a reason to love winter!

Winter in the mountains is arguably the most magical time of year to be outdoors. If you're a hill walker looking to make the leap, then read on!

The magnificent Sgorr Dhearg (1024m) in Glencoe develops perhaps the finest snow-line cornice in Scotland

I've a number of course dates for those wanting to become more self sufficient going out into the mountains, and some guided days out for those just wanting to experience winter in the mountains without worrying about where you are going! The courses are below and the guided trips further down.

But if you have a particular goal in mind for you and your friends or want a course specifically for you and your group / club then please just get in touch to arrange.

Introduction to winter mountain walking courses

For summer walkers it is literally a next step to head out to the hills and mountains in winter. But it needs a new set of equipment to compliment your existing kit plus some training (or refreshing) on how to use them. Route planning can become more challenging in blizzard conditions or even on clear days with potential avalanche risks and GPS can be next to useless apart from occasionally giving you a position from which to navigate from using a map and compass.

However the rewards of that clear day in the mountains with the snow crunching on crisp sun-drenched snow can make someone's year!

I can offer 2-day courses at any time to university clubs, groups, other clubs or larger groups and these can be any time of the week. These can be extended if required.

But I have three dates set for those who want to meet new people at the same stage of their hill journeys (no pun intended).

Aviemore / Kingussie

- Saturday 2nd - Sunday 3rd February 2019

- Saturday 16th - Sunday 17th February 2019

- Saturday 2nd - Sunday 3rd March 2019

There is an option to hire ice axes, crampons and B2 boots (essential) if you don't have them as well as an accommodation deal should you want to take advantage of it at the Silverfjord Hotel in Kingussie.

On this course we will cover kit, weather and avalanche forecasts, Be Avalanche Aware, walking in snow, use of boots as a tool, use of crampons and ice axes, planning a journey, emergency huts among other things. We won't cover any rope work or climbing techniques. This really is for those wanting to take the next step in their hill walking.

For details and to book one of the set courses please see here:

For clubs and groups - please get in touch about dates and prices.

Using crampons, ice axes and strategy to ascend steep ground in the Cairngorms

Guided Experiences

I've two weekends set aside for people who want to experience the winter mountains. Do something different! Treat the other half or special friends to a new experience!

These will both be in different areas of the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland.

23-24th March 2019 - The Cairngorms from Aviemore.

There are so many mountains to choose from in this area. Many are easily accessible and there is an enormous range of walks possible. There are also the neighbouring Drumochters, the mysterious Newtonmore Hills and the mighty Monadhliath. For this you just need some hill walking fitness. We'll not be doing epic days out as this trip is about experience (and hopefully taking some amazing photos) rather than endurance!

Crampon, boot and ice axe hire can be made on booking.

Details and booking can be found here:

Sun rising on Coire an-t Snechda on Cairngorm Mountain

20-22nd April 2019 - Easter in Braemar

Braemar near the Royal Balmoral Estate regularly makes the weather forecast as setting the coldest town record in Britain each winter. However, come April on the verge of spring it can become a magical alpine experience with longer days, blue skies and glistening snow underfoot.

Come and spend Easter in the mountains around this gorgeous town and experience them in their full glory!

Again, some hill experience and fitness is all that's needed as we're there for a break from the normal day-to-day stresses and to experience something new!

If ice axes and crampons are needed, we'll know nearer the time and I'll let anyone booked know about this as they can be easily hired off me or from Braemar Mountain Sports and I'll advise accordingly.

For details and to book please see here:

Spring cloud cascades above Glenshee

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