UK Winter Skills
Join our winter skills trip that will provide practical learning and the necessary skills required for mountain exploring whether that's in the UK or further afield. If you are new to winter mountaineering, or just need to dust off the cobwebs, this practical trip will cover everything you need to know in order to stay as safe as possible in the mountains, whilst having an awesome time exploring and taking in new experiences.
We are running this trip Monday to Thursday and Thursday to Sunday over the last week of January and first week of February 2022.
3 days, 3 nights
January - February
- + 6
The Cairngorms or Western Highlands, Scotland
The specific location will be communicated closer to the time (to ensure we get the best ground and weather conditions for an enjoyable trip) - And is likely to either be in The Cairngorms or the Western Highlands and will involve reaching one of the higher peaks in the area, always a formidable challenge in winter. The teaching will happen both in the warmth of the accommodation and while on the journey through each day in the outdoors. We will stay in a comfortable cottage with all food included (breakfast, lunch and dinner). If we decide to go out to a local pub for dinner instead, this would be an additional expense.
On this trip you will learn about the following: General Safety (pre-trip planning, in-trip planning and risk mitigating) / Weather awareness / Avalanche awareness & risk assessment for route planning / Winter navigation / Safe use of crampons and ice axe / Movement techniques on snow and ice / Ice Axe arrest (the use of you ice axe if you were to fall and slide down a slope) / Rescue techniques for (e.g.) crevasse recovery / Practice walking as a rope team for glacier hiking and alpine mountaineering.
This trip is perfect preparation if you're interested in our Mont Blanc Trip
Mont Blanc Trip
We will journey to remote areas in order to practice winter skills and to truly explore the Mountain Wilderness. You don't need to have any prior experience of remote hiking and the small group size will enable us to give you our full attention throughout the weekend, ensuring your safety and enjoyment is our number one priority.
Make sure you come with a basic level of fitness as you will spend time outdoors on your feet, moving through the mountains.
3 days, 3 nights
January - February
You’re not quite sure where to start but you’re hungry for an adventure and can’t wait to get going. Bring it on!
Great news! Your place on this adventure is carbon offset along with our footprint in creating it. To learn more about what we're doing head to our 'about us' page.
Kit & equipment required for this adventure
Required - day hikes: Small rucksack suitable for day hikes (30-35 litres) Sturdy Hiking boots Thick socks Hiking trousers Waterproof trousers Non-cotton T-shirt (ideally at least 2, with one being long-sleeved) Fleece Warm/insulated jacket Waterproof jacket Headtorch (and batteries) Warm hat/balaclava Warm Ski Type Gloves/Mittens (A spare pair is also recommended in case one gets wet) Sun glasses Ski goggles Water bottle Personal medication Technical equipment (ice axe, crampons and helmet - these will be available to hire on request)
Optional: Thermal trousers (long johns) Thermos flask Waterproof/Dry Bags Maps Compass Personal first aid kit (blister plasters, sun screen, plasters/bandages, pain killers) Snack food
Day Trek Pack
20-25 litre day pack to carry spare layers, water, food, camera, etc.
Available to rent on arrival
Mountaineering or hiking boots
B1 is fine
Good walking socks are required
Side-leg zippers are helpful
Highly breathable, lightweight synthetic technical t-shirt.
Something light and thin
Insulated winter jacket
Don't forget to pack spare batteries. They're essential
Ideally thin and single layered so it can fit under the helmet
Fleece windproof gloves
At least cat 4 and ideally with limited gaps at the sides
Just in case you hit bad weather
You must be able to carry at least 2L of water in your backpack
First aid kit
Blister kit, paracetamol, etc
Rent for €35
Straight shaft for general mountaineering
Rent for €45
12 point steel mountaineering crampons
Rent for €25
Standard hard plastic climbing specific helmet.
Time to pack
Come prepared for adventure
We always go through the plan for the week as well as the current weather and mountain conditions. You will get the opportunity to meet your guides and you can ask any questions and go through your kit.
- 3-nights cottage accommodation (twin rooms)
- 3-days instruction, guidance and guided hiking
- A handpicked experienced and qualified winter mountain leader
- Breakfasts and Lunches
- All travel and logistics from Inverness Airport
What's not Included?
- Personal equipment
- Personal travel insurance
- Evening meals and drinks
What to expect from your accommodation
We will stay in a comfortable cottage with all food included (breakfast, lunch and dinner). If we decide to go out to a local pub for dinner instead, this would be an additional expense.
Our Cottage Base
After each day of adventure we will return to our comfortable Cottage for a cosy night, a warm shower and a tasty dinner. The accommodation is on a twin share basis with single supplements available on request. We will provide a basic breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Cottage, but if we decide to go out to a local pub for dinner instead, this would be at your own expense.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Immerse yourself in Nature
While we try and stick to the tried and tested itinerary below, the mountain and the weather sometimes has other ideas. We will always remain as flexible as possible, which is why we only work with experienced and knowledgeable guides, to make sure we can change any plans if required.
Leave work - travel to Scotland
You will be met at Inverness Airport/Train Station at 8pm (depending on your flight) and driven to the accommodation for a night’s rest before the fun begins
Let's get to it!
Awaking in the morning, we will have breakfast, discuss the plans for the day including a safety briefing and kit check, then pack our bags and head out for the day; hiking to the snow/ice line for an introduction to the winter environment, an introduction/revision of ice axe/crampon skills and the style of mountaineering required for a winter ascent. We will then head back to the accommodation for a shower before heading out to a local pub for some hearty food and drinks while discussing other things for consideration when approaching the mountains in a winter environment (e.g. weather forecasting, route planning and risk mitigation)
Summit a local peak
We will arise early to give us as much time on the mountain as possible. After breakfast we will have another trip briefing and safety discussion before heading out to ascend the summit of a local mountain (The specific route we take will depend on group ability and ground/weather conditions). Today we will focus on walking as a team and emergency procedures to deal with potential accidents (e.g. crevasse fall) We will return to the accommodation with the option of heading out to a local pub for dinner.
All your new skills put to the test
We will arise early to give us as much time on the mountain as possible. After breakfast we will have another trip briefing and safety discussion before packing the car and heading out to ascend the summit of a local mountain (The specific route we take will depend on group ability and ground/weather conditions). Today we will review everything we learnt on the first two days as we journey to the summit of a local peak. At the end of the day, you will be driven back to Inverness Airport/train station for your return journey home (expect to arrive in Inverness no earlier than 5pm)
Meet your guides for this adventure
Lead UK guide
Stuart has over 20 years of experience in the UK and further afield. Stuart's exceptional knowledge of the UK outdoor adventure scene is unrivalled and his attention to detail on each trip makes all of our UK adventures feel special. Stuart's energy is contagious and his passion for adventure is always firing at 100%! And there's nothing he likes more than a nice cold beer at the end of the day.
Ben is a UIMLA International Mountain Leader/Guide and works as our lead Trekking Guide. He has worked as an Expedition Leader in challenging environments around the world in countries such as Borneo, Mongolia, Morocco and Costa Rica and at home in the European Alps, responsible for the safety and success of expeditions for many years. His passion for the mountains is infectious and he loves sharing a summit photo or long-distance Trek with our clients.