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Winter Skills Course

Our Winter Skills Course based in Fort William, Scotland are designed to provide a solid base of knowledge, skills and habits, with time also set aside to focus on navigation, so that you can confidently travel in the Scottish winter mountain environment....

We offer 1 day, 2 day or 3 day courses. Please see itineraries below. 

Winter skills course, Fort William
Winter skills Course, Fort William
  • Distance: 8km+                                  

  • Ascent: up to 1150m

  • Terrain: Mountain Path, Snow

  • Duration: 1-3 Days          

  • Start/Finish: Fort William or Glen Coe


Experience of mountain walking in summer conditions.  No experience of winter walking needed, but having the ability to look after oneself whilst on the mountain



What we offer

All our instructors are qualified and very experienced at leading people on winter skills courses in Scotlands' mountains.

Our instructors are very knowledgeable about the mountain environment, so the day can be easily split up with interesting chats, demonstrations of skills and great views along the way.

We pick the best route options based upon the snow and weather conditions.

We offer private guiding and open groups on these days to you get exactly what you want.

We can supply ice axe and crampons for small groups.


Whether you are just taking your first steps into winter walking or want to get some tips to add to your experience, a winter skills course based out of Fort William, practising the fundamentals of safe winter travel can be invaluable.  These courses are designed to give you a base of knowledge so that you can start to apply the key principles of travelling safely in the winter mountains, whilst building upon your own experience. 

Our skills days are based upon the ‘Be Avalanche Aware’ safe winter travel model developed by the Scottish Avalanche Information Service.  With the focus being predominantly on gathering correct information in the planning stage of a winter day and adding to that information whilst out on the hill. 

We also look at key decision making points throughout the day that can increase your safety as you travel around the hills as well as safe practical route choice.

In addition, if the snow conditions allow we also look at the basic skills of ice axe arrest, having secure footwork and walking in crampons as well as others.


Areas covered on day 1:

  • Use of the boot for secure footwork

  • Appropriate use of an ice axe

  • Using an ice axe in an emergency

  • Efficient, safe movement with crampons

  • Avalanche awareness

  • Safe route choice through the mountains

  • Identifying snow hazards

  • Basic winter navigation techniques


Areas covered on day 2:

  • Taking in a peak

  • Avalanche awareness

  • Looking at the snow pack and identifying important snow layers.

  • Safe route choice through the mountains and on steeper slopes

  • Identifying snow hazards

  • Basic emergency shelter


Areas covered on day 3:

  • Taking in a major peak

  • Route choice and planning

  • Avalanche Awareness

  • Practising of important key skills


Winter navigation techniques:

  • Taking a bearing,

  • Walking on the bearing,

  • White out techniques,

  • Identifying mountain features,

  • Use of timing and pacing

Winter Skills Course, Fort William
Winter skills Course, Fort William

Additional Info

These days are programmed to start at 8am. We can arrange to meet you at the start of the route or we can pick you up from your accommodation in Fort William for small groups if preferred.  You need to bring your own kit, lunch and water for the day.


We will supply ice axe and crampons for you to use for small groups. 

It is strongly recommended that winter rated boots are worn.  These can be hired in Fort William which we can arrange, for a small additional hire fee.

Winter Skills course
Winter Skills course
Winter Skills course
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