Winter Skills Course


3 days

Fort William, West Highlands


2024 DATES
12-14 January (6 places available)

Other dates available upon request

People On Mountain

Course details

The 3-day winter skills course is for anyone looking to gain the skills to go winter walking in snowy terrain. It will give you a core understanding of winter environments, and the confidence to venture out on your own. No previous experience necessary.


On the winter skills course , we will cover the following areas:

  • Use of an ice axe and crampons
  • Movement skills on snow, ice and rock
  • Winter navigation
  • Poor visibility navigation
  • Recovering from a fall, including techniques for ice-axe arrest
  • Emergency snow shelters


We will also be looking at:

  • Planning a journey and route choice
  • Basic weather forecasting and knowledge
  • Avalanche awareness
  • Clothing and equipment


The winter skills course is 3 days long.  We run the course in the West Highlands, using Fort William as a base. The client-to-instructor ratio does not exceed 6:1, to ensure that we can give you our fullest attention.

All of our courses are tailored to suit your availability and experience.  We take into account any individual needs and fitness levels.



Fort William, Scottish Highlands



We will discuss any specific kit requirements with you when you make a booking.  But feel free to read the following blog on winter walking advice, this may help you.


Minimum Requirements

No previous experience required. We adapt the course to your specific requirements.  Though it’s as well to bear in mind that winter conditions in the Scottish Highlands can be demanding.  A fair degree of fitness and determination would be beneficial. If in doubt about whether the course is suitable for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Typical Winter Skills course layout

Each day we would spend time assessing the weather, snow and avalanche conditions.  We learn about safe route planning and detecting potential avalanche terrain.


Day 1

Firstly, we will look at ice axe and crampon use, and movement on snow and ice.  Secondly, learning navigation, and how to keep yourself safe in a winter environment are all essential skills needed as a winter walker.  Thirdly, we will be looking at ice axe arrest, i.e. keeping yourself safe if the inevitable happens.


Day 2

We look at consolidating the skills learnt on day one, and we go on a journey.  Looking at some steeper terrain and emergency shelters.


Day 3

To conclude, we will look at consolidating all of the skills learnt, and will try and pass some of the ownership over to you, i.e. route planning.  Hopefully by the end of our winter skills course, you will have the confidence to go out by yourself.


The course content and location tends to be dictated to us by the weather, so the winter skills course layout can change.


If you are unsure that the winter skills course is suitable for you, please do not hesitate to contact us on or call us on 07775 853 348, and we would be happy to help.

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Winter Skills Course