Winter 2019/2020. Winter Skills Courses in Scotland with Lakes Outdoor Experience.


Our 2019/2020 season Scottish Winter Skills Course dates are now available.

Winter has put in brief appearances in the last five weeks in the UK. Conditions are bound to improve as we head into the New Year, so if you are thinking about learning those essential skills required to be better prepared for winter mountain walking, then you should take a look at what we are offering this season.

We are, again, offering our Winter Skills Courses for the 2019/2020 season in Scotland starting towards the end of January and we are now taking bookings - contact us here to make your enquiry.

Gift Certificates can be purchased for our Winter Skills Courses and make a great Chrismas Present or Birthday gift - click here for more information about our Gift Certificates.


winter-skills-training-course.jpgSo why should you attend a Winter Skills Course?

If you enjoy walking in the mountains in Summer then you'll definitely enjoy winter walking. It's an exhilarating experience in a cold, fresh, crisp environment. However, the landscape looks very different under a blanket of snow & ice and this different surface can present it's own hazards & dangers. Accumulations of soft, fresh snow can be prone to avalanching, whilst, at the opposite end of the spectrum, old frozen snow (Neve) and ice present surfaces that can be difficult, if not impossible to walk on; and a slip on this sort of surface could prove fatal!

This year, we have two Winter Skills offerings for you - a two day; and a four day Winter Skills Course!

The two day Winter Skills Course.

Our two day Winter Skills Courses follow a comprehensive syllabus designed to teach you the skills to be able to venture into a winter mountain environment with confidence, allowing you to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the mountains in winter whilst dealing with the challenges that winter conditions can throw at you. By attending one of our Winter Skills Courses, you will learn techniques that you can use, where appropriate, to keep you safe & secure at all times; and to survive to tell the tale, if, for whatever reason, things go wrong!

Ideally, your Winter Skills Course will take the following format 

Day one - Staying safe!



What to do when on hard snow or in icy conditions!


Crampons can be a real life saver on one hand or a serious hazard for yourself and others on the other!

We will teach you how to use crampons properly during your Winter Skills Course by keeping as many points as possible in contact with the ice to give you maximum security on icy terrain; and how to change the way you use them as the angle of the terrain gets steeper.

Depending on how much time we have left on day one, we may begin to cover aspects of the syllabus from day two; or we can revisit parts of the syllabus already covered on day one if further practice is  required a better understanding of techniques.

Please note - crampons & walking axes are not provided as part of the course fee. These we can hire in for you for an additional fee; or you are better advised to arrive to the course having previously purchased your own crampons & axes. Please note that anything other than 12 point mountaineering crampons are not suitable for these courses. Microspikes (Micro-crampons) are totally unsuitable for winter walking in mountainous terrain. We DO provide Climbing Helmets for use as part of your fee throughout your Winter Skills Course.


Day Two. Ropework, snow & ice belays & snow shelters.

boot-axe-belay-winter-skills-courses-scotland-lake-district.jpgThe MTA Winter ML Syllabus ceased to include ropework techniques a number of years ago when a sharper distinction was made between winter walking where it was felt that the use of a rope was not required & winter mountaineering or climbing which definitely requires the use of a climbing rope and basic climbing techniques.

At Lakes Outdoor Experience, we consider that it is important for you to have a basic knowledge of winter climbing techniques involving the use of a rope and basic winter belays. Most modern winter skills courses do not include teaching you these techniques - ours always have; and they always will!

There are many methods of forming a belay using a rope, an ice axe or even just using your body and a bucket seat in the snow. As part of your Winter Skills Course, we will look at

Please note - Helmets, harnesses, ropes, slings and karabiners are provided as part of your fee for this part of the syllabus.


snow-shelter-winter-skills-courses-scotland-lake-district.jpgSurviving an incident; or a night out in the mountains.

 Accidents or incidents can happen in the mountains. You may have been injured and are unable to walk out and need shelter from the inhospitable conditions whilst waiting for help to arrive; or you may have gotten lost and it is getting dark. You cannot find your way off the mountains and need to "dig in" in order to survive.

You need to dig a snow-shelter!

Learning this skill can be a real life saver in the mountains and we would recommend trying a sleep-over in a snow hole - this can be arranged for you as part of a four day Winter Skills Course!

Two Day Winter Skills Courses - prices.

Two day open course (open to anyone wishing to join a group to learn winter skills) £150.00 per person. A minimum of three persons is required for an open course to run at this price. The maximum group size is six persons per instructor.

Private two day Winter Skills Course ( run on dates of your choice) Minimum group size - 1 or two persons@ £180.00 per day.  Three persons or more - £150.00 per person. Maximum group size of six persons per instructor.

Where & when will these two day winter skills courses be run? 

Venues are Glen Coe in the Western Highlands near Fort William and the Northern Corries of The Cairngorms near Aviemore.

The courses begin on February 10th and run through to March 20th, 2020.

Book your two day Winter Skills Course here - now!


cairngorms-winter-navigation-course-1.jpg    The four day Winter Skills Course.

In our four day course, we cover everything outlined in the two day Winter Skills Course and put these skills into practice during two further days of winter mountain-walking.

Day three - winter navigation practice. 




Day four. Winter Mountain Walking Day. 


Four day Winter Skills Course prices.

Four day open Winter Skills Course (open to anyone wishing to join a group) £300.00 per person. Minimum group size of three, maximum group size of six persons per instructor

Four day private Winter Skills Course (run on dates of your choice) £450.00 per person (minimum group size of two persons) three persons or above £300.00 per person up to a maximum group size of six persons per instructor. 

Note - an overnight in a snowhole can be included at the end of day three - but only if the whole group agrees to this! In order to snowhole you need a large rucksack, a four season sleeping bag rated to -12 degrees C, a closed cell foam sleeping mat or Thermarest, a stove, fuel, pots & pans and food. This equipment is not provided by us as part of your fee per person.


Where & when will these four day winter skills courses be run? 

Venues are Glen Coe in the Western Highlands near Fort William and the Northern Corries of The Cairngorms near Aviemore.

The courses begin on February 10th and run through to March 20th, 2020.

Book your four day Winter Course here - now!


Saturday 7th of December 2019

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