Our winter courses in the Northern Cairngorms give a mountaineering training experience par excellence, not to be missed. The combination of rapid access to the north facing corries and remarkable Cairngorm Plateau give both a highly practical yet inspiring venue to learn the skills of winter mountaineering, and then put them in to practice with a big winter summits & snow gully climbing day.
The mid winter ambiance is not for the faint hearted…Short days, deep snow, ice, high winds, cold weather, hot aches, tired legs, rosy cheeks and a great feeling of satisfaction are generally all on the menu. Come well prepared with your winter mountaineering clothing and boots for this is an excellent highly relevant arena in which to test them prior to heading out to the Alps…
This course offers an ideal introduction to the fundamental skills of winter mountaineering, with a particular emphasis on movement skills with mountaineering boots, crampons and an ice axe. These are elements which will serve you well not only on Mont Blanc but on all other adventures along your mountaineering journey.
The first day of the course emphasises lots of this training with the opportunity to practice the skills in context as part of short yet interesting mountaineering journeys. Whilst we focus on the positive training of sound cramponing on ice and steep snow with an axe, we also look at using the axe for self-arrest as an emergency response to a slip.
The second day, with a lower 1:2 guiding ratio, is then a great opportunity to build these good movement skills into a bigger and more physical mountain day. We aim to both climb some of the big peaks of the area like Cairngorm or Ben Macdui (at 1309m the UKs 2nd highest mountain) as well as tackling some steeper terrain and a classic Scottish snow gully if conditions allow.
This winter course would work very well for anyone preparing for the ascent of Mont Blanc in the summer or any other strong hill walkers / scramblers keen to develop their mountaineering movement skills and enjoy a cracking couple of days mountaineering in the Scottish Highlands, whilst meeting some other like minded folk.
The 2 physical and technical days should really compliment the fitness and endurance training you are able to do on a regular basis from home. We call this ‘Bulls eye training” and we hope you can join us for a memorable winter weekend in the mountains of the West Highlands.
An existing level of very good fitness is required for 2 winter days in the mountains up to 6-8 hours each day. This will mean you have some existing mountain walking experience or a very good level of current fitness from other aerobic / endurance sports like running / cycling etc.
No previous mountaineering experience is required but you should however be keen to embrace the tough elements of winter days in the mountains and be ready for some moderately exposed mountaineering and thus have a reasonable ‘head for heights’.
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