The mountains take on a magical appearance in good winter conditions and they can be at their most beautiful or their most ferocious. If you’re wanting to scale your first winter hill or not have to worry about getting lost in a whiteout then going with a qualified guide could help you experience the joys of the winter mountains more safely.
In winter the snow conditions and weather can make a straight forward summer route more difficult or even unsuitable for a walker. This means we need to carry special equipment in winter and know how to use it along with warmer clothing and more food to keep us going in the colder environment.
If you’re new to winter walking then I can plan a good introduction walk up a mountain along with giving you basic winter instruction as necessary to overcome the snow and ice or you may prefer to do a more concentrated winter skills course.
However, if you’re more experienced and are after a big winter walk or want to tackle some Munros or Corbetts then let me know and I can tailor a day or more to suit your needs!
If you’re planning to go walking in the Scottish mountains this winter than learning some basic winter skills could help you get the most out of your day whether you’re climbing a mountain or crossing a wild pass.
The day can be built around your needs whether it’s learning new skills or developing your existing skills with a tailor-made winter skills course. We can cover the following topics and skills if conditions allow:
- Equipment & clothing
- Personal movement & kicking steps
- Ice axe self-belay & self-arrest
- Crampon use & techniques
- Avalanche awareness and weather conditions
- Route Planning
- Emergency shelters
This is a great way to gain more confidence and independence in winter hills so wherever you want to go walking or exploring in Scottish mountains this winter.
Navigation in Winter Conditions
In winter the principles of navigation are the same as summer only with fewer features visible in the snow and ice-covered terrain. The conditions often make it much more physically demanding and dead reckoning is needed as streams, paths and cairns are often buried or obscured by snow. If you’re planning to be out a lot in winter conditions I’d recommend a whole day dedicated navigation skills to cover these topics and hazards.
- avalanche awareness
- cornices, snow bridges and other winter hazards
- blizzards and whiteout conditions
- route choice
If you’re looking for something different and love exploring snowy landscapes then snowshoeing is definitely worth trying. When the snow is deep and you find yourself breaking trail all day then the conditions are just right for a fun day out in snowshoes. A day out will cover the basic techniques of using snowshoes as well as explore their limitations. It is very dependent on the conditions, but if they’re favourable then it’s possible to have lovely long winter days up in the hills. Snowshoeing is great fun!