European Avalanche School
Avalanche awareness courses in Europe aimed at giving participants an in-depth knowledge of snow structure, recognition of snowpack stability and potential avalanche risk. Working with the Canadian Avalanche Association, the courses meet an internationally recognised standard and are led by UIAGM Guides.
| winter skills | Scotland | Sweden | Finland | France |
based: Inverness-shire, Scotland, UK
Offering a host of residential winter mountain skills courses from its centre in the heart of Cairngorms National Park. Courses cover the use of ice axe and crampons; winter map reading including navigation at night, in the snow and in whiteout conditions; avalanche and weather awareness; survival skills and building snow shelters.
| winter skills | Scotland |
Rob Collister – Mountain Guide
based: Conwy, North Wales, UK
International Mountain Guide offering mountaineering, climbing, scrambling, walking, ski touring and ski mountaineering in the UK, Europe and Worldwide.
| walk/trek/hike | climbing/scrambling | mountaineering | winter skills | ski mountaineering/touring | UK | Worldwide |
Spanish Highs Mountain Guides
based: Granada, Spain
Winter skills courses in Spain's Sierra Nevada mountains. Topics covered include: winter kit, the use of ice axe and crampons, avalanche awareness, roping up, snow belays, abseiling, snow climbing and snowshoeing.
| winter skills | Spain |
Arctic Mountain Guides
Avalanche safety training, glacier courses for skiers and polar preparation courses above the Arctic Circle.
| winter skills | Norway | Finland | Sweden |
Dragon Mountain Skills
based: Gwynedd, Wales, UK
Friendly, professional instruction in mountaineering, climbing and adventure activities in North Wales.
| climbing/scrambling | winter skills | navigation/orienteering | Wales |
based: Gloucestershire, UK
Winter skills courses for climbers, walkers and mountaineers, including route choice, winter navigation, crampon and ice axe skills and assessment of conditions.
| winter skills | UK |
Rock & Ride Mountain Skills
based: Gwynedd, Wales, UK
Exceptionally high quality mountain skills training, coaching and guiding in Snowdonia.
| climbing/scrambling | mountain biking | mountaineering | winter skills | navigation | Wales |
Stuart Johnston Mountaineering
based: Perth, Scotland, UK
Professional instruction and guiding services, especially designed to cater for your particular needs and desires.
| climbing/scrambling | mountaineering | ice climbing | winter skills | Scotland | Spain |
SCOTLAND: 5-day winter skills course
A five day introduction, created to develop in-depth practical knowledge of winter mountain skills, the main topics being: kit choice for winter hill walking, skills for moving on snow, kicking and cutting steps, ice axe use and self-arrest, self-belay, use of crampons, emergency procedures, avalanche awareness, route choice and winter navigation skills – teaching takes place out in the field and/or via evening lectures.
This is an all-inclusive course with accommodation at the Lodge, station pick-up (Fri & Sun eves), all meals and snacks, any course transportation, use of centre facilities and use of any equipment borrowed.
This specialist Travel-Quest section lists holidays, vacations, short breaks and multi-day courses focused on winter skills techniques, training for glacier, snow and ice travel in the mountains.
What are winter skills?
Winter skills courses will cover a range of skills and techniques for use when walking, mountaineering or skiing in the winter hills and mountains. Depending on the level and scope of the course the topics may include: winter navigation skills; use of ice axe, including ice axe arrest (self arrest); crampon techniques; winter weather interpretation; terrain and route choice; winter equipment and gear selection; rope work; glacier travel and crevasse rescue; step kicking and step cutting technique, avalanche awareness and rescue, including the use of transceivers; emergency snow shelters; and emergency procedures.
Winter skills equipment
Winter skills techniques will require the use of additional equipment such as winter walking boots, crampons, ice axes, ropes, helmets and avalanche transceivers; in most cases this equipment can be borrowed or hired from the course organisers, who will also be able to advise on the best choices for eventual purchase.
These sort of winter skills courses are ideal for people who've only ever walked in the summer and who now wish to venture out on the winter hills and learn the skills needed before they go; we have a separate section for actual winter walking holidays and packages. In our winter-sports category we also have sections on snowshoeing and ski touring, both cross-country and Alpine touring. The Travel-Quest mountain sports section also covers mountaineering and ice climbing.