Adventures / Adventure School

Learn Winter Mountain Climbing Skills in Scotland

Learn how to climb, place protection and abseil the Scottish mountains on this weekend-long winter adventure. 0 days off work.

If you want to learn how to mountaineer in the winter or just refresh your skills ahead of a winter climb, then this is the adventure for you. Spend your weekend on grade II and III snowed up rock routes, gullies, and ice pitches as you learn a variety of winter climbing techniques. From belaying to mastering your ice tools, this adventure will teach you everything you need to know to become comfortable tackling the winter terrain. So, what is included?

  • 2 days of winter climbing training
  • 2 nights of accommodation
  • Transfers to/from Inverness airport or centre
  • Local, certified, professional, Mountain Instructor
  • Breakfasts and Dinner
  • Helmet
  • Harness and Ice Tools

Perfect for:
Anyone who already has some basic winter mountain skills and wants to bring his/her skills to the next level.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights to/from Inverness
  • Crampons (optional for rent)
  • Packed lunches and snacks
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for your guides (optional)
  • Walking boots

This trip will run with a minimum of two and a maximum of 4. You’ll have a guide on 2:1 basis.

Please note, this trip may be rearranged or cancelled if fewer than 2 people are booked.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Much Better Adventures are very social in nature and we’ve seen lots of new friendships born out of them. Expect a mix of solo travelers and very small groups of 2 or 3, all with a shared appreciation of escaping the city for the great outdoors to try something new and meet new people.

You should have some winter mountaineering skill for this adventure, as well as being confident to use your ice axe and crampons. If you need to revise your skills, check out our Learn Winter Skills in Scotland adventure.

In terms of fitness, the walking over two days can be strenuous in parts, walking for up to six hours each day, up to 8km with 500m ascents, as well as the climbs. A moderate base level of fitness is required.

You will need to buy or bring your own packed lunch for the hike. The B&B is happy to prepare a small lunch package for you on request. For dinner, you will be able to have bar food from the bed and breakfast.

At breakfast, you will be served a Highland breakfast, guaranteed to fuel the most energetic. This will be a selection of fresh fruit, wholesome cereals, porridge, bread and croissants, as well as smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and kippers, with plenty of freshly brewed tea and coffee.

Absolutely! Just let us know when you book onto this adventure.

Your host will provide you with a helmet, harness and ice tools free of charge. They can also provide you with boots and crampons at an additional cost.

Yes, of course. All guides on this trip are qualified with Mountaineering Instructor certificates, Winter Mountain Leader certificates and International Mountain Leader certificates.

The Cairngorm Mountains often have snow from December to March, which makes it them perfect for this adventure. Temperatures while hiking can vary from 10°C to 0°C, but the daily average is usually around 4°C.

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Your guide suggests that you bring:

  • Correctly fitting winter four-season rigid soled boots
  • Correctly fitting crampons (these can be hired at an extra cost)
  • Waterproof/Windproof jacket and trousers
  • Gaiters
  • Crampons
  • Fleece mid layer
  • Base layer, eg. wicking T-shirt
  • Gloves and spares -Hat/Balaclava
  • Head torch, spare bulb and battery (or an ordinary torch)
  • Rucksack and plastic liner (25-30 litres)
  • Spare fleece or sweater
  • Spare socks
  • Water bottle
  • Flask up to 1-litre capacity
  • Compass
  • Whistle


View map

Cairngorm Mountains are located in the Eastern Highlands of Scotland and are home to five of the six highest mountains in Scotland. Much of the terrain in the area resembles mountain tundra found in the Arctic, which is unique in Britain to this area. This makes it the perfect place spot to learn winter skills that are applicable across the globe.

The national park is known for its wildlife and ancient woodland which provides a unique alpine semi-tundra habitat. You might even see the Cairngorm Reindeer, the only herd of reindeer in the British Isles…

Start Point:
Inverness Airport - 16:00
Your adventure begins at Inverness Airport with your airport transfer at 16:00. Please schedule your flight to arrive more than 30 minutes before this time, your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals area. If you’re not able to join the transfer or you’re planning to come by train, your host can pick you up from Aviemore Train Station at 17:00.
Alternatively, you can also make your own way to Nethy House in Nethy Bridge in the Cairngorm National Park for the briefing at 19:00, where you’ll meet your guide and fellow adventurers.

End Point:
Inverness Airport - 19:00
At the end of your adventure, you will be dropped back at Aviemore Train Station at 18:00 or at Inverness airport at 19:00. You’re free to book any flight that departs after 20:30.
If you’re travelling to/from London, you may want to make use of the Caledonian Sleeper Train for an overnight journey.

What to Expect

Friday: Arrival in Cairngorm National Park

In the evening, your host will pick you up from either Inverness or the city centre and take you to your accommodation in Cairngorm National Park.

Settle in and enjoy a drink with your team as your host briefs you on the trip as well as gives you a kit check.

Saturday: Learn Winter Climbing

It will be an early start as you have a morning briefing and head out for 8:30.

After walking to the venue, your instructor will check out your footwork and use of ice axe/crampons before embarking on the first graded winter climbs. You will learn about route choice with respect to avalanche risk, prevailing weather, and other parties.

Then, you’ll choose an appropriate route and learn how to secure yourself with a climbing rope and belay one another under the supervision your Instructor.

While you’re climbing, you will hone your technique on how to properly use your ice tools and crampons as well as placing or removing protection from the rock, snow, or ice.

Your day may include a steep climb on 15m long gullies, as well as practicing your anchoring skills. By the end of the day, you will have significantly improved your mountaineering skills.

After a full day on the hill, you will be transferred back to your accommodation for a well-deserved evening rest.

6 hours of winter mountain climbing

Sunday: Hone your Climbing Skills

You’ll set out early again on Sunday to make the most of your second day on the hill.

After consolidating the skills you learnt yesterday, you will cover some more aspects and perfect your skills with some more climbing. This will include how to escape from a winter climb when the weather or routes deteriorate.

In the evening, your host will transfer you back to Inverness Airport or city centre in time for your transport home.

6 hours of climbing


Your accommodation will be the cosy Nethy House bunkhouse in the heart of Nethy Bridge, located in Cairngorms National Park. You will stay in spacious bunkrooms, with shower and toilet facilities. The B&B centre itself also has a bar and catering facilities.