Winter Mountaineering in Scotland

THE CAIRNGORM PLATEAU ~ 3 Days: Winter Skills & Snowhole Expedition

from £280

Duration 3 days ~ For three days and two nights this trip allows the best environment for safety skills training and an incredible experience too.

Trip Only Option

£280pp You need to be self sufficient as regards cooking and meal provision throughout or choose the fully catered option below.

Price Includes
-Qualified, local guiding and instruction
-All local transport throughout
-Free pick up/drop off at local rail station (Aviemore)
-Free pick up/drop off at Inverness airport
-All specialist equipment: No hidden hire costs: we will supply a winter sleeping bag, gore-tex bivvy bag, mat, and all winter hardwear including an expedition rucsac if needed.
-FREE accommodation - shovel supplied to create your snowhole!!

Fully Catered


Price Includes
- Everything shown above plus all expedition meals and provisions


"A spectacular trip through an inhospitable, Arctic landscape. We encountered a full range of mountain weather from blizzard conditions and total whiteout to brilliant sunshine and fantastic views. I didn't expect to be coming back from the hills with a suntan! The hospitality and friendliness shown to me by everyone has made this trip truly memorable." Dave King

Cairngorm Plateau Expedition

"What can I say but thanks for the chance to experience such an amazing place. Apart from the obvious benefits of the training (quality by the way) my memories include such things as watching the snow turn pink outside our snowhole as the sun set and the stars came out. Felt very privileged especially as most people on the plateau had descended ages ago. Brilliant organisation, great instruction and good food in the snowhole. Thanks" Paula Mckay Feb 2012

Cairngorm Plateau Expedition

" I learned tons over the three days but appreciated the navigation training most. It was thorough and challenging whilst pitting us against very real white out situations. I had realised very quickly that I'd been wandering around the mountains severely under skilled for years. I can't advise people to do this strongly enough. You often don't know what is is you need until you hang out with experts. I wasn't open to that for a long time and I wished I'd done this sooner. Cheers for a fantastic trip full of learning" Bill Turnbull Jan 2011

Cairngorm Plateau Expedition

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The comfort of a well made snow hole

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Ready to hunker down for the night

Cavernous snowhole during the Cairngorm Plateau Expedition March 2008

Cavernous snowhole during the Cairngorm Plateau Expedition March 2008

Crossing the rim of Coire an t sneachda Cairngorm Plateau Expedition

Crossing the rim of Coire an t sneachda Cairngorm Plateau Expedition

Cairngorm Loaded for over night snow holing expedition Jan 2011

Loaded for overnight snow holing

Cairngorm Snow holing

Home sweet home - overnight snow hole

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learning to assess avalanche risk

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Essential rope skills which every winter walker should know

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A pristine day on the plateau can very quickly become . . . .

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. . . this ! Winter navigation skills become life saving.

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The Cairngorm Plateau

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Spindrift blowing over the plateau

Trip Description

Why descend every night just to waste time getting all the way back up to the plateau the next day? Stay high and eat, sleep and live as an expedition mountaineer for three days.

Discover the confidence that constructing your own shelter in a harsh climate gives you and the satisfaction and warmth of having a wee dram in your sleeping bag, by candle light.

A traverse of the Cairngorm Plateau summits and corries will allow us the best mountain craft training environment possible.

The allure of the highest, wildest, sub-arctic plateau in Britain is the main attraction and the icing on the cake is a chance to learn night navigation, avalanche awareness, emergency shelters, ice axe and crampon training throughout the trip in this raw wilderness. We’ll cover basic ropework and snow anchors to improve your security on steep ground. 

Two nights will be in a snowhole which we’ll spend time digging out into a luxurious palace! If you want to improve your winter mountain safety skills then this is quite simply the best way to do it. It doesn't matter whether you are new to the winter mountain environment, or have a few winter seasons under your belt, as everyone is able to learn new skills, hone rusty ones or simply find out if their safety levels are up to scratch.




Monday morning meet at 9am Aviemore at rail station entrance
Monday to Wednesday mountain days
Wednesday finish and depart Aviemore late afternoon.

Instructor Ratio


Suitable For

Anyone with good summer hill walking experience wishing to learn core safety skills for winter walking/mountaineering.

Dates DEC 2023/ - MARCH 2024


DEC 16-18, 18-20 , 27-29 , 28-30 (Hogmanay special)


JAN 3-5 , 5-7 , 8-10 , 13-15 ,  15-17 , 20-22 , 22-24

FEB 3-5 , 12-14 FULL , 19-22 , 24-26 , 26-28

MAR 2-4 , 4-6 , 9-11 , 11-13 , 18-20 , 25-27


Note: other dates may be available with demand. Email first, before booking, to check space as above dates may already be full.

Groups & Discounts

if you are in any of the following categories then you'll get a discount of 10% per person off this trip :

Fire , Police , Armed forces , nurses & paramedic workers , students , Parent & kids - just chat to us by email and we'll apply the discount.

Private Guiding

If you don't want to join an open trip with other people, or have a family/friends group of your own, then private instruction and guiding will meet your goals. Pricing is per person and will depend upon activity, distance travelled, peak or low season. We can email you a quote. Simply let us know where, when, what and for how many people. 

Need a Transfer to get to us?

 Fly to Inverness and stay in the city on the evening prior to the course - we can pick you up the next morning at your accommodation and take you to Aviemore and drop you off after the course prior to flying home - all free of charge.