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Skills courses

Mountaineering Scotland offers a year round programme of mountain skills courses for members, sharing knowledge that can be life-saving and will certainly improve your awareness, confidence and enjoyment of days in the mountains.

Our courses are delivered by a high quality professional instruction team, led by our own Mountain Safety Advisor, Heather Morning.  

Each autumn and winter we also run a winter mountain safety lecture tour to help prepare beginners and experienced hillwalkers alike for the winter season ahead.

To complement our courses and events, check out our website for essential skills advice, plus safety DVDs and online videos hosted on YouTube, as well as links to other relevant organisations connected to the Scottish mountains.

Learning navigation in the Campsies

We subsidise our mountain skills courses with membership income to ensure they are as affordable as possible. For this reason, we require you to be or become a member of Mountaineering Scotland to attend one. Membership is included at a special offer price for some beginners' courses (check out the individual course pages to find out which ones). Otherwise, please join us first and then book on as a member. 

Our ever popular winter safety lecture tour, delivered by mountain safety adviser Heather Morning, runs through the winter season. In these free lectures, Heather will share her beautiful photography, videos, personal anecdotes and adventures, while equipping you with some essential knowledge and skills for winter navigation, avalanche awareness, route choice, equipment, mountain weather and much more.

Our courses


Our one-day navigation courses are run from a number of locations throughout the summer months, teaching the essential basics for finding our way around the mountains.

Mountain skills

For those relatively new to hill walking, we run a mountain skills weekend which introduces you to navigation, route choice, coping with different terrains, equipment requirements and other topics.


For those already competent in hill walking, we run weekend courses to teach the technical skills required for terrain such as the Aonach Eagach or the Cuillin. The courses are based in both Glen Coe and Skye.

Summer Mountain Leader training

We offer a two-module course to help aspirant Summer Mountain Leaders gain this popular Mountain Training Scotland qualification. For those keen to become involved in leading walking groups through mountainous terrain in summer conditions.

First Aid

Two-day First Aid courses aimed specifically at hill walkers and climbers. This course is recognised by Mountain Training Scotland for those seeking their ML qualification.

Winter courses

Winter skills

Our day and weekend winter skills courses cover the essential skills of walking with an axe and crampons, ice axe self- arrest, navigation, winter safety, avalanche avoidance and much more to enable you to enjoy Scotland's winter mountains.

Avalanche awareness

These one-day courses are designed for proficient winter hill walkers wishing to increase their knowledge of snow and avalanches, to learn which areas to avoid and to improve their understanding of reports and forecasts.

Snow sport touring

This two-day course is aimed at members of ski touring clubs affiliated to Mountaineering Scotland, who aspire to, or are already taking the lead role on club trips. It is suitable for ski tourers who have a good level of hill and ski fitness and who are confident on moderate slopes off-piste.

Courses for young people

Another weekend course aimed at students and young people, this covers the basic skills of navigation, winter safety, avalanche avoidance, walking with axe and crampons, ice axe self-arrest, and much more (conditions permitting).

This training weekend allows student club members of all abilities to increase their skill levels and for those in positions of responsibility to better equip themselves for their role. The weekend is designed for members who might expect to be in a position of responsibility and for members of student clubs who are new to hill walking, mountaineering or climbing and wish to 'learn the ropes'.

Our aim in organising mountain safety courses is to give you an enjoyable, quality learning experience, provided by appropriately qualified and selected staff. We want you to be inspired with the enjoyment and adventure which can be found in the mountain environment, encouraged to develop self-reliance in the mountains, and to value your membership of Mountaineering Scotland. If you are not yet a member, we hope you will join us, support our work and reap the many benefits of membership.

We ask all course participants to accept that we are not in control of the weather or mountain environment and that, occasionally, your course leader may need to alter plans for the day. Course leaders will do their best to ensure the course prospectus is covered, and that you have an enjoyable and memorable experience.

We ask that you:

  • Understand course requirements, by reading the joining instructions and ensuring that you bring all necessary clothing, equipment and food

  • Be forthcoming about your past experience and any medical conditions, when you are asked to provide this information

  • Listen carefully to your course leader and follow instructions given

  • Be proactive by asking questions the interaction with other course participants is an important part of the learning process

  • Respect other participants and your course leader by avoiding the use of inappropriate language or behaviour

  • Provide feedback about your experience following the course - we can improve what we do with your help

  • Encourage others to develop self-reliance in the mountains by recommending that they acquire necessary skills through similar courses