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Avalanche Awareness Courses

Each winter Mountaineering Scotland runs two, one-day Avalanche Awareness courses, based in the Northern Cairngorms.

Our courses are supported by Mountain Sports and Back Country Access who provide transceivers, shovels and probes.

The avalanche awareness 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. Participants must have attended a winter skills course with Mountaineering Scotland or another provider prior to signing up for the avalanche course. 

Please note:  This course will not teach you safe winter footwork, use of ice axe and crampons. Participants must be proficient in these skills prior to attending the course.

Fitness grade

For people who regularly climb hills/mountains who wish to take it to the next level. The courses are delivered on the mountains sometimes ‘off-track’ and on rough scrambling terrain. Max distance 12km, max ascent 1000m per day.

You will increase your knowledge of snow and avalanches, learn which areas to avoid, and improve your understanding of reports and forecasts. Each course will consist of an indoor introduction to avalanche theory followed by a practical session on the hill. The courses are staffed on a 1:4 ratio with highly experienced SAIS Avalanche Forcasters. The cost of the course includes instruction & one nights accommodation at Mill Cottage the night before your course. 

This course is run 'on foot'. If you want a course specifically on ski or board, check out Snowsport Scotland. Each course participant will be loaned a transceiver, shovel and probe to use during the course.

You may also be interested in the following:

Our one-day Avalanche courses are based in the Northern Cairngorms, meeting at Mill Cottage in Glen Feshie.  

  • 2022-23 winter skills course dates will be available late summer 2022

Cost TBC 

To book onto one of our mountain safety courses, you need to be a member of Mountaineering Scotland. Thanks to your membership, we can subsidise the costs of our courses and offer you cheaper course prices than most commercial providers.

  • Mountaineering Scotland members can book and pay easily and quickly online in our members’ web portal
  • If you are not a Mountaineering Scotland member, you can join quickly and easily online in our members web portal

Before booking, please read our course information and cancellation conditions.

Please note:

  • Pre-booking is essential
  • If you cancel less than 6 weeks before a course date, we are unable to offer a refund or transfer to another course.
  • Cancellations more than 6 weeks before the course date will incur a £10 admin fee per booking to cover admin costs.

"Our course instructor, Di, was really knowledgeable and gave us lots of useful information, which it was great to put into practice on the hill too".