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Avalanche Awareness Course

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

The avalanche awareness courses are designed for proficient winter hill walkers and mountaineers wishing to increase their knowledge of snow conditions and avalanche risk, 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.

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 1:6 ratio with highly experienced Winter Mountaineering & Climbing Instructors.

Topics covered:

  • You will increase your knowledge of snow and avalanches
  • Learn which areas to avoid and
  • Improve your understanding of reports and forecasts. 

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

You may also be interested in the following:

Our Avalanche Awareness courses are based in the Northern Cairngorms (this course does not include accommodation)

2025 dates will be announced later this year

Cost: £TBC Mountaineering Scotland members.

Not a member? Add membership to your basket to join when you make your course booking - from just £25.00 per year.

It is VITAL that you come prepared for a full day in the winter mountains to ensure that you get the most out of the course - download the kit list below.

  • What you need to bring: You will need to be equipped for a full day in the hills in winter conditions with adequate warm and waterproof outdoor clothing, B2 rated winter boots, ice axe and crampons, as well as plenty of food and drink (ideally some warm drink) - see the full kit list below. 

Not sure if you have the right boots? Read more about winter boots here

Winter kit list (pdf)

If you have any questions regarding the suitability of your kit or indeed any other questions about the course please contact us in advance.

Pre-booking is essential. Please read the course information and booking and cancellation conditions - by making a booking you are agreeing to these terms. 

To take part in our mountain safety courses, you need to be over 18 and a member of Mountaineering Scotland. Thanks to your membership, we can subsidise the costs of our courses and offer them at affordable prices for all.

  • 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 and book your course at the same time online in our members web portal.

Our cancellation policy:

  • Cancellations 7 days or less before the course date are non refundable and non-transferable.
  • Cancellations less than 4 weeks before a course date - we will only offer a refund or transfer if we find a replacement to take your place (£10 admin fee applies)
  • Cancellations more than 4 weeks before the course date will incur a £10 admin fee per booking to cover admin costs.

If you have any questions please get in touch.

"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".