Stob Coire nan LochanJen KnoydartAscent from the Lost Valley

Winter Navigation

From: £100.00 per person, per day

Winter navigation is tricky. This one day course aims to take away the mystery away from navigating in the Scottish mountains during winter. Based near Fort William we have access to several fantastic mountain ranges.

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Winter navigation is challenging. Understanding how to navigate in winter is a crucial skill in order to avoid many of the hazards found on the mountains in winter. Problems often encountered include poor visibility, avalanche prone slopes, cornices, freezing conditions and snow covering features such as streams and paths. It’s often sited as a main cause of mountain rescues.

Ben Nevis Map CoverNow included with the course is a free OS 1;50000 Map for the chosen region.

This course will take you through the basic techniques of navigation and how to apply these to the winter environment. An example itinerary for the course follows. This is subject to weather, length of course and conditions.

Before we set out we’ll discuss maps, weather forecasts, avalanche forecasts and route planning.

Whilst on the hill we will look the features available in winter, the hazards and contour interpretation. These can then be used with five D’s of navigation (below) to put together the legs on our journey.

  1. Description – what we’ll find on our route
  2. Direction – which direction to head
  3. Distance – how far we will be travelling
  4. Duration – pacing and timing of legs
  5. Destination – how we will know we have arrived

We’ll also look at route choice to avoid steep terrain, navigation strategies; boxing, aiming off, attack points and dog legs.

During the course of the day you’ll get opportunities to put this into practice as well as relocate.


Accommodation is not included.

This course runs in the West Highlands near Fort William.

This is an open course for a maximum of four people per instructor. If you’d like one to one instruction or a course in a different region of Scotland please book my bespoke winter skills course instead.

Additional Information


Some experience of summer hill working and a good level of fitness to cope with challenging winter conditions are needed to enjoy this course.


Waterproof Jacket, Waterproof Trousers, Hat x2, Gloves x3, Fleece / Jumper x2, Warm Jacket, Crampon Compatibale Boots (b2 or b3)*, Crampons*, Ice Axe*, Rucksack (40l), Food and Drink, Map case and Compass, Headtorch, Goggles, Sunglasses (you never know…)

* Can be hired locally if needed for an additional fee.

— A full kit list and advice on equipment will be given when booking —


West Highlands, Scotland (example locations used include Glen Coe, near Fort William, Creag Meagaidh).


8am each day – we will meet the night before the course to go over kit and confirm plans for the following day.


We will aim to be off the hill around 4pm each day with time given in a cafe or pub to discuss the content of the day and plan for the next.


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