Every year there are reports of people getting lost in the snow and ice. Mountain rescue callouts are predominantly about navigation errors. To make winter a safer place, it is a good idea to book a guide to lead or alternatively join a group heading out into the hills. Some groups are organised by companies on commercial trips, others are groups of friends or clubs. Nonetheless there is safety in numbers.
This year there are winter wilderness expeditions running under the guidance of Andy Bateman of Scot Mountain Holidays in the Cairngorms and Glen Affric. There’s also usually a trip to Knoydart, home to Britain’s most remote pub; however there is a major reforestation project going on there this year which makes it less attractive to visit and all the accommodation will be taken by the forestry workers.
Life will be reduced to basics during the expedition and the only concerns will be: eat – sleep – hike (repeat). The perfect way to clear the mind and return feeling completely refreshed after only a few short days.
Winter Expeditions in 2016
1. Southern Cairngorms Winter Odyssey – a rare opportunity to experience one of the remotest parts of the CairngormsNational Park at a time when the mountains can be at their most glorious. The High Cairngorms are renowned for their wintry conditions yet at this time very few folk dare to do multi-day trips.
Highlights: winter skills, Monadh Mhor (Munro), Devil’s Point (Munro) Carn a’ Mhaim (Munro), Derry Cairngorm (Munro), Beinn a’ Chaorainn (Munro)
Arrive: 13th March 2016
Depart: 18th March 2016
Email: SCO@scotmountainholidays.com for full information about this trip.
2. Winter Cairngorms Odyssey
This is Scotland’s ultimate winter mountain journey. The high “plateau” route takes in Britain’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th highest peaks on a journey that circumnavigates Scotland’s finest and best known mountain pass, the Lairig Ghru.
Highlights: winter skills, Cairngorm (6th Highest Munro), Ben Macdui (2nd Highest Munro), Braeriach (3rd Highest Munro), Cairn Toul (4th Highest Munro), Sgor an Lochain Uaine (Munro)
Arrive: 22nd February 2016
Depart: 26th February 2016
Email: CWO@scotmountainholidays.com for full information about this trip
3. Glen Affric Winter Shangri-La
Imagine the soft orange light of a winters dawn gleaming down from the snowy celestial heights. Surrounded by snowy peaks and cradling a mug of tea in the crisp air, a stunning winter’s day beckons.
Highlights: winter skills, Mullach Fraoch – choire (Munro), Mam Sodhail (Munro), Carn Eighe (Munro), An Socach (Munro), Carn a’Choire Ghairbh (Munro)
Arrive: 6th February 2016
Depart: 12th February 2016
Emaill: Shangri-La@scotmountainholidays.com for full information about this trip
Or for something slightly different
4. Snow Hole Expedition
“Porridge with whisky at 9am whilst warm & dry in my sleeping bag has never tasted better!” Ric Taylor, Bristol.”
Have you ever dreamt of taking a short walk amongst a moonlit snowy wonderland. No need for a torch! Imagine reflected flickering candle light giving way to the soft light of a winters dawn as you emerge from you snowy abode. Not a soul about, a vast pristine winter wonderland all to ourselves. It’s a remarkable experience.
Highlights: winter skills on Cairngorm, overnight expedition to sleep in a snow cave, creation of said snow cave.
All digging and cooking equipment supplied by your hosts, Scot Mountain Holidays.
Check full details on the website at: http://scotmountainholidays.com/tours/36/4871/full-moon-snow-hole-expedition
Why book with ScotMountain Holidays?
- The routes have all been checked carefully and are very familiar to the guide who will know how to adapt according to the weather conditions and where to avoid the cornices (overhanging snow features)
- Accommodation is organised and won’t be in tents flapping in the wind keeping everyone awake.
- Toilet and wash facilities will be available without having to “go native” and dig a hole.
- Cooking will be done by the guide.
- Food will all be prepared from fresh, local produce to a wide range of recipes including carrot and cardamom soup. No commercial packets for us.
- All group equipment will be provided.