Tuesday, 11 March 2014

5 top winter experiences in Scotland

Scotland is an amazing place. Home to some wonderful wildlife and a huge outdoor playground, it offers the perfect environment to get out and enjoy nature and the outdoors in all seasons.

Often though, it's hard to know where to go and how to make the most of what's on offer. This is where Wild Scotland and our members can help. Over the coming months we'll be adding regular posts to this blog to help you find some of the best "wild" experiences out there.

With the Scottish mountains currently experiencing some of the best snow conditions for years and Scotland's five ski resorts enjoying a bumper season, what better way to kick off the series than with 5 ways to experience winter in Scotland...

Winter in the Cairngorm mountains, Scotland

1. Ski touring 

For those familiar with having a pair of skis on their feet, ski touring is a great way to explore Scotland's mountains in winter, whilst avoiding the inevitable queues that develop when snow cover on the pistes is good. With Wilderness Scotland's introductory course, you can learn the essential skills necessary to explore Scotland’s mountains in winter on skis, while journeying through the backcountry of the Cairngorms. Find out more here.

2. Snow-holing 

This expedition with Scot Mountain Holidays is not for the faint hearted, but it is a remarkable experience. After a day of essential winter skills training you'll embark on a two day guided expedition, ascending two of Scotland's highest mountains - Cairngorm and Ben Macdui - along the way. You'll spend the night out deep in the snowy mountain wilderness in a snow hole dug out by your very own hands! An experience you'll remember for a lifetime, find out more here.

Snow-holing with Scot Mountain Holidays

3. Winter climbing

If you have some experience of summer rock climbing and you want to take your winter hill walking further, then Glenmore Lodge's Intro Winter Climbing course could be for you. Including a recap of core winter skills, avalanche awareness, basic rope work and use of technical ice tools and crampons, this two day course will help you develop a solid foundation in core winter climbing skills, whilst seconding a variety of winter climbs. Find out more here.

4. Snow shoeing

Slightly less demanding, but just memorable are the snow shoeing experiences offered by C-N-Do Scotland. Snow shoeing is a great way to get about when the snow is deep on forest tracks and it's great fun too. Suitable for anyone with good fitness and stamina, find out more here.

5. Visit Cairngorm's reindeers 

OK, so it's not a "winter experience" as such, but we couldn't resist throwing this one in as there's nothing quite like seeing free ranging reindeer in a snowy mountain scene. If you're planning a visit to The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd at this time of year, remember to phone ahead to check the herd has been located, and remember to wrap up warm! Find out more here.

However you choose to enjoy the Scottish winter remember to stay safe and have fun. Visit our website for more information on how to make the most of the white stuff in Scotland!