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Monday, 28 October 2019

Winter Skills Courses for 2020





As can be seen from the photos above, a great start to the winter 2019/2020 season with the first proper snows falling on the 21st October and further cold temperatures and snowfall since. 

We are currently taking bookings for winter skills and winter mountaineering courses with the Christmas and New Year courses now almost full. We've now got just one place left on the 27-31 December 2019 course and two places on the 4-8 January 2020 course.

Our winter mountaineering courses are again proving popular with some of the January and early February courses already filled. 

Still plenty of spaces available on our weekly winter skills weekends and with private guiding as well as from mid-February onwards. 

We've got a short video showing the first snow of winter on Cairngorm at https://youtu.be/2U3pBDcuXy8

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Cairngorm Winter Skills Courses for 2020


Weekend and 5 day winter skills and winter mountaineering courses, snow-hole expeditions and guided winter climbing based in Aviemore in the Cairngorms.

Spaces still available on our Christmas 2019 and New Year 2020 Winter Skills courses based in Aviemore in the Cairngorm mountains in Scotland.

To find out more and to book your next winter adventure for 2020 visit our website at https://www.talisman-activities.co.uk/product-page/winter-skills-course

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Winter Sunset Reflections on Ice




Some of yesterdays stunning drone footage of the sunset on a frozen Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms set to music - please share!

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Petzl Gully Review and Good Ice Starting to Form :-)


Today I was out looking for thick ice while testing a the latest ultra lightweight Petzl Gully hammer with the new Petzl Sum'tec ice axe. 

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Petzl hammer's thin pick easily penetrated the water ice despite it's ridiculous low weight (280 grams). 

I didn't get a chance to try the hammer and it's maybe not the tool for hard mixed, extreme ice and dry tooling but for general mountaineering on snow and ice it works really well.

The Petzl Gully is sold mainly as a steep skiing snow gully/couloir tool but when reviewing the hammer I found it was equally well suited to easy ice climbing on some steep ice bulges especially when paired with the slightly heavier and more robust Sum'tec mountaineering axe. 

Quite worrying approach over any hard snow towards 'Mhearad's Fall' due to avoidable depth hoar or facets, so I am told, unless of course you are trying to access the ice route but being able to plunge the Sum'tec into the ground below gave added confidence!


Once on the ice it was nice, relatively safe and really enjoyable. With a brief freeze thaw it'll get even better unless it all melts OR gets buried by lots of fresh snow ;-)

Bespoke Guiding and ice climbing on Cairngorm's 'hidden Alpine Face' routes can be booked online here >>>

Friday, 18 January 2019

A winter mountaineering and introductory winter climbing stunner!





Introductory winter climbing and winter mountaineering course

A few photos and video of Reena and Paul's winter mountaineering course in the Cairngorms. The weather had been mild since before Christmas and snow cover was limited.

Despite all this Reena progressed from her very first steps using an ice axe and crampons, having lunch in a snow-hole and learning about weather, avalanche risk and basic winter rope-work, to mixed climbing and alpine style rope-work.

winter mountaineering course

winter mountaineering course

Introductory winter climbing and winter mountaineering course

Introductory winter climbing and winter mountaineering course

Introductory winter climbing and winter mountaineering course

Introductory winter climbing and winter mountaineering course

Introductory winter climbing and winter mountaineering course

Introductory winter climbing and winter mountaineering course

Introductory winter climbing and winter mountaineering course


Then finally on the last day Reena and Paul climbed a Grade 2 winter route in Coire an t-Sneachda to experienced the most amazing views.

Although sheltered and sunny on the climb they topped out through a blast of freezing spindrift onto the wild wind swept arctic alpine plateau of the Cairngorm's.




Introductory winter climbing and winter mountaineering course


Despite the freezing wind and windchill temperatures of minus twenty both Reena and Paul loved the whole experience and their Scottish winter mountaineering course and Scottish winter adventure with Talisman Mountaineering.

A short winter climbing video of Reena and Paul's last day of the winter mountaineering course is at https://www.facebook.com/CairngormMountainGuides/videos/2250518108529434/

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Alpine rope-work and belays

Winter mountaineering rope-work and direct belays
Scottish winter mountaineering and winter climbing

Winter mountaineering rope-work and direct belays
Winter mountaineering rope-work and direct belays

Mess of  Pottage and Jacob's Ladder
Mess of  Pottage and Jacob's Ladder

Grade 2 winter climbing rope-work and belays
Winter climbing rope-work and belays

Grade 2 winter climbing rope-work and belays
Grade 2 winter climbing rope-work

Grade 2/3 winter climbing rope-work and belays
Grade 2/3 winter climbing!

Winter mountaineering rope-work and belays on Twin Ribs
Winter mountaineering rope-work on Twin Ribs

Another good mountain day this time in Cairngorm's Coire an t-Sneachda looking at winter rope-work and rock anchors as we climbed several Grade 2 pitches before moving together alpine style onto Fiacaill Ridge.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

A frosted goggles day!

Winter mountaineering snow-hole
Winter mountaineering snow-hole

Winter mountaineering snow-hole
Winter mountaineering snow-hole

Winter mountaineering abseiling off a snow bollard
Winter mountaineering Paul abseiling off a snow bollard

Winter mountaineering abseiling off a snow bollard
Winter mountaineering Reena abseiling off a snow bollard

Winter mountaineering abseiling off a snow bollard
Reena abseiling off a snow bollard

AMI winter mountaineering
A wintry Association of Mountaineering Instructors rucksac!

Winter mountaineering rope-work and snow belays
Winter mountaineering rope-work and snow belays

Winter mountaineering rope-work and bucket seats
Winter mountaineering rope-work and bucket seats

Day three of our Scottish winter mountaineering course with Reena and Paul and it's winter again and a proper frosted goggles, rope-work and snow-shelter day!

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Winter Mountaineering days one and two

Scottish winter mountaineering course
Reena and Paul enjoying the atmospheric winter weather

Scottish winter mountaineering course rope-work
Winter mountaineering rope-work

Scottish winter mountaineering course step-cutting
Scottish winter mountaineering course step-cutting

Scottish winter mountaineering course crampon practise
Scottish winter mountaineering course crampon practise

Winter mountaineering course Cairngorms
Winter mountaineering course Ciste Gully Cairngorm

Ski course Ciste Gully Cairngorm
Ski course Ciste Gully Cairngorm

Winter skills crampon practise and crevasses
Winter skills crampon practise and crevasses!

Reena and Paul winter mountaineering course
Reena and Paul winter mountaineering course on Cairngorm

 Days one and two of our Scottish winter mountaineering course could not have been more different!

Day one stunning winter weather to practise winter skills and day two windy, wet and mild to look at navigation and winter mountaineering rope-work in comfort and in preparation for the wintry mountain weather tomorrow and for the rest of the week!

Friday, 11 January 2019

Proper winter is arriving for winter mountaineering and winter skills courses soon!

Guided winter climbing
Guided Winter Climbing

Winter mountaineering and guided winter climbing
Winter Mountaineering and Introductory Winter Climbing

Winter Skills and Winter Navigation
Winter Navigation using Map and Compass

Winter Skills Scotland
Scottish Winter Skills for Universities and Clubs

Winter Skills
Winter Skills Scotland

With all the weather forecasts predicting a period of unseasonably cold temperatures from the middle of next week, fingers crossed, snow and ice conditions should be good for our five day winter skills and winter mountaineering course starting on the 26th-30th January 2019.

We are also running an open two day winter skills course on the 26th-27th January 2019 too.

As always private instruction and guided winter climbing can be arrange at dates to suit.

Details of ALL our winter skills courses and guiding can be found here >>>