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Backcountry skiing is the ultimate way to discover the Highlands in winter! This four-day ski touring in Scotland course teaches you everything you need for safe off-piste touring, from avalanche awareness to all-terrain access.
When the mile-thick ice sheets finally retreated from the north of Britain at the end of the Pleistocene epoch, they left in their wake a topography gnarled, fissured and pockmarked by violent glaciation. The result is some of the wildest country in Europe; mountain massifs, rift valleys, riven volcanoes and crinkle-cut islands are just some of the extraordinary features of the Scottish landscape. Unsurprising, then, that the country has become something of a mecca for adventure travel enthusiasts, with every imaginable pursuit on offer. So whether you surf or ski, sail or kayak, hike or bike, Scotland is bound to have something special for you. (There’s also 12,000 years of history, some of Europe’s finest architecture and the prized national drink (no, not Irn-Bru!), in case you’re interested!)
The high massif of the Cairngorms is the ideal place to learn the art of ski mountaineering! Following a first evening spent planning the weekend’s activities over a lavish dinner, you’ll head to the Northern Corries for an introduction to essential off-piste techniques before descending to the plateau and spectacular views of Loch Avon. The next day you’ll make an ascent of mighty Sgor Gaoith, perched high on the cliffs above Loch Einich. After a lesson on avalanche awareness, there’s an exciting descent through pine forests all the way to the glen floor! All your skills are put to the test on the final day with an ascent of Ben MacDui, Scotland’s second highest peak! After accessing the plateau via one of the high ridges, you’ll enjoy a long and exhilarating downhill via Lurcher’s Gulley – a fantastic end to the trip!
Skiing in the Cairngorms is a truly unique experience - a wild, backcountry adventure that’s a million miles away from the rowdy resorts of the Alps! Of course, to enjoy off-piste skiing you need to be a pretty confident skier in the first place (i.e. able to ski red and easy black runs). You’ll also need to be fairly fit as there are a few uphill ascents (up to 900m per day), though previous mountaineering experience isn’t necessary as your guides will instruct you in this area. If all this sounds manageable then you’re bound to love this little tour - the perfect combination of action and relaxation!
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