01690 720214

Conville Memorial Trust Scottish Winter Mountaineering



If you have any queries for Ardenbeg, please use email wherever possible.

It is important that you inform Ardenbeg by email (info@cragganoutdoors.co.uk) of how you plan to travel to your course (even if arriving by car) and if you require a place on the free transport from Aviemore station to Ardenbeg. Please ensure that your email reaches Ardenbeg as soon as possible but no later than 1st Dec 2017.

Directions: At the traffic lights in Grantown (there is only one set) turn down Chapel Road between the Church and Pharmacy. At the T junction, turn right. Ardenbeg is the first large house on the left. It is cream coloured with red paint work and a sign reading Ardenbeg Bunkhouse. To see a map of these directions, visit www.cragganoutdoors.co.uk/GettingHere and scroll to the bottom of the page



The nearest rail and bus stations are at AVIEMORE. They are a few minutes walk apart. Ardenbeg pickups will be from Aviemore rail station. Please note that weekend train times are subject to change and we would therefore recommend that you double check your train times a few days prior to departure if you are travelling at the weekend.

  • For TRAIN connections to Aviemore please see the Rail Track website: www.nationalrail.co.uk or telephone 08457 484950.
  • For BUS connections to Aviemore please see Scottish City Link website www.citylink.co.uk or call 0870 550 5050.


  • The Ardenbeg minibus pick up at Aviemore Rail Station will be around 7-8:00pm on your course ARRIVAL date (the evening before the 1st day of your course).The pick up time will be emailed to everyone requiring a transfer to Ardenberg closer to the arrival date.
  • The Ardenbeg minibus drop off to Aviemore Rail Station will be around 4.30-5pm on the course FINISH date, again this will be emailed to everyone requiring a drop off closer to the course.
  • Journey time by minibus from Aviemore to Ardenbeg takes approx. 20 minutes.


As mentioned above, it is important that all participants inform Ardenbeg by email no later than 1st Dec 2017 how you plan to arrive - please let them know if you will be arriving by car, train or bus and if you wish to be picked up at Aviemore Rail station.

If you are late because you miss your train or your train is delayed, please call Ardenbeg so that they know not to expect you to be at the station for the pick up time. It will be your responsibility to reach Ardenbeg as soon as possible. There is a taxi rank directly outside Aviemore station.



In your course application you have signed that you are responsible for ensuring that you are adequately insured to cover CIVIL LIABILITY (i.e. that you are covered if anyone sues you for compensation following injury, death or other loss whilst pursuing the climbing / hill walking sports, that is due to your negligence).

If you are a BMC member or BMC affiliated club member but have NO travel insurance, you are insured for Civil Liability up to £5,000,000. This can be verified to the Course Director at the start of the course by quoting your BMC membership/affiliation reference number.

For information, if you have BMC Travel Insurance - cover relevant to the UK is as follows (see the BMC Travel & Activity Insurance Guide and Policy wording for further details):

  • Personal Accident - Death, or Permanent Total Disablement as a result of which you are unable to work.
  • Personal Liability - Death or bodily injury of any person, loss of or damage to others' property, for which you are legally liable.
  • Cancellation or curtailment, due to the death, serious injury or serious illness of you, your close family, your partner or travelling companion.
  • Personal Possessions, including climbing & camping equipment etc. within the policy limits (we recommend valuables be insured under a Home Contents All Risks policy).
  • Additional cover whilst abroad would also include Rescue & Recovery and Emergency Medical expenses, etc.


If after you have confirmed your acceptance you have to cancel your place for any reason please telephone Plas y Brenin on 01690 720214 immediately. In the event of cancellation your fee will be refunded provided Plas y Brenin receives notice of the cancellation at least 21 days before the start of your course and a replacement can be found. There will be a £25 administrative charge deducted.

Apart from in exceptional circumstances, in the event that you fail to give any reasonable notice to Plas y Brenin that you cannot attend the course, you will be liable for the full un-subsidised cost of the course (£250).



Free accommodation (including bedding) is provided as part of your course fee on the evening of your arrival and the night of your first full day. Accommodation is not provided as part of the course fee on the last day of your course.

Early arrivals/staying extra days: Please inform the staff at Ardenbeg if you wish to arrive before the course starts and/or leave a few days after it finishes. Subject to availability, accommodation will be available £23 per person per night. Accommodation may be limited so please contact Ardenbeg early with your request. Reservation requests preferably by email info@cragganoutdoors.co.uk.

No meal is provided on DAY 1 (ARRIVAL DAY) but eating places are available in Grantown nearby. On day 2 and 3 breakfast, packed lunch and evening meal are provided.



A meal is provided at around 4:00pm on the final day of the course, so you should be able to leave Ardenbeg after the meal and de-brief, (by 4:30 - 5:00pm). If travelling by bus or train, the Ardenbeg minibus will be departing for Aviemore at around 4:30pm to meet bus and train connections at approx 5:00pm. Should you wish to stay an extra night please contact Keith Ballam at Ardenbeg Bunkhouse.



The course is a Basic Winter Skills Course; and depending on conditions the following are normally covered:-

Clothing/equipment, navigation, movement on snow/ice with and without crampons, use of ice axe, snow belays, ropework for hillwalkers, snow evaluation and avalanches, choice of route, snow shelters and emergency bivouacs.



The course is held at Ardenbeg Bunkhouse and your instructor will be a qualified Mountain Instructor (MIC) or Guide (UIAGM). The Course Director is Jonathan Preston (UIAGM, MIC).



These items are not available from Ardenbeg and you need to bring them:

  • Warm Clothes (thermal base layers, fleece layers, warm socks)
  • Dark glasses
  • Warm gloves
  • Thermos flask
  • Ski/mountaineering goggles
  • Cairngorms Map 1:50,000. OS sheet 36 with waterproof case
  • Head torch with spare battery
  • Compass (Silva 4 with roma or similar)

PLEASE DO NOT contact Ardenbeg to say that you are not in possession of the above mentioned kit. Please make every endeavour to borrow or purchase the above kit.



If you cannot bring the following items with you, they are available to borrow from Ardenbeg for an extra charge.

All items are priced at £4.50 per item / pair per day. Guides will check the suitability of boots and crampons before commencing the course.

  • Boots that are suitable for wearing crampons (they should have very little flex at the toes and should provide good support at the ankle). Ardenbeg has sizes 38-48.
  • Crampons & Crampon Bag
  • Ice Axe
  • Helmet
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Gaiters
  • Warm hat or balaclava
  • Spare warm mitts


  • Harness
  • Bivouac bag (group shelters supplied on the course)
  • First Aid Kit (instructors carry them)


You will get more out of the course if you are familiar with 'Mountain Navigation' by Peter Cliff as the navigation teaching is based on this book. In addition the following are recommended as general textbooks (all books are available from the BMC):

  • Mountaincraft & Leadership by Eric Langmuir
  • The Handbook of Climbing by Allen Fyffe and Iain Peter
  • The Mountain Skills training Handbook by Pete Hill MIC and Stuart Johnston MIC*

Click here to apply


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