Now, we would be the first to admit that Scottish skiing isnt often a sound bet for a snow sure ski break, and with global warming fears gathering pace, many have been sounding the death knell for skiing in Scotland. As a result, it is not often you get to say this, so here goes. Right now, ski conditions in Scotland are brilliant! Ski-Scotland has declared it the best start to a season in a decade, and the Cairgorms are reporting a base of 150cm at higher level. That currently rivals anything in mainland Europe, and makes a quick train trip upto the highlands suddenly seem quite appealing.
No doubt many will be labelling this current powder-fest the last hurrah for the valiant Scottish resorts, but this could well be a sign of things to come. Many global warming scientists expect the UK (and much of north west Europe) to become far colder in the future, as flows of Arctic meltwater shut off the gulf stream and switch our relatively balmy (yes balmy) winters into something a bit more akin to the current conditions. If we are honest, nobody really knows for sure what will happen. What is certain is that Scotland is set up for its best winter in decades, and so now is the perfect opportunity to take advantage and enjoy a low carbon winter holiday in the highlands.
As featured on our site, Wilderness Scotlands array of 4 day winter walking and ski touring courses offer the perfect opportunity to escape the in-demand ski centres to Scotlands back country, where you can sample the ultimate in natural and exhilarating winter sports. Their trips are based in the high massif of the Cairngorms, which is the ideal venue for winter walking, ski mountaineering and ski touring. The region claims five of the six highest mountains in the UK and is the most reliable venue for snow in the country perfect for practising those kick turns or ice axe arrests! After a day on the hills you can kick back and enjoy a Speyside malt by the open fire in you 4* guest house, and consider how winters are going to be different now you have discovered ski touring or winter walking!
Introduction to ski touring:
For those new to ski touring, their introductory course is designed to teach you the essential ski touring skills to explore Scotlands mountains on skis. Journeying through the backcountry of the Cairngorms you will develop your off-piste ski technique, ski touring skills, avalanche awareness and mountain safety.
475 all inclusive. 4th-7th March and 11th to 14th March
Intermediate ski touring course:
If you have previous ski touring experience, or a high level of ski ability and aspirations to undertake Scotlands most challenging ski tours or extended hut to hut tours overseas, their intermediate course is perfect for you. You will develop your off-piste ski technique and touring skills on steeper terrain, as well as furthering your understanding of avalanche awareness and mountain safety. You will also cover the essential alpine skills for ski tours overseas including glacier travel and crevasse rescue. This course is the ideal preparation for the Haute Route ski tour one of Europes classics, and also offered by Wilderness Scotland.
475 all inclusive. 11th to 14th March 2010
Their winter walking breaks are designed to develop your winter walking skills, and explore the outstanding snow capped scenery of the Cairngorms. From a centrally located 4* guest house with an award for its commitment to green tourism, you can explore several different mountain areas with contrasting scenery each day. The trip is perfectly suited to people with little or no previous experience of winter walking in Scotland.
495 all inclusive. There are a few spaces left for the trip 27th to 31st Jan, and 17th to 21st March.
You can currently book train tickets from London to Inverness on the thetrainline.com for as little at 75 return for the first weekend in March. Leave Thursday morning and return sunday evening on the comfortable overnight sleeper train, arriving in time to impress your workmates on monday morning!