Winter Mountain Walking

Winter mountain walkng on Buachaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe

Based in Glen Coe

Friendly guiding

5 mountain days

21 healthy meals

Close to Ben Nevis

Professional instruction

1 invaluable rest day

7 comfortable nights

Experience the magic of the mountains and enjoy the best of the weather with our flexible schedule. Stunning sunrises, scenic sunsets, shining stars and the magical moon are all on the cards.

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Winter Mountain Walking Holiday

Ratio: 8 clients to 1 guide
Cost: £495 per person

If you want a guided mountaineering week in the wonderful Scottish winter, with fun times, relaxing evenings, great company, magical mountain adventures and a friendly guide too, the holidays are for you.

Winter Mountain Walking Course

Ratio: 6 clients to 1 instructor
Cost: £595 per person

If you want to develop your skills, build your competence and grow in confidence to enjoy your own mountain adventures, with professional coaching throughout and evening workshops too, book onto a course.

Moon rising over snow on Rannoch Moor, a mountain in Scotland.
Moon-rise over Rannoch Moor from the summit of Am Bodach, Glen Coe.

“Mountain Magic – the name says it all. The course was a fantastic confidence booster that left me with the knowledge and skills I need to enjoy the mountains safely in winter. I learned a lot and have been inspired to go out and practice the skills I gained. This course was so much more than just learning too. Our small group quickly became friends and we shared some funny and poignant experiences together. The food was perfect and it was very refreshing to have my dietary preferences catered for as a vegetarian. Thanks for a magical week.”


How to book:

Or call 0300 030 1045 or email to ask any questions, find out more and book your place.

We’re looking forward to enjoying the Scottish Highlands with you this winter!


11th – 18th January

25th January – 1st February

8th – 15th February

22nd – 29th February

7th – 14th March

21st – 28th March


Take the train to Glasgow, followed by a bus to Glencoe, and we’ll pick you up in the village. There’s also parking space if you decide to drive and we can team you up with other clients for a car-share.

Winter mountain walking at night under moonlight, in Scotland.

“I had an amazing week on the winter skills course. I learned a lot and feel a lot more confident with navigation in poor conditions and being safe in the mountains. Paul was a fantastic instructor. His knowledge, experience and passion for the mountains really shows. Our group was fantastic and it was really refreshing meeting people who share the love of nature and the outdoors. Great people, amazing locations, amazing food and a fantastic chalet. I couldn’t recommend it enough and I’m hanging to get back out there!”



We are all professional members of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors and we all love our work. Friendly guides, patient instructors and experienced coaches, we love to see you enjoying the mountains and developing into competent winter mountain walkers.


Eight friendly clients to one guide for a fun and sociable group on the holiday, and just six clients to one instructor on the course, so that you can make the most of your time, maximise your learning with 1:1 coaching and become an independent winter mountain walker.


Here are the skills we focus on for your learning and development during a course:
• Selecting the right winter clothing and equipment for your comfort and safety.
• Using avalanche reports, weather forecasts, maps and timing to plan your day well.
• Understanding how snow pack forms and changes to assess avalanche risk.
• Navigating in the dark, snow and a full white-out with safety and efficiency.
• Moving in balance on easy ice, rock and snow with an ice axe and crampons.
• Using an ice axe to stop slips with the self-belay and self-arrest techniques.
• Minimising risks like loose rock, cornices, strong winds and snow bridges.
• Action to take in an emergency and building an improvised snow shelter.


You can carry a full 30L rucksack and walk for up to 8 hours on mountainous terrain. Some prior experience of summer mountain walking, or an equivalent level of fitness from other activities like running and cycling is advisable.

Ron approaching the summit of Stob Coire nan Lochan at sunset, Glen Coe.

“We had a brilliant winter skills week with Paul. There were moments where my face hurt from grinning so much. Paul was passionate about both the mountains and the teaching.  We learned an awful lot and I feel far more confident with navigation in poor conditions. Incredible experiences in stunning locations, followed by good home cooked food in the evenings. I couldn’t recommend this course enough.”



Arrive at 6pm on Saturday evening, in time for dinner at 7pm. Depart after breakfast the following Saturday.


We usually leave at 9am and return by 5pm, or we make the most of the weather: starting with the stars and catching the sunrise, or seeing the sunset and finishing with the moon. Depending on weather, snow and energy levels in the group, here are some typical options, plus a rest day in the middle of the week. There is also scope for trips to Ben Nevis, The Mamores, Creag Meagaidh and The Cairngorms.

  • Sgorr nam Fiannaidh (Peak of The Fair Haired Warriors) – 967m – 7km – 6 hours
  • Buachaille Etive Beag (The Small Herdsman of Etive) – 958m – 8km – 6 hours
  • The A’Chailleah Ridge (The Old Woman) – 903m – 9km – 8 hours
  • Buachaille Etive Mor (The Great Herdsman of Etive) – 1022m – 10km – 8 hours
  • Bidean nam Bian (Peak Of The Mountains) – 1150m – 7km – 8 hours
  • Stob Coire nan Lochan (Peak Of The Lochan Coire) – 1115m – 6km – 6 hours
  • Sgorr Dhearg (The Red Peak) – 1024m – 9km – 8 hours
  • Sgùrr an Iubhair (Alder Peak) – 1001m – 11 km – 8 hours
  • Ben Nevis (‘Terrible’ Mountain / Mountain Of The Clouds) – 1345m – 12km – 10 hours
  • Aonach Mor (The Big Ridge) – via the Nevis Range Gondola – 1221m – 6km – 6 hours
Walking group on the summit of Ben Nevis in Scotland.
Lingling, Yin, Emma, Angie, Chi and Gee Gee on the summit of Ben Nevis.

“I had a fantastic week on the course with lots of special memories made. Paul was a brilliant guide, friendly and very knowledgeable and a good cook! I’d highly recommend Mountain Magic to anyone wanting to learn about winter skills and enjoy time in the mountains.”



Our warm and comfortable eco-chalets are situated right in the heart of Glencoe, tucked away in the forest, next to the river and a short walk from the fabulous Clachaig Inn. They each have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a cosy dining area, under-floor heating, a drying room and wi-fi. They’re also run by two lovely people, Keren and Rob, who enjoy mountain adventures and understand why we’re in Glen Coe.


Bringing a group of people together is one of the most enjoyable aspects of our winter courses and holidays. Clients often leave as good friends and get together for their own adventures afterwards. We cook and eat together in the evenings, so help in the kitchen is much appreciated. Aside from banter and trips to the pub, there are documentaries to watch, an extensive library and maps galore.


If you’re on a course, there’s an informative workshop every evening too. After dinner, we check the Met Office and MWIS weather forecasts, and the detailed SAIS avalanche report before helping you to plan for your next day. Developing your avalanche awareness, map reading and safe planning skills are a key part of this invaluable time. It’s estimated that 90% of what keeps you safe happens before you step outside.

A walker above a temperature inversion in the Mamores mountains in Scotland.
Amazing scenes in The Mamores, above a temperature inversion with Stob Ban behind us.

“The winter skills course was comprehensive and delivered at a perfect pace for the group. Paul the instructor teaches with a relaxed and professional style, tailoring the instruction and course itinerary to the abilities of the group. Mountain Magic gets a huge thumbs up from me and I would recommend it 100%. The food was also fantastic!”



We love healthy, nutritious and tasty food, that’s prepared with love and ideal for mountain days too. Meals are sourced as ethically and locally as possible, with quality ingredients and tailored to your needs with vegetarian and vegan options. We want you to enjoy your food, so please tell us if there’s anything you’d like and we’ll get it for you.


Scrambled eggs with chilli, slow-cooked spinach with olive oil and garlic, baked tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, Kalamata olives and wholemeal or rye bread toast with butter. Creamy coconut porridge is also available with banana, cinnamon, honey, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Quality coffee and a wide range of teas are available too.


Sandwiches with any fillings of your choice, hard-boiled eggs, oatcakes, apples, bananas, oranges, dark treacle flapjack, a trail mix of nuts, seeds and dried fruit, chocolate and anything else you would like… just tell us about your favourite mountain munchies and we’ll make sure you have them. We leave you to put your own packed lunch together so it’s just the way you like it.


One of these evening meals will be served each day;

  • Baked salmon or nut roast. Served with steamed broccoli and a sweet potato and carrot mash.
  • Spinach, chickpea, carrot, cauliflower and creamed coconut curry. Served with wholemeal rice.
  • Free-range, organic chicken or smoked tofu and spicy vegetable stir-fry. Served with egg noodles.
  • Meat or vegetarian haggis and gravy. Served with steamed broccoli and a parsnip and swede mash.
  • Scottish lamb and root vegetable stew with swede, parsnip, herbs and curly kale. Served with bread.
  • Smoked mackerel or egg-fried wholemeal rice with peppers, garlic, chilli, lemon, ginger and marjoram.
  • Three bean vegetable and cacao chilli burritos. Served with a spicy salsa, sour cream and guacamole.
  • Rich and saucy Scottish beef or Portobello mushroom spaghetti Bolognese. Served with a green salad.
Winter walking group on the summit of Stob Dubh, Glen Coe in Scotland.

 “I learned a lot of valuable skills and I feel like I can go walking in the winter hills on my own now. Paul is a fabulously welcoming, accommodating host and he was always patient and understanding. The logistics were spot on, from the lovely cottage in the heart of Glencoe to the gorgeous food for long days on the hill. Paul has a wealth of experience in the mountains and I always felt safe knowing he was there. Top marks and many thanks!”



Ice axes, crampons, a harness and a helmet are all included in the price of your course. You will need to bring or hire your own winter mountain boots, plus waterproofs, warm clothing, a head torch and a rucksack. If you’re on a course, please bring a map, a map case and a compass to make the most of the navigation opportunities.

Kit List

  • Lightweight Base Layers – Synthetic or wool for wicking sweat and moisture away from your skin.
  • Warm Mid Layers – One thin and one thick. Made from fleece, synthetic fibres or wool. No cotton.
  • Waterproof Jacket & Trousers – Also windproof with a good hood to close around your face in a storm.
  • Warm Hat & Balaclava – You need to cover your head and your face in a blizzard. A ‘Buff’ is great too.
  • Warm Gloves or Mittens – Hand protection must be very warm and windproof. Thin liners are also good.
  • Warm Walking Socks – Thick, comfortable, with space for your toes to wiggle in your boots and no cotton.
  • B2 Mountain Boots – Comfortable fit, well insulated for winter, waterproof and compatible with crampons.
  • Gaiters – These prevent deep snow and water from getting inside your boots. Well worth it in winter.
  • 30-40 Litre Rucksack – With room for all your kit, fits your back well and feels comfortable when full.
  • Waterproof Rucksack Liner – A robust waterproof bag that will last. Rubble sacks are OK. Not bin liners!
  • Sunglasses – To protect your eyes in bright sunlight on highly reflective snow. Essential on sunny days.
  • Cheap Ski Goggles – To help you see in blinding blizzards that blow sharp snow crystals into your face.
  • Water Bottle – At least one litre, leak proof and easy to use with gloves on. Hydration tubes will freeze up.
  • Hot Flask – Not essential but very welcome on cold winter days and useful to increase your fluid intake.
  • Head Torch – To enable you to see in the dark and still have your hands free for safe movement skills.
  • Spare Batteries or Spare Head Torch – Running out of battery power is a problem that slows everyone.
  • Map, Map Case & Compass – Please bring OS Explorer 384, OS Explorer 392, and a Silva compass.
  • Walking Poles – Not essential but highly recommended and very helpful when walking in snow.
  • Waterproof Protective Phone Case / Bag – Essential if you want your phone to survive a soaking.
  • Personal First Aid Kit – Just a small one with items like a blister kit, plasters and cleansing wipes.
  • Blizzard Bag – a brilliant bit of emergency kit and so much better than an orange, plastic ‘survival’ bag.
  • Suncream – Sunburn does occur in the Scottish winter. Sometimes it can feel like the Alps in summer!
Walking through snow on Ben Nevis with a view of sunset over mountains on the horizon.
Lan descending the Ben Nevis ‘tourist track’ at sunset.

“Had a great week with Mountain Magic. Paul went above and beyond to accommodate our different learning abilities. I feel a lot more confident with navigation in poor conditions and making the right decisions in the hills. I was lucky to be a part of a great group. Can’t recommend this course enough! Thanks Paul!”