For the 6th year running, we are excited to be joining forces with Mike Austin, from Avalanche Geeks, to provide a specific course designed for the adventurous skier.

These courses are specifically aimed at recreational ski mountaineers who wish to take their sport to the next level but lack the technical knowledge to match their ski ability. We spend both days in the mountain environment sniffing out the best snow and the best descents with a focus on exploring steep terrain.

Note: this is not a technical ski performance course where we break down your ski technique. This is a course with emphasis on the technical aspects of ski mountaineering such as abseiling and uphill roped travel on steep ground using crampons and ice axe, whiteout navigation techniques on skis and avalanche education.

Please contact Di Gilbert directly if you have any questions, if you are unsure if this course is suitable for you or any other enquiries.

Avalanche Geeks & Mike Austin

Avalanche's are a complex subject. Anyone who thinks they're safe to ride in the backcountry because they've attended a 2 hour avalanche safety lecture are frankly kidding themselves. Canada and the United States have been offering evaluated, structured avalanche education to keen skiers and snowboarders who want to be responsible for their own safety for many years now.

We offer formalised education that conforms to the American Avalanche Association (AAA) syllabus here in Europe. By taking a stand alone course or working through a series of courses, to a level that matches your backcountry goals, you can build upon basic knowledge, leaving you with an appropriate skill set to stay safe. Check out what we offer at

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Mike Austin in an AMGA Assistant Ski Guide. The AMGA is the USA member of the IFMGA. He is a Pro Member of the American Avalanche Association (AAA), a collective group of dedicated professionals engaged in the study, forecasting, control and mitigation of avalanches.

Mike has guided on ski for over 18 years, primarily on the West Coast of North American from Alaska to California. Mike holds AAA Level 3 certification, the highest possible certification available in the US, as such he is a fully certified avalanche forecaster.

He has worked for 3 seasons with the Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS), and has worked in Search & Rescue programs for government agencies in Antarctica and Scotland.

Mike has made several notable ascents of prominent high altitude peaks in polar regions.


In an ideal world, we would love to advertise a specific venue. The Mountaineering 4 skiers courses will be based in the Cairngorm National Park, however, due to the rapidly changing environment that Scotland provides, we will hold off in making the final decision until the last minute. This is so that you get the best possibility to ski awesome snow and not wind scoured, boiler plate ice.

Who can come

This course is aimed at people who are already proficient back country skiers but lack the mountaineering knowledge to enable them to safely access the lines you dream of skiing. You should be confident skiing down a red run ski slope in any condition and have previous ski mountaineering experience.

How do I apply

Complete one of our online booking forms.

Once you receive confirmation from Di you will be sent final details.




£295.00 per person. This course is run with a maximum of 4 clients.

This is a 2 instructor course.

This price is for instruction only.


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What will we look at

During the 2 days we will cover skills such as:

  • navigating on skis
  • revision of ice axe and crampon techniques
  • refining skinning techniques
  • refining kick turns
  • booting techniques
  • ski cramponing
  • shovel, probe and transceiver education
  • avalanche education and awareness
  • safe route choice
  • decision making
  • rock and snow belays
  • belaying
  • lowering and abseiling techniques
  • appropriate use of the rope
  • belaying skiing

Note: these topics will alter with conditions.

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© 2018 Di Gilbert Mountaineering