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Cold mountain: a winter skills course in the Scottish Highlands

Hill trekking in winter can feel like wonderland – but it’s perilous for the uninitiated. This two-day course will get you safely to the top of a magical Cairngorm mountain

There is nothing quite like winter in the Scottish hills. The days are short, the sun is low, the light transforms from fug to crystal to honey in the briefest of moments. On New Year’s Eve 10 years ago, I stood on the summit of Ben Macdui in the Cairngorms looking out across thick cloud and a gleaming plateau. A smoky blanket smothered the glens; the mountains stood clear. In the far distance, the distinctive white whale back of Ben Nevis broke the surface.

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