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Advanced mountain medicine

14 - 16th February 2025

AVIEMORE, scotland

£390 Student, £490 Non-Student 

* This is a provisional page that will be updated with more details soon

Become one of the Unique Expeditions Elite!  This course is not for the faint-hearted.  Journey deep into the Cairngorm plateau with your expedition team.  Where our Level 2 Mountain Medicine Course gives you a taster of the skills you'll need to survive this environment, this Advanced Course really provides the opportunity to perfect and practice these specialist skills.  You'll have plenty of opportunity to practice winter mountaineering, moving on steep ground, rope work, rescue techniques, and even how to construct your own snow shelters. But also be prepared to face complex scenarios and grueling casualty evacuations in the harshest of Scottish winter conditions.  Those brave enough to take on the challenge will come out with first-hand experience and a sense of achievement no other civilian wilderness medicine course even comes close to.


Led by qualified Winter Mountain Leaders and Mountain Rescue professionals, this course is labelled "extreme" for a reason.  Conditions in the Scottish mountain range can reach minus 27 degrees and less with windchill. This advanced level training course is aimed at those with some experience hiking in cold or snowy environments, however no prior winter mountaineering experience is necessary.  A resilient attitude and decent level of fitness however will be helpful.  For safety reasons, all candidates will receive a friendly call from one of our directors after booking to ensure you are prepared to take part.

Suitable for all members of the multi-disciplinary team; from junior doctors to experienced paramedics, medical students to budding expedition leaders.  As in the real-world medical and non-medial team members will work beside each other as you practice delivering exceptional medical care in this harsh environment.  

Spaces are limited to ensure safety on the mountainside, so please book early to avoid disappointment.


Topics covered:​

  • Hypothermia and Cold-related illness

  • Trauma Scenarios

  • Avalanche awareness and safety

  • GPS and Navigation Exercises

  • Rope work, moving together, fixed rope technique and ascending

  • Winter mountaineering skills (ice-axe arrests, snow bollards, buried axe belays)

  • Crampon technique

  • Crevasse rescue

  • Radio Communications

  • Grid searches for missing persons

  • Winter Mountaineering Skills

  • And much, much more...

Meet our Course Directors - Dr Dave Strachan and John Carr

John Carr.heic

John has been running TrailMeds international medical cover for the past 3 years as well as working solo and as CMO on a wide selection of International events. 

Alongside the Diploma in Mountain Medicine John holds the Winter ML certificate and attempts to get as much personal mountaineering done as possible.

Educationally you might also see him teaching ambulance clinicians, or on the faculty for the Diploma in mountain medicine at UCLAN or the BMC’s mountain medicine weekend.

Dave Strachan.jfif

Dave Strachan is a Major in the Royal Army Medical Corps, working as a Vascular Registrar alongside the NHS with particular interests in major trauma, damage control surgery and the management of frostbite. He holds diplomas in Immediate Care, Medical Care of Conflict and Catastrophe and Mountain Medicine. Outside the hospital Dave is an active BASICS Doctor, a Clinical Educator and course director for PHECC. He freelances as a Winter ML, climbing instructor, expedition and event medic as well as having 15 years experience in Mountain Rescue.


If you'd like to see what each day looks like please click on the itinerary button below. 

*The itinerary for the week will be tailored according to the cohort and the weather so may vary slightly.  Expect huge mounts of teaching, learning and practice time.

Cairngorms 7.JPEG



You will be taught in teams of 4, be self-sufficient for food and hydration, and keep each other safe along with your casualties.



We'll be staying at bothies and wild camping in improvise snow shelters on the Cairngorm plateau.  In the case of dangerous weather or emergencies alternative accommodation will be sought.   


If you are arriving by car or train to Aviemore station please pop a post in the forum to ensure everyone has a seat in a car.  The distances driven are short.  The nearest train station is in Aviemore, approximately 15 minutes drive from the trek starting point and walking distance to the pub.


The trip is self-catered to keep your costs down.  We recommend Expedition Foods (discount code "unique10") or The Fell Store (discount code "uniqueexpeditions") for your suppers and plenty of snacks.

Key Information:

Dates: February 14th - 16th

Location: Cairngorm National Park, Aviemore


Price: £490 (£390 Student)

Cairngorms 23.jpg

Got more questions?  They're probably answered on our FAQ page... and if not then feel free to pop a post in the forum and one of our team will reply to you. If it's a question you'd rather ask privately, you can get in touch with us via the 'Contact Us' page.


"I absolutely loved my trip with Unique Expeditions! All the instructors were fantastic and so welcoming and their teaching was outstanding. I also loved the fact that they were keen to engage everyone and have fun with the group when we had finished for the day. Massive thank you to all!"

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