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Cairngorms mountain medicine
Wilderness First Responder Level 2

3-5th & 10-12th
January 2025

Glenmore, scotland

£390 Student, £490 Non-Student 

We’re going exploring again! This time to the Cairngorm mountain range in the Eastern Highlands of Scotland.  We'll be trudging through snow, hanging off ropes and practicing our medical skills. 

Valid for 18 CPD points and perfectly 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.  You'll learn from the most incredible and inspiring faculty including military medics, expedition doctors, mountain rescue professionals and seasoned expedition leaders.  All will get a lot out of the practical element and inter-disciplinary approach.  The weather is usually amazing at this time of year in the North so dress for the snow and hope for sunny skies.

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

Topics covered:

  • Altitude Medicine and Kit

  • Hypothermia and Cold-related illness

  • Trauma Scenarios

  • GPS and Navigation Exercises

  • Radio Communications

  • Grid searches for missing persons

  • Winter Mountaineering Skills (ice-axe arrests, snow bollards, buried axe belays)

  • Improvised abseiling and knots

  • Avalanche safety and rescue

  • And much, much more...

Meet our Course Directors - Jonny Will and Dr Dave Strachan

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Jonny has worked pre-hospitally as a paramedic for both the London and Scottish Ambulance Services. He has held a variety of roles including Specialist Paramedic Practitioner, Clinical Effectiveness Lead, as well as National Improvement Adviser to the NHS. He is a keen outdoorsman, which has lead to work on remote events, film sets, endurance races and more. Jonny is an active member of the Tayside Mountain Rescue team as well as their Medical Officer. He is currently faculty for the Scottish Mountain Rescue Cascare certification program, WEMSI Wilderness Technician & Physician courses, and of course our very own Unique Expeditions.

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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.

Check out this amazing drone footage from our 2023 trip

Kit List

You will need:

Warm clothing including a down jacket

Waterproof top to bottom

Winter walking boots



Day pack

Tent, sleeping mat and appropriate sleeping bag (if you plan on camping)

*If you need to hire additional items e.g. ice axe or crampons both Cairngorm Mountain Sports and Ellis Brigham in Aviemore Village offer this.

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We'll be staying at the Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel. You can choose from two options for accommodation. If you fancy a challenge you can wild camp in the forest behind the hostel. Alternatively you can choose to stay in a bunk inside. We highly recommend camping for at least one night of the trip for the most authentic experience. It's a great chance to test out your kit in cold weather, with the safety net of a warm bed inside if you get too cold. 


If you are arriving by car, you can park at the youth hostel. If you don't have wheels pop a post in the forum to make contact with someone who may offer you a lift. The nearest train station is in Aviemore, approximately 15 minutes drive from the hostel. 


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.

Full disclosure... this course is amazing!  Don't believe us?  Check out Imogen's review at The Adventure Medic Magazine independent course review here.

Key Information:

Dates: January 3-5th & 10-12th 

Location: Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel, Glenmore


Price: £490 (£390 Student)

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If you'd like to see what each day looks like on our Cairngorms course, click on the itinerary button below. 

*The itinerary for the week will be tailored according to the cohort and the weather so may vary but you can expect plenty of teaching, time outdoors, and games in the evening.


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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