Hillwalking and Navigation Skills Courses

Map Reading and Navigation Skills - 1 to 5 Days

Based in Aviemore we have the perfect area for practicing navigation on our doorstep, the Cairngorm Mountains. On our courses we would choose routes that not only give the best learning opportunities, but also take in the spectacular corries, high plateau and a few local munros such as Ben Macdui.


Learn the skills and techniques necessary to safely and efficiently navigate around the mountains. From map setting and contour interpretation to using pacing and timings. Further skills include using the compass to navigate in poor visibility and relocate when unsure of your position.

At Stewart Mountain Skills we are providers of the National Navigation Awards scheme.


The NNAS is a personal performance, non-competetive scheme for all ages to learn navigation skills, gain confidence and get out and enjoy the countryside.

It is set at three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold


Bronze NNAS Award – navigation in the countryside using paths tracks and other linear features, basic map interpretation and compass work is included. 

Silver NNAS Award – navigation in the countryside using skills acquired at bronze level and adding skills required to navigate to features and places some distance from paths and tracks, accurate compass work is required and an ability to use appropriate navigational techniques to go across country in some cases, eg. choosing an appropriate attack point.   

Gold NNAS Award – navigation in the countryside using skills of the first two levels, but adding techniques and skills for dealing with complex contour features large and small.  The Gold Award is delivered as separate Gold Award Training and Gold Award Assessment courses. 


Participants may enter the scheme at any Level Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on their experience, though it is anticipated that most will start at the basic Bronze level and progress as far as motivation, hard work and ability can take them. 


Each course includes a minimum of 12 hours of training time and can be arranged in any location. The scheme is a great progression for individuals but also works perectly for schools and Duke of Edinburgh Award groups to record progress. The scheme is now SQA accredited.



For more information please get in touch to discuss your needs.

Guided hill walks - 1 to 5 days

Get the most out of your trip into the Scottish mountains with a local experienced guide. Let us take care of the navigation and safety, allowing you to make the most of our knowledge of the area, its local history, geology and flora and fauna.

Guides can be arranged across Scotland, including the Cairngorms, Ben Nevis and Glen Coe at any time of the year.

Wild camping or bothy experience - 2 or 3 Days

The best way to get into the heart of the mountain wilderness is to spend a night or two out, either setting up a base camp from which to attempt remote summits, or by a multi-day crossing of a mountain area. Camping out with just the essentials of a tent, stove and warm sleeping bag, or staying in one of the many remote mountain bothies.

Classic routes include a crossing of the Cairngorms from Braemar to Aviemore through the Larig Ghru, or Accessing the remote peaks of Ben Alder or the Fisherfield Munros.

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