Arctic Ultra Winter Courses
The course will go ahead as soon as lockdowns have ended and hospitality can reopen. Please see note at bottom of page regarding covid19.
When Scotland reopens to cross-border travel, I will be offering two- and three-day Arctic race training courses. The goal of the course is to prepare people for human-powered races in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. The course is open to anyone, and there is no requirement for participants to be registered for events. We will cover:
Exercise in the cold
Preventing hypothermia & cold injuries
Equipment selection & preparation
Resting and sleeping outside
Race navigation & trail-finding
Use and maintenance of liquid fuel stoves
Setting up camp
The course will take place near Aviemore in Scotland. Appreciating that not everyone will have three days to attend, all the main content will be included in the two-day course. The three-day course allows for an additional night sleeping out and a review of race preparation.
The course is intended to be a learning experience and there is no requirement for any significant fitness to attend. We will make use of nearby forests and hills for the camp(s). Anyone with more time available should consider using the location as a base to get out into the mountains after the course.
You are encouraged to bring with you the equipment you expect to use in any Arctic / sub-Arctic races. The nights out are not obligatory, but you are encouraged to use this as an opportunity to test equipment in a less extreme environment than the Far North. Anyone who has not yet bought equipment suitable for winter camping should let me know via the Connect page. There are options to rent equipment from a partner organisation, and a variety of equipment manufacturers are interested in supporting the course by offering participants discounts on their products (to be confirmed). There will also be a variety of equipment available to take a look at and compare.
To keep costs to a minimum participants will need to make their own arrangements for food and accommodation. Hotels are available in Aviemore, and the Dalraddy Holiday Park is open year-round for camping, with plenty of pitches available for tents, motorhomes and caravans. There are also static caravans and chalets available for rent. Cottages and apartments are available to rent on the Alvie Estate. There is a small shop on the campsite, and cooked food is available on the site some days (covid-furlough-depending). It is recommended that you bring with you the sorts of foods you expect to rely on when racing. Updates about facilities available can be found here.
Having made the effort to travel to the area, I recommend making use of the facilities and experiences on offer before or after the course. These include quad-biking, archery, deer photography, bushcraft courses, fishing and more. Further information can be found here.
Due to the dynamic nature of the coronavirus it is not possible to give definitive information as restrictions may change during the New Year. When this page was created in December, cross-border travel to Scotland was illegal except for certain specific reasons. Exclusions included education and professional athletes attending training, as examples. Please consider this and whether or not there are restrictions on travel from the area where you are based. If covid restrictions prevent your attendance a full refund will be issued, or you can postpone to a later date (your preference). Additional dates can be made available through to the end of April. The course itself will take place outside, including the presentations, and numbers will be limited (one to four per course). Physical distancing will not be an issue. Whilst at the holiday park it is mandatory to wear a mask when entering inside spaces. Participants will be required to sign a document stating they have not had any covid symptoms or a positive test within the previous 14 days. There is a local track and trace operating and course participants will also be required to mark their presence at the park on that. Please be responsible during your journeys and cancel if you believe that to be most appropriate.
Cancellations for any reason up to seven days before your chosen course start date will receive 100% refunds. Cancellations (other than due to covid restrictions) within the seven days of the course start will receive a 50% refund.