In February 2005 I went up to Aberfeldy with 3 people from the walking newsgroup, to learn the basics of winter skills in snowy, icy environments. It was the first time I've used an ice axe and crampons, and it was lots of fun, though absolutely freezing when we stopped to learn about ice axe self-arrests, cutting steps, how to use crampons and how to recognise, and avoid disturbing, avalanche-prone snow.
We had a great instructor - Ewen Riddell - for 2 days, and we stayed at the comfortable Adventurers' Escape bunkhouse in Weem. Our walking was in the Ben Lawers area, and the combination of snow, ice, howling gales and a temperature of -6 made it completely unlike any environment I've ever walked in before.
There was great visiblity and quite a lot of sunshine over our 2 days on the hill, and the beauty of the area was really quite staggering. I felt it left the Lakes looking a bit like a window box :-)
Judith unpacking at the Weem bunkhouse