Scotland 2022

Winter Climbing on the Ben

2 trips of winter climbing have been done this year! After missing, a couple of years from Covid had to get back to do some climbing!

The first trip was over a weekend in January, managed to squeeze in 3 routes in 2 days, the snow line was high, and not much ice. Enough Ice to make a couple of belays but no ice climbing routes.

Gully Number 3 Central buttress

On the first trip, we did Gully Number 3 Central Buttress, Gully Number 2, and Gully Number 4.

The second trip was 8 days! 5 days staying in Fort William and 3 days in the CIC hut at the bottom of the North Face. The hut is a prime location, saving a 2-hour walk in, nice lay-ins, early back! I’d say luxury, but it has no showers, 2 toilets, and sleeps around 28 people in 2 giant bunk beds! Worth it though!!

Started the week with Jake, we got to do Central Gully Right-Hand, North-East Buttress, and Vanishing Gully. All 3* top climbs, North-East Buttress is an epic day route, Vanishing Gully is a superb ice climb going at grade V. We got a bit of bad weather so venture to a dry tooling crag and then some indoor climbing.

I then joined the Peak Climbing Club in the CIC hut and got on Raeburn’s Easy Route & Ledge Route. Both 3* grade II climbs, I was guiding Lucy from the climbing club who didn’t have much experience so these routes are perfect. I managed to sneak in a couple of easy gully solos though on the Douglas gap.

The weather can only be described as outstanding! blue skies and sunshine! two rare things in Scotland, even rarer in winter on the Ben!

Already looking at booking for 2023, and hoping the snow sticks around for a winter traverse of the Cuillin Ridge at end of April!

The next trip is to Wales in a couple of weeks’ time! looking forward to that one.

Winter Routes ticket off on Ben Nevis for 2022

  • Number 3 Gully Buttress (direct finish) – Grade IV 5
  • Number 3 Gully – Grade I
  • Number 4 Gully – Grade I
  • Number 2 Gully – Grade II
  • Centarl Gully Right-Hand – Grade IV 4
  • North East Buttress – Grade IV 5
  • Vanishing Gully – Grade V 5
  • Douglas Gap West Gully – Grade I
  • Douglas Gap East Gully – Grade I
  • Raeburns Easy Route – Grade II
  • Ledge Route – Grade II

Scottish Mountaineering

Spot of Winter Mountaineering

Not sure why i haven’t updated this sooner! It’s not like i haven’t had the time lately!

Well this post is from my trip in February to do some Winter Mountaineering around Ben Nevis. I based myself in Fort William, which is a great place to stay due to the location, but mainly the Wood-fire Pizzas and craft beer bar!

I managed to cram in 4 routes in 4 days, plus a summit of Ben Nevis to the trig point. A lot of the winter climbing routes take like 6-8 hours depending on conditions, so knocking out more than one route in a day is sometimes hard. Unless you’re up early and back late!

We ticked off the routes

  • Castle Ridge – Grade III** – Ben Nevis
  • Curved Ridge – Grade II*** – Buachaille Etive Mor
  • Ledge Route – Grade II*** – Ben Nevis
  • Spider Rib – Grade II – Aonach Mor

From Ledge Route we continued on and walked to the summit of Ben Nevis. It was pretty much a white out, with very low visibility! which as always makes it more epic πŸ˜‰