Scotland’s mountains offer the best opportunities for summer and winter mountaineering in the UK. Magnificent cliffs, gullies and ridges abound. Whilst Scotland does not have permanent snow cover on its hills (as in Alpine regions of Europe) there are many opportunities in the Scottish mountains for ‘mountaineering’.

When does walking or rock climbing become mountaineering?

Mountaineering – A Definition

‘The ascent of hills and mountains where the use of technical equipment is essential for either hands or feet’

One way to look at this is when the use of technical equipment becomes required in summer or winter for protection in case of a fall, then you have strayed into the realm of mountaineering.

With mountain cliffs up to 2,000ft in height, long complicated ridges and peaks with rugged rocky sections which cannot be bypassed simply on foot, mountaineering skills are required.

Mountaineering obviously encompasses climbing skills which are integral to the activity and many of the rougher parts of the Scottish hills offer great summer scrambling opportunities, but these pages will concentrate on winter mountaineering in Scotland and Alpine Mountaineering.

Rock climbing, scrambling, ski-touring and hill walking are described elsewhere:

On these pages you will find the following information: