A Visitors Guide to Scotland
Winter climbing has a long pedigree in Scotland and in many respects overshadowed the country’s rock climbing until recent times. There are thousands of climbs across the whole country from roadside to remote, involving icefalls, snow and ice gullies, ‘mixed’ routes and a phenomenon peculiar to the west coast of Scotland called rime-ice which develops thick ice on even the most overhanging rock walls giving a unique style of climbing.
Whilst pure ice routes exist, Scotland lacks the quantity and scale for very hard examples on a par with other parts of the world. However, rime-ice is particularly prevalent on Ben Nevis and climbing on ‘The Ben’ is of international importance. The ‘mixed’ style (which was born of the Northern Corries of Cairngorm) has now been taken to some of the remotest parts of Scotland and offers the current trend and the best potential for the future’s hardest routes.