It’s been too long since I’ve stood shivering in a car park waiting for someone to finish their epic, has the time come again?
I’m in the process of weighing up a week for an NLMC meet in Scotland between the 14th and 28th Feb. At the moment I’ve been looking at the Cairngorms/Aviemore area as I know it well, but I’m very open to suggestions for other areas (west cost perhaps?).
There’s a reasonable selection of accommodation options around the area that look appropriate, based on ~10 people:
Once I have a good idea of numbers I’ll get a quote on accommodation and ask people to make a firm wallet-based commitment.
Please express you interest by way of response on this thread and indicate if there’s any strong preference on dates. If anyone can tell me exactly what snow conditions will be like over those two weeks then please message me directly for a large sum of money.
Teaching commitments make it really hard for me to get up to Scotland in February but I might be able to swing some days after the 23rd, if others are up there. Can’t make any firm plans this far in advance sadly
School half term; please avoid 11-20 February. Think I’d be keen on your proposed dates but might be a problem for Mattia.
I’d be up for another Scotland trip. Our trip in 2020 was awesome. I wonder if the usual suspects would be interested again as well.
For me the week from around 14-20th would work best, as I’d need to be back for bristol half term (21st-27th).
I’m based in Scotland, so won’t need accommodation, but could do something with the club on the weekends while you’re up here, if that’s allowed!
Interested. I need to check but the week to the 20th best for me also
Newbie here - I’m looking to join the club in the coming weeks (subject to Castle meets etc) and was already independently planning a Scottish Winter mission.
Would absolutely love to link up if dates work etc.
Will this be more winter walking, mountaineering or climbing? Or different people doing their own thing?
Is there a level of competence it is aimed at?
If I haven’t done any Winter stuff before, should I get some independent training first, or can I tag along (where appropriate) and have people show me the ropes?
I’m a confident summer hiker, comfortable with scrambling, and climbing lead up to VD / second up to HS.
Sorry if these are silly questions, but would be great to come along if I can!
Hi Asher, there are no silly questions!
Everyone’s objectives will vary from person to person, day to day, across the entire walking/mountaineering//climbing spectrum. Generally I’d say the group will be erring on winter route climbing where conditions allow.
Regarding competence, Scottish winter is a lot more serious than your general british bumbling, so I couldn’t guarantee you’d find partners willing to take the risk on a total novice (with all the best intentions!). BUT we have had total novices come out with us before and they’ll typically book a few days in with a guide at the start and then spend the rest of the week easing themselves in gently and consolidating that guiding experience. That’d be a perfect first week in Scotland!
At the very least you’ll want to try to come down to the castle to meet and so we can give your belaying a once over. Thats nothing serious just standard practice so we have some confidence before letting people loose in the wild with other NLMC members!
Feel free to drop me a private message if you want to chat about it any more!
Ah yes, someone finally lost their patience! I’m of course in. Dates are pretty flexible so far.
@George_T thanks so much for your detailed reply, that’s super helpful and reassuring.
Sounds like a great plan, and should fit together really well - I’ve already been speaking to a few Scottish instructors, so once trip dates have been confirmed I should be able to arrange a few days training beforehand.
I’m coming to the Castle tomorrow, so hopefully my belaying will pass muster
Unfortunately I don’t think I can make any of those dates work
I spotted this and it might be a great course for an experienced climber to consolidate teaching skills if you were looking to do that:
I’m keen! I’m free 14- 18 and then 21 onwards. Thanks!
Ah, Scottish winter! Remembering fondly the 2020 hurricane force winds, luxury lodge with a leaking roof and amazing fun times…
Would love to hang out together again but I can’t make it this year, training for IML assessment for the latter half of February.
I send photo greetings from past weekend’s no-wind Cogne climbing instead!
Keen to join. I have some experience with crampons & ice axe (mainly on a long slog in the alps, nothing technical) and sport climbing leading (plus a bit of trad) experience. What level of Winter Climbing experience would be required for this trip?
I’d be well up for this! although I’m kind of in the same boat as @AsherC. Ie. No experience on winter climbing. I’m considering doing a course in the run up …
Thanks all for expressing interest, time to make a commitment now! Apologies to those that this’ll exclude, it sounds like 12-20th is going to be the most popular.
If you intend on joining please fill your name and dates in on this spreadsheet: NLMC Scotland??? - Google Sheets
Note, I’m considering this sheet a financial commitment, once I’ve sorted accommodation I’ll be beholden to the full amount. Accommodation options are very limited but I’m aiming to land at around £300 per person for the full week (based on 8 people, looks like we now have 9 though).
@mikedlr @Kiwidave @Mattia @AsherC @Ladislav @AshleyKC @Jon_Howells @Miguel
@Miguel - Perhaps best to speak to Asher and coincide, it’d make a guide/course far more affordable. Perhaps @GarethA can recommend who he used a few years back?
@Jon_Howells - For a full answer see the response I gave Asher further up the thread. TLDR; You don’t need to have any experience but everyone’s an individual on this trip so it’s worth considering whether you’d be a safe partner on a Scottish route. If you’ve got some trad experience and know how to use your axe / crampons when things get steep then I’d expect you’ll have no issue finding partners, not everyone will be climbing hard every day. If you’re not confident then perhaps best to consider a refresher course with Miguel/Asher, I suspect one of the biggest hurdles for you guys will be the trad experience, and that’s something a guide can tailor for.
@Miguel - Graeme Ettle, based Kingussie. He’s in Alps in Jan back in Feb. Message me for contact details if interested
I’ve used Johnathon Preston and Johnathon Lyall many years ago and not sure if they are still around but they were Amazing.
I’m sure they’d also help with finding accommodation. We stayed in a really nice climbing hut in aviemore which was also cheap
Hope that helps
@George_T , My bid was a +1 and now we have (theoretically) fixed dates I need to get leave approval and we might just be looking at long weekends on each end - I see you have Sunday the 20th in the spreadsheet, so is Sunday night available or is that just leave day ?