Scottish Winter 2018 3-11 Feb

Hi everyone,

As per the calendar and Khalid’s previous posts, there is a Scottish Winter trip planned from the 3rd to the 11th of February. It will be great ‘fun’ of a kind that only Scottish Winter can provide.

Yes, conditions have been quite rubbish in recent years, but there’s already been a cold snap and a healthy dose of early season snow - people are already getting routes in. I was up in Scotland last year and the conditions were pretty awful, but there was still great climbing to be had with some inventive planning.

This trip has a few conditions - you will not need to be climbing hard grades but will need to be a) a paid member of the club, b) self-sufficient in a winter environment and c) competent in Scottish winter including navigation and hazard identification.

Before we start booking accommodation, I’d like to gauge interest. Time is of the essence here as Scotland is a surprisingly popular place in February and things are booking up - so please reply to this thread by the end of the week if possible to let me know if you’re interested.

To that end, please could you let me know:
(a) How interested you are on a scale of 1-5 (5 being fully committed, 1 being I’ll only come if I have some kind of life altering experience)
(b) What dependencies might constrain you coming
© Whether you’re around for the whole week or only part - if we have a range of availabilities it may make sense to move lodging during the week

The provisional plan would be to rent a place near Fort William, with the possibility of moving somewhere else to mix things up a bit and see some more venues. This all depends on what’s available though. I’m keen to base ourselves somewhere where we can reach venues in the east and west in case conditions are variable, and also have somewhere comfortable to put our feet up after draining epics in the snow.

I think flying is the most sensible option, either to Glasgow or inverness depending on where we end up staying. Flights are around £45 plus luggage. We could then rent a few cars. Driving up is the other option, which I know has been done in the past.

You’ll need to bring your own, but there may be some generous folk out there will to lend some and rental is always an option.


I’m keen. I would like to join for the front side of the trip, aiming for at least 4 days of climbing (so, climbing 3 Feb through 6 Feb). My only contingencies are lining up the logistics- lodging, partners, etc. - for those abbreviated dates. Otherwise I am in.

I won’t be able to get holiday for the week since all winter time off is planned and more (1) but I’d be really keen to join for at least one weekend (4) or two (3), possibly staying one extra day (3).

Would that be possible? I’d be looking for a partner to go and try doing some stuff, probably around III / IV though maybe a bit harder.

Hi Guy,

I am very keen. See responses below.

(a) How interested you are on a scale of 1-5 (5 being fully committed, 1
being I’ll only come if I have some kind of life altering experience)
4. If I can make it happen I will… Didn’t get to Scotland last year and I
absolutely love it

(b) What dependencies might constrain you coming
I’ll have to work out how much leave I can get.

© Whether you’re around for the whole week or only part - if we have a
range of availabilities it may make sense to move lodging during the week
Probably only part. I also can’t at this stage say which part or for how
long. I could potentially stay in a separate hostel if necessary to make
accommodation easier for everyone else (though I would obviously much
rather stay with everyone!)

Seeing as I’ll not be there for the full time I would definitely be
thinking of flying and renting



Thanks for the responses so far - this is exactly the info I’m looking for.

Of course people can come for part of the week only. We can either book two different places for the first four or second four days or just book individually at a bunkhouse.

Keep them coming!

Thanks for picking up the reins on this Guy.

I’m definitely in for the whole week. In 2016 Rob booked us to go, but the weather conditions were so bad that we cancelled on the Wednesday and went to Cogne and had a brilliant week there instead. It would be good to retain that flexibility. I’ll drive and take touring & freeride skis if anyone is interested.

So, my abc is responses:-

  1. 4
  2. I’m free
    c) whole week + both weekends

If the weather is good i will drive up possibly both weekends … Standard Liz flaky response! :wink: i am off to the Alps on the 23rd ish Feb so need the practice! On which note will look to go up any decent weekends from now so let me know if keen (@dabarlow? Richard Haszko @khalidqasrawi) - happy to drive from my house/stations n of birmingham and have somewhere to stay the other end - keen for stuff grade III to Vish but anything considered :wink: liz

I’m still interested. I am Russian so probably self-sufficient in winter environment, however I have zero Scottish winter experience and I’ve never done winter climbing. Does it mean I can’t join cos I’ll be a pain for everyone?
Otherwise, my responses are:
a. 4
b. no dependencies apart from the lack of experience
c. whole week or part, flexible dates

If it gets snowy we can have a practice weekend in wales @tutu if we can also go play on some of my sport and trad projects in the rest of the year :wink:

Hi, thanks for organising, I’m aiming at getting up to Scotland this winter, used to climb to III/IV, but not been out proper winter climbing for a couple of seasons. Interested in trying skiing too. If it all goes wet then would be interested in Cogne etc.
a) 4
b) dog/childcare (should be no problem), self employed so flexible if booked
c) as long as possible! Self employed so flexible, especially if accom has wifi! Also up for a later season trip when the days are longer and snow is squeakier.

Accomm: getting one of the cottages at the Kimber’s would be my first choice, yes it’s right in FW, but it is pretty cheap, the drying room is industrial, there’s a bouldering cave, gear hire, good kitchens and you can get proper info on current conditions. Alternatively a bit further east somewhere like Roy Bridge for runs east to Cairngorms? Has to have decent drying room as far as I’m concerned!

Travel: may well take the van (would be going from Stroud)

Gear: fairly full winter rack, have spare set of Flys and C2 and C1 crampons


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@dizz_lizzie if it snows in Wales, that would be great! I was watching Ueli Steck’s speed ascents so I’m super inspired. Will be up for any sport or trad projects, too. I’ve still got some unused holidays left so, being unable to travel outside of the UK, could take a few days off in December (and in January I suppose) for a short British trip. Do people go to the cottage around Christmas?

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I’m keen for the whole week, also interested in skiing/touring and think the flexibility of heading to somewhere like Cogne if the weather is bad might be a good idea too.

  1. 4
  2. None
  3. Whole week

I often go up on boxing day …


I am keen for some winter climbing! Probably 4 on the scale, would probably be put off by terrible conditions, but otherwise would love to head up. However, can’t take a week - so would be good to link up with others who are keen for one or both weekends. Might also look at sleeper trains.

I have gear and ropes etc. (although not loads of ice screws). Probably psyched for III / IV, and will happily second V.

Woohoo winter

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Hi all,

I think as long as some one is happy to climb with me I’m looking to:

  • Fly up Friday night, pick up rental car, maybe grab an airport hotel
    (twin rooms are cheap…)

  • Climb Sat, Sun, Mon and Tue

  • Drive back to airport for as late a flight as I can book.

Much the same as Catrin I should be climbing III to IV, also happy belay on
and follow harder.

Also I’ve got gear but am low on screws

High in enthusiasm though :slight_smile:


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I have 4 decent screws (may get more before then) but in Scotland trad gear and maybe the odd peg as important or more so! Ok so i will “commit” to driving up one or both weekends if conditions not terrible … I have places to stay in roy bridge or poss aviemore/boat of garten (or my car!), so tho i will join you if it works that way, don’t include me in accommodation numbers just yet …

Hi guys,

Thanks for the responses. Great to see lots of people are keen!

I’ve attached a spreadsheet which should show where we are with numbers per/night. Some others have confirmed separately. Scotland trip.xlsx (11.0 KB)

Based on this I’ve been looking into accommodation. Unfortunately the Calluna isn’t available for the dates we’re looking at. I think at the moment the best options are:

Big Plush Lodge

Cheaper than you would think. Cost isn’t the main issue here it’s flexibility, as we’d need to pay upfront and cancellation is limited unless they can find someone else to fill your spot. There are some pretty sweet looking places though and pretty great for putting your feet up after a long day getting cold and wet: - Near Roy Bridge. 45 mins from North Face car park, 25 mins to Creag Megaidh and near a stop on the sleeper line. Looks v nice. Only problem is unpaved road approach and an hour from Fort William. About £90 each for the week. We’d need a few more people to commit before renting this one. It’s in Torlundy so well located. Has 6 fireplaces… Probably £140 each for the week.

Self Catering Chalet

These look decent and they currently have availability: Can cancel up to a week before. Near Fort William and Glen Coe. About £70 each for the week. They also have bunkhouse rooms

A combination

One option is to start in one location then move to the other half way through. Minimises cancellation cost and we’d get to see different areas. If we started in the plush lodge near Roy Bridge and moved to the chalets we could potentially climb in Glen Coe, Ben Nevis, Creag Megaidh and the Cairngorms.

Sorry for the long email! But grateful for views.



I’m also very keen. I can see I’m already in your spreadsheet :slight_smile:, but to respond to your questions:

(a) 4 (would be put off by horrific conditions)
(b) The only dependencies are that I need to get in some more experience before the trip (shouldn’t be an issue) and I’d need to line up a partner
© I’m keen to come for the whole trip

In terms of accommodation, I like the look of the big plush lodges… The idea of splitting between locations also sounds good to me, particularly if the numbers vary across the week.

just in case my message don’t get through. I suggest that those who have
nil or little experience of winter travel go on a course first at Glenmore
Fantastic teaching and experience. You will go though the whole gamut of
trek, climb survive etc. and walking up to café on Snowdon will be a doddle
in trainers in the winter (please don’t try!!) Allen B.

Did you all get ky message on our old Glen Feshie meets in the 1990s and
bejond. Cheers,
Allen Bordoley

I was hoping that growing up in the Ural mountains would give me a small advantage as a beginner but I guess I may need a course to avoid being a pain. It’s beyond my budget atm (since I have to buy all the winter gear as well) but I’ll see what happens in January. Unless someone would be kind enough to help me learn the basics beforehand? Or is it too complicated? I can watch a lot of winter skills videos but I doubt it would translate into real world experience.