Top recommended EASY Scottish winter route?

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 robnights 17 Dec 2019

After completing a 2-day winter skills course last year, and practicing a lot of navigation since, this Jan/Feb, three of us will be heading to Scotland to head out on our own to put our skills to the test.

We don't want anything too technical, but it'd be nice to find a couple of routes that look impressive and give a little bit of a navigational challenge, but don't generally pose any real danger.

What would your top route recommendations be for relative beginners like us?

I'm currently looking through the UKC easy winter logbook, but was hoping other forum members might have some alternative recommendations, too.


 aln 17 Dec 2019
In reply to robnights:

Walking routes or climbing routes?

 olddirtydoggy 17 Dec 2019
In reply to robnights:

2 Ben Nevis routes:

CMD arete is like a bigger version of Swirrel/Striding in the lakes.

Ledge route involves a bit more technical movement and protection using gear.

 mysterion 17 Dec 2019
In reply to robnights:

In the Cairngorms I would be going for Aladdin's Couloir. Fairly easy to get to.

 Michael Gordon 17 Dec 2019
In reply to mysterion:

Or, much better, Black Spout or Raeburn's Gully on Lochnagar.

In reply to robnights:

Beinn Alligin is superb route, albeit a graded climbed. 

Tarmachan ridge is quite a surprisingly nice day out. Probably a good choice if you are getting into winter walking/climbing as it doesn't really pose any danger and it's relatively short day. 

I wouldn't look down at Cobbler either. 

In reply to robnights:

Just buy the book - or put it on your Xmas list!

Scotland's Mountains with One Axe -

They are listed here:


 daWalt 17 Dec 2019
In reply to robnights:

if, I understand your wants correctly, you're after an impressive walk - the "ungraded" routes listed here probably fit the bill (some already mentioned above)

personally i'd recommend:

Tarmachan Ridge, Ballachulish

E Ridge of Ben a Chaorainn if you want a step up to slightly more serious.

 Simon Caldwell 18 Dec 2019
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

> They are listed here:

Don't know whose ticklist that is, but it needs changing to replace Black Carls (summer) with the winter version

In reply to robnights:

It sounds very much like you're after walks rather than roped climbs? Something impressive looking but only borderline-technical in mountaineering terms? In that case I'd point you to the UKH Route cards:

There have been some good recommendations already so here's some more route-specific info:

Tarmachan Ridge:

Beinn a' Bheithir: (the round described here includes an ascent of 'Schoolhouse Ridge', grade I... but also points to a non-graded alternative)

Bidean nam Bian, a big traverse:

Stob Ghabhar via the (other) Aonach Eagach ridge

Big skills-stretching winter walks through impressive terrain don't have to involve ridges of course. Here are a couple that you'd be likely to find challenging/worthwhile:

Creag Meagaidh:

Braeriach: be honest it sounds from the tone of your post as if pretty much any winter Munro day would fit your needs. Apologies if I'm under-estimating the group's experience there.

If you did want to move up a notch from the borderline walking/mountaineering ridges to slightly more challenging grade I stuff then these would all be good places to start:

Coire Gaothach side of Ben Lui. The classic choice is a circuit of the two ridges enclosing the corrie (go up the left hand one, as it's steeper). This route card doesn't tackle the more scrambly ground but should give a good impression of the hill:

Traverse of Beinn Alligin:

CMD arete:

Ring of Steall:

Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean:

There are loads more days along those lines of course, but that should get you started...

And for some more inspiration/information, a few articles from the archives.

Winter ridges for walkers and mountaineers

Grade I winter, 12 must-do routes:

Classic Winter, CMD arete:

Winter walker to winter climber - here's how:

10 serious mistakes winter walkers make:

Winter essentials for beginners pt1:

Winter essentials for beginners pt 2:

Winter essentials for beginners pt 3:

 robnights 19 Dec 2019
In reply to aln: walking  

 robnights 19 Dec 2019
In reply to aln: walking  

 robnights 19 Dec 2019
In reply to robnights: thanks so much for all the recommendations! I’ll take a look through all of these at the weekend!  

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