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Scrambling Films for When You Can't go Scrambling

© Murray Wilkie

It may still be some time until we're able to set hand back to rock and get our kicks on Britain's classic scrambles. In the meantime, this collection of short videos should help stir those dreams of airy aretes and crazy pinnacles. From a spectacular alpine-like ridge hidden away in southern Snowdonia, to the moody heights of the Cuillin, the routes captured here span a fine variety of locations and grades.

The Inacessible Pinnacle

Filmed by Finalcrux Films for BMC TV, Mary-Ann Ochota faces her fears on the hardest of all Scottish Munros: Skye's infamous Inaccessible Pinnacle. Whether it's a daunting obstacle on your way to bagging all the Munros, a highlight of the Cuillin Ridge traverse, or an airy objective in its own right, the In Pinn is invariably thrilling. But what does Mary-Ann hope to get out of it? Well, thrills, for one...

Wrinkled Tower, Tryfan

Solo on a classic adventurous grade 3 scramble on the big, rambling west face of Tryfan. Wrinkled Tower has a reputation for difficulty and exposure, and is often (sensibly) treated as a roped rock climb. Only more competent climbers should consider going rope-free, as this short film makes fairly obvious. The vid gives a good flavour of the route, and though the headcam sequences are a bit hard to watch (when aren't they, in mountain films?), it's a creditable filming job for a solo scrambler from Beyond the Trail.

Camp and scramble on Aonach Eagach

A wild camp high on the ridge for prolific mountain film maker Murray Wilkie, then a sunrise traverse of the Aonach Eagach, out and back. Scottish days out don't get much better than this!

Slab and Notch, speed ascent

A bit of fun from John Fleetwood - a speeded-up, up-and-back dash onto the dramatic Pillar Rock, via the classic grade 3 scramble/Moderate rock climb of Slab and Notch, the easiest route to this famous Lakeland summit.

Sgurr Alasdair and Collie's Ledge

Murray Wilkie again, tackling the highest peak on Skye via the awful Great Stone Chute, and its next-but-one neighbour Sgurr Mhich Choinnich via the delightful Collie's Ledge, one of the most convenient - and spectacular - scrambler's dodges in the Cuillin. But Murray... keep yer helmet on!!

Summer solstice on Cyfrwy Arete

An excellent short vid from Snowdonia Adventure Activities, highlighting the airy quality of southern Snowdonia's greatest mountaineering route. Here a couple of fast soloists make an evening ascent of this classic ridge on Cadair Idris. Rope highly recommended, for most of us...

Ben Nevis via CMD Arete

"Ben Nevis via the CMD Arête is arguably the most enjoyable non-climber's route on Ben Nevis and to bivvy on the summit plateau, away from the crowds, was an all-round pretty awesome adventure" say wife-and-husband team On the Adventure Trails-Scotland. We often feature their films on UKHillwalking, and they invariably make the mountains look their best.

Blencathra via Sharp Edge

It's sharp, it's edgy, and it's highly photogenic. Joshua Paul Gardner makes a gorgeous-looking dawn ascent of Lakeland's finest easy scramble (arguably). The endless drone footage and bombastic soundtrack may not be to everyone's taste, but no red blooded scrambler could fail to feel inspired.

Learning to read the route on the Fiacaill Ridge

Glenmore Lodge instructor Derek Bain discusses route choice when scrambling. His venue for the day is the Fiacaill Ridge in Corrie an t'Sneachda. Short and easily accessible, and with a choice of lines from spectacular to gentle, it's an ideal route to practise skills on. Glenmore Lodge offer a range of summer hillwalking, scrambling and navigation courses. Let's hope they'll be an option by this summer!

Using the rope to protect a hard section of a scramble

Are you vaguely intimidated by ropes and shiny climbing gear, but want to know more? If you ever venture onto grade 2 or grade 3 scrambles then some gear and appropriate rope skills come highly recommended. Here's Derek Bain again, demonstrating how to take on the crux of a scramble using the rope to increase safety. For walkers this short film may help to start demystifying roped climbing, though of course one short vid is not a substitute for qualified instruction and plenty of careful real world practise!

For more lockdown entertainment, see:


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