/ Expedition in Scotland

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smuffy on 22 Jun 2012
Planning on a week of winter climbing in Scotland early 2013 but with flexibility and hopefully a mini expedition sort of event .Would ideally like to pick a fairly remote area, have a good long walk in, set up for a wild camp (with all suitable equipment of course) and then hopefully spend a couple of days exploring and playing on ridges, gullys and ice up to grade iv.
I fully appreciate that trying to pick a week and a location is going to be difficult to say the least but due to work committments I have to pre-book the weeks holiday in advance.Any ideas as to the the area and the time of year where I am most likely to get the better conditions?
I will keep the plan flexible and have a fairly large vehicle to move about at will so West coast, cairngorms and Torridon are all areas that I could move around in dependent upon weather. Not knowing Scotland that well I'm really after a little advice and help with my plan. All ideas welcome.
Having wild camped in Snowdonia on multi day trips in winter in some terrible weather I think I'm prepared for anything but am I going to encounter anything in Scotland that I haven't envisaged. If the weather or conditions aren't great then I would accept hill walking in the rain as second best and be happy to retire to a local pub/B&B.
ablackett - on 22 Jun 2012
In reply to smuffy: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3149

Creag Meagaidh sounds like it will fit the bill. I have never been there, but it is a bit remote. Not sure about the ridges.

I would imagine it would be pretty rough getting wet and cold all day with no option of pub to dry out. Good luck!
peterd - on 22 Jun 2012
In reply to smuffy:

if you want to do a multi-day trek in Scotland in winter, staying in a bothy may be a better alternative than camping. The nights can be long and cold; if your gear is wet (quite likely) then staying in a tent can become an ordeal in itself.
James S - on 22 Jun 2012
In reply to ablackett: lochnagar could be a good bet in the cairngorms? good flat areas to pitch your tent right next to an abundance of climbing. Quite remote with a good couple hour walk-in and thats from a carpark in the middle of no-where too! Ive been in twice (midweek) and didnt see anyone else at all. As for when I'm no expert on that really having only had one season climbing in scotland this winter but maybe a week mid/late january?
I like climbing - on 23 Jun 2012
In reply to smuffy:
I'd suggest the Cairngorms would be the best chance of getting what you want.
Kevin Woods - on 23 Jun 2012
In reply to smuffy: Agree about the Gorms. And a lot of bothies as well, got multiple areas to choose from as well as multiple bothies in different areas.
Kevin Woods - on 23 Jun 2012
In reply to smuffy: Said bothies twice..... Really off the beaten trail go to Coire Mor bothy below Seana Bhraigh at Ullapool mercy to the west coast and low altitude. But there's stonking cliffs there if you got the conditions.
Harry Holmes - on 23 Jun 2012
In reply to smuffy: West is best! Id probably go to an teallach or something similar. alternatively going somewhere near breariach would be remote and probably abit more reliable for conditions
CurlyStevo - on 23 Jun 2012
In reply to smuffy: I also think the forms would be best. Hutchison hut is possibility or perhaps camping at loch Avon basin, or corrie etchacan.
Trangia - on 23 Jun 2012
In reply to smuffy:

Knoydart
Eric9Points - on 23 Jun 2012
In reply to smuffy:

Go with the weather but you might consider the corrie below Aonach Beag and Choinich Mor. That face of Aonach Beag is very big, rarely visited and has a number of long winter routes on it.

The next Corrie to the East contains the crags of Stob Coire An Laoigh which would also be accessible from that location but the grades there start at IV.

As mentioned previously Seanna Bhraigh would be a good trip but best approached by bike.
AndrewHuddart - on 23 Jun 2012
In reply to Trangia:

Top of my winter tick list for next season but seems very fickle where conditions are concerned
ben b - on 23 Jun 2012
In reply to smuffy: Ben Alder from Dalwhinnie. Good bothy not too far away if the weather becomes unbearable. The Leachas' for easy ridges and I've always fancied the Lancet Edge in winter....

Have a great trip!

b
almost sane - on 23 Jun 2012
In reply to smuffy:

Another vote for bothies.

But this far in advance I wouldn't decide upon an area. You won't know until the time what areas have good climbing, or indeed if there is any snow at all and perhaps mountain biking would be a better bet.

I think it is better to search out some good venues for various options:
if there is climbing west and not east
if there is climbing east and not west
if there is good climbing on the islands (rare, especially for Arran or Rum, so worth snapping at if it happens)
if there is good climbing everywhere
if there is no climbing anywhere
Trangia - on 24 Jun 2012
In reply to hindu:

You could say that about much of the west coast! :)

I had a great 8 day winter trip there combination of wild camping and bothies. We came into Inverie on the ferry. We climbed most of the main peaks in winter conditions, firstly from a camp near Ladhar Bheinn, then Sourlies Bothy (with it's resident sabre toothed mouse which ate holes into our sacks and food!), then we walked out to Glen Finnan to catch the train back.

Absolutely fabulous! Was very cold, so we expended a lot of energy and got very hungry. In spite of taking a generous amount of carbohydrates we had run out by day 8!
smuffy on 25 Jun 2012
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to hindu)
>
> You could say that about much of the west coast! :)
>
> I had a great 8 day winter trip there combination of wild camping and bothies. We came into Inverie on the ferry. We climbed most of the main peaks in winter conditions, firstly from a camp near Ladhar Bheinn, then Sourlies Bothy (with it's resident sabre toothed mouse which ate holes into our sacks and food!), then we walked out to Glen Finnan to catch the train back.
>
> Absolutely fabulous! Was very cold, so we expended a lot of energy and got very hungry. In spite of taking a generous amount of carbohydrates we had run out by day 8!

That sounds like a fantastic trip!
JohnnyW - on 25 Jun 2012
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to hindu)
>
Sourlies Bothy (with it's resident sabre toothed mouse which ate holes into our sacks and food!), then we walked out to Glen Finnan to catch the train back.
>

He's a wee bugger isn't he? I saw him (or at least his handiwork) after he chewed through a chap's rucksack side pocket to get at an orange! I have stayed in countless bothies, but have never had such pestilence as at Sourlies. I reckon Dick van Dyke must have stayed there when he imagined a mouse with clogs on!! ;o) My mate Sean got the hammock..... :o(
weejimmy - on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to smuffy:

As others have said winter climbing and camping in scotland in winter can be a bit of a trial, i would also suggest bothies unless you have a very stable cold period where you can brush down the snow and it isnt going to get everywhere in your tent...in my experience and unless you love being miserable then if the conditions are at all damp then bothies with a fire are the way to go. I walked into the hutchieson hut this winter in a sleet/snow storm and got soaked and could not get my stuff dry again!
SeasonalDrip on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to smuffy:
Another vote for the gorms here, I think its great whatever the conditions. I went last winter with similar expectations. Unfortunately for me after a week or 2 of snow and freezing conditions, Mr sun decided to melt most of it just before I arrived, I had the same issue with annual leave so had to take a stab in the dark and book it around September. We stayed at the corror bothy for a night or 2 but mainly intended on wild camping. Towards the end of the trip we were hit by the worst winds I've ever seen (gusty too), which took out 2 of our tents. We ended up spending a very cold and uncomfortable night in a leaky emergency bothy (I forget the name). As horrible as this may sound we actually really enjoyed it, plugging up.the holes with screwed up mars bar wrappers ;). The moral of the story; always try to have a few backup plans. Know your escape routes and maintain your sense of adventure :). P.s. there's a lot to be said for bothys, I used to shun them a bit for being the easy option and full of softies ;) having tried them though they are actually well worth considering. It's great to be able to be able to move around freely and hang your soggy kit up to dry. The corrur even has a toilet!.
Martin W on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to JohnnyW:

> I reckon Dick van Dyke must have stayed there when he imagined a mouse with clogs on

1) You're probably thinking of Ronnie Hilton.
2) The song you are referring to states that the encounter with the be-clogged mouse was real, not imagined, and took place in a windmill in old Amsterdam, not the Sourlies bothy. That's not to suggest that the mouse in question never visited the West Highlands on its holidays - after all, everyone knows what's grey with a trunk.
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JohnnyW - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to Martin W:

I did indeed, but my memories of Stewpot on a Saturday morning have misted with time...... ;o)
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