/ Easier climbs in Glencoe with shortish walk ins
The approach is hardly that much shorter and its often more prone to avalanche risk. The route when you get there is big and complex.
The answer to the OP is to get fitter. Winter mountaineering often requires pulling a bit of unexpected effort out to get past unexpected difficulties and frankly if you are struggling to get to the climbs in SCNL (which I'd say is below average for a scottish winter approach) you probably shouldn't be on the route...go to Kinlochleven instead.
I apologise I just discovered you are 19....the answer is to man up: epic nightmare my arse. As we get older some of us have to work hard and be careful with tweaks to get winter fit.
I agree it's no epic nightmare, but it is a feckin tedious walk.
Where is that?
For sure, it has always been well worth it. Just don't enjoy it at the time. Actually, after the first time I've never felt the situation to be amazing until you emerge into the Coire, by which point the bastardness is over anyway.There aren't many views to be had in the lower part. Your own boots maybe, the step in front of you, somebody else's arse perhaps. And sweaty hairy climber arse at that.
To be honest, I think the walk-in to SCNL is one of the easiest in the Glen! I've always hated the Buachaille walk-in in comparison, even though it is shorter.
Ditto what Offwidth has said about fitness Euan, though you are quite right in that you have to start somewhere.
Unfortunately though I would argue that the SCnL approach is one of the easiest approaches to winter routes in Glencoe, or at least to ones that are reliably in condition. There are plenty of other grade II/III's around which are far less often climbed and less well-known but many of them involve quite long sections of steep, pathless and fairly complicated approach.
Somewhere to bear in mind is Coire nam Beith, though I dare say most would argue it is much worse than SCnL. It is steeper for its whole length, but in my opinion it is an "easier" approach as it gets you there quicker. That's my viewpoint though as someone who runs in these corries several times a week so it probably isn't representative.
Feel free to message me if you want anymore detailed info on conditions in the glen Euan, best wishes.
Bit harsh. The walk-in to SCNL is a b!tch. It may not be the longest, but as already said - very tedious.
> To be honest, I think the walk-in to SCNL is one of the easiest in the Glen! I've always hated the Buachaille walk-in in comparison, even though it is shorter.
I agree. SCNL is the easy walk in Euan. That's the walk in you go for when you can't be bothered with anything else. That's not to say it is easy all the time. The first walk in after the christmas/new year festive period last year up to SCNL I ended up spewing at the side of the path. :)
Oh God, I remember last October walking in to the north face of the Ben after a heavy night drinking at the Clachaig. Never felt so ill in my entire life! Heavy pack and big boots + hangover + out of practice = purgatory...
get yas head torch on and start earlier. Arrive at the start of a route just as getting light
Great way to start a day!!
If you are able to travel a bit further then for a good alternative (mid/late season) I think the approach to Creag Meagaidh is very easy indeed. It's fairly long I guess but apart from a short steep section at the start it is a romp.
All in your mind. I've never been a super fit climber so a bit of pain was always necessary for the rewards above. I never found it tedious: its a while before you lose the views of the wider glen and even then you have the views back when you stop for a breather and also the memories of the rock climbs opposite. Anyhow, those wanting more continuous views can climb the zig-zags (normally a scramble but great fun when in winter nick) and traverse the ridge to the corrie floor.
"to get fitter we have to start somewhere." Sorry, I missed that.
I led a Uni club beginners trip to Glencoe for 10 consecutive seasons. SCNL was a common start place. One thing you might be doing wrong is walking too quickly: a common problem with those starting off or in groups of mixed fitness. If you are working too hard you use too much energy reserves and get dehydrated, which is bad news and can be dangerous. A good test for pace is the ability to hold a conversation (which can also take your mind off things). We took people with little more than general beginners climbing fitness and got them out 5 days in a week quite commonly; at 19 your body gets fit fast providing you don't wimp out or overdo it.
I guess we'll just grin and bare the SCNL walk-in then! I'm too spoilt by road-side cragging over the summer :(
Thanks for all the advice everyone
Not Glen Coe, but Castle Ridge on the Ben, esp if you can get a friend with a key to the top car park! - 30-40 mins walking..
On thing I find with SCNL, it is prob only an hour 30 to the base of the coire, but it always looks really close from the road and never gets and closer!
Another route at the grade you are interested in would be Sron Na Larig, a decent walk in, but mostly low gradient
I don't like approaches at all but I just get my head down and grunt it out, its pretty much the only way to go at it. Plus the fact you get nice views approaching the hills (well sometimes)
I've never done the SCNL approach but what I have done in the Cuillin can be a bit of a killer.
dinnertime buttress walk in not too bad
watch out for the avalanche risk though
SCNL pretty short really, sron na lairig walk in was a good deal longer, even curved ridge felt longer, though i doubt it actually was
To everyone who calls the SCNL walk in tedious - WTF are you in the hills for in the first place ? you are amongst the most stunning hills in the UK. Get your eyes off your boots and look around you.
> To everyone who calls the SCNL walk in tedious - WTF are you in the hills for in the first place ? you are amongst the most stunning hills in the UK. Get your eyes off your boots and look around you.
That is a bit harsh. To be fair when you have done the walk into SCNL so many times there isnt any view. You are hemmed in by the Aonachs on either side. As said previously it only opens into wonder when you get the crampons on at the rock, get up that final slope and emerge into the coire.
I've always found the walk in to SNCL to e one of the easier ones in the area. Just head down and go, doesn't take too long. That said my husband hates it with a vengeance. He'd rather walk in to the Ben from the bottom carpark. I think that endless staircase up to SNCL must have a negative psychological effect on some people, while others can just ignore it and get on with it.
Fcuk you very much. Them being about half an hour down the road I am quite aware just how stunning those hills are.One of my very favourite places ever, and I get to see them first thing every morning as a picture of a pristine, snow covered SCNL under blue skies from dawn on my birthday last year is the wallpaper on my PC. So I know exactly WTF I am in the hills for thanks. As people have said above, to some of us it seems like a staircase with limited views, so really not that enjoyable, but as I pointed out, it's always well worth it. Personally much prefer the Ben and Creag Meagaidh walk ins, and even the Cuillin ones. So there.
You scould always go a different and more interesting way if thats a worry, over Aonach Dubh for instance.
You might have gathered this 'convenience' approach to mountains annoys me a bit.
Getting hill fit should be starting with big hill days through the summer :-)
Eeee that reminds me. I think the fittest I've ever been was when I were a young lad after walking around the Highlands for a fortnight one sunny May. We got accused of having run up Quinag by a walker.
Been downhill ever since mind...
I was also going to suggest Sron na Lairig.
Also (depending on your definition of 'Glencoe Area' this would be pushing it, but... the walk-ins to Creag Coire an Dothaidh and the NE Corrie of Beinn an Dothaidh at Bridge of Orchy are relatively amenable. That siad, if you drive from Glen Coe you could be half way up the SCnL path by the time you get there.
FWIW I tend to dislike the SCnL walk-in.
>"to get fitter we have to start somewhere"
It is a grotty decomposing erroded ravine. I don't have a massive urge to "savour the experience". It is a means to an end.
If I am going climbing in the coire why would I take a longer and harder approach? I get my enjoyment from the hills once I am up there in the coire, on a nice route and either basking in blue skies or battling spin drift.
You have no right to tell other people how to enjoy their "hill experience". Most people who have done the walk in to SCNL with a full winter pack, after mosr of the year's absence from the winter game are unlikely to enjoy the walk in and there is no shame in that. It is pretty unpleasent but we mostly just suck it up and think about what is ahead overtaking you standing half way up the approach sucking in the fresh mountain air and shouting the hills are alive with the sound of music.
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