/ Scottish winter without a vehicle
I'm based in Edinburgh, and looking to get out to do some easy winter routes, but lack a vehicle. Wondered if people had good recommendations of accessible routes/venues that could be reached by train and bike or bus? The arrochar alps are definitely an option, Aviemore and the ski bus, corrour and a fair walk, into the ben from fort william - just looking to tap the wealth of experience on here for ideas of how to make the best out of limited time and daylight!
SW highlands, get train to Bridge of Orchy and walk
Go to Ben Udlaidh if there is ice, if not go to Creag Coire an Dothaidh
Cairngorms are easily accessible by train and bus (train to Aviemore, bus to ski station) From there loads of different crags are available, depending on how much you enjoy walking.
Ben Nevis, get train to Fort William
Glencoe, you can get a megabus/citylink thing to Glencoe village (ask them and they will dump you anywhere on that road though)
While Scottish winter sans car is possible it is so much easier to drive/get a lift.
Hope that helps, good luck.
Options (and this is advice for a general audience as you probably have explored these already):
1. Join a climbing club and get lifts with folk in exchange for petrol money, belays and banter. Or try the lifts and partners forum here on UKC.
2. If you need to use public transport, going away for longer trips will make the most of the longer travel time - a couple of nights away will allow two decent days, rather than away and back in a day with only time for a short day on the hill.
The Ben Alder area is good for a weekend trip: train to Dalwhinnie, flat-ish cycle to the bothy. Long & Short Leachas and Alderwand on Ben Alder, Lancet Edge just across the way, lots of ice in the corrie behind that. If you like a nice long walk, you can go right through to Corrour station but getting a bike along there would be a pain in the backside once you're off the stalker's path.
Find some climbing partners with cars? Your options are quite limited without.
Er, Beinn Udlaidh is at least 5 miles down the road from Bridge of Orchy station.
Take a bike and hope the road is clear?
In addition to Ben Nevis, Glen Coe, Bridge of Orchy, Rannoch Station etc there are buses that pass through Arrochar, Aberfeldy, Crianlarich etc - in short there are loads of opportunities, and if you find other motivated climbers you should get a good range of opportunities to get out and about.
It's true, and for the first 14 years of my mountaineering life I shared their travails. Then I bought my first car and it became immeasurably easier - I'm probably a bit bigoted as a result.
Train to Tyndrum & Ben Lui central gully would work quite well. Again, bike useful on the approach.
I think this topic somes up every year, and there is always loads of advice, both good and bad. I've been in Edinburgh 4 years now with no car, and after a fair few mini epics (many without even getting to the hill I was aiming for) I can safely say that finding partners with cars is the best option.
I am a keen hitch hiker, but in the Highlands in winter its a bit of a tall ask. It also means that the 3 hour drive to the start of the walk in requires a day set aside, as does the return. It shouldn't take that long but sometimes it does.
Public transport always seems to get you close but not quite there, and again takes twice as long as a private car.
Joining a club might work, I've never really tried it. The best option I've found is making a plan with someone on UKC or at your local climbing wall! Sometimes you even become friends afterwards.
Without a private car, any Highlands winter trip becomes an adventure, which is really cool, but not good for getting much actual climbing done, and also very bad for getting back in time (and a fit state) for work on Monday.
I did the Aviemore train ski bus combo the other week. Main problem was that the 1st bus leaves quite late (like 7:30am) but overall works really well.
Many Thanks for all the advice, It seems like either getting a decent length trip is needed, or finding friendly folk with cars.
Keep your eyes peeled in the partners section ;)
Leave Edinburgh Waverley 1742h Friday night, arrive Aviemore 2025h. Go to Pub. Eat. Go to hostel. Sleep. Get first Bus up to Ski area 0730h be in a Northern Corrie by 0900h, complete at least two routes, get bus back down, go to pub, eat, sleep, get first bus up to Ski area 0730h be in a Northern Corrie by 0900h, complete at least two routes, get bus back down, get train at either 1710h or 1930h if you have an epic to be back in Edinburgh either 2030h or 2230h.
Similar adventures possible from Buchanan St Bus station to Arrochar, Glen Coe, Ben Nevis etc. Secret Bivvies in the Coe are a Bonus but not entirely essential!
Camping is great sometime, and if you camp away from the pub that gets round the warming temptation to go in all evening! I did most of trip to the Ben camping up towards the CIC, but if can be rough in harsh weather.
getting the same train in the morning/night, you can get to tyndrum lower station to do ben lui in a day, which i did last week. excellent day out.
more day hits are probably possible, just haven't tried them yet.
might be a good option? I'm pretty sure a couple of UKC'ers are members
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