Loading Notifications...

Scottish Winter Starts Early

© Martin McKenna

The Scottish Highlands have seen their first burst of cold weather this season, briefly bringing some higher mixed routes into condition. Unfortunately this short cold snap looks to be transient, with freezing levels once again forecast to rise above the summits by the weekend. But Scottish winter is all about seizing the moment, and true to that spirit new routes have already been climbed.

Coire an Lochain with its winter coat on the 31st of October  © Martin McKenna
Coire an Lochain with its winter coat on the 31st of October
© Martin McKenna

The usual early season venues were the predictable goal of the few who chose to venture out. Coire an t'Sneachda and Coire an Lochain were a popular choice over the period, with ascents of well-travelled lower and middle grade routes. Outside the Northern Corries the majority of winter routes seeing attention have generally been of a more mountaineering style, such as the classic ridges.

Calum Hicks on pitch 1 of Overseer Direct
© Martin McKenna

NOMICs on early season Scottish mixed
© Calum Hicks

Mike Lates and Stephan Wrede however broke the mold with a new grade VI, "Tour de Force", in the Cuillin climbed on the 28th of October! Is this a seasonal record for Skye? Timing conditions on Skye is hard enough in mid winter, so finding a new route like this at the end of October is certainly impressive in its own right.

On the same day a second new route was also climbed, on the increasingly popular Creagan Coire Cha-no. Roger Webb, Martin Hind and Simon Richardson ventured up and after a difficuit start with conditions found a part of the crag both in condition and hitherto-unclimbed, creating "The Edge of Profanity", V 7. More details on both these ascents can be found on Simon Richardson's blog, Scottish Winter.

This season is also the first since the new CIC Hut webcam went live. This great resource, provided by the SMC, will help us all keep up to date on conditions on The Ben, and is updated half-hourly via the CIC Hut Webcam twitter page.

As always another good way to keep track of conditions is via the UKC Winter Conditions page which has already started showing a number of ascents - many thanks to Mountain Equipment for their continued support of the page. You can also get direct links to all the latest Mountain Forecasts including MWIS, Met Office, the SAIS, and (where applicable) the BMC Turf Monitor.

The SMC Northern Corries guidebook package is also available via Rockfax App.

Rockfax and SMC collaboration - example 2

Rockfax and SMC collaboration - example 1

Rockfax and SMC collaboration - example 3

This post has been read 10,098 times

Return to Latest News

Support UKC

We need your help.

UKClimbing is a vibrant web site with rich content and an amazing community. So far, all we've asked of you is that you visit and interact with the site but we are in uncertain times. We need to look at ways to keep the site moving forward whilst maintaining our key aim of allowing free access to everyone to our main content. The site will continue to be mainly funded by a subtle level of outdoor-only advertising but we now need extra support to ensure we can continue to provide the UKC that we all know and love.

You can help us by becoming a UKC Supporter. This can be in a small way or in a larger package that includes discounted products from our sister-publishing company Rockfax.

If you appreciate UKClimbing then please help us by becoming a UKC Supporter.

UKC Supporter

  • Support the website we all know and love
  • Access to a year's subscription to the Rockfax App.
  • 30% off Rockfax guidebooks
  • Show your support UKC Supporter badge on your profile and forum posts

Can I put together a similar article about the recent spell of good Gritstone conditions ;-)


1 Nov, 2018

It's Mike Lates I think you'll find - though he is from the Lakes.

1 Nov, 2018

That's actually not the first time I've done that... Thanks! (Sorry Mike!)


I deserved that really didn't I...

More Comments
Facebook Twitter Copy Email LinkedIn Pinterest