7 Epic Mountain Adventures in Scotland

Ana RosbergMarch 20, 2020

Voted one of the most beautiful countries in the world, who wouldn’t want to travel to Scotland? With its broody landscapes of steep cliffs and moors and deep blue lochs, this rugged and stunning country in the United Kingdom, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west and flanked to the south by England, has captivated the hearts of adventurers and artists alike due to its beauty.  Furthermore, it is a rock climbing and hiking haven,  and its deep history and culture make it a fascinating place to discover and learn about.

Scotland is divided into three main regions. To the north, the famous Highlands and Islands are comprised of mountain massifs and ancient rocks. Then, the Central Lowlands is a rift valley with some interspersed hills. Finally, the Southern Uplands is a 200km range of hills and valleys.

Most rock climbing and hiking adventures take place in the Highlands, however, there is plenty to see and do in the whole country. Going with a certified guide is the best way to make sure you catch Scotland’s most mesmerizing spots and a good way to tackle some of the country’s more challenging climbs. Read about our favorite mountain adventures in this stunning location below, browse our selection of trips and guides in Scotland, and start planning an unforgettable adventure!

What to do? 7 Classic Tours in Scotland:

1. Ben Nevis

Photo courtesy of Scott
At 1,345 m.a.s.l, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Scotland. Located in the Highlands region, near Fort Williams, it is a classic and a great opportunity for hiking enthusiasts both to enjoy the adventure and the breathtaking views Furthermore, Ben Nevis is also known for the old abandoned meteorological observatory at its summit.
The north face of Ben Nevis is famous for its buttresses, ridges, towers, and pinnacles. On the Ben, you will find moderate, difficult, and very difficult climbing routes. The easiest is the Ledge Route, Tower Ridge is the longest and graded difficult, and the Observatory Ridge is the most difficult along with the North-east Buttress.
On this 1-day climb via the Ledge Route you can try the easiest way up, otherwise, for something a little more challenging, you can try this Tower Ridge ascent.

2. Skye Cuillin Munros

Photo courtesy of Euan
The Isle of Skye, to the north of Scotland, is renowned for its stunning landscapes, medieval castles, and quaint fishing villages. It is also known for the famous Cuillin range that comprises the Black and the Red Cuillin.
Because they are so rocky- the Black Cuillin mostly of gabro rock, the Red Cuillin of granite- they are a favorite amongst mountaineers that like to combine hiking with scrambling and rock climbing. And, with a wide variety of munros to choose from, there is also a wide variety of options for mountaineers and climbers of all levels.
On these hiking and climbing adventures in the Cuillin range, you will be able to arrange an itinerary to suit your preferences as you discover this stunning spot in Scotland.

3. Cuillin Ridge Traverse

Photo courtesy of Euan
The Cuillin Ridge Traverse involves crossing a challenging 12km ridge crest on a mountaineering adventure that combines scrambling and hiking. It is a unique but demanding program which means prior mountaineering experience is a must. The ridge itself takes around 16 hours to complete, weather permitting. However, we suggest a longer itinerary that contemplates some training days prior to tackling the whole traverse.
This 4-day Cuillin Ridge Traverse, hike and scramble, takes care of all the necessary prep work on days one and two to undertake the exposed and rugged Cuillin Ridge on either the third or the fourth day of the adventure.

4. Inn Pinn (Inaccessible Pinnacle)

Photo courtesy of Ken
Just the name of this stunning rock is enough to tantalize any experienced climber, but it’s not just the name. The thing itself rises up as the highest point of the Sgurr Dear. The path to the top is charming as you head on a rather friendly route with a beautiful waterfall on the way before you get to the, gulp, Inn Pinn.  It’s all rock climbing from then on, and a challenging climb at that, which will require you to be comfortable with heights. Then, the way back down involves abseiling.
Because this is a challenging mountaineering feat, it’s best done with an experienced certified guide. This Inn Pinn ascent in Skye Island includes harness and helmet and is the perfect program for those who would like to try their way up this thrilling mountaineering landmark in Scotland.

5. The Aonach Eagach

Aonach Eagach
Photo courtesy of Paul
Set in the Scottish Highlands, Aonach Eagach is considered to be the most difficult horizontal scrambling ridge in Scotland. It has two munro summits, and the full ridge spans a nice 10 kilometers that starts at the Pap of Glencoe to the west and ends at the Devil’s Staircase, the name says it all, to the east. The center of the route is very rocky and requires good scrambling abilities, and the slopes to the sides are steep and dangerous. Furthermore, the north and south sides of the ridge end in steep cliffs. Therefore, tackling this prickly stunner is best done in the company of a certified guide.
On this guided traverse of the Aonach Eagach, which includes helmet and harness, you will get proper instructions on the necessary techniques for this challenging adventure.
6. Curved Ridge
Photo courtesy of Euan

If Aonach Eagach is a bit much for you, then the Curved Ridge is definitely a good alternative. This Grade 3 route that leads to the summit of Stob Dearg in Buachaille is challenging, but manageably so, with good holds and breathtaking views. Scramblers visiting Scotland should definitely give it a go, and what better way than on one of these personalized climbing and scrambling tours? You will get all the guidance and tips you need to make the best of the Curved Ridge.

7. Winter climbing courses

Photo courtesy of Euan

If you would like to take the challenge up a notch and put your ice axe and crampons to good use, you can also try climbing the stunning Scottish mountains in the winter. Winter climbing is big, especially in the Highlands, though not a first choice for absolute beginners. However, if you have some experience under your belt, then this winter summit course might be just what you are looking for to take your skills to the next level. Or, if you are an advanced climber, then this advanced winter climbing course in Scotland is most definitely for you!

What is the weather like in Scotland?

There is a famous saying in Scotland that says: “I love summer in Scotland. It’s my favorite day of the year.” However, the truth is, although a chilly country, winter goes from December to March with the Highlands seeing winter lows of 0°C, and then, from June to September, it gets warmer with summer highs of 18°C. What you do need to prepare for is moody weather as you may get rain, sun and more all in one day.

How to get to Scotland?

Edinburgh Airport is the busiest in Scotland, handling around 12 million passengers per year. You can fly in from most European cities. To get to the Highlands,  the most direct flight is to Inverness Airport. You can also take a train from Glasgow and Edinburgh, or a bus, as well as rent a car and drive.

Start planning your Scotland adventure now and get ready to discover one of the most beautiful countries in the world! Scrambling, rock climbing, and hiking are all in-store, as well as breathtaking blue-green landscapes that you will never forget. Find the perfect guide at explore-share.com for your Scotland adventure!

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