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Black Mount Winter Experience


About Us

We are passionate about the natural world and its beautiful wild places.

We have a deep respect and appreciation for the environment and a love for adventure and silent human-powered sports.

More about us

Our Winter Hillwalking trips take place in the Glen Coe and Black Mount region.

Weather conditions play a key role in planning, safety and route choice, and will always dictate the final location on the day.

There are 282 mountains in Scotland over 914m / 3000ft. We are in these mountains year round exploring and guiding clients to summits in wild and remote locations.

During the winter season we focus on the iconic summits of the Western Highlands.

Winter in the Scottish mountains is a serious and highly rewarding undertaking. Reduced daylight, snow and continually changing conditions in wild and remote locations make for a real mountaineering adventure.

We love the idea that many people don’t know where Black Mount is: It’s remote and wild and lies north of Glen Orchy and is connected to Glen Coe by Glen Etive.

A complex mass of summits, ridges and corries, its highest point is the remote summit of Stob Ghabhar at 1090m. Accessed via steep scree fields and the “little” Aonach Eagach Ridge which crowns a giant corrie surrounded by rocky slopes and steep cliffs.

Few people venture here where there is a great sense of calm and solitude with only the ravens for company.

The views across the wilds of Rannoch Moor and towards Glen Coe are spectacular. Thousands of lochans, remote rivers and streams pepper its 50 sq. miles of Special Conservation Area.

To the west Ben Cruachan sits on the horizon with the Western Isles beyond.

Your professional guide in a group of no more than 6 will focus on how to use an ice axe and crampons and how to navigate safely through steep terrain often under snow.

The emphasis will be on winter skills, mountain weather forecasts, avalanche awareness, navigation, accurate decision-making and building confidence in the mountains to become your own independent adventurer.

Recent Black Mount Winter Mountaineering Trips

winter mountaineering looking towards Glen Coe from Stob Ghabhar in Blackmount Bridge of Orchy

Capturing the moment on the summit of Stob Ghabhar, Black Mount

little aonach eagach stob ghabhar scotland

Traversing the "little Aonach Eagach" on Stob Ghabhar in Black Mount

mountaineer scotland

Goggles keeping out the wind and spindrift on Stob Ghabhar at 1090m

winter ridge mountain scotland

The spectacular summit ridge on Stob Ghabhar in full winter conditions

winter scotland

Pausing for a moment on a frozen snowfield in Black Mount by Bridge of Orchy

climbing in the snow glen coe

Perfect winter hillwalking conditions in Black Mount by Bridge of Orchy

Himali jacket winter ascent glen coe Scotland

Frozen winter conditions high up on Stob Ghabhar in remote Black Mount

winter mountaineering glen coe

Making our way to the summit of Stob Ghabhar in atmospheric winter conditions

climbers glen coe Scotland

Snow, sunshine, clouds and spindrift in atmospheric Black Mount

If you’re thinking about booking a Winter Hillwalking Experience with Ocean Vertical, don’t hesitate – you won’t regret it! After a few days of snow had fallen in the Highlands we booked at short notice and had a brilliant day on Stob a’Choire Odhair with Stevie.

Conditions – and Stevie’s choice of mountain given the mixed forecast – were perfect. We learnt a huge amount about being in the mountains in winter (planning, decision-making, use of equipment) and had a whole lot of fun in the process. The smiles at the summit said it all! Stevie took the time to find out what we all wanted from the day and managed the different levels in our group really well, giving just the right level of support and encouragement to the less confident (me!) as well as the right level of challenge to the more confident.

The pick up and drop off service is great; it means you arrive at the hill fresh (and can snooze on the way home after the day’s adventures… )

Looking forward to our next OV trip!

Jenny | Edinburgh

Visiting Scotland and finding myself with a free day and needing a quick mountain fix, Ocean Vertical arranged a 15 km Scottish winter mountaineering experience to Stob Ghabhar by the Little Aonach Eagach for me in typical Fall / winter conditions, lots of grey swirling cloud giving epic glimpses of Rannoch Moor and the Glen Coe mountains.

Highly professional with lots of advice and crucially encouragement; and they got me there and back from Edinburgh. I’d definitively use Ocean Vertical for my next fix when I visit Scotland again; inordinately recommended!

Brian | New York

What a day! Spectacular weather and views. Lots of snow and it was freezing! First time with an ice axe and crampons. The guys at Ocean Vertical were brilliant. We talked about planning, decision-making, navigation and how to use our technical equipment – I now know how to fit a crampon! Huge thanks and will be back!

Karen | Edinburgh

First time with an ice axe and crampons! What a day in the Glen Coe mountains with Ocean Vertical. It was absolutely breath taking with amazing views and lots of snow! Feeling a lot more confident after this trip and cant wait to get out again….. Brilliant!

Sally | Edinburgh

Best Hogmanay Ever!!!!

Ended 2019 by climbing up Stob Ghabhar in the Black Mount region close to Glen Coe with @ocean_vertical and @etjo17 and I loved it from start to finish. The weather was clear and crisp, making for phenomenal views for miles around. Our guide @the_stevie_boyle was brilliant – full of knowledge, encouraging, and general all round top bloke! They got us there and back from East Lothian and provided us with all the kit. If you haven’t already been on an @ocean_vertical experience then I highly recommend you do…you won’t regret it!

Suzanne | Edinburgh

Had a super day out in the hills (fairly big hills) with OV. Both Stevie & Adrian are experts what they do, complimenting any anxiety with understanding and calmness. Nothing was any trouble for these two.

Myself and those I climbed with were put at ease from the walk in to the walk out. We were given time to eat, rest and to absorb the splendour and majesty of those hills!

I learned so much in one day from map reading, to weather reading, even that apple cores & bananas do not decompose as fast as we think… take them home!

More importantly and as someone who has an irrational fear of heights I was reminded ‘your feet never leave the ground’ Even if the trajectory is steep, your feet are still planted. Thank you, I look forward to my next Scottish winter mountaineering adventure with you OV.


Lisa | East Lothian

Just back from a day with Stevie and Adrian. Both are masters of there trade. Making sure everyone was comfortable and understanding the terrain. I felt in very safe hands on my first winter mountaineering day out with the boys.

I would highly recommend Ocean Vertical to everyone thinking of winter mountaineering in Scotland. Both guys’ are very knowledgeable of mountains and the surrounding areas. I’ll definitely be back out with Ocean Vertical very soon!

Kev | Newcastle

Fantastic day out with Stevie and Adrian today climbing Stob Ghabhar. Scottish winter mountaineering at its best! These guys really know their stuff and I felt in very safe hands for my first venture up to this height in winter.

Amazing experience and I learned to use an ice axe and crampons! to be repeated! Highly recommended!

Caroline | Edinburgh

Trip Overview

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November - April

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10-12 hours

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Meeting Point

6.30am. Ingliston Park and Ride EH28 8LS by Edinburgh Airport [Or Wallyford Park and Ride EH21 8BU at 6am / or contact us]

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Minimum Age


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Total Distance

10 - 15km

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Mountaineering Time

5-8 hours

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Group Size

Maximum 6

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Minimum Number


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If the weather is unsafe your Guide will choose an alternative mountain location

What’s included (and not)


  • Experienced & qualified guide
  • Ice Axe
  • Crampons
  • Helmet
  • 25L rucksack
  • Transport to and from the mountains.

Not Included

  • Winter mountaineering boots - crampon compatible
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Warm clothing
  • Hat and gloves
  • Lunch

Optional extras

  • Premium winter mountaineering boots - Scarpa Manta. Hassle free - we bring them to you. £15

What to bring with you

Winter mountaineering boots - crampon compatible

Waterproof trousers

Please do not use cotton clothing

Wool socks

Base layer

Gloves – plus spares

Lightweight fleece

Warm hat – plus spare

Fleece or soft-shell jacket

Spare fleece / warm top

Trousers – synthetic that dry quickly

Lunch, snacks and liquid

Waterproof jacket with hood

Trip map

Edinburgh to Black Mount / 91.5 miles (147.2 km)

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