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Preparing for Winter Hillwalking in Scotland

THE BEST OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN SCOTLAND - HILLWALKING IN THE AUTUMN

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

Are you looking for some of the best outdoor adventure activities in Scotland?

If you are looking to make the transition from hillwalking in the warmer months to winter hillwalking in Scotland, then this course is for you.

This course takes place during the autumn from October to November, before the arrival of winter later in December. It’s a great way to learn about and experience the core skills for winter hillwalking in Scotland.

Late autumn in the Scottish mountains.

Autumn is a magical time of year to be high up hillwalking in the highlands of Scotland. October brings bright skies, often dry weather and the first frosts. The colors are simply breathtaking as nature prepares for winter, and the haunting call of rutting stags fills the Glens.

As with all outdoor adventure activities in Scotland, the final location will depend on the weather. Our primary aim will be to summit one of the spectacular mountains in the Glen Coe and Black Mount region.

Safe winter hillwalking skills.

We will use this journey to the summit as our “real” training ground to demonstrate live situations and techniques required for safe winter hillwalking in Scotland.

Working in a small group of no more than six your professional guide will focus on;

– Pre planning for your winter hillwalking day
– How to understand the weather conditions
– Route choice
– Winter hillwalking kit list
– Navigation and map reading
– Demonstration of winter equipment

Welcome to the start of your winter hillwalking journey. And as with all Ocean Vertical adventure tours in Scotland, we will provide transport to and from the mountains.

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Customer Reviews

Thoroughly enjoyed another trip mountaineering to stunning Glen Coe with the highly experienced team at Ocean Vertical. With transparent and on-going risk assessment, Stevie and Adrian strive to provide their adventurers with the best experience in the conditions available – adapting where necessary with their extensive knowledge of the area. Whether it’s been paddle boarding, climbing or mountaineering in Scotland, I have always had a safe and truly rewarding experience. Can’t wait to get out with them again!

Ruth | East Lothian

What a adventure climbing with Ocean Vertical in Glen Coe!. Not being an experienced climber the guides led us to the top of a very snowy mountain with knowledge experience and skill. Mesmerised by the views I am already looking to book my next trip. There is a whole other world in those mountains – epic day. They also provided transport, ice axes, crampons and boots!

Sarah | North Berwick

Ocean Vertical is brought together by people who live and breathe the mountain and outdoor life to the full extent. I have spent an absolutely amazing time with Stevie and Adrian and Ocean Vertical climbing in the Scottish mountains.

The practical and technical information they pass on to people is truly their passion, and it is felt on the journey, in the mountains and their lifestyle. That you Ocean Vertical – 5 stars :]

Dianaliis | Estonia

Amazing day out winter mountaineering in Scotland in the snow with Stevie and Adrian yesterday. We learned loads of new techniques including how to use crampons and an ice axe! Feeling more confident in managing Scottish winter conditions and looking forward to getting another day out with them soon.

Ciara | Edinburgh

Had a fantastic day out learning basic mountaineering under the tutorage of Stevie and Adrian. Lots of knowledge shared on key skills for the mountain, as well as having a go with crampons and ice axe for the first time.

Felt safe at all times and throughout the day the guys did a fantastic job make sure the pace was suitable for the whole group.

Brilliant value for money, will definitely do again very soon and can’t recommend enough!

Pete | Haddington

I was working in Edinburgh and planned to do some walking with a group of friends. A colleague recommended Ocean Vertical. I called but they were booked out, had a call-back and they coordinated a mountain trip for us!
A day later, I was standing 3,500 feet up on Stob Coire nan Lochan in snow and ice looking out over the most incredible scenery in Glen Coe, a brilliant trip that I couldn’t have accessed without Stevie and Adrian who were fabulous guides. Totally recommend!

Angus | London

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

I thought we were mad getting up for a 3.30am start to go winter hillwalking! I now know why we did it. Watching the winter sunrise over Glen Coe was pretty special. Would I do it again? I’m already booked in for my next trip!

Emily | Edinburgh

Enjoyed a great day in early January with Stevie and Adrian bagging 3 Munro’s – Ben Lawers, An Stuc and Beinn Ghlas.

Great to have the knowledge to take us on the less trodden route to the top of Ben Lawers, help negotiate the atmospheric conditions on the day and give us options for climbs. Thanks, guys! Looking forward to the next winter mountaineering in Scotland trip!

Gary | East Lothian

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

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

Thoroughly enjoyed another trip to stunning Glen Coe with the highly experienced team at Ocean Vertical. With transparent and ongoing risk assessment, Stevie and Adrian strive to provide their adventurers with the best experience in the conditions available – adapting where necessary with their extensive knowledge of the area. Whether it’s been paddle boarding, climbing or mountaineering, I have always had a safe and truly rewarding experience. Can’t wait to get out with them again!

Ruth | East Lothian

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

Trip Overview

Trip Overview

Availability

October - December

Trip Overview

Duration

10-12 hours including travel

Trip Overview

Difficulty

Moderate

Trip Overview

Language

English

Trip Overview

Meeting Point

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

Trip Overview

Minimum Age

14

Trip Overview

Total Distance

6 - 13km

Trip Overview

Mountaineering Time

5-8 hours

Trip Overview

Summit

Varies

Trip Overview

Group Size

Maximum 6

Trip Overview

Minimum Number

3

Trip Overview

Weather

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

What’s included (and not)

Included

  • Experienced & qualified guide
  • 25L rucksack
  • Ground transportation at the beginning & end of the trek

Not Included

  • Mountaineering boots
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Warm clothing
  • Hat and gloves
  • Lunch

Optional extras

  • Winter mountaineering boots - crampon compatible [please contact us]

What to bring with you

Mountaineering boots

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

Glen Coe trip map

Edinburgh to Glen Coe / 116.6 miles (187.6 km)

Accreditations
Adventure Activities Licensing Authority ASI Accredited School - Stand Up Paddle ASI Academy of Surfing Instructors NCC Promoting Safe Coasteering