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Winter Mountain Experience with Mollie Hughes



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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.

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Spend a unique day winter mountaineering with world record-breaking mountaineer, polar expeditioner and Ocean Vertical Director, Mollie Hughes.

Over the past 10 years she has taken part in many expeditions across the globe, including reaching the summit of Mount Everest from both the northern and southern route.

In 2020 Mollie became the youngest woman to ski solo from the coast of Antarctica to the geographic South Pole, covering 700 miles in 58 days.

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Winter Mountaineering in Scotland

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.

Winter adventures need the right kit, and you can see full details on What to Wear and Pack for Winter Mountaineering in Scotland here.

There are many and spectacular locations to choose from: The famous and iconic peaks of Glen Coe to the little known mountain wilderness of Black Mount, and the Bridge of Orchy region.

Glen Coe is one of the most magnificent areas of natural wilderness in the whole of Britain with many and varied summits and ridges of over 3000 feet. In winter it represents an awe-inspiring and significant challenge.

Summits include Bidean nam Bian which at 1150m is the highest in Glen Coe and Argyle. Other iconic summits we regularly lead client to are Stob Coire nan Lochan, Buachaille Etive Mor and its little sister Buachaille Etive Beag. Together these represent some of the most beautiful mountains in the UK and beyond.

Your professional guide along with Mollie Hughes, 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.

And if you would like to do a little homework research before your trip with Mollie, you can read the 10 Top Tips for Winter Mountaineering in Scotland here. Enjoy!

Mollie in the Himalayas, Mount Everest, Antarctica and Scotland

Mollie Hughes with friends summer mountaineering by Bridge of Orchy Black Mount near Glen Coe Scotland

Mollie Hughes with clients before hitting the snow line in Glen Coe

winter mountaineering in Glen Coe Buachaille Etive Beag Scotland

Blue bird day winter mountaineering on Buachaille Etive Beag in Glen Coe

Sunrise in glen coe Buachaille Etive Beag with Ocean Vertical Winter mountaineering

Sunrise over a frozen winter landscape in Glen Coe

Mollie Hughes is admiring the view on Ama Dablam in the Himalayas

Mollie Hughes admiring the view on Ama Dablam in the Himalayas

Mollie hughes is in Antarctica and the South Pole doing a solo treck

Mollie Hughes trecking solo to the South Pole, Antartica

Mollie Hughes is on Mount Everest Summit with Lhakpa Wongchu

Mollie Hughes on the summit of Mount Everest

Mollie Hughes is winter climbing in Glen Coe Scotland. Photo by Hamish Frost

Mollie Hughes winter climbing in Glen Coe, Scotland

Mollie in the Himalayas, Mount Everest, Antarctica and Scotland

A fresh snow day in Scotland

Mollie Hughes descending from the summit of Mount Everest 2017

Mollie Hughes descending from the summit of Mount Everest

I had an incredible day out winter mountaineering in Glen Coe with Mollie Hughes and the OV team. Despite some challenging weather, I had loads of fun and the team made sure that we had the opportunity to brush up on some winter skills. 100% recommend the winter courses

Clare | Edinburgh

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

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

Exceptionally great outings! I have done Scottish winter mountaineering, coasteering and soon paddle boarding in East Lothian with this company.

The team are very informative about the terrain experienced and the activity we’re doing. The team are really kind and pleasant to be touring with, recommend this company 100%.

Fiona | 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

Lucky enough this year to go out with Ocean Vertical winter mountaineering in Glen Coe, paddle boarding in East Lothian and just recently rock climbing outdoors in Northumberland. Each experience has been an awesome day! Learning valuable skills like navigation in the winter to learning how to safely climb on rock from Stevie and Adrian who are both great at what they do. Loads of experience and knowledge in the outdoors. Looking forward to hopefully more adventure in Scotland soon.

Darrel | East Lothian

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

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

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

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

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

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


November - April

Trip Overview

Day Duration

10-12 hours

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Trip Overview



Trip Overview

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]

Trip Overview

Minimum Age


Trip Overview

Total Distance

8 - 15km

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Mountaineering Time

5-8 hours

Trip Overview


900m - 1345m

Trip Overview

Group Size

Maximum 6

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Minimum Number


Trip Overview


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

What’s included (and not)


  • Experienced & qualified guide and Mollie Hughes.
  • 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

Distance dependent on location

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