Where to go Winter Hillwalking in Scotland
Winter Hillwalking in Scotland: Where to Explore and How to Stay Safe
Scotland's winter landscapes offer a breathtaking canvas for hillwalking, from the rugged beauty of Glen Coe to the expansive wonders of the Cairngorms and the challenges of the Isle of Skye.
But venturing into these wild places during winter requires careful planning and a keen understanding of safety precautions. Here's a guide to where to go hillwalking this winter in Scotland, along with tips for a safe and rewarding experience:
Glen Coe is a classic destination for winter hillwalking, renowned for its dramatic landscapes. Iconic peaks like Buachaille Etive Mòr offer a mix of accesible ascents and challenging ridges. However, the terrain can be demanding, so ensure you have winter-specific gear, including crampons and ice axes. Check avalanche forecasts, as this area is known for avalanche risks.
The Glen Coe and Black Mount area in Scotland is home to several Munros, which are mountains with a height of at least 3,000 feet (914 meters). Here are the Munros located in this region:
Buachaille Etive Beag (Stob Dubh): Also known as the "Little Buachaille," it has two Munro summits, Stob Dubh and Stob Coire Raineach.
Buachaille Etive Mòr: Often referred to as the "Great Herdsman of Etive," it has two Munro summits, Stob Dearg and Stob na Bròige.
Stob a' Choire Odhair: Located in the Black Mount region, this Munro offers panoramic views.
Stob Ghabhar: Another Munro in the Black Mount area, known for its rugged terrain.
Creise: Although it is often paired with Meall a' Bhuiridh as a single hike, Creise is considered a Munro on its own.
Meall a' Bhuiridh: Usually combined with Creise, this Munro is part of the Black Mount range.
These Munros in the Glen Coe and Black Mount area are popular among hillwalkers and mountaineers for their stunning scenery and challenging terrain.
The Cairngorms National Park is a winter wonderland with a range of hillwalking options. Explore the Northern Corries or tackle the Cairn Gorm summit. Be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions and extreme cold. Navigation skills are essential in this expansive area.
Cairngorms National Park in Scotland is home to numerous Munros. Here is a list of the Munros located within or adjacent to Cairngorms National Park:
The Isle of Skye:
Skye's Cuillin Ridge offers some of the most challenging winter mountaineering in the UK. It's advisable only for experienced mountaineers, as conditions can be treacherous. Prioritise safety, hire a local guide, and be prepared for rapidly changing weather. The rewards are unparalleled views and a sense of accomplishment.
The Isle of Skye, located on the west coast of Scotland, is known for its dramatic landscapes and challenging mountains. There are several Munros on the nearby mainland and in the Cuillin Hills, which are a breathtaking part of Skye's overall mountain experience. Here is a list of some of the Munros in the Cuillin Hills and the nearby mainland:
Black Cuillin (on the Isle of Skye):
Sgùrr Alasdair: The highest peak on the Isle of Skye, offering challenging mountaineering opportunities.
Sgùrr Dearg: Known for the famous Inaccessible Pinnacle (a Munro Top), a technical rock climb.
Sgùrr na Banachdich: A prominent peak in the Cuillin Hills with spectacular views.
Sgùrr nan Gillean: Another iconic peak with a sharp summit and a challenging climb.
Red Cuillin (on the Isle of Skye):
The Red Cuillin consists of lower, less rugged mountains and is often considered a separate range from the Black Cuillin. Some of the notable peaks include:Mainland Munros (Near Skye):
Glamaig: The highest peak in the Red Cuillin, known for its distinctive shape.
Mainland Munros (Near Skye):
As the UK's highest peak, Ben Nevis attracts hillwalkers year-round. In winter, it transforms into a snow-covered giant. Ensure you're equipped for extreme cold, and be aware of the potential for avalanches on its slopes. The Mountain Track is the most accessible route, but experienced winter hillwalkers might tackle the CMD Arete.
The Glenshee Ski Centre offers a variety of winter hillwalking options suitable for different skill levels. Explore Munros like Carn a' Gheoidh or venture further into the Glas Maol area. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and avalanche reports
The Glenshee area in Scotland is known for its excellent skiing and hillwalking opportunities. While there are no Munros (mountains with an elevation of at least 3,000 feet or 914 meters) in the immediate Glenshee area, there are several Munros in the surrounding Cairngorms and Grampian Mountains. Here are some Munros you can access from the Glenshee area