A weekend in Glencoe

For our third Scottish winter trip we decided to give Glencoe a visit. Keen to advance our skills, we hired a guide (Simon Verspeak) for two of our three days. We asked for help learning some basics of outdoor ropework and being safe on the mountains.

Day 1 - Geàrr Aonach #

It was a wet, windy day. Simon took us to Geàrr Aonach. It was partially sheltered from the wind, but we couldn’t go too high before the ground was too unstable. We focused on gear placement in the morning and emergency techniques in the afternoon.

Two hikers climb a somewhat steep snowy hillside. It’s overcast with flurries of snow around.
Photo by Chris Natt.
Looking down on Chris on the side of a snowy mountain.
Ed stoops low to place a piece of climbing gear in a rockface.
Photo by Chris Natt.
Chris holds a large boulder of snow as he faces the camera.
Chris and our guide pull on a length of rope coming towards the camera. The rope runs around a pillar of snow making an anchor.
Chris and Simon pull on an improvised snow anchor.

Day 2 - Aonach Mòr #

For our second day we headed for the valley between Aonach Mòr and Càrn Dearg Meadhonach. The west side of Aonach Mòr had several groups headed for it that morning.

Two groups of climbers walk towards the horizon in snow. The sky is foggy / overcast and blending in with the ground. The climbers are all wearing brightly coloured clothing.
Ed and a guide walk up a snowy mountain on an overcast day. The camera angle is near to the ground looking up at their backs. They’re both connected by a climbing rope.
Photo by Chris Natt.

Simon took us up a not-too severe route. Probably a mix of grade 1 & 2. For the most part we probably didn’t need to be roped in - but it was good to practice our technique.

Ed wearing a green softshell jacket with hood over his helmet on the side of a snowy mountain.
Photo by Chris Natt.
Ed and Chris pose together facing the camera on the edge of Aonach Mòr. Both are wearing green jackets and are tied together with a green climbing rope.
A snowy mountainside and valley, with swirls of snow in the air.

Our thanks to Simon for an enjoyable two days and for adapting so well to some less than ideal weather conditions.