Scotland Winter Meet 2019


09/02/2019 - 16/02/2019    
All Day


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SCC’s annual foray into the white stuff!!

Every year, we head to to Scotland for the SCC Winter meet which is always simply amazing – so it may come as no surprise that we are going again!
We are going late Feb to climb some ice and generally play around in the snow. The scenery is breathtaking, so much so that poets and artists have been romanticising about it for 100’s of years!.  To make the long trip up worth while we plan to stay 7 nights so we get plenty of climbing and hiking opportunity.


PictureWe will be staying at the Strathspey Mountain Hostel in Newtonmore

This is a comfortable hostel with 18 bunk beds spread across 4 rooms. There are showers toilets, a drying room, lounge and fully functional kitchen. Bedding is provided.
The hut is located within town so its just a short stroll to the shops and a pub. Regionally Newtonmore sits between the Cairngorms and the Nevis range which gives us the most options for exploiting the best climbing conditions.


The hostel is within Newtonmore on the A36 ‘Main Street’. Postcode for sat-navs PH20 1DR.

Map location

£90 for the 7 nights. (£45 deposit needed on booking).


Car share: for a car it works out roughly £25 each for the return journey (Assuming 4 in a car, inc the M6 toll). Cost will vary from car to car so this is up to the drivers.
Newtonmore is a reasonable 540 miles one way, or ~10 hrs drive. Please try to share the driving i.e. add at least 1 other driver to your insurance (usually free or very cheap).



Generally, food is cooked as a group so will be arranged closer to the time – Most meals will be in the hut.  We will likely have an arrangement for splitting the cost between the group for food



This is a winter meet where we will be winter mountaineering, winter climbing (mixed and ice) and winter hiking. Although this meet is open to all members it is essential that you have familiarised yourself at least with the basics of hiking in the mountains.
As there will be experienced people there will be opportunity to climb with them, though it is worth asking first!


We will be, once again, organising winter training in the form of Winter Skills courses (great if you have never been on the mountain in the snow and ice before) and Winter Mountaineering courses (great if you want to take another step in your winter climbing career).  UPDATE: The training is now open for bookings:


Remember this is Scotland in winter. Please check the list carefully. Bring kit for VERY cold weather and if in doubt ask someone with experience before choosing gear!  There are also plenty of resources out there to describe all the kit required for winter walking and winter climbing.  Below is a kit-list that is essential.

Winter boots, axes, crampons etc can be hired from most  local shops such as: Nevis sport, or


Harness, shoes, belay device
Waterproof trousers, 
Waterproof jacket,
Fleece and baselayer x2
Helmet Absolutely  essential for any winter climbing!

Boots and crampons (At least B2 if in doubt ask for advice)
If you intend to climb then  B3 Boots are recommended, these are very stiff-soled boots designed to take ‘C3’ Crampons where you will be placing your weight on to crampon-points. For hiking and some easy climbing (up to grade II to III winter) then  B2 boots and C2 crampons are fine. UKC often has second hand gear for those on a
budget, failing that beg, borrow, steal…
Gloves (two pairs, one for climbing one for the approach/gearing up): see advice on UKC
Walking axe: These are relatively inexpensive (especially 2nd hand) but essential for hiking in winter. Make sure its T-rated eg the DMM Cirque as you can then use it for belays.
If you don’t own one, are a beginner, and are just trying this out you really don’t need a brand new axe- UKC forums are usually full of 2nd hand gear for sale, esp winter kit!
Good 40L+ or 50L Rucksack: Make sure the bag has both shoulder and waist straps and a rucksack liner. (A plastic rubble sac or dry bag will do)
Headtorch AND spare batteries: A non-starter, chances of dark descents are much higher in winter
Plastic water bottle (at least 1L per person),
First aid kit + blister kit
Warm hat, baloclava, and or buff/neck gaiter if you have one
Lunch box
Survival bag
Snow Goggles

Maps for the areas (also essential)

Map OS 41 Ben Nevis 1:50,000 or  Explorer 392 AND 384 1:25,000
Cairngorms maps: OS Landranger 36, + 43 (optional) or Explorer OL57 and OL58

 If you own the following please bring these too:
Trad rack
Half ropes (for trad) or winter climbing ‘iceline’ ropes
Ice axes for climbing (if you own more than one pair then I’m sure someone would be grateful if you would not mind lending them a set).
Ice screws
file for sharpening axes/crampons (2nd cut/medium tooth)

Extra pillow
Rainbow leggings
Sleeping bag or liner (if you prefer your own sheets)

10 reasons to come winter climbing
1) Its super bad-ass!.
The sound of a well placed axe embedding itself into the ice, the satisfaction of clipping in to an ice screw, the sheer adventure of it all and the fact you will feel like a hero when you summit are just a few of the delights that await.
2) Winter climbing rewards you with jaw dropping scenery.
3) Good company.
There are now quite a few experienced folk in SCC
4) Even the walking is epic…
If you don’t fancy full blown ice climbing just yet, come along for the amazing hiking. You will learn lots of skills and gain valuable experience which will help no matter what you get up to on the mountains.
5) Whisky!
6) Probably the most rewarding beer/pub dinner you will have when you have burned 4000 calories on the mountain.
7) No internet on the mountain…
No Facebook, no emails – forget about the computer and enjoy life!
8) Digging your own snowhole
9) Brilliant excuse to go shopping…
One can hire the necessary kit, or borrow, beg, steal… Check out UKC forums for 2nd hand tools, crampons etc for bargains.
10) You will yearn for more

Broaden your horizons and sharpen your tools 🙂


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