Scottish winter mountaineering covers everything from winter hillwalking to technical winter climbing. The footwear and equipment changes depending on whether you’re climbing or walking.
Scottish winter weather can consistently vary in the space of a single day, so it is always best to be prepared for the worst!
This gear guide is aimed more at people planning easier routes and those who will or have done a Scottish winter course with an accredited guide or instructor (something we strongly recommend).
Winter climbing or hillwalking can be dangerous, and every individual should be responsible for their own safety. This is not a definitive guide, and part of the fun is the gaining the experience of what works for you!
Getting the right boots is the difference between a relatively comfortable day and a very uncomfortable, if not painful one.
Depending on what you want to do, normal winter walking boots may not be sufficient. As a bare minimum you will need to consider a pair of general mountaineering boots like the Scarpa Manta Pro GTX (pictured).
BASE LAYERS- This is the layer next to your skin. Base layers do two things: help move sweat away from your skin and help provide warmth. Good choices include the Arc’teryx Phase AR (pictured), Icebreaker Oasis 200 or 260 if you run cold.
FLEECE - Cost-effective, quick-drying, lightweight and preferably with Polartec Power dry high efficiency or Power stretch fabric. For somebody who really feels the cold, a lightweight synthetic hybrid top can be used, however these are not as breathable as a fleece or some soft shells, and can be a bit sweaty.