OUR BEST UK LOCATIONS FOR WINTER MOUNTAINEERING
Temperatures are falling and the colder months are coming. For us, that means one thing – time to start dreaming up our winter adventures. And while for many of us that means planning European adventures we've actaully got plenty on home turf to enjoy!
Winter can do incredible things to Britain’s mountains, with the coating of snow turning our hills into awesome Alpine-like spectacles. From gentle ridge scrambles to multi-day winter epics that are steeped in history, trust us - there’s endless potential. Make no mistake though, British mountains in winter are tough – that’s why we love them - but with the right gear and skills coupled with an adventurous approach and a healthy dose of respect for these challenging environments, this winter you can find yourself atop a UK peak feeling as exhilarated as if you were high in the Alps on a perfect day.
Ready to test your limits? We’ve picked out a few of the most spectacular areas of the UK to seek out and kick off your winter season in style.
Scotland is the jewel in the crown for winter mountaineering in the UK. It’s here that the biggest challenges are to be sought, which is why you’ll find climbers and mountaineers from all over the world here to experience it for themselves.
Top of the list for the most experienced winter mountaineers is the jaw-dropping, iconic Black Cuillin Ridge on the Isle of Skye – an epic 3000m of ascent spread along 10km of continuously narrow and exposed ridge. Elsewhere in the imposing and grand landscapes of Torridon in the North West Highlands, areas like the Beinn Eighe range lack nothing in physical challenge and pure scenic impact. If you scale the summit of Ben Macdui, the highest Munroe in the Cairngorms, in the right conditions you’ll enjoy a 360-degree view of surrounding peaks emerging like snowy islands from a sea of cloud. And, you can’t say you’ve got the most from your winter season without a big day on Scotland’s greatest winter mountain - Ben Nevis. The Ben will test you on routes ranging from the highly technical to more straightforward terrain – all of them as spectacular as they come.
The Lake District
Scotland is great, but it’s not the only UK destination you should consider for adventures this winter. If it were, you’d be seriously missing out on the array of incredible winter climbing and trekking opportunities on offer in The Lake District.
The majestic combination of Swirall and Striding Edge that encircle the climber’s playground of Red Tarn face on Helvellyn is, for good reason, one of the most iconic winter routes you can tackle anywhere in the UK. That’s before we even get to Great End… located at the north east end of the Scafell range, come here and you’ll be testing yourself in one of England's premier winter climbing locations. Or, for something a little less full-on but that still delivers those incredible wintery views, take a couple of hours’ trek out of Keswick to High Rigg or Latrigg and you’ll be rewarded (on a good day!) with a stunning snowy panorama of Derwentwater, Borrowdale and the central fells. Simply sublime.
We know that the Welsh winter weather can be changeable to say the least, but trust us - when it's good, it’s very good. With a clear blue sky above and crisp white snow underfoot, there’s a special thrill to be found whilst challenging yourself in the mountains of Snowdonia in winter. Its stunning mixed climbs, beautiful ice-falls and fine ridges will provide you with a genuine sense of wilderness.
Snowdon, the Glyderau and the Carneddau areas will give you the feel of being in proper mountains, and cold conditions mean they definitely shouldn’t be underestimated. For the more experienced, the iconic Snowdon Horseshoe and Crib Goch is one of the UK’s biggest days out in winter, whilst on a good day, a trek up the rounded summit of Moel Eilio is just right for a less technical Snowdonia winter mountain day with sensational views across Anglesey and the Snowdon Massif. A genuine winter wonderland.
Prep For Your Adventure
It’s safe to say this winter in the UK you can find some seriously sought after and challenging adventures. Itching to take it on? The most experienced mountaineers know you need to be equipped with the right skills, experience, and gear to make sure you stay safe whilst chasing the thrills. If you’re eager to get out there but are taking your first steps into winter mountaineering, it’s a great idea to join a club or take a winter skills course. There are more than 300 climbing, hill walking and mountaineering clubs affiliated to our partners at the BMC where you can learn from others and gain experience. Alternatively you can hire a guide through the Association of Mountaineering Instructors or the British Mountain Guides. It’s a great way to develop your skills and gain confidence to be able to safely take on these inspiring winter environments.
Got a particular winter route in mind? Visit us in-store or book an appointment with our experts for tailored gear advice and fitting to help you get the most out of every minute out there.
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