Roadside ice in Scotland – for those of a certain age and fitness!

  • This really cold weather must make those that love the low -level ice climbs that form all over Scotland in most years a great time to be out. It has been pretty cold for a good few nights now – 10 in places and there is even ice by the sea just now as I walk daily.
Steall Falls

Steall Falls

  • Beinn a’Mhuinidh Waterfall, 120m (Grade IV) above the village of Kinlochewe on Beinn a’Mhuinidh – visible from the café
  • Fain Falls, 150m (Grade IV) lie to the north of the A835 on the flanks of Meall nan Doireachan just before the Corrieshalloch Gorge. Almost roadside.
  • The Falls of Glomach, 100m (Grade V) lie beside Meall Sguman in Glen Elchaig north of the Five Sisters of Kintail.
  • Ghlaisteal GTX, 210m (Grade V) is found a long way up Glen Orrin, north of Inverness.
  • Oui Oui 90m (Grade III) at Creag Dubh, near Newtonmore. The direct finish up the spectacular hanging icicle waited until the big freeze of 2011 to be climbed (Grade VI,6).
  • Steall Waterfall, 120m (Grade III) lies above the ‘Meadow’ of upper Glen Nevis. It is accessed by crossing the River Nevis at Steall by a wire bridge. Grade is variable depending upon the line taken.
  • Culachy Falls, 40m (Grade III) in Glen Tarff near Fort Augustus offer easy access fun.
  • The Birks of Aberfeldy, 40m (Grade III) is a popular tourist attraction virtually in Aberfeldy. Both the direct line and a slightly harder line up the right side were climbed in 2011.
  • Black Spout 20m (Grade II) is actually in Pitlochry and is a popular tourist walk.
  • Eas Anie, 150m (Grade IV) is on the east flank of Beinn Chuirn, near the old Gold Mine on the way to Ben Lui.
  • Eas Ruaridh, 60m (Grade III) is a prominent waterfall on a tributary of the Dubh Eas in Glen Falloch near Ben Lomond.
  • Eagle Falls, 100m (Grade III) also in Glen Falloch, on the West Highland Way and very close to the Inverarnan Hotel bar!

 

Kishorn Ice - 5 minutes walk in - Hardest part is parking.

2008 Kishorn Ice – 5 minutes walk in – Hardest part is parking.

  • Fynne Falls, 70m (Grade III) lie in Glen Fyne and drops into a hydro electric dam!
  • Lumberjack’s Fall, 140m (Grade III) is on Creag nan Aonaidh opposite Cruachan Power station.
  • The Gray Mare’s Tail, 130m (Grade IV) is found close to the A708 road between Moffat and Selkirk in the Borders. The main hazard will be hundreds of other climbers queuing to climb whilst it is in condition.
  • Dobb’s Linn (Grade II) north east of The Grey Mare’s Tail. Not quite so impressive.
  • Spectacle E’e (Grade II/III) lies on a popular walk from Strathan in Ayrshire.

 

Kishorn Ice magic

Kishorn Ice magic just by the road

I have been lucky and have managed a lot of these types of routes over the years in my travels in Scotland and when the high cliffs have been storm bound these are the places to go and find..

"Maisters Quarry Dalwhinnie"

“Maisters Quarry Dalwhinnie”

As I get older and the big walk in and big bags appeal less I am more than happy to get out the black book an enjoy a short day on some wonderful places. There is so much about if you look.

Craig Dubh at Newtonmore is a classic  and can be very busy.

19780 – Craig Dubh at Newtonmore is a classic and can be very busy.

The Classic Oui Oui at Creag Dubh is a wonderful place but very busy nowadays and care must be taken with the huge Damocles fringe of ice that can ruin your day. I have climbed on over 40 occasions, we used to climb it at night when arriving in Newtonmore for a weekend before the pub, it is a great climb and the top ice pillar  has only been climbed very recently.

2010 - Oui Oui in great condition.

2010 – Oui Oui in great condition.

You have to watch what is above you at all times as the roadside ice can thaw quickly in the sun.

Watch what is above you !

Watch what is above you !

The great think about travelling about Scotland you see so many places where ice can form in very cold weather, always worth a look and I have enjoyed so many great days in these roadside crags!

Loch Broom near Ullapool ice

Loch Broom near Ullapool ice

The North West has so many places to go and you will rarely see other people!

Beleach Na Ba Applecross

2013 Beleach Na Ba Applecross

Applecross is always worth a look and if the road is open up to Beleach Na Ba a great place and lots of scope!

Return of the Jedi at Fort Augustus a 15 minute walk spotted from the road.

Return of the Jedi at Fort Augustus a 15 minute walk spotted from the road.

The mountains hold many gems as well, Steall Falls near Fort William is another great fun route but also gets busy. As does the routes on

1994 Smoking the White Owl near the Ski Centre !

1994 Smoking the White Owl near the Ski Centre ! on Aonach Mor

 

Eas Annie near Connish Ben Lui a great route as well

Eas Annie near Connish Ben Lui a great route as well

So many routes – The Grey Mares Tail, Eagle Falls, Fain Falls near An Teallach, and the cliffs up near Elphin all sport routes as does Skye so many others all there to be climbed! Glencoe is just full of ice falls and frozen burns if you look especially near Kinlochleven and of course the new ice found at low level in the Coe.  Many of the Highland Glens share a secret Plodda Falls in Affric

How about up at Slochd Summit on the A9 near Inverness how man times have you passed that old favourite. I would love to hear of your local fun places?

Slochd Summit

Slochd Summit

I am off for an operation today and hopefully return in time to get some routes in!

 

Have fun be safe,am I jealous –  Yes!

 

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Aircraft incidents, mountain safety, Scottish winter climbing., Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

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