Highland Scrambles South is out what a great addition. Be careful though these are mainly mountain routes, some that will be rarely climbed.The Scottish Mountain Trust (SMT)and what they do for us? They raised nearly £1,297,500

It is out now – but be careful in the big mountains especially on rarely climbed routes. After winter a dry spell in May and a wet June there ,may be loose rock about. This is a guide that will open up a few new areas to some but be aware some of the climbs may have had few ascents and some are on big mountains. Treat them like an Alpine route and remember as always to climb with care. Some may also think that though the grades are easy by modern standards that out in the mountains away from the well climbed cliffs and crags this is mountaineering.

Some news! For the mountain scrambler, inspiration is on its way – Highland Scrambles South is  Out what a magic guide I could not put it down. It is a stunning new guide with clear photos and diagrams of the routes it is a wonderful addition to my mountain library that I am trying to cut down on. I am so glad to have bought it and to me it one of the best Guides I have ever seen. There are some classics  in the 215 routes in the guide and some new gems in this book buy and see. Well done Ian Thow what a great guide.

Please be aware that the guide includes many climbs that are rarely climbed and as all are mountain routes care is needed with loose rock etc

On Saturday a team on a the VDiff Fingers Ridge, in Coire an t-Sneachda, had a very lucky escape when a large slab of rock gave way. Ironically they were clearing loose rock from the route when the accident happened. One of the team suffered a serious arm injury and a highly technical rescue in grim conditions was carried out by Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team.

The next day a climber from a different group suffered a serious hand injury after being hit by a 2mx2m block on the scramble Pygmy Ridge, also in the same corrie.

Walkers and climbers will be familiar with the shattering effects of freeze-thaw action on mountain rock, but there’s speculation that loose rock is becoming more of a problem in certain areas as a result of recent weather patterns.

Shaun Roberts, Principal at Glenmore Lodge, said:

“I do believe that the nature of winters over the last decade, along with the generally more intense precipitation has had an impact on Coire an t-Sneachda.”

“We have experienced a number of winters with very deep snow packs, including snow laying at depth on the steep broken ground of the Coire. Over a season and under the influence of gravity this snowpack will displace, but often not dislodge, blocks and boulders of significant size, leaving behind a significant challenge for the summer climber.”

“And this year we enjoyed a super dry May but then received almost our monthly quota of rainfall on one day in June.”

“I suspect these weather patterns are having an impact on the stability of some areas and we continue to approach climbing in Coire an t-Sneachda with a more heightened sense of the objective dangers.”

Heather Morning, Mountain Safety Adviser with Mountaineering Scotland, added:

“Hillwalkers, scramblers and climbers should be extra vigilant when journeying either below or approaching scrambles and climbs – particularly if there are other parties above or there has been heavy rainfall in the previous few days.”

“Specifically, hillwalkers should be particularly cautious when ascending or descending the Goat Track in Corie an t-Sneachda when there are climbers above them.”

Be aware and be careful.” tip, tap test”, when climbing its a good practice.


I should have mentioned – it includes 215 routes in The Cairngorms, Lochnagar, Ben Nevis & The Mamores, Glen Coe & Glen Etive, Knoydart, Ardgour & Ardnamurchan, Creag Meagaidh & Ben Alder, Southern Highlands, Southern Uplands and on the islands of Mull, Rum and Arran. So yes, Southern Uplands are there too!

This guide describes some of the best scrambles and easy rock climbs to be found in Scotland (excepting Skye and the Northern Highlands which are described in separate SMC guides). It covers the Cairngorms, Ben Nevis and Glen Coe, as well as the islands of Rum, Mull and Arran. All kinds of outings are described; from short routes on the gabbro crags of Ardnamurchan to major undertakings on the ridges of Ben Nevis. A number of the outings are described for the very first time.

Highland Scrambles South completes the Scottish Mountaineering Club’s three volume coverage of scrambling and easy climbs among the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

The guide describes 215 routes in The Cairngorms, Lochnagar, Ben Nevis & The Mamores, Glen Coe & Glen Etive, Knoydart, Ardgour & Ardnamurchan, Creag Meagaidh & Ben Alder, Southern Highlands, Southern Uplands and on the islands of Mull, Rum and Arran.

SMT – who are responsible for the pulication do great work did you know how much the have raised out of the sales over the last 27  years. 


Examples of the work of the trust

Below are shown the approximate totals of the grants made by the Trust in its major areas of activity in the period 1990-2017.

Footpath Construction and Maintenance: £419,000
Core Funding of Mountaineering Council of Scotland: £215,000
Land Purchase: £68,500
Mountaineering Education and Training: £31,500
Mountain Rescue Equipment and Facilities: £65,000
Support of Expeditions: £32,500
Renovation of Club Huts: £189,000
Other: £277,000
TOTAL £1,297,500

A great effort by the SMT and worth thinking about when you buy a guide book?

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Book, Books, Enviroment, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Recomended books and Guides, Rock Climbing, SMC/SMT. Bookmark the permalink.

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