RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team’s ~ Sixty finest quality mountain days in Scotland

Known as ‘The Kinloss sixty’.


The following list was collated in celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the Royal Air Force Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team and is a selection of quality mountaineering and climbing days that can be experienced in Scottish mountains and are considered to be testing and exhilarating single day achievements.


Team members both past and present agreed this selection of quality ‘outings’ through consensus.  Team members have historically completed all the ventures in the past and although not necessarily of the highest technical standards they do represent many of the finest achievements that are attainable in the space of a single day.  None of the celebrated ‘Big Walks’ such as trans country multiple mountain traverses are represented here, these achievements are comprehensively documented elsewhere in their own right


Hopefully this listing will provide an inspiration, incentive and objective for future generations of RAF Mountain Rescue personnel and indeed other mountaineers to participate in their completion maybe as form of ‘tick’ list of quality things to do in the Scottish mountains.  Let the fun begin …….



  1. The Greater traverse of the Black Cuillins, Isle of Skye (including the standard ridge and also the Blaven-Clach Glas traverse with cross country walk between.


The direction of travel is optional but the main ridge is probably best and easiest done from Ghars Bheinn to Sgurr nan Gillean and should include the ridge direct as much as possible including the Thearlach Dubh gap, King’s Chimney, Innaccessible Pinnacle and Naismith’s Route on Am Bastier.


Seven to twelve hours should be allowed for the traverse of the main ridge with a further twelve hours reckoned for to complete the Greater traverse.  The main ridge has short sections of climbing at very difficult standard (V. Diff rock grade).   In all this is a very demanding undertaking although exhilarating and possibly offers the finest of mountaineering adventure available in Scotland and indeed the British Isles.



  1. The Dubh Ridge (doing the Dubhs as they say) of Sgur Dubh Mor on the Black Cuillins of Skye.


Traditionally the route is started in Glen Brittle then onto Sgurr na Banadich summit where a to descent to Loch Coruisk is made for a quick ‘dip’ in this magnificent sea-loch.  Once suitably ‘watered’ an ascent is made back onto Sgurr Dubh Mor via the Dubh Ridge, an interesting but testing, ‘easier’ graded climb that leads to the summit where a return can be made to Glen Brittle.  A competent and fit party should expect to spend a full day on this splendid venture !


  1. The Pinnacle Ridge Circuit



3 Skye – Pinnacle Ridge – Naismiths Route  (Am Basteir, Bruach na Frithe)

Great mountaineering day Naismiths follows an improbable line for VD, how bold were these guys?

Isle of Skye Pinnacle Ridge – Sgurr nan Gillean – Am Basteir – Bruach na Frithe
4 Foinaven /Arkle Traverse

Big hill day in a remote area.

N/W Sutherland  Foinaven – Arkle.
5 Elphin Traverse a big day in the wee hills. Lots of height gained, wonderful views of the hills and the sea. Pentland Firth Traverse of Stac Pollaidh, Cul Mhor – Cul Beag


6 The Fannaichs


Beginner’s introduction to a big hill day.

The Fannaichs An Coileachan, Meall Gorm, Sgurr Mor, Beinn Liath Mor Fannaich, Meall a’Chrasgaidh, Sgurr nan Clach Geala, Sgurr nan Each, Sgurr Breac, A’Chailleach
7 The Shenavall Six/ Summer/winter


Superlative hills in great country, the pull back up on the way home clears the mind. Magnificent, a must for everyone!


Really brave people do 7 + 8 together

Fisherfield Hills Beinn a’ Chlaidheimh, Sgurr Ban, Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair, Ben Tarsuinn, A’Mhaighdean, Ruadh Stac Mor
8 An Teallach (winter)*** Grade 2 If taken direct

Best hill in Scotland, do not miss the complete traverse for the best views.

Dundonnell Sail Liath – Sgurr Fiona – Sgurr Creag an Eich – Bidean a Ghlas Thuill
9 Beinn Dearg Six.

The drop to Am Faochagach is one to remember

Ullapool Eididh nan Clach Geala, Meall nan Ceapraichean, Cona Mheall, Beinn Dearg, Seana Breagh. Am Faochagach
10 The Torridon Trilogy.


Ben Alligin – Liathach – Beinn Eighe you can add the Corbett


One of Scotland’s finest, two beleachs of pain to enjoy. The West Coast at its best.



Big Boys and girls only in winter

Torridon Tom na Gruagaich – Sgurr Mor, Mullach an Rathain – Spidean a’ Choire Leith -Connich Mhor – Ruadh – Stac Mor – Black Carlins – Kinlochewe.
11 “The Knoydart Three”

A very isolated area, worth doing just for the situation.

Knoydart Ladhar Bheinn, Luinne Bheinn, Meall Bhuidhe

Glendessary Five.

Another gem of the West coast, a long day and either a long walk in or out, time to contemplate.

Garich – Sgurr Mor – Sgurr na Coireachan – Garb Choire Mhor – Sgurr na Ciche
13 South Cluanie Ridge


“A great starter day, training for big hill days”

Best way to do it is by the Forcan ridge.

Glen Shiel The Saddle, Sgurr Na Sgine, Creag nan Damh Sgurr an Lochain, Sgurr an Doire Leathain, Maol Chinn- Dearg, Aonach air Chrith, Sgurr an Doire Leathain, Sgurr an Lochain, Druim Shionnach Creag a Mhaim
14 Glen Affric Traverse- Toll Creaghach – Mullach na Dheiragain


A very big day, and a “Long walk back”



Glen Affric Toll Creagach – Tom a Choinich – Carn Eighe – Beinn Fionnlaidh – Mam Sodhail – An Sochach – Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan – Mullach na Dheiragain – Affric
15 Ben Alder Horse Shoe

“Cycle in to Culra” and maybe spend the night to saviour the atmosphere.

Loch Ericht Carn Dearg – Geal Charn – Aonach Beag – Beinn Eibhinn – Ben Alder – Beinn Bheoil
16 Cairngorms – The Big Seven

“The drop into the Larig Gru is when the mind games start.

The Cairngorms Cairn gorm, Ben Macdui, Carn a’ Mhaim, The Devil’s Point, Carn Toul, Sgor an Lochain Uaine, Braeriach
17 Eagle Ridge Plus 5 munros, munro baggers only


“A busy day” involving a fair bit of fitness.

Lochnagar Severe *** 650ft

Lochnagar – Carn a choire Bhoidheach – Carn an t – Sagairt – Mor – Carn Bannoch – Broad Cairn


“Adverikie” Wall plus 3 Munros


Scotland finest Severe and three good hills, a bike would be helpful and a place to dump the gear.

  350 ft HS *** Creag Pitridh – Geal Charn – Beinn a Chlachair.
19 The Big Four

“A wonderland of views, lots of area knowledge for the big callout.”

Ben Nevis Aonach Mor, Aonach Beag, Carn Mor Dearg, Ben Nevis
20 The Mamores


“An early test for Munro baggers”

The Mamores Sgurr Eilde Mor, Binnein Beag, Binnien Mor, Na Gruagaichean, An Gearanach, Stob Choire a’ Chairn, Am Bodach, Sgurr a’ Mhaim, Stob Ban, Mullach nan Coirean
21 Both Sides of Glencoe


Buachille – Aonach Eag


“A lot harder than you think, no stopping for a pint”

Glencoe Buachille Etive Mor – Buachille Etive Beag- Stob Coire Sgreamhach – Bidean nam Bian – Sgorr nam Fiannaidh – Meall Dearg,
22 Aonach Eagach Ridge winter/summer with Clachaig Gully 1500 ft Severe ***

“Some take all day in the gully, a great Scottish experience for severe climbers”

Glencoe Clachaig Gully -, – Sgorr nam Fiannaidh  – Meall Dearg

Etive Traverse


This is a really long and difficult day, some skilful route finding needed.

Glen Etive Hills Ben Starav – Beinn nan Aighenan – Bheinn Mhor – Stob Coire Albannaich – Meall nan – Eun – Stob a Bhruaich Leith – Stob Ghabhar – Stob Choire Odhair – Clach Leathad – Creise – Meal a Bhuirdh
24 Ben More Seven


Hard hills for Leuchars area, do not forget to stop at Elmas after the day

Crainlarich Ben More, Stob Binnein – Cruach Ardrain – Beinn Tulaichean – Beinn a’ Chroin – An Casteal – Beinn Chabhair
25 Ben Lawyers Seven (winter)


Normal Leuchars Day

Killin Meall nan Tarmachan – Meall Corranach – Meal a Choire Leith – Ben Lawyers -An Stuc – Meall Garbh – Meall Greigh
26 Arran Ridge


“Fantastic day, Scotland in miniature, wonderful mountaineering a long walk back if completing the Traverse”

Isle of Arran Goatfell – Cir Mhor – Caistel Abhail – Ceum na Caillich – Beinn Tarsuinn – Beinn Nuis – Beinn Bharrain – Mullach Buidhe. Greater Traverse
27 The Old Man of Hoy

Book left on top by Scotty KMRT. Ian Clough on first ascent ex Kinloss.  Do not bivy on top.

Isle of Hoy (Orkney) E1 5b 460ft ***
28 The Old Man of Stoer

Brilliant especially when tide is in, who swims the channel?

Lochinver VS *** 4c 180 ft
29 Visit Stron Ulladale (The Scoop)

“A sore neck day”

Isle of Harris “Look and Learn” 300 VS 4b
30 The Cioch Nose

“Patey’s finest, finish by the ridge.

Applecross V Diff *** 450 ft

Northern Rock – Dragon/Gob

One of Scotland’s finest crags and area, bike again handy and a wee bottle for the bothy. VD men head for Beinn Lair.

Carnmore crag

340 ft HVS *** 5a/ 420 VS 4c ***
32 Skye Rock – ***

Wonderful, day on great rock, no fingertips left at the days end!

Isle of Skye Coire Na Ciche – Cioch Direct 500 Severe *** Arrow Route 120 VD *** Integrity Severe 250
33  The Great Prow Blaven Clach Glas Traverse.

The easiest route in Hard rock finished by a superb mountain day.

Isle of Skye  The Great Prow VS 4c/, Clach Glas, Blaven
34 Cairngorm rock – The Needle

Great views on clean Cairngorm rock.

(Cairngorms) Loch Avon 840 ft E1 ***
35 Talisman/Clean Sweep


Two fine routes, Clean Sweep one of Robin Smiths finest


Coire Etchacan -Hell’s Lum Crag (Cairngorms) HS 500ft *** HS 350 ft ***
36  Mitre Ridge “Cumming Crofton Route ” Squareface best VD in Scotland

Long walk in/out, watch the loose rock on Mitre Ridge

Beinn a’ Bhuird (Cairngorms) 550ft, H Severe *** 150ft VD ***
37 Savage Slit (summer)

Fallout Corner


Impressive lines, great rock

Coire an Lochain (Cairngorms) Severe *** 180ft

180 ft VS 4c

38 The Brute/ King Bee

Kinloss route – Dougal Hastons crag a crag for the bold VS leaders.

Creag Du  Newtonmore  200 VS 5a ***/ 180 ft HVS 4c ***
39  Ben Nevis “Five Ridges In a Day”

Take a camera; if you achieve this you are now nearly a mountaineer.

Ben Nevis N/E Buttress, Observatory, Tower Ridge, Castle Ridge. Ledge Route
40 Centurion

Minus One

Magnificent rock climbing on the Big Bad Ben

Carn Dearg Buttress – Minus Buttress (Ben Nevis) 540 HVS 5a ***

860 ft HVS ***5a

41 The Moruisg Hills


Stop at Beardies bothy on the long walk out.


Achnashelleach Moruisg – Sgurr nan Ceanaichean – Sgurr Connich – Sgurr Connich – Sgurr a Chaorachan – Maoile Lunndaidh – Bidean a Choire Sheasgaich – Lurg Mor
42 Kinloss Corner/Agags Groove January Jigsaw

Scottish traditional rock, steeped in history

Buachaille Etive Mor

330 VD ***/360 VD***330 VD ***
43 The Chasm

An unforgettable experience, especially the top pitches one for the crag rat.

Buachaille Etive Mor Severe *** 1500ft
44 The Etive Trilogy


A big Idwal slabs, bold routes impressive rock. Watch the descent and the midges

Glen Etive Slabs Hammer 500 HVS ***/ Spartan Slab 400 ***/ Swastika 500 E1 5b ***
45 Cobbler Rock –

Bold middle range rock on a traditional crag.

The Cobbler (Arrochar) Recess Route, Punster’s Crack, Ardgarten Arete. Whether Wall V Diff *** 250ft, Severe *** 160ft, Severe *** 200ft
46  Arran Rock –

Got to be done by everyone, Labyrinth different type of route

Isle of Arran Cir Mhor Labyrinth 250 Severe, *** Sou’wester Slabs 350 VD ***
47 Arran Rock – South Ridge Direct

Another classic that gets better with age.

Isle of Arran VS *** 395m  5a/b

Winter climbs Cairngorms Coire An Lochan – The Vent -Western Route

Two differing routes in a busy Corrie.

Coire an Lochan

350 ft Grade 3***/400 ft Grade 4/5***
48 Deep Cut Chimney.

Should go in most conditions wild move out of chimney!

Hell’s Lum Crag (Cairngorms) 560 ft Grade 4 ***
50 Fluted Buttress/ Hidden Chimney/ Alladdins Buttress.

Winter Course tick lists

Coire an -Sneachda

350 ft Grade 4**/ 300 ft Grade 3** /350 ft Grade 4/5 ***
51  Greag Mheagaidh Ice – Smiths Route/ Staghorn Gully

Big long, serious routes with a long walk out. Good navigation a must>

Greag Meagaidh 550 ft Grade 6 *** 1200 Grade 3 ***
52  Ben Nevis Ice – Point Five Gully (winter)

Kinloss involved in first ascent Ian Clough and mates.

Observatory Buttress (Ben Nevis) Grade 5/5 **** 1000ft
52 Smiths Route/ The Curtain

How did they climb these routes cutting steps

The Ben 400 ft Grade 5 *** 250 ft Grade 4/5 ***
53 Tower Ridge (winter)

Scotland finest winter route, read Murray’s account in Undiscovered Scotland.

Ben Nevis  Grade 3 ****Magic winter day.




Observatory Ridge

Very tricky route, not to be underestimated.

The Ben 1000ft Grade 4 ****

Aonach Mor – The Twins winter

Left Twin/ Right Twin.

Watch the descent gully,

Anoach Mhor

300 ft Grade 3 *** 250 Grade 2 ***
57  Beinn Udlaidh Ice –

Special place for introduction to steep ice.

Beinn Udlaidh Quartvein Scoop/ South Gully Of Black wall/ Peter Pan.300 ft Grade 4/4*** 250 ft 4/4**

250ft 5/5**


Very Big hill days – Lochaber Traverse.

Mamores – Grey Corries and The Big Four 19 Munros in 24 hrs.


A test of stamina and mind should be done on the longest day.


Mamores Mullach nan Coirean – Sgurr Eilde Mor- Stob Ban – Stob Choire Claurigh, Stob Coire Eain, Sgurr Chonnich Mor, Aonach Beag, Aonach Mor, Carn Mor Dearg, Ben Nevis.

59 “Kintail Traverse”

South Clunnie Ridge – North Clunnie 17 Munros in 24 hrs.


Mind-blowing drop to the Clunnie Inn, do not stop in keep going, you are half way there.


The Saddle – Sgurr Na Sgine – Creag nan Damh – Sgurr an Lochan – Maol Chinn – Dearg – Aonach a Chrith – Druim Shionnach – Creag a Mhain –

A Chralaig – Mullach Fraoch – coire – Ciste Dubh – Aonach Meadhoin – Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg – Salieag – Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe – Sgurr na Carnach – Sgurr Fhuaran.

60 The Skye Ridge Winter

This two-day expedition involving a bivouac on the ridge. To this date (2005) no RAF MR Troop has completed Britain’s finest winter route.  Any Takers for the Greater Traverse in winter?

The complete mountaineer will achieve this in his CV.

Skye Gars Bleinn – Sgurr Na Gillean Grade 4 *** to include the Thearlaich Dubh Gap – Kings Chimney – In Pin on Sgurr Dearg – Naismiths Route on Am Basteir.

The greater Traverse includes Blaven



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.
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