Wet Weather Alternatives

Rock Climbing in the Rain

With the amount of rain we receive in Scotland there is a great potential for climbing holidays or weekends to be ruined by poor weather. So what can we do?

Well, those of us of a lazy disposition or those who live close to the mountains might say "go to the pub instead" or recommend a classic (but easy) mountaineering route like Curved Ridge on Buchaille Etive Mor, the Aonach Eagach or perhaps Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis. Alternatively you can hillwalk in almost any weather.

But what if you really want to rock-climb.

I have met people who've been climbing real routes in the pouring rain (while I've been doing much easier things like ridge scrambles) and I'm always impressed - it takes a lot of motivation to do it (a 6 hour drive probably does the trick!).

Please mail me any recommendations. I'm one of the lazy people who need to get out climbing more (in the wet if need be!).

Anyway: here's a list of rock climbs by area that are suitable for climbing in wet weather.

Note: It should be noted that the generally accepted rule of "Add on 1 grade" for wet weather doesn't always apply. Find out the type of rock - some (basalt, slate) are treacherous in the wet and should be avoided and others (good granite) have just as much grip in the rain. The nature of the routes (slabs are bad, buttresses are good(?)) and holds (jugs v's slopers) should also be considered.


Buchaille Etive Mor

North Buttress has some nice Diff/VDiff routes which are 3,4,5 pitches long. The holds are large and have generally flat tops so there is no problem with friction on footholds. There is some loose rock on the buttress, however.

Curved Ridge is a Mod and is perfectly doable in the wet.

Shackle Route (S) on East Face will go in the wet with the only increase in grade likely at the crux (widening of crack) on the lower pitch (good gear). There is more loose rock on the second pitch but this can be avouded by descending Green Gully - North Buttress (assuming you know the way) or via the summit or Easy Buttress.



Eagle Ridge (S) was recommended to me as a go-er in the wet. I didn't actually climb it due to snow conditions but it looks like a fantastic day.