True Highlands Blog
A lot of climbers in Scotland have a ritual; when the first snows dust the mountain tops and thoughts turn from rock climbing to ice climbing, then the ice axes and crampons are unpacked from storage, sharpened and made ready for the coming season. For me it is this weekend. Rain has meant crags are largely unclimbable and the first indoor competition of the season at the Ice Factor is looming, so it is time for the mental shift from one season to another.
Standing at 1344m (4409ft) Ben Nevis now only shows the base of the mountain that it once was. Formed through volcanic activity, along with the other mountains of Lochaber and Glen Coe, it once rose to over 14,000ft and had a similar majesty to the Himalayas of today. Back then the UK was near the equator with a very hot and dry climate but after millions of years, erosion and ice ages have shaped the mountains of Scotland to have a very different feel. But they still pack a punch!