Scottish Winter Climbing Meet – Call For Hosts

Takaaki Nagato from Japan making the first ascent of Sake (VIII,9) on Number Three Gully Buttress on Ben Nevis. This difficult three-pitch route, which takes the left side of the wall between Babylon and Winter Chimney, was one of the highlights of the 2012 Scottish Winter Meet. (Photo Simon Frost)

The Scottish Winter Climbing Meet has been a highlight on the international climbing calendar for 20 years and has attracted climbers from across the world eager to experience the unique Scottish winter experience. The meet has been running since 1997 and was last held by the British Mountaineering Council in 2016. Overseas guests will be paired up with experienced UK-based hosts – an excellent formula that has proved to be very successful in the past. In return for sharing their local knowledge and expertise, UK climbers gain a wider perspective by climbing with their (often very accomplished) international visitors. In previous years many hosts and guests have formed strong partnerships that have gone on to make major ascents further afield and in the Greater Ranges.

Invitations to overseas federations for guests to attend the 2020 Scottish Winter Climbing Meet have just been sent out, and applications for hosts are now open:

Host Experience

  • You must be 18 years old or over.
  • You need to be a competent climber with experience of winter climbing in Scotland.
  • Your technical lead grade is less important than the need to be an experienced and competent winter climber with sound navigation skills and the ability to cope safely with all that Scotland can throw at you.
  • You need to be skilled at winter navigation, especially in whiteout conditions.
  • Some guests may have done little or no winter climbing, so it is essential that you feel confident climbing with such partners.
  • You need to be a MS / BMC / MI / AC/ SMC member.

Your Role

  • You will be teamed up with an international guest climber. Your role is to climb together and show them what winter climbing in Scotland is all about.
  • If possible, partnerships will be changed during the week so that you can climb with different people.

Venue & Dates

  • Venue: Start and finish at Aviemore Youth Hostel.
  • Intervening five days will be based at SMC Huts. Every climber will spend at least one night in the CIC Hut on Ben Nevis.
  • Dates: Saturday 22 to Saturday 29 February 2020.
  • Arrival evening: Saturday 22 February (no climbing on this day).
  • Host briefing (it is important that all hosts attend): Saturday 22 February at 8pm.
  • Climbing for six days – Sunday to Friday.
  • Evening celebration event – Aviemore, Friday 28 February.
  • Departure day: Saturday 29 February (no climbing on this day).
  • The event is heavily subsidised by Mountaineering Scotland, BMC, Alpine Club and the SMC.

How To Apply

  • Please read the Host Information Sheet on the Mountaineering Scotland website, complete the Host Application Form and submit by Friday 22 November 2019. 
  • Mountaineering Scotland will contact all applicants by 6 December to let them know the outcome of their application.

About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber
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