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Guidance for hill walkers and climbers in Scotland

**Please note that the information below is the Scottish Government guidance for people living and travelling to Scotland, and measures may differ between Scotland and the rest of the UK. **

Update 06/01/2022

The emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Coronavirus and rapid rise in cases linked to it has prompted changes to the Scottish Government Covid guidance. Rather than legal restrictions, the appeal from Government has been on taking personal responsibility for your own health and wellbeing. 

Visit the Scottish Government website for full details of current measures in place. These include:

Further guidance:

  • Car sharing: Follow the guidance on the  Transport Scotland website.
  • Bothies: Bothies are unregulated spaces and you should always make your own risk assessment before deciding to visit. Before visiting a bothy please read the Covid Ė 19 guidance on the Mountain Bothies Association webpage www.mountainbothies.org.uk or for further advice visit their Facebook group.
  • Clubs: The consideration for clubs at this time will be on their duty of care to their members, and to understand that there will be different views on what is and is not considered acceptable with the Government guidance acting as a baseline. Clubs are encouraged to ensure all appropriate Covid measures (including track and trace, face coverings where required, physical distancing etc - see club guidance below) are in place during club activities. It is clear that the situation is continuing to evolve, and further measures may yet be put in place, therefore we will monitor the situation and update advice accordingly.
  • Useful links:

Guidance and downloads 

Guidance for hill walkers & climbers (updated 12/01/22)

Guidance for affiliated clubs and club huts (updated 12/01/22)

ABC Guidance for indoor climbing wall operators

The guidance for hill walkers, climbers and clubs in Scotland have been developed in collaboration with the Mountain Safety Group which includes Scottish Mountain Rescue, Mountain Training Scotland, Glenmore Lodge, and the Association for Mountaineering Instructors. The purpose of the guidance is to provide a framework for hill walkers and climbers within the current Scottish Government public health advice and phase of exit from lockdown, and to highlight additional considerations to be aware of in the presence of COVID-19 when taking part in these activities. 

We urge everyone heading out to enjoy the outdoors to be mindful of how their individual actions reflect on the whole outdoor community. The key will be for individuals to take a sensible approach to their activities, use your judgement to manage the risks, and to consider the social responsibility we all have to each other, to protecting our emergency services and to minimise the transmission of COVID-19.

This guidance applies to all visitors to Scotland as well as residents.

Visitor information

COVID guidance for other parts of the UK

  • Mountaineering in England and Wales: For full details of guidance for England and Wales, please visit the BMC website.
  • Northern Ireland: For details of COVID information in Northern Island click here.

Information for Coaches/Leaders

Mountain Training Scotland has also produced guidance for those involved in formally led mountain related activities. This document will also include indoor climbing activities and this is currently in the process of being written and reviewed.

Responsible outdoor access 

Before heading to the outdoors, please read the Scottish Outdoor Access Code

Reporting access issues

If you have any concerns or questions regarding access issue please contact access@mountaineering.scot

Mountaineering Scotland was formed 50 years ago to represent the interests of Scotland's hill walkers, climbers and mountaineers, and we continue that work today. With over 14,500 members and 160 affiliated clubs, we are open to anyone who loves to walk, climb or ski in Scotland's mountains.

Membership of Mountaineering Scotland offers excellent value and includes insurance for your mountaineering activities, member discounts and offers, access to great value mountain skills and climbing courses, events and competitions, quarterly Scottish Mountaineer magazine and more: Find out more about our member benefits here

In return you add your voice to our campaigns to protect Scotland's mountain landscapes, safeguard access rights, promote skills and safety,  and encourage people from all walks of life to enjoy the hills, mountains and climbing walls of Scotland responsibly.

Join Mountaineering Scotland