Streap Alba Geamhradh 2020, the International Scottish Winter Climbing Meet, from 22nd to 29th February, will see international guests teaming up with UK climbers to climb classic routes, technical test-pieces and possibly brand new first ascents, getting a taste of the unique delights of winter climbing in Scotland.
Nearly 30 guests from 22 different countries will be attending the week-long event, including veterans of Everest and the Greater Ranges, as well as leading Alpinists. All abilities are represented, with climbers from Israel and South Africa, who have little opportunity to climb snow and ice in their own countries, through to regular winter climbers from Europe, Scandinavia and North America.
The meet starts on Saturday 22nd February with a reception and accommodation for participants at Aviemore Youth Hostel, after which guest and host climbers will spend one night or two in each of four climbing hits: the CIC Memorial Hut on Ben Nevis, Lagangarbh Hut in Glen Coe, Raeburn Hut at Laggan, and Mill Cottage at Feshiebridge.
Finally, after a week of climbing in some of Scotlandís best known mountain areas, from Glen Coe and Lochaber through to the Cairngorms, everyone will meet up at Aviemore again on the 28th, with the Winter Climbing Meet After Party at Tiso Aviemore Outdoor Experience, with a talk from top climber Guy Robertson and the chance to meet with other climbers.
Whether youíre one of our guests or a host climber, there are certain details youíll need to know about this week.
All participants are invited to attend the After Party at Tiso Aviemore Outdoor Experience on the evening of 28 February, which is also a public event to which members of the public can obtain tickets.
The speaker at the event will be Guy Robertson, a top Scottish climber and author of the acclaimed anthology The Great Mountain Crags of Scotland.
Guy lives with his family in Aberdeen, where he works full-time as a low carbon energy consultant. He has put up new rock and winter climbs in regions as diverse as Africa, the Middle East, the Alps, Peru, Norway, Canada and the Greater Himalaya. However, it is perhaps for his Scottish winter mixed climbs he is best known, having for many years been at the forefront of developments in this field. Guy made second ascents of most of the hardest winter test-pieces from the 1980s and 1990s, and then went on to pioneer many high quality winter routes of his own up to grade X. He is equally passionate about rock climbing, and in recent years has developed several excellent new long routes on Scotland's mountain cliffs.
His talk will take us on a whistle stop tour of Scotlandís greatest cliffs, describing a traditional climbing journey from early winter explorations in the Cairngorms to recent rock climbing exploits in the far north-west.
Guests and host climbers are invited to the After Party free of charge. Others may book tickets at £5 per person.
Photo shows Guy Robertson
Those who are new to Scotland will quickly come to appreciate the variable nature of our weather, and the importance of keeping up to date with weather and avalanche forecasts.
For avalanche conditions the site to keep in your favourites is the Scottish Avalanche Information Service.
There are two main websites which provide mountain-specific weather forecasts:
Both the avalanche and the weather forecasts provide information for the different areas you may be climbing in, and are updated at least daily.