Climbing in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park has a long and celebrated history and if you’re seeking adventure, there are plenty of opportunities to experience it first-hand.
For the experienced climber, there are many locations in the National Park offering bouldering, multi pitch traditional routes, bolted sport climbing and winter classics.
For those wishing to give climbing a try, consider getting some lessons from a qualified instructor or visiting an indoor climbing wall, to get the most from your first go. There are a couple of indoor walls in or close to the National Park – such as Mclaren Community Leisure Centre in Callander and The Peak Climbing Wall, Stirling.
There are plenty of places to stay if you are visiting as part of a holiday with accommodation available close to the majority of the main venues.
Mountains located around the coastal village of Arrochar, includes the Cobbler and the Brack, offering a wide range of summer and winter climbing of all grades. Historical and popular bouldering since the 60’s, on the Narnain Boulders on the main Cobbler approach path. On the opposite hill, the Brack, lies a developed jumble of large boulders with lines mostly V2 to V8.
Accessible single pitch rock climbing on a variety of outcrops on the southern flank of the Cobbler.
There are a number of accessible crags and outcrops scattered throughout this area of the Park. Options include single pitch cragging, bolted outcrops and bouldering. The area is surprisingly mountainous with many rocky summits and buttresses including some which have produced a few winter lines.
Scenic rock climbing on a pyramidal cragoverlooking Loch Katrine. Mostly single pitch climbs in the lower grades including some old time classics like the ‘Last Eighty’.
Heralded by many as the ‘finest mountain in the Southern Highlands’. The ‘Central Gully’ takes the headwall of Coire Goatach to reach the grand 1130m summit.
The home of Scotland’s premier sport climbing venue. Technical climbing on the South West facing “sunnyside” can be a delight on a warm summer evening when the breeze often keeps the midges away; the Dark side is altogether different, with generally harder climbing and a few fierce test pieces.
The National Park area includes a number of quality winter venues and routes. Due to the coastal influence conditions can be fickle, but on the right day classic gullies like Central Gully on Ben Lui, or Y Gully on the lofty Munro Cruach Ardrain are a great experience. Beinn Chuirn and Eas Anie offers waterfall ice, and Beinn an Lochain, the Brack and The Cobbler offer technical mixed testpieces. For more info and condition reports see www.scottishwinter.com
Bouldering in the Park has really developed over the past few years to give good quality venues and circuits including; Loch Katrine, Ben Ledi Boulders, Stronachlacher, Glen Croe, E. Loch Lomond, Butterbridge and Glen Massan. For keen explorers in search of a new line, there are many undeveloped stones with great potential including; Succoth, Glen Kinglass and N. Glen Dochart.
When you are out climbing it is important that you take personal responsibility for your own actions and act safely. Climbing involves specialist equipment and you must know how to use it properly, which may require training.
It makes sense to prepare contingency plans in the event of an unforeseen event, to carry an appropriate first aid kit and to consider specialist first aid training. The Mountaineering Council of Scotland provides a wealth of advice on mountain safety.
Please respect the environment, others and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code [insert link].
Climbing in the National Park is well covered by a number of guidebooks, including those published by the Scottish Mountaineering Club. See www.smc.org.uk/publications/climbing for more info.