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Climbing & Mountaineering

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 those wishing to give climbing a try, lessons from a qualified instructor or visiting an indoor climbing wall will help you make that first step. 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.

For the experienced climber, the National Park offers bouldering, multi pitch traditional routes, bolted sport climbing and winter classics.

There is a good choice of places to stay if you are visiting as part of a holiday, with accommodation close to the majority of the main climbing venues.

The Arrochar Alps

A stunning group of mountains located around the coastal village of Arrochar, including Beinn Narnain, the Cobbler and the Brack, offering a wide range of trad summer and winter climbing across the grades. Bouldering on the Narnain Boulders (main Cobbler approach path), Glen Croe and on the super-steep Kennedy boulder below the Brack.

Glen Croe

Readily accessed, single-pitch outcrop climbing on the southern flank of the Cobbler.

The Cowal

There are a number of crags and outcrops scattered throughout this picturesque and charming part of the Park, including single-pitch cragging, bolted outcrops and bouldering. The area is surprisingly mountainous with many rocky summits and buttresses including a few winter lines.

Ben A’an

Scenic rock climbing on a mica-schist pyramid overlooking Loch Katrine. Mostly single-pitch climbs in the lower grades including some old time classics such as the ‘Last Eighty’.

Ben Lui

Heralded by many as the ‘finest mountain in the Southern Highlands’. The Central Gully (and variations) take the headwall of Coire Goatach to reach a grand 1130m summit.

Glen Ogle

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 a breeze keeps the midges away. The North facing ‘Dark side’ is an altogether different proposition, moody and generally harder with a few fierce test-pieces for the steely-fingered.

Winter climbing

The National Park area has 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 offer a great experience. Beinn Chuirn and Eas Anie offers waterfall ice, and Beinn an Lochain, the Brack and the Cobbler offer technical mixed routes. For more info and condition reports see  www.scottishwinter.com

Bouldering

Bouldering in the Park has taken-off over the past few years, with a number of quality venues and circuits including; Loch Katrine, Ben Ledi Boulders, Stronachlacher, Glen Croe, E. Loch Lomond, Mini Magic Wood, 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.

For more info see www.stonecountry.blogspot.co.uk and www.ukbouldering.com

Safety

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 alternative plans in the event of an unforeseen event or change in the weather, carry a decent first aid kit and to consider specialist first aid training. Mountaineering Scotland provides a wealth of advice on mountain safety.

Please respect the environment, others and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Guidebooks

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 and the select guide Scottish Rock : South By G. Latter.

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