top of page

Rock Climbing in Scotland

If you are looking for a guided rock-climbing holiday in Scotland we’d be very happy to help; here at Kennedy Mountaineering we provide professional instructor services throughout the Scottish Highlands. All our guides and Instructors are fully qualified members of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI), guaranteeing you a safe and enjoyable experience whilst in our care. From big sea cliffs to inland mountain crags we are confident we can provide you with the adventure of a lifetime.

All roped climbing is led at no more than 1:2. 

unnamed.jpg
IMG_1244.jpg
IMG_1302_edited.jpg
unnamed-1.jpg
IMG_1251.jpg


Climbing GUiding in the Scottish Highlands  

Climbing Guiding in the Scottish Highlans

It's very cliché to say that the Rock climbing in Scotland is world class, but on the correct day (that is to say dry and sunny...) it truly is! Renown for strict ethics, a covertly adventurous ethos and the keen local regular's capacity to embrace the often "sub-optimal" through intense levels of optimism: it's no wonder that so much of climbing's historic technical and cultural development evolved on Scottish rock. 

Suggested Routes:

  • Agag’s Groove (V-diff), Buichaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe

  • Archer Ridge (Severe), Aonach Dubh, Glen Coe

  • Crypt Route (V-diff), Church door Buttress, Glen Coe

  • Tower Ridge (Diff), Ben Nevis

  • Ardverkie Wall (Hard Severe), Binnein Shuas, near Loch Laggan

  • Savage Slit (Severe), Cairn Lochain, The Cairngorms

  • The Clean Sweep (Very Severe), Hell’s Lum

  • The Cioch Nose (V-diff), Applecross

  • The Cioch (Severe) and Integrity (Very Severe), Sgurr Sgumain, Isle of Skye

 

  • Centurion (HVS 5a), Cairn Dearg Buttress, Ben Nevis

  • The Needle (E1 5B), The Shelter Stone, Cairngorms

  • Yoyo (E1 5B), Aonach Dubh, Glen Coe

  • Trapeze (E1 5B), Aonach Dubh, Glen Coe

  • Original Route, The Old Man of Hoy (E1 5B), Isle of Hoy

  • The Magic Crack HVS 5A

  • Vulcan Wall HVS + Shan gri la VS

  • Minus One Direct E1 5B

  • Fionn Buttress, Carn Mor VS 4C

  • Grey Panther (E1 5B), Kilt Rock, Isle of Skye.

Guided Climbing Details and Pricing:

 

What you will receive:

  • A qualified and insured Association of Mountaineering Instructor for your chosen dates.

  • The safety equipment required for the day (if you have your own that’s fantastic and please bring it!)

  • Transport to the venue (pre-arranged)

 

What’s not included?

  • Lunch

  • Clothing, Waterproofs and Footwear

  • Climbing shoes + chalk bag

Scottish Rock!


Seacliff's and Sea Stacks

Seacliff's and Stacks

Immerse yourself in the wild north of Scotland to experience one of the most famous climbing adventures in the UK: the classic “Sea Stack Trilogy”. Commonly referred to as the “sea stack Odyssey”; it’s a journey of truly epic proportions taking in the Old Man of Hoy (137m tall, E1 5B/ French 6a), the Old Man of Stoer (60m tall, VS 4C/ French 5a) and Am Buichaille (60m tall, HVS 4c/ French 5a). Surrounded by nature, the power of the sea and the rich history of their respective first ascents.

 

Initially, each of the 3 stacks were climbed by the infamous Tom Patey between 1966-68.
Any avid climbing historian will recognise the magnitude Patey’s name wields and it is therefore no surprise to learn, that each of the routes in someway underlines the core values at the very heart of British trad climbing culture. It’s a journey for any avid or budding “adventure climber” wishing to explore the very best in Scottish Sea Cliff Climbing.

 

To Odyssey - “a long and eventful or adventurous journey or experience”.

 

Anticipating an adventurous climb can be nerve wrecking. It’s an environment that feels very far removed from climbing on your local crag, not to mention the sterile confines of an indoor climbing wall.  Envisaging great sandstone pillars, the potential for projectile vomiting birds, rough seas booming against the cliffs, daunting abseil descents and intrepid sea crossings. Not to mention the large journey even to reach the base of even one of the stacks! Here at Kennedy Mountaineering we specialise in helping you experience the very best Scotland has to offer. Whether you are a keen indoor climber or trad climbing regular looking to tick off yet another route from the endless dream routes list, join us on an adventure you’re unlikely to forget: with scope to climb just one or the entire sea stack trilogy!

 

Suggested Plan.

Individual stack (dependant on experience, available as a 1-6 days course)

This plan would be more preferable for those with less trad climbing experience, but are otherwise solid climbers (indoors, sport or bouldering). Over the course of a week, we would seek to progressively build your skills with the objective of climbing a sea stack at some point during the week. 

Note:

We would require you to come onto the course a competent and skilful belayer (lead and top rope), and an independent indoor/ sport leader at minimum. This prior experience will be a great asset throughout the week and will allow you to get more out of the course. For those without this experience, but keen to work towards such a course please get in touch and we can advise you on what steps to take next.

Day 1-5: Focusing on the skills you will need to climb a sea stack! 

 

Day x: Stack day!

 

Sea Stack Adventure (only appropriate for those with a lot of trad climbing seconding experience)

Day 1: 0800 meet in Ullapool or Inverness – we will confirm a plan then, dependant on the current weather conditions and experience. We will then journey north and spend the rest of the day covering some of the necessary skills required for climbing and assess your climbing.


Day 2: Sea Stack day 1 – Our intention would be to climb our first sea stack, however it might be appropriate to have a second skills based day depending on your experience, ability and confidence.

 

Day 3: Sea Stack 2 


Day 4: Sea Stack 3


Day 5: Spare day – The fifth built in day is a spare. Our overall objective would be to climb the 3 stacks over the week and this would allow us the flexibility required to ensure a safe, enjoyable ascent of each of the stacks whilst maximising our chances for good conditions on the rock. If all goes to plan we will utilise this as a guided climbing day!

Day 6: Recommended additional spare day. Allows for additional training, climbing and flexibility. (Optional +1:1 £240/1:2 £290)

 

Accommodation and Transport

  • For maximal flexibility we suggest wild camping. We can provide you with a tent and stove, but you’d need a sleeping bag and roll mat.  On the Isle of Hoy we will bring camping equipment, but will intend to stay in or outside the Rackwick Bothy (dependant on space!) 

 

  • We recommend that you have a vehicle, however are more than happy to lift share in our company van: it would be quite tight for space though!

 

Who is suitable for this course?

  • To be eligible for a full “Sea Stack Adventure” course you need to reliably second climbs at a minimum standard of French 6A/ seconding E1 5B trad. You must be relatively experienced and proficient in removing trad gear, be confident at abseiling and generally fairly happy on rock.

 

  • For individual stacks we can be more lenient and provide additional training for newer trad climbers (indoor climbers etc.), but expect guests to be able to climb approximately French 5C/ VS 4C outside (for Old Man of Stoer and Am Buichaille) OR French 6a/ E1 5B to climb the Old Man of Hoy.

Guided Climbing Details and Pricing:

What you will receive:

  • A qualified and insured Association of Mountaineering Instructor for your chosen dates.

  • The safety equipment required for the day (if you have your own that’s fantastic and please bring it!)

  • Transport to the venue (pre-arranged).

  • Radios

  • Camp Stove

  • Tent (if desired)
     

What’s not included?

  • Ferry fares

  • Food

  • Climbing shoes + chalk bag

  • Accommodation/ Sleeping bag + Roll Mat (dependant on your choice of abode)

Seacliff Climbing in Scotland


Learn to Climb

Learn to Climb

As the sport has exploded in popularity over the last 10 years, the technology has likewise progressed exponentially: from homemade/ bodged gear to complex heavily engineered and tested products. The sport therefore has undoubtedly become a lot safer innovating a new wave of trad climbing. When combined with the growth of our sport, it has opened it up to a larger cross section of the population than ever before.

 

When accompanied with the right guidance, it means it is now safer and easier than ever to learn to climb, no matter your perceived tolerance for risk. From meagre boulders to single pitch sport/ trad crags to 300m+ mountain cliffs, climbing is an incredibly varied, intricate and technical sport that as such can be incredibly difficult to navigate without guidance. Our job as members of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI) and our values here at Kennedy Mountaineering is to identify the skills you require to have a safe and enjoyable time climbing wherever you choose to climb! 

Some of the skills we will cover:

  • Outdoor Bouldering + Sport Climbing

  • Trad Climbing

  • Single Pitch/ Top Roping

  • Multi Pitch climbing

  • How to belay

  • How to protect yourself (Nuts, Cams + Hexes)

  • How to Make Belays

  • Stance Management

  • Problem Solving

  • Recreational Roped Access Techniques

  • Climbing Technique/ Movement

 

(Max ratio of 1 instructor to 2 guests)

 

What you will receive:

  • A qualified and insured Association of Mountaineering Instructor for your chosen dates.

  • The safety equipment required for the day (if you have your own that’s fantastic and please bring it!)

  • (If pre arranged) transport to the venue.

 

What’s not included?

  • Lunch

  • Climbing shoes + chalk bag

Learning to Climb with us

Scottish Rock Trip
 

Bouldering & Sport Climbing

Are you an enthusiastic indoor climber looking to experience the best of Scottish rock? Perhaps it will be your first time touching real rock? Over the course of 1-6 days we hope to demonstrate the very best of Scottish Rock climbing. Tailored entirely to your needs we intend to take your to the very best spots for you: bouldering, deep water soloing, sport climbing, trad climbing  or scrambling, whatever the conditions allow and your medicine might be.

As local enthusiastic climbers we are very adept to maximising the often fickle conditions found in Scotland. Whatever we get on it will be certainly be an adventure! 

 

Potential meeting points in Fort William + Inverness. 

 

Example Itinerary 1 Long Weekend

 

Day 1: Near Inverness and the Cairngorms 

  • AM Meet + Greet in Inverness. (Check gear, discuss weather forecast and confirm plan dependent on your needs and objectives. E.g. Multi discipline week)

  • Buy any additional supplies we might need 

  • Finally head straight out to the crags, bouldering near Inverness 

Day 2: 

  • Guided Trad Climbing (weather appropriate, but for the sake of example Savage Slit (S 4A) + Fallout Corner (HS 4B), Cairngorms or ) 

Day 3: 

  • Sport Climbing day near Inverness or trad climbing day 

  • PM Homeward travel

 

Example 2: A week in the Northwest 

 

Day 1:

  • AM meet in Inverness. 

  • Supplies and Drive

  • Training day on small trad crag (Eg. Gairloch, Torridon, Reiff)

Day 2: 

  • Mountain Day (Eg. Stac Pollaidh, Cioch Nose in Applecroos) 

 

Day 3 

  • Bouldering/ Sport Climbing rest day (Eg. Gairloch/ Torridon) 

Day 4 

  • ​Seacliff training day 

Day 5 

  • A seastack 

  • rapid homeward travel

          
 

Example venues Include: 

  • Lochaber, Glencoe and Ardnamurchan

  • Ullapool, Gairloch, Torrid and the North West

  • Isle of Mull and Isle of Arran 

  • The Isle of Skye

  • Outer Hebrides and Orkney Isles

  • The Cairngorms and Moray Coast

Ratio 

  • Sport/ Trad Climbing/ Scrambling we can only operate at a 1:2 ratio. If coming as a group of more than 2, it is probable we can arrange additional staff - please enquire.  

  •  If you're solely bouldering we can operate at a ratio of 1:6

What you will receive:

  • A qualified and insured Association of Mountaineering Instructor for your chosen dates.

  • The safety equipment required for the day (if you have your own that’s fantastic and please bring it!)

  • Use of Boulder Pads

  • Tent (if desired)

  • Camp Stove

 

What’s not included?

  • Transport over 1:2 ratio

  • Travel Expenses (Fuel/ Ferry) - depends on what venue we choose to visit

  • Food

  • Climbing shoes + chalk bag

  • Accommodation/ Sleeping bag + Roll Mat (dependant on your choice of abode)

Scottish Rock Guiding