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SCOTTISH SPRING & SUMMER

Mountaineering Courses and Guiding

Scotland Courses - Winter Courses - Spring Courses

Early morning on Sgurr a'Mhadaidh during a Cuillin Ridge traverse (climbers: Kevin Mulligan and Andrew Denton)

Enjoy the best of the recent Spring and Summer seasons with our SCOTTISH SPRING PHOTO GALLERY

Scottish courses - Frequently Asked Questions

Spring and early Summer are the ideal seasons to climb the Skye Munros, tackle the Cuillin Ridge traverse and enjoy adventurous Scrambling and Rock climbing on our magnificent cliffs. The days are long and the weather is typically dry, clear and settled. Our Spring programme gives hillwalkers, scramblers and rock climbers the opportunity to develop skills and enjoy some of Britain's finest mountain challenges; as well as knocking off those all-important Munros!!

Spring Courses: 5-day courses offer great value and give the best chance of successful achievement of ambitions on the Skye Mountaineer and Cuillin Traverse programs; and a progressive improvement in personal rock skills on the Adventure Rock course; plus our Easter Alpine Preparation, the ideal training week for those planning summer trips to the Alps.

Rock Climbing Specials: 6 day Sea Stacks Tour 2nd - 8th July including the great Old Man of Hoy and Hebridean Rock - 11th - 19th June a week of fantastic rock climbing and wilderness adventure on the uninhabited Outer Hebridean islands of Pabbay and Mingulay.

Private Guiding: For those with limited time or else wanting a few days of guiding during an independent holiday then we would be pleased to devise your itinerary and organise one of expert guides for you at any time from April through to October.

 

Pinnacle Ridge on Sgurr nan Gillean in early Spring conditions

Climbing the Cioch Nose of Applecross - a great multi-pitch Severe (climber: Stephen Wilson)

Spring Courses:

Inclusive of full-board accommodation and home cooking at our luxury base Coulags Lodge

Skye Mountaineer

Peak-bagging and scrambling on the Cuillin of Skye - a productive week for Munro-baggers and scramblers

Pre-requirements: You should be fit for 7-8hr hill days and ready for walking and scrambling on rough pathless terrain; good balance and head for heights are essential; and prior scrambling experience on some of Britain's mainland peaks is recommended

Itinerary: 4 days on the Cuillin attempting to climb all the difficult Main Ridge Munros, including the Inaccessible Pinnacle, and classic scrambles - one day's basic instruction in rock climbing, abseiling and all essential ropework techniques to tackle the Cuillin safely. Even in poor weather we aim to achieve 7 or 8 of the Skyre Munros on this course. An overnight expedition on the mountains of Skye is often included. Itinerary in fine weather with a fit party:-

Day 1: Ascent of Sgurr nan Gillean, Am Basteir and Bruach na Frithe - the northern trio of the main ridge
Day 2: Traverse of Sgurr na Banachdich, Ghreadaidh and Mhadaidh
Day 3: An easier day - rock climbing instruction and abseiling in Torridon
Days 4 and 5: Overnight camp or bivouac in Coire a'Ghrunnda; climbing Sgurr nan Eag, Sgurr Dubh Mor, Sgurr Alasdair, Sgurr Mhic Chonnnich and the Inaccessible Pinnacle

2017 Dates: 15-21 Apr (Easter week), 29 Apr-5 May (arr Sat dep Fri), Course ratio: 4:1 max

Price: £720

Price includes all Guiding, local Transport, up to 6 nights Full-board accommodation at Coulags Lodge

The Cuillin Traverse

The Challenge: A complete crossing of the Cuillin Ridge in a two day expedition with a bivouac en-route. Without doubt this is Britain's premier mountaineering challenge, and involves sustained grade 2 and 3 scrambling, rock climbing to Severe standard, several abseils and 10,000 feet of ascent. Our 5 day course gives the best possible chance of getting the weather and conditions to attempt the Ridge plus valuable instruction in rock climbing and scrambling.

Pre-requirements: You are need to be very fit and in good training; you also must be a competent scrambler with good balance and head for heights; you should have some experience of roped rock climbing - indoor or outdoor; and it is helpful if you have visited the Cuillin before so know something about the terrain and style of climbing. Planned itinerary:-

Day 1: Traverse of Clach Glas and Blaven (grade 3 scramble and Diff rock climbing) – the perfect training route for the Main Ridge traverse.
Day 2: Rock climbing and abseiling training on a crag in Torridon. Climbing in boots, down-climbing, safe quick abseil routines; routes up to VS standard.
Days 3-5: Attempt on Traverse of Cuillin Ridge with bivouac at In Pinn half-way along – two tough days of 12 and 10 hours, covering 11 Munros with sustained grade 2 and 3 scrambling and rock climbing up to Hard Severe standard. On the spare day we can offer the classic multi-pitch Cioch Nose (Severe) (as featured in Classic Rock) if time and energies permit!
In event of unsettled weather we will guide you over the most difficult and exciting sections of the Main Ridge over two separate days with an overnight return to base.

Cuillin Traverse video : this short film gives a good impression of the length and terrain on the Ridge traverse (courtesy of Peter and Stephen Ashworth)

2017 Dates: 15-21 Apr (Easter week), 29 Apr-5 May (arr Sat dep Fri) Course ratio: 3:1 max

Price: £860

Price includes all Guiding, local Transport, up to 6 nights Full-board accommodation at Coulags Lodge

Adventure Rock Climbing

Enjoy some of Britain's finest rock climbing and improve your skills and grades.

Pre-requirements: Anyone with basic indoor or outdoor rock climbing experience who wants to develop personal skills in a week of exciting rock climbing with thorough instruction at a variety of magnificent locations across NW Scotland.

Instructional Content: Belaying, protection, anchors and ropework; Multi-pitch climbing, Abseiling routines, Prusiking; Client leading under Guide's supervision.

Climbing Venues: Select from the Cioch of Applecross, the Triple Buttress of Beinn Eighe, the Cioch slabs of Skye and the Diabaig outcrops - we cater for all standards from VDiff up to HVS and E-grade routes.

Sample itinerary for a group with previous experience to Severe/VS standard:-
Day 1: Stone Valley crags, Gairloch: refresher and coaching in personal skills, seconding single-pitch routes from S to HVS standard
Day 2: Ascent of Applecross Cioch Nose (S, 4a) – the classic multi-pitch route of the area and a grand mountain day; followed by the roadside gem Sword of Gideon (VS, 4c) if time allows.
Day 3: Client leading and techniques day from VDiff to VS standard at Ardheslaig crag or Creag Alligin, Torridon.
Day 4: Mountain route on Sron na Ciche on Skye; Cioch West (S), Arrow Route (VD) and Integrity (HS) - an 8-pitch feast of immaculate climbing
Day 5: Climb some of Scotland’s best outcrop routes at Diabaig on Loch Torridon, for example Route 2 (HVS), Black Streak (E1) or The Pillar (E2, 5b)

2017 Dates: 15-21 Apr (Easter week), 29 Apr-5 May (arr Sat dep Fri) Course ratio: 3:1 max

Price: £820

Price includes all Guiding, local Transport, up to 6 nights Full-board accommodation at Coulags Lodge

Arrow Route, Cioch Slabs, Skye - Adventure Rock (climber Paul Rowntree)

Left: Celebrating success on the summit of the Inaccessible Pinnacle

Above: Exhilarating scrambling on the Dubhs Ridge of Skye - Cuillin Traverse course (climbers: Rowan and Tom Barrett)

 

Alpine Preparation Week

Designed for mountaineers who are planning a trip to the Alps later in the year, this course provides a thorough week of training and technical preparation, using our long experience of running ands guiding Alpine courses, with application of the techniques on some of our best local mountain routes. The week is run from our base in Strathcarron in the "Alpine" conditions of Scotland in early Spring. You can come on this course as an individual or group. The course will kick-start your Alpine ambitions and ensure you get the most from your Alpine climbing trips.

Skills covered: Snowcraft skills and crampon techniques; snow and ice belays; ropework systems for glacier travel and ridges; crevasse rescue; hoisting systems and self-rescue; movement skills on mixed terrain; abseil routines; routeplanning and assessment of snow conditions - coaching and practice on our local mountains supplemented by indoor seminars and lecture presentations.

Itinerary: Typical itinerary and venues:-

Day 1: Glen Shiel - South Cluanie Ridge: snowcraft, snow belays, short-roping and moving together systems on gully and ridge trerrain
Day 2: Cuillin Ridge, Skye: movement skills and ropework on rock and mixed ridges; with coaching of skills for traverses and descents:
Day 3: Rock crags, Applecross: crevasse rescue, hoisting and self-rescue training, multi-pitch abseil routines, rock belays
Day 4: Liathach, Torridon: Traverse of Northern Pinnacles applying all the skills required to tackle AD standard Alpine routes; crevasse rescue practice on snow. Day 5: Coire Lagan, Skye: round of the corrie, applying all the skills learnt on the earlier days

2017 Dates: 15-21 Apr (arr Sat dep Fri), Course ratio: 3:1 max

Price: £820

Price includes all Guiding, local Transport, up to 6 nights Full-board accommodation at Coulags Lodge

Private/Group Guiding:

We can offer weekend or daily guiding/instruction from April to end-October with qualified Mountain Leaders (ML), Mountain Instructors (MIA) or Mountain Guides (BMG).

Whether it be Inaccesible Pinnacle, Cuillin Ridge Traverse, Torridon Munros, An Teallach and the Fisherfield Munros, rock climbs on the Beinn Eighe Triple Buttress or Applecross Cioch Nose - we can provide tailored and flexible guiding solutions to your great challenges.

Families and beginners can have a taster session of rock climbing and climb one of our spectacular Munros under expert guidance, and our instructors will provide personal coaching and tuition to improve your existing skills.

Guideline prices:-

Skye Munros, Day Scrambles, Mainland Ridges, Rock Climbing. Prices: £200 per day for 1 person; £215 for 2; £225 for 3; £250 for group of 4.

Cuillin Traverse 3 day package (one day training, 2 days traverse with bivouac): £740 on 1:1 ratio, £400 per person on 1:2, £320 per person on 1:3 ratio

Half-day introduction to rock climbing and abseiling tuition: £100 for 2 persons; £120 for 3; £140 for 4

Prices may be increased for especially long or difficult itineraries. We can advise suitable B&B or guest house accommodation for our private clients.

Special Rock Climbing Holidays:

Sea Stack Climbing Tour

The Old Man of Hoy - E1 5b - final objective on our annual sea stacks week

Climb Scotland's most famous sea stacks in a 6-day itinerary - The Old Man of Stoer, Am Buachaille and The Old Man of Hoy. Tidal access, tyrolean traverses, abseil descents, a wealth of seabird life and even the occasional swim make for an adventurous week in the incomparable coastal scenery of Sutherland, Caithness and Orkney. As well as the 3 stacks there will be opportunities to climb on other cliffs during the week, plus instruction in leading, gear/belay placement and abseiling techniques. Itinerary:-

Sat: Meet in Inverness in late afternoon; airport collection available; drive to Achmelvich hostel near Lochinver
Sun: Climb Old Man of Stoer (VS, 5a) and drive north to Kinlochbervie; camp at Sheigra beach
Mon – Tues: Climb Am Buachaille (HVS, 5a) and routes on Sheigra cliff from VS to E2 standard – days interchangeable according to weather and tides; or take ferry and taxi to Cape Wrath and climb A’Chailleach (HS, 4b) – a 60 foot stack of solid gneiss on Scotland’s NW tip.
Wed: Drive to Thurso (3hr) and take Scrabster ferry to Stromness on Orkney, then passenger ferry to Hoy; stay at Rackwick Hostel
Thurs: Climb Old Man of Hoy (E1, 5b); stay at Rackwick.
Fri: take ferries back to Mainland and drive down to Inverness – drop off at 15.00hr.

Pre-requirements: clients must be confident to second at VS/HVS standard and swim up to 20 metres, all specialist rope techniques will be taught during the week.

2017 Dates: 1-7 July Course ratio: 2:1

Price: £1,040

Price includes all Guiding, Transport (minibus and all ferry fares), Meals, Hostel and Camp accommodation.

Hebridean Rock - Pabbay and Mingulay

A week of fantastic rock climbing and remote island living on Pabbay and Mingulay in the Outer Hebrides. Widely considered to offer some of the best trad rock climbing in Europe, the many cliffs of these uninhabited islands provide a wealth of steep exciting climbs on big holds at all standards from VS upwards. The week will be camp-based and with near 24 hour daylight it is possible to climb at any hour. There are spectacular 90 metre abseils and dramatic traverses and yet the routes are surprisingly friendly in style and difficulty. You'll climb above the Altanltic swell amidst a wealth of wildlife and then can relax by beautiful sandy beaches on the islands' eastern coasts. Our guides are experts in sea cliff climbing and throughout the week will give you coaching in techniques and pyschology of climbing in this wild environment. This week will get your give your climbing standard and confidence a real boost and promises a restorative break from modern civilisation

Pre-requirements: members should be competent seconding trad routes of minimum grade VS; multi-pitch experience is helpful. For sport climbers this week offers a dramatic introduction to the trad climbing domain and you should be confidently climbing sport 6a on indoor wall and outdoor cliffs. Many of the best routes on the islands are in the HVS - E3 range - trad grades 4c to 5c and sport grades 5b-6b+. Our guides will help boost your grades through the week.

The Great Arch of Pabbay

2017 Dates: 10-18 June (dep Sat rtn Sun) Course ratio: 2:1

Price: £1,220

Price includes 7 days Guiding, Ferry and Boat fares, Use of tents, ropes and hardware, Food supplies for week

Read Martin's blog on his trip in 2014

Fantastic exposure on Voyage of Faith, Dun Mingulay

Campsite beach at Mingulay

Itinerary: Sat: Meet at Oban ferry terminal 14.00hr, take Calmac ferry to Pabbay and transit to Donald MacLeod's fishing boat for the one hour journey to Mingulay. Sun-Tues: Climb on the cliffs of Guarsay Mor, Dun Mingulay and the Geirum Walls. Wed: Morning boat transfer to Pabbay; afternoon climbing. Thurs-Sat: climbs at The Great Arch, Poop Deck, Grey Wall Recess, Banded Wall, and Allanish Walls. Sat evening: boat return to Barra, camp at Castlebay. Sun: return ferry to Oban arr 13.30hr

Sample Routes: Mingulay: Guarsay Mor: Under the Pink E1, 5b**, Taxing Macphee E2, 5b***, Arch Angel HVS 5a**, Arch Deacon HVS 5a **, Cuan a Bochan E1, 5b*** Dun Mingulay: 15 Fathoms of Fear S, 4a**, Sula E2, 5b***, Voyage fo Faith E3, 5c****. Pabbay: Great Arch: The Priest E1, 5b***, Prophecy of Drowning E2, 5c****; Banded Walls: Spring Squill E1, 5b***. Poop Deck: Illegal Alien HVS, 5a*** Grey Wall Recess: U-Ei E2, 5b***. Guidebook: Scottish Rock vol 2 North Gary Latter

 

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Moran Mountain Ltd - Park Cottage - Achintee - Strathcarron - Ross-shire - IV54 8YX
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E-mail moranmountain@icloud.com
Director: Martin Moran
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