Duration: 1 day
Client to Instructor Ratio: 2:1 Max
If there was ever a scrambling route deserving of the description "devious," it's certainly route to the Cioch. This is a top-tier scramble, culminating in a formidable rock bastion situated in the heart of terrain traditionally reserved for expert climbers.
Before Your Course
Your EverydayClimbing mountain guide will be in touch one to two days before your course commences. This pre-course contact serves to introduce your guide, confirm meeting details, and provide insight into the expected weather conditions. Our guides are readily available to address any queries you may have, ensuring you're well-prepared for your upcoming adventure.
On the Day
Exploring the Cioch through a scrambling journey is a venture that defies mere words. The Cioch, an iconic pinnacle nestled within one of the UK's most joyous cliffs, stands as a pedestal from which you can behold the very essence of Scottish mountain perfection. To fully grasp its majestic beauty, one must experience it firsthand.
Our scrambling adventure commences just as the pioneering mountaineers Norman Collie and John Mackenzie did back in 1906, with a tranquil hike into the glacier-carved Coire Laggan. The imposing shoulder of Sron Na Ciche reigns supreme over this coire, a complex cliff adorned with ribs, gullies, slabs, and walls, each impressively steep and adorned with classic lines. Once you know what to look for, the Cioch reveals itself, framed by its shadow cast upon the immaculate Arrow Route slab. However, the path to access it is far less obvious.
After an hour or so of hiking, we reach a seemingly unremarkable gully that leads to the scree bands beneath the cliff. This gully, perhaps slightly more weathered than the others, holds the key to reaching the captivating pinnacle. Here, we don our ropes and harnesses, and we'll rely on them until we return to this very spot, hours later. We'll need them too, as The Cioch's reputation for being consistently challenging, intricate, and laden with consequences is justified.
We begin by following ledges that backtrack and seek out weaknesses. As we reach a larger ledge known as 'the terrace,' the ascent's character transforms, directing us to ascend a series of chimneys and grooves at the extreme edge of the immaculate slab we observed from below. The incline gradually steepens, and just as it seems it may become insurmountable, it relents, unveiling a horizontal corridor-like weakness that leads to a vast platform directly across from the Cioch. The views from here are nothing short of awe-inspiring, encompassing the Outer Hebrides, the intricate beauty of Sron na Cache, Sgurr Dearg, the Inaccessible Pinnacle, and the entirety of Coire Laggan.
While this viewpoint is exceptional, the grandeur from the Cioch's pinnacle is even more remarkable. Here, a moment of reflection is in order, alongside a touch of playfulness. In homage to the famous battle scene from 'Highlander,' this spot has traditionally hosted a sword fight, paying tribute to Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert.
With this playful nod to cinematic history behind us, we embark on a new phase of rope-bound descents, including multiple abseils from the Cioch and down the slab's face. From this point on, enjoyable and straightforward scrambling takes us forward, with the Cioch perched above as our constant companion. As we eventually emerge from the gully we initially entered, there may be a twinge of melancholy as we remove our climbing gear and initiate the journey back to Glen Brittle. Though the day may come to an end, the memories of the Cioch will persist, and the smile it brings will remain with you for years to come.
Not quite what you're seeking? No problem! We specialise in organising climbing, scrambling, or mountaineering guides for any route in the Scottish Highlands or islands. From the dramatic sea-stacks to the legendary Skye Cuillin, we've got your adventure covered. Feel free to drop us a line with your specific requirements, and we'll promptly respond to your inquiry.
This course is available year-round and can be scheduled on any day that suits your plans.
Feel free to reach out with your specific requirements or contact us using the form below, and we'll promptly respond to your inquiry.
Our prices are comprehensive and cover the following:
One person - £260
Two people - £310 (£155 per person)
With your capable instructor leading the way, you'll have the unique opportunity to tackle the finest and most exposed sections of this renowned mountaineering route head-on. Dive into the exploration, immerse yourself in the adventure, and experiment with the many exposed segments that this remarkable route has to offer.
This scramble is a true celebration of the art of scrambling, coming remarkably close to the essence of summer mountaineering in the UK. It's a sustained and almost constantly exposed experience, offering several changes of style during ascent and descent. The route occasionally transitions into rock-climbing terrain, necessitating a diverse skill set typically commanded by well-rounded mountaineers and rock climbers. Thankfully, your guide will take charge of all route-finding, rope work, and provide instruction and guidance throughout. This makes the day accessible to very confident hillwalkers and novice scramblers.
While no technical climbing experience is required, a foundation in summer hillwalking and a confident approach are essential. This journey promises a full day of exploration and challenge, ensuring an unforgettable experience.
• 25-35l backpack
• Mountain walking boots
• Walking poles
• Water bottle or hot drink flask (1 litre)
• lunch (around 1000cals.)
• Head torch + spare batteries
• Thick socks
• Waterproof jacket and trousers
• Thin fleece or light insulated jacket
• Thick fleece or mid insulated jacket
• Warm hat
• Hiking trousers
• Synthetic/merino base layers
• Personal medication
• Sun lotion & midge repellent/head net
• Waterproof stuff sacks for everything
• OS map
• Waterproof map case
• Compass (Silva type 4 recommended)
• Climbing helmet
• Belay device and karabiner
• Emergency shelter (Orange bag)
To guarantee your comfort and security throughout our activities, we strongly advise all participants to come prepared with the complete equipment listed. While our activities may proceed even if participants do not have the entire kit list, please be aware that EverydayClimbing and our instructors retain the right to modify the itinerary or conclude the activity early should the absence of essential equipment pose an elevated risk to the group, exceeding acceptable safety standards.
As part of our unwavering commitment to eliminating barriers to outdoor adventures, we offer a selection of equipment available for use by anyone, with no questions asked. Your safety and enjoyment are our top priorities. Just drop us a line to let us know what you require.