It's a dreich day! Translation: it's a cold, damp, miserable Scottish day.

Scottish winter climbing isn't known for sunny, calm days with perfect visibility. Rather, 'full Scottish conditions' -- wind, sideways rain (or sleet, graupel, and snow), raw cold, and complete white-out fogs are far more common...supposedly.

In our ten days in Scotland, we experienced weather that I repeatedly said reminded me of winter days in Colorado or Utah; sunny, mild, and perfect. One day on Ben Nevis I even got sunburned, overheated, and dehydrated, things that RARELY happen for me! Disclaimer: we also experienced a few days of brutal Scottish conditions -- dreich days -- but those were to be expected.

Though Ben Nevis and the surrounding Northern Highlands are having their worst year for ice formation in 40 years, we still succeeded in finding fun ridge and snow gully climbs. Three summits of Ben Nevis via three different routes, plus lots of good whiskey, great partners, and excellent Scottish hospitality made for a trip to remember and a place I'll soon return.

Hover over photo for details.

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