The Aonach Eagach is one of Scotland’s best big mountain days and THE classic day out in Glencoe. The route takes us along the ridge crest that bounds the North side of the famous Glen. It has the narrowest section of ridge on the mainland UK as well as taking in 2 Munros.
A guided walk on the Aonach Eagach takes in the tops of two Munros, Meall Dearg (953m) and Sgurr nam Fiannaidh (967m). Between these two tops is the Aonach Eagach itself, a narrow notched ridge with steep drops and pinnacles to ascend and descend. It has a bit of a fearsome reputation amongst hill walkers due to it’s inescapability once established on the ridge and it’s exposed pinnacles. However, with a good head for heights and the help of an experienced instructor, we’ll guide you along this breathtaking route allowing you to focus on enjoying the spectacular exposure and scenery.
Our route starts at the East end of the Aonach Eagach and we have a steep climb to get us onto the ridge to start the day. The first part of scrambling involves descending a section from Am Bodach. This is quite tricky and most of the time we’ll have you roped up to look after you. On a dry day, the rope will be on and off during the day but if a bit wet or windy, we’ll use the rope for most of the route.
After our first Munro of the day, Meall Dearg (953m), the scrambling ramps up a notch as we tackle lots of short ups and downs on the ridge. The narrowest section, known as the ‘Crazy Pinnacles’ are narrow and exposed but the holds are goods and we’ll coach you over this section whilst having the safety margin of a rope on.
A down climb and some more ups and downs and the scrambling is over for the day. After recharging, we’ll tackle the steep slog to Stob Coire Leith and follow the ridge over towards our final Munro of the day, Sgurr nam Fiannaidh.
There are a few descent options from the end of the ridge, none of them particularly easy! After descending,the famous Clachaig Inn is only a short walk away from the base of the route and makes a fitting place to celebrate a successful traverse.
Is this for me?
You should have a good level of fitness to do this route with previous hillwalking recommended- it’s a big day. A good head for heights is also essential as there are a few exposed sections on the ridge although these can be protected with the use of a rope. Any previous scrambling or climbing would be a bonus but is not essential.
Ratios 1:1 or 1:2
Larger groups please contact us for prices
|No. of People||Aonach Eagach Guiding|
- Technical Kit
- Harness – both of these can be supplied
- Personal Clothing/Kit
- Walking boots/Approach Shoes
- Wicking baselayer – keeps moisture away from your skin and reduces how cold you feel as a result. Cotton is not suitable.
- Trekking trousers– Lightweight, fast drying trousers are ideal.
- Mid layer– to be worn on top of baselayer in cooler conditions, for example a lightweight fleece or Primaloft top.
- Waterproof jacket
- Waterproof over trousers
- Warm hat– e.g. Woollen beanie
- Gloves– minimum 2 pairs (at least one waterproof pair). Leather gardening style gloves are good for scrambling
- Spare warm layer– e.g. fleece, synthetic insulation like primaloft,
- Other Kit
- Food and water – around 1-2 litres of water and plenty of snacks and high energy foods to get you through the day.
- Rucksack – 30 litres- recommended
- Rucksack liner/Drybags– rucksacks aren’t waterproof so either a large poly-bag liner or several smaller dry-bag type bags recommended.
- Sun screen, sun glasses – mountain sun can be fierce and the sun does come out occasionally in the Highlands!
- Small Personal First Aid Kit– e.g. blister plasters, painkillers, medications
- Head Torch– for Late Summer/Early Autumn (August onwards)
- Trekking poles (Optional) – can take 3 tonnes of loading off of your knees over the course of a day- recommended for the Aonach Eagach descent in particular!
What’s included/not included
- Qualified and experienced Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (MCI)
- Hire of helmet and harness
- Action Photos of your day!
What’s not Included
- Personal Kit
- Cancellation/Personal Injury Insurance
Meeting Times are usually 0700-0730hrs (will be confirmed beforehand). If travelling to the area by public transport let us know and we may be able to arrange a pick up.
What if the weather is bad?
The Aonach Eagach does require reasonable weather to traverse safely as the rock is slippery when wet and the ridge is exposed to high winds. If the weather is not suitable for a traverse, we can switch to an alternative scramble (e.g. Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor) which works better in poorer weather. If you’re only wanting to do the Aonach Eagach e.g. Munro bagging, we recommend getting in touch once you see a favorable weather forecast. This can be a gamble as our diary gets booked up in advance but is the only way to ensure we attempt a specific route.