Rob Jeffries

Approaching Aonach Beag on a fine January day


My spare time and holidays are spent climbing and fell-running in the mountains of the UK (mostly in Scotland). Usually this involves nothing more than perspiration, stamina and withstanding the attentions of the Scottish midge

However, I climb in all seasons, and in winter, the Scottish mountains are a serious proposition, with weather varying between alpine (see above) and arctic (sometimes on the same day - see below).

Pictorial accounts of recent expeditions (2010 onwards) can be found on the Scottish Hills website, including:
Mountains around Glen Carron
Corbetts in Eastern Knoydart
A run around the Ardnamurchan volcano
A testing winter day on An Teallach
Bagging the tops on the Cuillin of Skye
A bad day on the Big Ben (Nevis)
The 2014 Isle of Jura Fell Race!
Road rash at the Rinnes Race
The Bob Graham Round

Stob Coire Easain on a
			not-so-fine January day
The Lairig Ghru pass from Cairn Toul in the Cairngorms

Scottish Mountaineering

The North and West of Scotland are the most mountainous regions of the UK. Although small by world standards, the rough going and tremendously variable (often wet!) weather offer fantastic challenges.

A Stag in Glen Etive; Buchaille Etive Mor in the background

Most of my activity in the last few years has revolved around completing the "Munros" - a list of 282 Scottish mountains higher than 3000 feet. I "compleated" in August 2009 on Ben Hope, becoming the 4397th person to do so, according to the Scottish Mountaineering Club . I'm now making progress (204/222 and counting) through the Corbetts - hills between 2500 and 3000 feet.

Wild Camping

Camping in Gleann
				  	Dubh-Lighe (Jan 2010)

Current legislation offers the right to camp anywhere on open land in Scotland providing you are away from dwellings and the road. I take advantage of this to take a small tent to many remote and beautiful spots. In the last few years I have camped in Gleann Dubh Lighe (see above), Knoydart, Glen Carron, Atholl Forest, Glen Etive, Glen Lyon and the Monadhliath. I have backpacked over the Galloway Corbetts, (May 2011) the Fisherfield Wilderness and (July 2011) the Cairngorms (including a camp on the summit of Ben Macdui), Glen Affric and many others.

Mountain Bothies

Lairig Leacach Bothy

An alternative to camping that I often use, especially in winter, are a network of open shelters or "bothies" (usually stone-built ex-shepherds cottages). These can offer welcome respite from foul weather in remote locations, though they have NO facilities. Many of these are maintained by the Mountain Bothies Association . Recent examples were a January 2011 round of the Assynt Corbetts, using the Suileag and Glendhu bothies and a January 2012 walk from Glenfinnan to Inverie in Knoydart via the Corryhully, A'Chuil and Sourlies bothies. This January (2016) a friend and I walked around the north of the Isle of Jura.