Ben Alder

‘Only’ a Grade 1 scram­ble... but wild, ex­posed, and not to be un­der­es­ti­mated!

Trail (UK) - - CONTENTS - Jeremy Ashcroft moun­taineer­ing ed­i­tor

Make the wild, ex­posed ridge of Long Leachas your next big ad­ven­ture.

The high plateau and tow­er­ing cliffs of Ben Alder are of a truly awe­some mag­ni­tude. It and its neigh­bours would not look out of place among the vast­ness of north Nor­way or the great moun­tains of Bri­tish Columbia. This scale is not con­fined to the sum­mits ei­ther, as the at­ten­dant glens are huge and for the most part de­void of hu­mans or habi­ta­tion. Of­ten re­garded as one of Scot­land’s most re­mote Mun­ros, just get­ting to the base of Ben Alder is a day’s work in it­self – so those who come this way mostly do it with an overnight stay. Fit­tingly, Ben Alder is also fur­nished with two grand arêtes (the Short and Long Leachas), both of which make per­fect ways to get to the sum­mit. Both Grade 1 scram­bles, they fall at the softer end of the grade. How­ever they should not be un­der­es­ti­mated, for what they lack in tech­ni­cal­ity they more than make up for in ex­po­sure and wild sit­u­a­tions. You could flip a coin to choose which one to climb and you wouldn’t be dis­ap­pointed. But in terms of bang for your buck the Long Leachas, as de­scribed here, is longer – so it’s prob­a­bly the one to go for first!

BY TOM BAI­LEY

Cover pho­to­graph: Head­ing for Scafell Pike

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