Collectively, the highest hills in Scotland are called Munros (named after the man who first catalogued them, Sir Hugh Munro). To be classified as a Munro, a hill must have an independent summit over 3,000ft high. Naturally, this doesn’t cover all Scotland’s hills and there are 227 additional ‘tops’ (hills over 3,000ft that are attached to Munros but share the same summit), 221 Corbetts (hills between 2,500ft and 2,999ft), 224 Grahams (hills between 2,000ft and 2,499ft) and hundreds of others.
To walk to the summit of all of Scotland’s hills would take most folks a lifetime. Some people choose to climb them instead, seeking out routes that require technical skills and ironmongery to ascend. Dorsal Arete is one such route. A 120m grade II winter climb in Glen Coe on the west coast of Scotland, it ascends a ridge that separates two large buttresses on Stob Coire nan Lochan, a crag usually passed with little interest from hillwalkers on their way to the Munro, Bidean nam Bian. Coire nan Lochan is home to a variety of easy and difficult climbs. Dorsal Arete is at the easy end of the scale and is a popular route for novice Scottish winter climbers. It is good fun in a great setting.