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History of Climbing

Glencoe is considered by many to be the spiritual home of Scottish mountaineering. Its climbing history spans three centuries and has witnessed many bold ascents made by Scotland’s finest climbers. The pioneering years at the turn of the twentieth century established Glencoe as a formidable testing ground, and many of the earlier routes were completed amazingly with the most basic of equipment. Routes like Crowberry Gully on Buachaille Etive Mor, climbed by Harold Raeburn in 1909, were so far ahead of their time that they went unrepeated for a quarter of a century.
In the 1920’s, mountaineering really began to take off and spurred the formation of mountaineering clubs and the publication of climbing guidebooks.
One group in particular, the Creagh Dhu Club (formed by workers in Clydebank), were pivotal in bringing a new generation of climbers to the Glen with a fresh spirit of competition.
Around this time the Glencoe and Dalness estates were put up for sale and the future preservation and access became uncertain. One man in particular, Percy Unna (who was then the President of the Scottish Mountaineering Club), was instrumental in raising funds to procure the estate and hand it over to the newly formed NTS. This action ensured that future generations would have complete access to the Glen in its most magnificent unspoilt self.
The list of celebrated climbers, too many of which to mention, who have spent many summers and winters honing and testing their skills in Glencoe bears testament to the great challenges on offer and the mountains continual ability to provide a benchmark for Scottish climbing.
Creag Dhu Club
Creag Dhu Club


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