Jamie's Favourite Climbs

Jamie chooses his favourite climbs from the UK and abroad, and the mountains still on his bucket list.

"My life as an adventurer is developing all the time. I started as a road runner, with my first real adventure being a 240km solo run through Vietnam. From there, I moved on to Run the Americas, a 17,000km road run from Vancouver to Buenos Aires, during which I got my first real taste of altitude and my love of the mountains has continued to grow from there. When I got back, I solo ran the UK’s Three Peaks (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, Snowdon), became a trail runner and have run across the Alps twice. More recently, I returned from summitting Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western and Southern Hemisphere. I love getting other people to enjoy time on the mountains as much as I do, and these are the ones I always recommend."

For beginners

Traprain Law to North Berwick Law

"I grew up in East Lothian, Scotland, so this one has personal appeal. Traprain Law is located near East Linton, and North Berwick Law is on the coast. You can climb Traprain Law and then walk to North Berwick Law on small country paths. Climb to the summit and you are rewarded with amazing views of the Firth of Forth. Then, back down in North Berwick, you can celebrate with fish and chips at the North Berwick Fry!"

Pen Y Fan, Fan Y Big, Cribyn and Corn Du

"I love Wales; for a few years, the Brecon Beacons have been one of my main places to train. I have trekked, cycled and run here and it brings me so much joy every time. For people starting out on the mountains, Pen Y Fan is a great introduction. The great thing about this mountain is that there are a few different ways to climb it. I would avoid the highway that runs up from the A470 and instead start from the north side, where you can venture up Fan Y Big, trek across to Cribyn and then Pen y Fan and finish on Corn Du. If you have two cars, you can leave one at the base of Cribyn, and then drive east to the trailhead for Fan Y Big.  There is also a nice approach from Taf Fechan Car park that heads up to Upper Neuadd Reservoir. Here, turn right and you can climb up onto the ridge."

Climb up from Llyn y Fan Fach Car Park

"This is a really lovely hike up and around Llyn y Fan Fach. Once at the water, you veer right and can climb up on to a beautiful ridge that looks down on the lake below. You can also extend the walk to the National Showcaves Centre of Wales."

Intermediate climbs

Scafell Pike

"The first time I summitted Scafell Pike was part of my Three Peaks run in 2016. Since then I have been up Scafell a few more times, but never the same way twice - and that’s why I love it. Each route is very different and when the weather changes, the mountain has a completely different mood. But also, you get a beautiful experience when you get to the top of Scafell because you always meet someone who is climbing it for the first time; it’s a big adventure for them and it’s great to see.

 

"Most people tend to take the easy route up from Wasdale Head, so if you go this way, don’t be surprised if you see a lot of people. My favourite route starts at Seathwaite and heads up Glaramara before hitting the summit. I then come back via the Corridor route. If you feel up to it a dip in tarn can be quite refreshing."

Ben Nevis

"Being Scottish, Ben Nevis holds something special for me, as well as being the highest point in the UK. The main climb is quite straightforward so if the weather is good, there can be a lot of people but the reward of getting to the top is worth it. I have only been up and down the main route so can’t wait to go back and try the ledge route, and via The Carn Mor Dearg Arete. While Ben Nevis is only 1345m, it is still a fair climb and one to be well-prepared for as the weather can change quickly."

Ben Vorlich

"This was my first mountain when I was still at school. I can’t remember the particulars, but clearly remember the feeling of satisfaction when we summitted. It was probably the first time I got up early and managed to watch a sunset from the top of a mountain. The sun was above the clouds. Utterly stunning."

More challenging

Pic du Midi

"This is my local climb in the Pyrenees. It is 2877m high and has a James Bond-esque observatory on the top. The route up is beautiful and you are rewarded with amazing views of the mountains stretching south to Spain. It is actually a really easy mountain to access, as flights from the UK are so convenient. Climb Pic Du Midi on a Sunday and then venture up to Col de Madamete on the Monday. The Pyrenees are so much quieter than the Alps!"

Aconcagua

"The most recent of my summits! At 6962m it is a beast of a mountain and took us 11 days to summit. You need to go through a proper period of acclimatisation and pray to the weather gods as winds and temperatures can be treacherous. It’s expensive and a real challenge (only 30% success rate!) but worth every penny!"

Mountains bucket list

"So many climbs on my bucket list! I still want to do Aneto, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Mont Blanc, Denali, Elbrus and Snowdon via Crib Goch - and I'm sure I can think of a few more!"

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