An Introduction to Scrambling

If you spend a lot of time hiking in the UK’s hills and mountains, sooner or later, you’re going to want to take on paths that need some scrambling. The thought of scrambling might be intimidating for some people because they picture precipitous drops and vertical rock walls. While in certain instances, it may be true, not all scrambling paths are like that. By avoiding all walks that involve scrambling, you may lose out on some fantastic walks that are well within your capabilities.

All you need is a little bit of information and a cautious and steady attitude to begin conquering some simple routes. From there, you’ll see that all it takes is a practice to discover a whole new realm of mountain trails.

What is Scrambling?

To put it simply, Scrambling is when your walking path gets so rough and steep that you must use your hands to pull yourself up and provide more stability.

In the UK, many walking routes include a minor amount of scrambling, and you may be thinking that you’ve used your hands before without realising that you’re truly scrambling. A route will only be evaluated as a legitimate scrambling route if it has extended stretches that require using your hands, although it’s likely that you’ve already completed several short sections without realising it.

What are the Scrambling Grades?

Grades 1 through 3 of scrambling routes may be found in the UK, with grade 1 being the simplest. The path will be challenging to walk on the lower end of the spectrum and more like rock climbing on the top, requiring ropes.

Grade 1

Both hands will likely be required for balance and to lift you up big boulders during extended stretches of a grade one scramble that are steep, rough, and exposed. However, there aren’t many technical requirements, so any seasoned hiker with a healthy respect for heights and a reasonable degree of fitness should be able to complete this grade with considerable ease.

Grade 2

The distinction between scrambling and rock climbing starts to blur in grade two. Ropes are needed for added safety on some portions of these climbs since they can be steep and exposed. Route finding can also get more challenging, necessitating a high level of expertise and experience.

Grade 3

A guidebook will frequently label a grade three scrambling route as a straightforward climbing route, giving you a good idea of what to expect. The routes will be quite tricky; therefore, proficiency with rope work is required. It should go without saying that only individuals with the necessary abilities and confidence should try this grade.

What Equipment is Needed for Scrambling?

The good news is that beginners don’t require any specialised gear beyond their standard hiking gear. Your standard walking equipment is sufficient, but a decent pair of walking boots with lots of support and grip is needed.

Ropes, helmets, and gloves will be necessary as your climbing abilities advance and your progress to grade two and three routes. There is now no obstacle, so you may start conquering easy trails right away.


Are you passionate about the outdoors?

We're looking for people who have an equal passion for writing as they do the outdoors to help us write engaging content that will help inspire our readers?

Is that you?

Find Out More

More from author

The Adventurer’s Handbook For Scotland’s Wester Ross

This guide will assist you in making the most of your time if you're organising your own weekend getaway to Wester Ross, which we...

Autumn Camping Guide: Best Tips

Why halt now? When the summer is over, it is the question every camper should be asking themselves. Autumn is lovely, and despite the...

The Countryside Code

Nothing beats spending time outside! The freedom to roam allows us in the UK to use the many available access points and trails to...