Torridon Classic Climbs
with James McHaffie

Experience The Best Classic Rock Climbing Routes with a World Class Climber

Classic Climbs with James McHaffie is a fantastic and unique opportunity not to be missed. Enjoy some of the best rock climbing in Scotland, in a tremendously paradisiacal setting, with one of the world’s most experienced trad climbers. Over this five day course James will guide you up an array of wonderfully satisfying routes all within the majestically, peaceful Torridon area. We rarely see other climbers out on these crags. The climbing throughout this week will be graded from Diff to VS. Therefore, it is perfect for most climbers to achieve and indeed relish this unique experience.

Find out more on our itinerary page

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for anyone with some climbing experience who wants to enjoy a truly special rock climbing adventure. You do not need to be an accomplished climber and you do not need to have any experience of lead climbing. As long as you have been climbing before and are confident with heights you should find this course fantastic. You should also be a safe and confident belayer. Some of the days may well have long walk-ins to high mountain crags, so a basic level of hill fitness will also be needed.

Inspiring location

Our Classic Climbs with James McHaffie course is located in the Torridon and Wester Ross area of The North West Highlands of Scotland. We will be making use of the exceptional crags and climbs in and around the Torridon area. Due to the population density in the area (Wester Ross has one of the lowest population densities in Europe, with around just 2 people per square kilometre!), the crags remain extremely quiet. The exact routes and crags will be chosen over the duration of the course. However, some examples may include; big mountain crags such as Triple Buttress in Coire Mhic Fhearchair on Beinn Eighe and low level classics for example Loch Tollaidh Crags. There are plenty of villages to base yourself for the duration of the course. As with most of our courses, the village of Gairloch is an excellent choice. It has a good balance of access to the local crags as well as a range of amenities such as campsites, B&Bs, hotels, shops, pubs and takeaways. Alternatively, the village of Torridon itself, as well as Kinlochewe, are well located and have a good range of accommodation.

James McHaffie – A Unique Guiding Experience

Within climbing circles James McHaffie needs very little introduction. He is one of the most experienced trad climbers in the world. In addition to being one of the most gifted British climbers in a generation, he is also a highly experienced and qualified instructor, a rare and wonderful combination. His climbing record is simply awesome and just some of his achievements include:

  • On sighting more than eighty E7s and a total of over two hundred routes graded E7 to E9.
  • Soloed 100 Extreme grade climbs in the Lake District in one day.
  • Carried out the first repeat of The Big Bang at Lower Pen Trwyn in North Wales. The route is graded 9a and was the first sport climb in Britain to break into this level of difficulty.
  • The first ascent of the hardest slab in Britain; “The Meltdown” in the Dinorwic slate, also graded at 9a.
  • The first ascent of Spirit Guide on Lundy E7 6c (photo on first banner of this web page above).
Topping out East Buttress


Our Classic Climbs with James McHaffie Course has no fixed itinerary. The crags and routes you climb will depend on the weather, group experience and goals. However, below is an example itinerary to give you an insight into what may be achieved.

Day One: Classic Cragging

Today we will introduce you to Torridon by heading straight out to one of the many magnificent single pitch crags in the area. The crag we will head to will depend on the group and the weather conditions. However, our aim will always be to build confidence and technique while simply enjoying some climbs of exquisite quality.

Examples of where we may climb today:

  • Stone Valley Crags; Open Secret HS 4b (3 star), Blyth Spirit VS 4c (2 star), Roman Wall S 4a (2 star)

Day Two: Making it Multipitch

Today we will further explore and expand your climbing repertoire by heading up some fantastic multipitch routes. Each climb will be an excellent experience within itself, since Torridon certainly has no shortage of delightful, classic multipitch routes. The day will also prepare us perfectly for more adventures as the week continues.

Examples of where we may climb today:

  • Raven’s Crag; Lucy VD (2 star), Charlestone S 4a (2 star), Leac McCac VS 4c (2 star)

Day Three: Classic Multipitch Adventure

Some of the crags within the area have a truly unique and special character. Today we will explore one of those crags by heading out on a multipitch adventure. Linking together a series of excellent pitches to create a fantastic and memorable climbing journey.

Examples of where we may climb today:

  • Sgurr a’ Chaorachain; Cioch Nose VD (3 star)

Day Four: Superbly Smooth Classics

After three very full days, today we will head for an easy access and straightforward crag. Keeping to a short walk-in and a more relaxed pace of climbing certainly doesn’t mean we compromise on quality at all. With some delightful rock to enjoy, we will head up some exemplary routes while being mindful tomorrow may well be a big day.

Examples of where we may climb today:

  • Loch Tollaidh Crags; Assault Slab VD (3 star), Ewephoria VS 4b (2 star), Raven’s Edge VD (2 star)

Day Five: Finish on a High

Throughout the course you will have discovered, and no doubt fallen in love with, the variety and quality of climbing throughout Torridon and Wester Ross. However, high on many clients’ desires for this week is experiencing the legendary, big, mountain routes. So, to round off the course we finish with a climb on a Torridon Giant. No matter the route choice (or the order of the itinerary) you will be guided up one of the best, classic grade climbs in the country by James McHaffie. For some clients, this may well be the pinnacle of your climbing adventure.

Examples of where we may climb today:

  • Beinn Eighe; East Buttress Diff (3 star), Piggotts Route (Central Buttress) S 4b (3 Star)

Dates and Pricing

In order to provide the best experience and highest chances of success we keep low ratios for our courses. For our Classic Climbs with James Mchaffie course we never go beyond a ratio of 1 guide to 2 clients. These small numbers allow us to make sure you get the direction and support you need as well as keeping you safe on the steep terrain of these routes.

Open Courses

Open course are where you can book onto a date and join other like minded people. These are great for individuals looking to share an experience with others and make new friends and walking partners. Our open courses are run to a maximum of two individual spaces on each open course to give the perfect balance between a social experience and effective journeying/climbing in the mountains.

5 Days of hard rock routes and stunning lines

Our five day open course allow you to enjoy some of the best rock climbing that can be found anywhere in the UK.

Date Price
10 Jun 2024 to 14 Jun 2024 £850 per person

Private Courses

Private courses are totally flexible and tailored directly to your needs. These can be run on any dates during the season and will only have yourself or those you have booked with on the course. This works well for those where they need specific dates or where they would rather not be on a course with someone they don’t know. We have a maximum ratio of 1 guide to 2 clients for our private Classic Climbs with James Mchaffie course to ensure the best experience and give you the highest chance of success.

Ratio Price
1:1 £TBC
1:2 £TBC per person

Open Courses

Date Price
10 Jun 2024 to 14 Jun 2024 £850 per person

Find out more

What’s Included

  • Personalised guiding experience with instruction as needed in the skills to enjoy this fantastic week of climbing.
  • 5 days of climbing with one of Britain’s best climbers in the Torridon Area.
  • Climb with James Mchaffie
  • Use of technical equipment where needed including helmets, harness and ropes
  • Kit List
  • Comprehensive joining instructions including local information


You will need normal hill walking kit including sturdy footwear, waterproofs (jacket and trousers), food, warm clothing and “ideally” rock shoes though large holds make this route possible in good boots or approach shoes. Technical kit such as harnesses and helmets are available to borrow for your booking where required. Alternatively, you are welcome to bring your own subject to inspection by your guide to ensure its safety. A complete kit list is provided with each booking.