Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fabulous February weather in Glencoe. Oh yes, entirely possible. Cottage offer

Cottage breaks in February. Short break £199, one week £295, sleeps 4 all mod cons
These are the normal rates, but we will cut them in half for you for some dates.
Feb 1st Fri short break, and Feb 12 Mon short break at half price. Only to readers of this blog.
Email us and put "Half Price Offer" in the Subject line, then we'll know. kentalleninfo@

Better than January, less wet than November and December, less rain, more daylight, this is the weather in Glencoe in February. The weather in Kentallen is considerably better even than this. Wet gets dumped in the Glen but usually it must come over the mountains behind the cottage from the South-west. When the weather is bad in our bay, we go west to Ardnamuchan. Doesn't always work but more often than not it does.

When it is sunny in February, it takes your breath away. It is such a joy to be alive.

Feb 1955. Imagine a lad of 20, just out of National Service. Motor bike broken down, - there used to be a garage by the Ballachulish hotel. They order up a part from Norton in Birmingham- remember Norton? - it comes via AA road patrols within 24 hours. Wow!

Meanwhile, said young chap decides to pop up the Aonach Eagach ridge. Not the cleverest thing to do solo, maybe, but on the other hand he's climbed for four years, done the Alps, the Cuillins, North Wales, left a note of where he was going, the usual stuff. Health and Safety would have something to say to-day, so would other busybodies. ("Yes, it is all very well, John, but you put the lives of others at risk, too") Yeah right. You've got one life to live in this world. So have they. I'd be grateful but it is their decision too. ("Yes, John but what about the cost of patching you up, broken limbs, brain damage?") Ok if you want to win that much, you win, I give in.
The weather was totally stunning. Blue sky all round, slight wind. Stretch out you arms and you touch the Three Sisters, to the South East is the Blackmount, Ben Cruachan a bit to the South in the distance, Schiehallion a long way away but looking very proud to the East, to the North, the Mamores nearby, then Ben Nevis and the Aonachs, to the West the lovely area of Morven. It is an image that remained in the young man's mind for the next 54 years. You know what, these scenes are recalled from memory, and I've probably got it wrong a bit, but the image was so powerful.

(Anyway, he didn't do all of the ridge, because he was not a total idiot, up to the top and down again. Don't solo the whole ridge in Winter. You'll terrify yourself and probably die. Unless you are really good, that is. The Ice Factor people could do it)
Sunshine in Scotland in February is no less than 28 hours more than in January, virtually double. Not this year perhaps, because January has been brilliant against the average. Only an average of 14 days of rain as well in February. There is over 10% more daylight as well.
The problem is the cold particularly up high. It gets colder by 2 c degrees for every 1,000 feet you climb. The top of Bidean is 8 c degrees colder than sea level. The annual average air temperature there is –0.3 c degrees. The coldest months are January and February, once the snow falls then it stays widely on the tops until April. But the lowest temperatures in Scotland are inland and not on the West Coast.
The real trouble with height is the wind chill. As the wind rises over the hills it increases in power. In January you have 7 hours of daylight. It takes 7 hours to get to the top of Ben Nevis and back down, and you need to allow at least a spare hour in case of trouble. So start before dawn. Ugh! The temperature at the top, with a strong wind can be -20 or worse. Bidean at 1150m is slightly lower than Ben Nevis at 1344m but not all that much.
Try high level walking. It is wonderful. Otherwise crash out at the Clachaig, swap mountain stories with others, and hope it is going to clear.

ps Oh, and you can get a weekend break, or a midweek break in our lovely little lochside cottage about 4 miles from Glencoe. The weather is often less wild there at Kentallen.

Skiing Glencoe and Nevis range, cottage is midway between the two

Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland

Last minute, late availability Glencoe, self catering cottage

Spring breaks, March April May Glencoe

Winter breaks in the cottage

Weather in the mountains of Glencoe

The Viking battle in Glencoe

The true story of the Glencoe massacre

Weather month by month in the area

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