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Scrambling

A bit more hands-on than hillwalking, but not quite as full-on as rock climbing, scrambling’s a brilliant way to get to know some terrain.
Plan a session with this activity

What to expect

Scrambling up or over steep, rough terrain’s often more tiring than hillwalking or climbing. One reason for this is how much concentration it takes – you’ll be constantly assessing the terrain looking for contact points, and, unlike rock climbing, there’s no rope or harness to fall back on. With careful footing (and some observant friends), scrambling can be a fun way to explore.

Scrambling trails vary – many are marked and often staples, chains, and ropes to give you a helping hand on some of the toughest sections. You can use sites like AllTrails to check out routes and find other people’s experiences.

Fun facts

A. Poucher famously wrote scrambling guides – but he was also a chemist. Some of his other books were about perfume, cosmetics, and soap.

Handy hints

  • Don’t buy all the equipment straight away. One of the best things about scrambling is that you don’t need any additional equipment to give lower-graded trails a go – if the weather’s warm and dry, all you’ll need is your hiking boots. Many brands offer specific products for scramblers, but it’s best to save your pennies until you need to splash out.
  • Remember the grades can change. The scrambles with the lowest grades are the easiest – but even they can become challenging in wet or cold conditions. Many will be considered a higher-graded scramble during the winter. Make sure you do your research before you set out – can you find out about other people’s experience of the trail?

Safety

You must always:
Be safe outdoors:
  • Check the weather forecast
Hill walking:
Joint activities with other organisations:
This activity can be led by you or someone else in Scouts:
You can go to a centre or use an activity leader who is not part of Scouting:
You must find a suitable provider who meets the following requirements :
Guidance

Activity Permit Scheme

Hillwalking

Climbing and Abseiling

Reflection

Scrambling can be a really fun way to get active, but it’s not all about moving quickly. Slower scramblers are often safer as their careful steps don’t cause loose material to shift beneath them. What other benefits might come with slowing down? People could think about how it gives them time to think strategically or how it makes it easier to enjoy nature.

What other active skills did people use when scrambling? People might think about how the communication skills they use in team games were essential, or how the agility they practise in other adventures saved the day.

Scrambling can seem daunting at first, so well done to everyone who took the plunge and faced their fears to give it a go.