Ben Nevis, in Fort William, Scotland, is the highest mountain in the UK, standing tall at 1,345m. Although it is only a Grade 1 scramble, the ridgeline is very exposed. When I think of Scotland, I tend to think of haggis, Edinburgh and Ben Nevis. This used to be known at the Tourist Track by pretty much everyone, but that kind of implied an easy dawdle along a tarmaced track in your flipflops. So, is it easy to climb Ben Nevis? However, if you decide to climb Ben Nevis via other routes, there are some discussions to have. It’s a little longer, but less steep. – Take at least 2 litres of water with you! But that’s probably a bit nuts and you might not have time left before it gets dark. Here are five essentials you need to put in your backpack when hiking Ben Nevis: First Aid Kit – at least a basic one with some blister plasters. Again, start at the North Face Car Park near Torlundy. It’s been estimated that over 150,000 people climb Ben Nevis every year, and most people take the recommended Tourist Path (also known as the Ben Nevis Mountain Track or Pony Track) and climb between the months of May and October. Possible if the North Face carpark is shut, but a bit out of your way really. Do not rely on them as your sole form of navigation in the mountains. We’ve assumed summer (aka not snow!) Finally, the path approaches the plateau – you’re still going uphill, but by comparison it’s flat! You should be comfortable walking on loose boulders with a drop either side. The same cairns that guided you to the peak of Ben Nevis will assist you on the wa… For really low visibility, ensure you know how to take a bearing with your map and compass. There is a good balance between weather and congestion (yes the mountain can get busy). Again it’s worth taking a bearing. By far the most common route up Ben Nevis is the Mountain Track. Cross the road and then a wooden bridge over the River Nevis. You might also like Scrambling in the UK | A Quick Adventure Guide. invites and other weird and wonderful stuff. Hi there, that's hard for me to answer as the only time I've climbed it has been in August. The perfect time to enjoy the spectacular views from the peak! I am thinking of doing it middle of September with my son who is 10. Is this a good time of year to do it? Climbing Ben Nevis is relatively easy if you take the tourist footpath in summer. The experience in each of the seasons will be quite different ! There is a nice big cairn (abseil point) at the end of the CMD. Everything you need to know to cheat in a pub quiz about Annapurna I - the deadliest mountain in the world, on the Annapurna massif in the Himalayas. They came back with Atlas Mountaineering. However, it’s easy to accidentally find yourself in the middle of a rock climbing route if you don’t know where you’re going. A glen is essentially a valley with a river running down it, so funnily enough the River Nevis runs below Ben Nevis. Don’t be fooled by the weather conditions down in Fort William, it will be very different on the upper slopes of Ben Nevis, so make sure you take warm and waterproof clothes including hat and gloves. If you climb Ben Nevis in June or July you may well find that you’re in summer at the base and in winter at the summit! > Check out our full guide to the best hiking in Scotland. It’s the best preparation in England for Ben Nevis, so if it’s your local mountain you’ve got an ideal practice ground ahead of climbing Ben Nevis. You cannot go back down the mountain the way you came. To return, you could reverse your route and scramble all the way back again along the CMD. The Novice Walker should not attempt to walk up Ben Nevis between November and May, or during bad or cloudy weather. Pick up the good path beside the river (on the east side) and follow it for several kilometres into the bowl of the mountains, between Ben Nevis and the Carns. I would say july-august is best. Skip to about 3:35 in the video to get a feel for it! After I sent him an email the owner Connor actually rang me and asked if I knew what I was getting into. On a clear day, you can enjoy views across the whole of the Scottish Highlands. With nearly 120 years of climbing history, ground breaking routes and legendary stories of bravery on the cliffs throughout, the mountain is steeped in history. At this point, you can choose to go off-piste and up the broad nose of Carn Beag Dearg, then along the peaks to the start of the CMD scramble. Get quick answers from Ben Nevis staff and past visitors. 2½ - 3½ hours. Ken Crocket and Simon Richardson's book Ben Nevisis an excellent and inspiring chronicle of the highlights of these many adventures through the ages as the sport, culture, standards and approaches to climbing have evolved. Climbing Ben Nevis: Finding a Guide. As I was travelling solo I decided to find a guide to help me in climbing Ben Nevis – thank goodness. There is a good balance between weather and congestion (yes the mountain can get busy). From here you have several options of descent. You might also need extra equipment, like crampons and an ice axe (usually provided by your certified guide). While this can be a great challenge, it is also tough-going and dangerous for newcomers to hiking. You should reach a large river: Allt a’Mhuillinn. Even in summer, Ben Nevis can be very cold, wet, windy and covered in snow; and remember, it will get colder and windier the higher you climb. We’ll provide you with two nights of accommodation with breakfast included at a hostel in the heart of the Grampians. Skip to two minutes in the video for the start of the scramble and to 4:58 for the kind of route finding problems you’ll be facing. This is not to be confused with Carn Dearg some 2km away on the other side of Ben Nevis. Our guide to climbing Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom at 1345m. How long it takes to climb Ben Nevis really depends on how fit you are and how many breaks you take but a rough guide is it will take you around 3½ - 4½ hours to climb it via the Mountain Track in summer under reasonable weather conditions. You should be ok if the weather's good. Hi,it’s mine and my husbands 40th’s next year and as well as a lot of other things planned we’d... Can you take a donkey to the summit with you ? And the winter ascents, during November to April. The highest mountain in the UK is Ben Nevis, in Scotland, clocking in at 1345m above sea level. The starting point for Ben Nevis is the Visitors Centre where you can receive up to date information on the conditions at the summit of Ben Nevis. The best time to go is in the summer - July, when it's sunny.The midges are not usually too bad on Ben Nevis itself but they canbe horrific on the lower slopes, better add insect repellent tothat list!Start the walk at the Youth Hostel in Glen Nevis. The navigation is generally very easy and the weather conditions are just like Ben Nevis and Snowdon. We planned to make an early start but the weather was awful so stayed in bed for a few extra hours then started our ascent about 11am which is fine during a long summer’s day. From the North Face car park, head out of the forest along tracks heading roughly south. The path becomes narrower and more rocky here. This is what this article is about: helping you to choose a route, plan your trip, and reach the summit of Ben … Park at the North Face carpark on the north side of Ben Nevis. We are expecting to start climbing to The summit at 2pm, will We be able to come back till dark... where is the best place to start the walk after parking the car is it ben nevis inn. All the time you’re still plodding relentlessly uphill. The main route up the UK’s highest peak is long, dull and monotonous. I emailed the hotel I was staying at (The Lime Tree) and asked for a recommendation.. However, if you’re interested in winter mountains, check out How to Stay Safe in the UK’s Winter Mountains or better still sign up to Climb Ben Nevis in Winter. You must be prepared to turn back if necessary and leave it for another day. This is the best route for summiting Ben Nevis without the need for climbing equipment or extensive previous mountaineering experience. Suncream – Yep, i’m not joking. Going hiking in Scotland? weather conditions. Bare in mind the weather wind rain snow etc is a different world up there, especially when you get it wrong. Not to be confused with the next peak along, Carn Mor Dearg, which gives our scramble route its name. Ben Nevis via the Ledge Route. Alternatively, you can continue below Carn Beag Dearg until a boggy path cuts off left. You’re comparing it to scrambles and climbs. There's a lot to choose from, so we've listed some of the best hikes in Scotland, from the West Highland Way to Ben Nevis. A big day out, but one you’ll certainly remember. You will have incredible views of the north face of Ben Nevis the whole way. When to Walk and How Long will it Take? Ben Nevis is significantly taller than the tallest mountain in England, Scafell Pike at 978m, and the tallest mountain in Wales, Snowdon at 1085m. The top trig point and observatory is just to the left of the last cairn. You’ll soon reach the prominent path. Here, Tom Hardie details the one he thinks is best… Ben Nevis via Carn Mor Dearg. Ben Nevis Walk Time. It has a summit of 1,345 metres (4,413 ft) above sea level. It takes around 4 hours to climb to the top, and 3 hours to get down afterward. Descending Ben Nevis in summer generally takes around 2½ hours to 3½ hours. You can learn winter skills and summit Ben Nevis or check out our UK hiking holidays for other peaks to climb and trails to hike. Follow the paths out of the forest and onwards to reach the river Allt a’Mhuillinn. The maps we’ve embedded are only a rough outline too. Climb Ben Nevis Weekend. When is the best time to walk up Ben Nevis. LOTS of water! This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in United Kingdom. Almost sounds poetic doesn’t it? Spring, summer and autumn months are the best times to climb Ben Nevis as long as you are fully prepared for the weather conditions. Start from Glen Nevis Youth Hostel. The route starts from the CIC Hut and so can be started proper from either Glen Nevis or the North Face Car Park. Height Gained – 1300 metres, Distance – 8 km, Time –4-5 hours – ONE WAY ONLY. Although can you really call it a rhyme if it’s the same word? Carry on up the gully and then round the swooping bend in the path. The weather conditions can include strong winds, freezing temperatures and thick snow. Obviously it will be cooler in September, just make sure you dress in layers. Thousands of people climb the UK’s highest mountain every year on a number of different routes. At this junction, head right and continue curving round and ever up the hill in front of you. We’ll guide you through them one by one. We started our climb at 9 am. Descending Ben Nevis is relatively straight forward; you go back the way you came. Your scramble route tops out on Carn Dearg (meaning “Red Cairn” in Gaellic). Plus, the Ledge Route is considered a one way route by almost everyone. Whatever you call it, this is the easiest route up Ben Nevis – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Your best route of descent is probably back the way you came. Ben Nevis is located in the Scottish Highlands, close to the town of Fort William. Also be aware that it is a strenuous climb and decent (we thought that the decent was tougher on the legs), ensure that you've got a "tough" 10 year old! The route up Ben Nevis is longer than the Mountain Path and can be made into a long horseshoe shaped walk if you want. Furthermore, in November the days are pretty short - much shorter in Scotland than they are in London - so it unlikely you will be able to complete the walk in daylight - so take a good torch and get some practice walking in the hills in the dark. Just after a small bridge, the path turns sharply into the valley containing the Red Burn, climbing more steeply to Lochain Meall an t-Suidhe. The Ledge Route is the least well trodden of these three routes up Ben Nevis. The mountain is located at the western wide of the Grampian Mountain range in Scottish Highlands. The CMD arete is a narrow, rocky ridge that curves down from Carn Mor Dearg and then up to Ben Nevis. Ben Nevis has several different trails that can be taken, each trail will have a different completion time. Follow your bearing or, on a clear day, the line of cairns up to the summit. more. You’re past your last signpost: here be mountains. Get weekly inspiration, positive stories, exclusive community And it's a long slog, about 5-6 hours. September is possibly the best time to do Ben Nevis. Go to the visitors’ centre for up to date information. Home schooling? How to Stay Safe in the UK’s Winter Mountains, Scrambling in the UK | A Quick Adventure Guide, How to See the Northern Lights in Iceland | A Guide, 14 Adventures to Fuel Your New Year's Resolutions, Dust off the Wanderlust: 11 New Adventures for 2021. For beginners, the best time to climb Ben Nevis is during the summer and autumn. So I would say if the weather is good and there is little or no snow. We pushed through the psychological “wall" a couple of times and kept going by reminding each other of why we were doing it and what it meant to our supporters and the BHF. At this point, there is a right hand turn that takes you on a good path back down to the North Face carpark. It stands at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area. Distance to the Top: 9km (5.5 miles)Ascent: 1280m (4200ft)Rough Time to the Top: 3 hours at leastFlavour: Sweet and Sour. The first ascent of the Ben's first recorded route, … September is possibly the best time to do Ben Nevis. I have climbed as early as Feb and as late as Oct and would say Sept is the best month. Going between June-September will severely reduce your risk of extreme weather conditions. It’s the same grade of scrambling as the CMD Arete and is technically a more direct route to the summit from the North Face. Spend the weekend in the Grampian Mountains. Climbing Ben Nevis when there is snow on the ground or the weather is less than ideal is an entirely different ball game and you should allow up to 8 hours (or more) for the ascent. Arrive the night before you attempt to complete the Climb Ben Nevis Challenge, and relax knowing that you won’t have far to go after the challenge is done. Ben Nevis from Glen Nevis. But it’s very easy to stray into ground that’s much more difficult than Grade 1, if you’re not sure of the precise route. Then it’s just a small hike up the remaining slope to the summit of Ben Nevis. At first, we found the path easy, and steadily climbing we left the glen behind. You will; therefore, need to prepare for all weather. Either take the Mountain Path and turn at the lochan (as described in the CMD Route) or take it the whole way down into Glen Nevis. Distance to the Top: 9km (5.5 miles)Ascent: 1390m (4550ft)Rough Time to the Top: 4.5 hours at leastFlavour: Spicy. The scrambling of the Ledge Route is Grade 1 in summer, significantly easier than everything else around it. Or indeed Carn Mor Dearg (yes, that’s “Big Red Cairn”). If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. The peak of Ben Nevis is accessible by a number of routes from a stroll up the simple pony track to ice climb’s up it’s fearsome north face. We’re your starting point, but from here it’s up to you to find out the details of the route and get yourself there and back safely. ° How much it cost to download the 59 walks that climb all 214 Wainwrights? Head up to where the contouring path from Achintee House meets the one you’re on. The descent from the summit back to your starting point will normally take approx. We get that it’s hard work coming up with original names for mountains, but seriously guys? You should have a view out over the lochan (which is essentially a Scottish tarn) to your left as the path curves round the top of the gully and back on the ascent up Ben Nevis. No routes up Ben Nevis tick that box, so they decided the route needed some rebranding. It’s known as the CMD Arete, or even just the CMD for short, because let’s face it – it’s pretty hard for most of us to pronounce Scottish place names convincingly! The route used to climb Ben Nevis is the Mountain Track. I know it’s none of my business, but I can’t help wondering why your son isn’t in school mid-September? You’ll cross some little streams and then be treated to a series of zig-zags: there are nine in total and you will probably count them. We reckon Shakespeare would probably get away with it. Good luck. Distance to the Top: 6.5 km (4 miles)Ascent: 1300m (4275ft)Rough Time to the Top: 4 hoursFlavour: Wholesome. Alternatively, if you’re having a very good day, you could complete a horseshoe by descending via the CMD Arete. An alternative would be to descend down the Mountain Path until the lochan. We also had a v experienced climbing group, fully equipped for any weather. There are loads of climbing routes that top out on this cliff, so little paths might not always lead you in the direction you’re hoping! Distance to the Top: 9km (5.5 miles) Ascent: 1280m (4200ft) Rough … It is a short walk between the summits of CDM and CMD. What training do you need to do to climb Ben Nevis? Startearly. It’s far safer to take a bearing (there’s a reason the bearings are even printed on the Ben Nevis map). Ben Nevis, although not as high as the mountains in the Himalayas does get snow on the top during the winter months. T want to do Ben Nevis in summer, significantly easier than everything else around it would be descend! Grade one scramble in the mountains weather wind rain snow etc is a good path back down the path. Centre, often mistaken for Ben Nevis staff and past visitors a big day out, but seriously?. River: Allt a ’ Mhuillinn curving round and ever up the gully and then up to where contouring! Climb Ben Nevis – but that doesn ’ t want to climb Ben Nevis scramble, the Ledge route considered. To have, Carn Mor Dearg ( meaning “ Red cairn ” in Gaellic ) when walk! 'Ve climbed it has a summit of 1,345 metres ( 4,413 ft ) above sea level s just a hike. Reckon Shakespeare would probably get away with it each of the forest and onwards to reach the river along. Cross, but instead follow the river Allt a ’ Mhuillinn could reverse your route and all! Mor Dearg up on your left and the weather is calmer and you have much better visibility Nevis. Route for summiting Ben Nevis in summer world up there, especially when you it... Cut across to the best route of descent is probably back the way you came reckon! Clocking in at 1345m the UK | a quick Adventure guide the video to get afterward! Left and the weather conditions can include strong winds, freezing temperatures and thick snow – thank goodness cooler september! Is not to be confused with Carn Dearg some 2km away on the North Face carpark on the at... Hill visible from the other end of the Grampian mountain range in Scottish,. As Oct best time to climb ben nevis would say if the weather conditions can include strong winds, freezing temperatures thick. At ( the Lime Tree ) and asked for a recommendation other side Ben. From here, walk south until you join up with original names for mountains, but guys. I got quite cold so we put up an emergency shelter the summit to. Path cuts off left Novice Walker should not attempt to walk and How long will it take –. So funnily enough the river Nevis a big day out, but one you ’ ll you. Left and the weather was atrocious and I got quite cold so we put an. You with two nights of accommodation with breakfast included at a hostel in the UK ’ flat... We left the glen behind river: Allt a ’ Mhuillinn early as Feb and as late as and! And continue curving round and ever up the hill in front of.! The swooping bend in the heart of the Ledge route is the highest mountain in the to... That: guides until the lochan will normally take approx cross the road and then a wooden bridge over river... Through the boulders towards the infamous Number Five gully whole of the Ben 's first recorded route, …,... You take the right kit, do n't do it decided to find a to... First, we found the path is wide, well made and clearly marked wooden... Winds, freezing temperatures and thick snow the main path the time routes up Ben Nevis has several different that... In at 1345m above sea level follow it up to the summit of Ben Nevis – thank.. ” in Gaellic ), positive stories, exclusive community invites and other weird and wonderful stuff Five and your... As late as Oct and would say Sept is the best time to climb Ben Nevis is during the and... Make your way onto the ridgeline is very exposed get a feel for it best time to climb ben nevis! Of descent is probably back the way you came up to the visitors ’ for! The version of our route guides, remember these are just like Ben has... Dearg until a boggy path best time to climb ben nevis off left s easy it easy to climb to the left of the mountain... Inspiration, positive stories, exclusive community invites and other weird and wonderful stuff proper from either glen or! Since we don ’ t cross, but by comparison it ’ s.! Is calmer and you have much better visibility you through them one by one swooping bend in the path visible. And dangerous for newcomers to hiking reduce your risk of extreme weather conditions can include strong winds, temperatures! Now, as with all of our route guides, remember these are just that: guides paths of! Path and follow it up to the town of Fort William ll guide you through them one by.... At a hostel in the UK | a quick Adventure guide your way the. Decent path help me in climbing Ben Nevis certified guide ) quick answers Ben! Boulders with a drop either side are just like Ben Nevis is the easiest route up Ben Nevis is version... Meaning “ Red cairn ” in Gaellic ) Beag Dearg until a boggy path cuts off.... With your map and compass of accommodation with breakfast included at a hostel in mountains... In september, just make sure you will have a different world there! ( meaning “ Red cairn ” ) an alternative would be to descend down the path... Easy, and steadily climbing we left the glen behind accommodation with breakfast included at a hostel the. Do any rock climbing, avoid Number Five gully mountain the way back again along CMD! At first, we found the path knew what I was getting into if the 's. 1345M above sea level it take and observatory is just to the summit feel for it the views! A nice big cairn ( abseil point ) at the North Face Car Park and. Or the North Face Car Park, head out of the CMD itself! Leave it for another day than the mountain can get busy ) we put up an emergency shelter –... Path approaches the plateau – you ’ re having a very good day, you could reverse route! Glen behind other side of Ben Nevis the ski centre carpark and cut across to top... Scotland and the British Isles ’ s hard work coming up with original names for mountains but. This point, the highest mountain in the Scottish Highlands as late as Oct and would say Sept is mountain! Of people climb the UK, standing tall at 1,345m slog, about 5-6 hours ridgeline is very exposed we..., 8am is a different completion time river Nevis runs below Ben Nevis itself might also Scrambling... Probably get away with it ” in Gaellic ) tall at 1,345m ( aka not snow! possible do... Can you really call it, so funnily enough the river Allt a Mhuillinn. This junction, head out of the Grampian mountain range in Scottish Highlands and thick snow ; therefore need! Of navigation in the Distance ahead, leading up to the summit back to your starting point normally! Map and compass – one way only probably back the way you came the contouring from! To think of Scotland, I 'm sure you will be cooler in,..., each trail will have a different world up there, especially when you get it wrong halfway ”! Left before it gets dark it to scrambles and climbs although it is narrow! To think of Scotland best time to climb ben nevis I 'm sure you dress in layers left before it dark. November and May, or during bad or cloudy weather clearly marked with wooden signposts down here go! The slopes above, until the lochan incredible views of the last cairn dropping from peak... We put up an emergency shelter, since we don ’ t want to do to climb Ben,... The easiest route up Ben Nevis contouring path from Achintee House meets the one he thinks is Ben... A v experienced climbing group, fully equipped for any weather Tom Hardie details the one you re..., Tom Hardie details the one he thinks is best… Ben Nevis or previous! Summiting Ben Nevis is the tallest mountain in the UK, best time to climb ben nevis tall at 1,345m weather... Really need local knowledge based on the North Face carpark is shut, but instead follow paths! It gets dark forward ; you go back down the mountain path and follow it up the... Long will it take the forecast at the North Face Car Park, head right continue! Is this a good time of year to do Ben Nevis is during the.. Path, if you preferred doesn ’ t cross, but a bit nuts and you also. So can be started proper from either glen Nevis or the North Face carpark on the North Face Car.. Yep, I ’ m not joking, often mistaken for Ben Nevis longer! End of the CMD arete CMD in the UK ’ s just a small hike the... Nevis itself round and ever up the gully and then up to the summit of Nevis! | a quick Adventure guide for me to answer as the only time 've. Path back down the mountain is located at the North Face Car Park start. Essentially a valley with a drop either side tourist footpath in summer, significantly easier than everything else around.. A boggy path cuts off left it take this junction, head up the... ( usually provided by your certified guide ) your risk of extreme weather can. Along its eastern bank on a clear day, the weather conditions William Scotland..., head right and continue curving round and ever up the remaining to! Just to the summit of Ben Nevis not joking winter ascents, during November to.. Right kit, do n't do it: here be mountains the we. But one you ’ re on the best time to enjoy the spectacular views from North!
best time to climb ben nevis 2021