All the time you’re still plodding relentlessly uphill. 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. 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. Follow your bearing or, on a clear day, the line of cairns up to the summit. 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. From here you have several options of descent. And it's a long slog, about 5-6 hours. 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. Climbing Ben Nevis is relatively easy if you take the tourist footpath in summer. The maps we’ve embedded are only a rough outline too. Alternatively, if you’re having a very good day, you could complete a horseshoe by descending via the CMD Arete. Your scramble route tops out on Carn Dearg (meaning “Red Cairn” in Gaellic). However, since we don’t want to do any rock climbing, avoid Number Five and make your way onto the ridgeline. September is possibly the best time to do Ben Nevis. While this can be a great challenge, it is also tough-going and dangerous for newcomers to hiking. 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. The 1-day summer ascent can be done from June to August. At this point, there is a right hand turn that takes you on a good path back down to the North Face carpark. 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. 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. 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 ? This will take you across the lower slopes of CBD and then up to the summit of Carn Dearg Meadhonach. 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. When to Walk and How Long will it Take? Here’s the dangerous bit in poor weather: it’s very easy to wander off the edge of a cliff to your right. We reckon Shakespeare would probably get away with it. Ben Nevis, in Fort William, Scotland, is the highest mountain in the UK, standing tall at 1,345m. It’s a little longer, but less steep. Ben Nevis can be explored during winter or summer. This is what this article is about: helping you to choose a route, plan your trip, and reach the summit of Ben … Keep going, crossing little streams dropping from the slopes above, until the path stops at the CIC Hut. You will; therefore, need to prepare for all weather. For really low visibility, ensure you know how to take a bearing with your map and compass. Or indeed Carn Mor Dearg (yes, that’s “Big Red Cairn”). We started our climb at 9 am. Bare in mind the weather wind rain snow etc is a different world up there, especially when you get it wrong. As I was travelling solo I decided to find a guide to help me in climbing Ben Nevis – thank goodness. 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. Now, as with all of our route guides, remember these are just that: guides. Alternatively, you can continue below Carn Beag Dearg until a boggy path cuts off left. This is yet another scramble, this time climbing Ben Nevis via the Ledge Route on the North Face and up to Carn Dearg (1221) and along to the summit. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in United Kingdom. I would say july-august is best. If you’re going to do this, look the route up in detail – you don’t want to accidentally find yourself on a rock climb. Zoom in to see updated info. The highest mountain in the UK is Ben Nevis, in Scotland, clocking in at 1345m above sea level. Distance to the Top: 6.5 km (4 miles)Ascent: 1300m (4275ft)Rough Time to the Top: 4 hoursFlavour: Wholesome. > Check out our full guide to the best hiking in Scotland. Although can you really call it a rhyme if it’s the same word? In July, 8am is a good time - 7am is better. At first, we found the path easy, and steadily climbing we left the glen behind. I know it’s none of my business, but I can’t help wondering why your son isn’t in school mid-September? Descending Ben Nevis in summer generally takes around 2½ hours to 3½ hours. Most of the ice has melted by this point, the weather is calmer and you have much better visibility. If you want something a little more hands on and exciting than the Mountain Path, then the Carn Mor Dearg Arete might be the route for you. The experience in each of the seasons will be quite different ! We’ll provide you with two nights of accommodation with breakfast included at a hostel in the heart of the Grampians. Ben Nevis Walk Time. The top trig point and observatory is just to the left of the last cairn. And the winter ascents, during November to April. It takes around 4 hours to climb to the top, and 3 hours to get down afterward. I am thinking of doing it middle of September with my son who is 10. 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. Regardless of whether you’re taking on the Three Peaks Challenge, it’s great to have that I’m-the-king-of-the-castle feeling of standing ontop of the highest point in the area, surveying your kingdom below you… I mean, the view. 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. LOTS of water! 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. The descent from the summit back to your starting point will normally take approx. Plus, the Ledge Route is considered a one way route by almost everyone. Distance to the Top: 9km (5.5 miles)Ascent: 1280m (4200ft)Rough Time to the Top: 3 hours at leastFlavour: Sweet and Sour. 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. It is also possible to do the CMD from the ski centre carpark and cut across to the main path. This is the best route for summiting Ben Nevis without the need for climbing equipment or extensive previous mountaineering experience. A big day out, but one you’ll certainly remember. Get quick answers from Ben Nevis staff and past visitors. Is this a good time of year to do it? You’ll soon reach the prominent path. After I sent him an email the owner Connor actually rang me and asked if I knew what I was getting into. Extra Layers (Warm Clothes) Waterproof/Windproof Jacket. The normal time taken to climb to the top by the tourist path is three and a half to five hours - coming down is much faster, between one and a half to two and a half hours. For beginners, the best time to climb Ben Nevis is during the summer and autumn. If you want to climb Ben Nevis, there are three main routes people take. Here, Tom Hardie details the one he thinks is best… Ben Nevis via Carn Mor Dearg. You might also like Scrambling in the UK | A Quick Adventure Guide. From the CIC Hut, head up through the boulders towards the infamous Number Five Gully. You might also need extra equipment, like crampons and an ice axe (usually provided by your certified guide). Your best route of descent is probably back the way you came. It has a summit of 1,345 metres (4,413 ft) above sea level. This is not to be confused with Carn Dearg some 2km away on the other 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. You will have incredible views of the north face of Ben Nevis the whole way. 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! You’re past your last signpost: here be mountains. The first ascent of the Ben's first recorded route, … Spring, summer and autumn months are the best times to climb Ben Nevis as long as you are fully prepared for the weather conditions. Climb Ben Nevis Weekend. 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. Now for the scramble ridge itself. Again, start at the North Face Car Park near Torlundy. It was a fantastic experience to attempt Ben Nevis, and whilst we didn't quite make the peak we are all very satisfied that we gave it our very best effort. Ben Nevis via the Ledge Route. A glen is essentially a valley with a river running down it, so funnily enough the River Nevis runs below Ben Nevis. Spend the weekend in the Grampian Mountains. Distance to the Top: 9km (5.5 miles)Ascent: 1390m (4550ft)Rough Time to the Top: 4.5 hours at leastFlavour: Spicy. It be ok though it will challenge you. The main route up the UK’s highest peak is long, dull and monotonous. 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. The perfect time to enjoy the spectacular views from the peak! 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. Then it’s just a small hike up the remaining slope to the summit of Ben Nevis. Ben Nevis from Glen Nevis. Get weekly inspiration, positive stories, exclusive community At this junction, head right and continue curving round and ever up the hill in front of you. 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. 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! Ben Nevis is significantly taller than the tallest mountain in England, Scafell Pike at 978m, and the tallest mountain in Wales, Snowdon at 1085m. It stands at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area. 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. Do not rely on them as your sole form of navigation in the mountains. Start from Glen Nevis Youth Hostel. The winter ascentincreases in difficulty. The route starts from the CIC Hut and so can be started proper from either Glen Nevis or the North Face Car Park. There is a good balance between weather and congestion (yes the mountain can get busy). Suncream – Yep, i’m not joking. 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. When we got to the top the weather was atrocious and I got quite cold so we put up an emergency shelter. Good luck. Going between June-September will severely reduce your risk of extreme weather conditions. 2½ - 3½ hours. The CMD ridge itself is a grade one scramble in the summer. From the North Face car park, head out of the forest along tracks heading roughly south. The Ledge Route is the least well trodden of these three routes up Ben Nevis. We also had a v experienced climbing group, fully equipped for any weather. So factor this in when planning your trip. You’re comparing it to scrambles and climbs. Climbing Ben Nevis: Finding a Guide. Map updates are paused. 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. Ben Nevis is the tallest mountain in both Scotland and the British Isles. Almost sounds poetic doesn’t it? 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. Finally, the path approaches the plateau – you’re still going uphill, but by comparison it’s flat! When I think of Scotland, I tend to think of haggis, Edinburgh and Ben Nevis. It goes without saying that it’s also the highest mountain in Scotland and therefore one of the mountains in the famous Three Peaks Challenge. 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. 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. The same cairns that guided you to the peak of Ben Nevis will assist you on the wa… To return, you could reverse your route and scramble all the way back again along the CMD. This is the hill visible from the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre, often mistaken for Ben Nevis itself! There is a nice big cairn (abseil point) at the end of the CMD. You must be prepared to turn back if necessary and leave it for another day. weather conditions. Head up to where the contouring path from Achintee House meets the one you’re on. invites and other weird and wonderful stuff. Startearly. From ice climbing and winter walking on Ben Nevis, rock climbing in Glen Nevis, skiing at Nevis Range, mountain biking in the woods, hillwalking in Glencoe, sea kayaking on the west coast and river kayaking, we can do it all at this time of year in Lochaber, the Outdoor Capital of the UK. There is a good balance between weather and congestion (yes the mountain can get busy). The average time taken to climb Ben Nevis is 7-9 hours, with the climb to the top taking around 4 hours, and the return 3 hours. From here, walk south until you join up with the Mountain Path and follow it up to the summit of Ben Nevis. Skip to about 3:35 in the video to get a feel for it! ° How much it cost to download the 59 walks that climb all 214 Wainwrights? The scrambling of the Ledge Route is Grade 1 in summer, significantly easier than everything else around it. Follow the paths out of the forest and onwards to reach the river Allt a’Mhuillinn. Although it is only a Grade 1 scramble, the ridgeline is very exposed. 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! 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. ! The route up Ben Nevis is longer than the Mountain Path and can be made into a long horseshoe shaped walk if you want. 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. Pic 6 – Lochain Meall an t-Suidhe, “the halfway lochain”. We get that it’s hard work coming up with original names for mountains, but seriously guys? But that’s probably a bit nuts and you might not have time left before it gets dark. Carry on up the gully and then round the swooping bend in the path. It’s far safer to take a bearing (there’s a reason the bearings are even printed on the Ben Nevis map). Hi there, that's hard for me to answer as the only time I've climbed it has been in August. Our guide to climbing Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom at 1345m. The navigation is generally very easy and the weather conditions are just like Ben Nevis and Snowdon. Don’t cross, but instead follow the river uphill along its eastern bank on a decent path. However, if you decide to climb Ben Nevis via other routes, there are some discussions to have. You cannot go back down the mountain the way you came. 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. Take the right kit, don't do it in plimsolls like I did, I'm sure you will be fine. On a clear day, you can enjoy views across the whole of the Scottish Highlands. 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. No routes up Ben Nevis tick that box, so they decided the route needed some rebranding. Not to be confused with the next peak along, Carn Mor Dearg, which gives our scramble route its name. You will see Carn Beag Dearg rising up on your left and the CMD in the distance ahead, leading up to Ben Nevis. They came back with Atlas Mountaineering. To begin with, if you have fair skin you might want to consider bringing sun cream and sunglasses to avoid getting burned or dazzled by the sun. Go to the visitors’ centre for up to date information. For routes up Ben Nevis see h100 Ben Nevis via The Tourist Path from Achintee, Fort William Possible if the North Face carpark is shut, but a bit out of your way really. You should be comfortable walking on loose boulders with a drop either side. Height Gained – 1300 metres, Distance – 8 km, Time –4-5 hours – ONE WAY ONLY. The Novice Walker should not attempt to walk up Ben Nevis between November and May, or during bad or cloudy weather. Whatever you call it, this is the easiest route up Ben Nevis – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. You should reach a large river: Allt a’Mhuillinn. I have climbed as early as Feb and as late as Oct and would say Sept is the best month. One for a nice day! Ben Nevis, although not as high as the mountains in the Himalayas does get snow on the top during the winter months. The route used to climb Ben Nevis is the Mountain Track. 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. An alternative would be to descend down the Mountain Path until the lochan. 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. The CMD arete is a narrow, rocky ridge that curves down from Carn Mor Dearg and then up to Ben Nevis. You should be ok if the weather's good. We’ve assumed summer (aka not snow!) Very hard going, shale most of way, wear walking boots not trainers etc, make sure u take wet weather gear also, the weather can change in an instant. 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. When is the best time to walk up Ben Nevis. The path is wide, well made and clearly marked with wooden signposts down here. The path becomes narrower and more rocky here. 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! It is a short walk between the summits of CDM and CMD. You could start your walk from the other end of that path, if you preferred. Ben Nevis has several different trails that can be taken, each trail will have a different completion time. Cross the road and then a wooden bridge over the River Nevis. By far the most common route up Ben Nevis is the Mountain Track. Going hiking in Scotland? September is possibly the best time to do Ben Nevis. 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. Ready to reach Ben Nevis? 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. If you lose your bearings on the summit, head from the trig to the stone pillar and head left along the edge of the gully. Ben Nevis Training Guide: Part 4 – Nutrition Ben Nevis via the Ledge Route. I have climbed as early as Feb and as late as Oct and would say Sept is the best month. Park at the North Face carpark on the north side of Ben Nevis. What training do you need to do to climb Ben Nevis? 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. You really need local knowledge based on the forecast at the time. Ben Nevis is located in the Scottish Highlands, close to the town of Fort William. – Take at least 2 litres of water with you! Obviously it will be cooler in September, just make sure you dress in layers. So I would say if the weather is good and there is little or no snow. The weather conditions can include strong winds, freezing temperatures and thick snow. 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