Understandably, an ascent of Ben Nevis ranks high on the wish list for many visitors to the area. The summit, at 1344m (4409ft) above sea level, is the highest point in the British Isles and the soaring North Face boasts some of the largest cliffs of any mountain in the country.
When I lead you on a Ben Nevis guided walk, my broad knowledge and experience ensures that you get the most from your adventure:
- Understand the origins of the rock in turbulent volcanic landscapes over 400 million years ago,
- Identify and learn about the mountain plants and wildlife that we encounter on the way,
- Hear fascinating stories of human history on the mountain,
- Last, but certainly not least, navigate safely even if the weather takes an unexpected turn.
Choice of Routes
The Mountain Track is by far the most popular route and the most appropriate for larger parties and inexperienced mountain walkers. The track starts in lower Glen Nevis and its zig-zags on the steeper sections mean that the gradient never exceeds 1 in 5. However, it is not to be taken lightly as it involves around 1300m of climbing and normally takes anything between 7 and 9 hours for the round trip to the summit.
The Carn Mor Dearg Arete route is suitable for smaller groups of individuals with some experience. Starting in the hamlet of Torlundy, it first climbs the adjacent peak of Carn Mor Dearg before approaching Ben Nevis across the airy connecting arete. There are magnificent views of the North Face cliffs from Carn Mor Dearg and the arete. This option is longer than the Mountain Track and normally takes between 8 and 10 hours.
In Upper Glen Nevis, there are a couple of options that provide very much quieter routes than the Mountain Track, but they do involve the ascent or descent of steeper, and sometimes pathless, ground. The added bonus here is the inclusion of a visit to the 120m Steall waterfall, the second highest in Britain. If you have your own transport, then it is possible to use two vehicles to allow an ascent by one of these routes to be combined with the gentler descent of the Mountain Track.
Mountain Track or Upper Glen Nevis routes: from £100. Carn Mor Dearg Arete route: from £120.
Transport to and from local accommodation can be provided free of charge for up to 4 people