At 1344 metres ( 4405ft) above sea level, 'The Ben' as it is affectionately known is Britains highest mountain. There are many ways up the hill. I like to guide people on the more spectacular and scenic routes, this way you get to see the real Ben Nevis. These exciting routes require a bit more energy than the standard 'Mountain Path' (Pony Track) but it is well worth the effort. Whichever way up you choose it is still a big day out and requires some prior walking experience.
VIA THE CMD ARETE
A fabulous outing and a route up Ben Nevis that gives the finest views of the entire north face of the mountain. This route takes in the additional Munro of Carn Mor Dearg (CMD) before we head onto the narrow ridge that links to the summit of Ben Nevis. There is no where in Britain. Almost 'Alpine' in charachter, the arete is over 1km long. This route takes around 8-9 hours in sumer conditions.
Ledge Route is an easy scramble on the north face of Ben Nevis giving sensational views all the way up. The scarmabling is fairly easy but requires a head for heights in places. The 'walk in' goes along the Allt a' Mhuillin and there are terrific views of Ben Nevis all the way to the CIC Hut which lies at the foot of the north face. From here it gets steeper. With ever changing views amongst huge rock scenery. The final 200m is where the scrambling starts. Once on the plateau it is just a 30 minute walk to the summit of The Ben. There are choices to descend, depending on time, weather and fitness.
The 'easiest' route up Ben Nevis has various names, The Pony Track, Mountain Path or Tourist Route' which ever you prefer to use it is still a big day out! We usually start at the visitor centre in Glen Nevis which is at an altitude of only 30 odd metres above sea level. There is a well made path that contours Meall an t-Suidhe, the path has quite a few awkward steps on the way up to Lochan Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe . It usually takes about one and a half hours to this point at 600m. Then begins the zigzag path that goes up the west flank of Ben Nevis. The first part of this section has been improved recently and shortly after the crossing of the Red Burn (the half way point) the path becomes more boulder like but still a decent track. After 9 corners in the path we get to the plateau area, 20 mins from the summit. The average time to the summit is around 4-5 hours including stops. It's around 3 hours down, using the same route.
"Had a brilliant day up Ben Nevis, guided by Gary. He suggested the Ledge route up the North face, which was more interesting than the standard tourist route up. It was challenging but surprisingly do-able and enjoyable for two people who hadn't done much of that kind of climbing before! We had easterly winds blowing 40 mph gusts inconsistently over the narrow ridge scramble, but with a temporary motto of "don't look down" and Gary's guidance and calming confidence, we made it to the plateau and then onto the summit! Gary was a brilliant guide for the day and we are so pleased we took his advice and went on the Ledge Route. Will definitely be recommending him to others and consider doing a winter course with him.
Thank you very much Gary!!"
Pete & Jo
Ledge Route, Ben Nevis Sept 2012