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The normal route to Ben Nevis
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...more tours in the Scottish Highlands:
- Glen Nevis - Glen Coe - Isle of Mull

The Regular Route to Ben Nevis is used by hundreds of people every day during peak season and the summit will literally be crowded by tourists from all over the world. Nonetheless, the walk itself is long and strenous and the higher parts of the mountain offer dangers to the unprepared. The summit itself is a huge plateau and temparatures can drop even in the summer months below freezing point. Clouds can make it almost impossible to find the marked trail and due to these circumstances, many people die each year on Ben Nevis due to exhaustion or because of a drop into the gullies on the northern edge of the summit. If it is your motivation to visit the highest mountain on the British Isles, the Regular Route is the easiest access, but by far not the most rewarding one.

Photos: On top of Ben Nevis, One of the gullies on the summit plateau
Rating: +++++ ascent: 1.300m Start: Glen Nevis Visitor Centre, Achintee. Destination: Ben Nevis, 1.344m
Difficulty: med Hiking descent: 1.300m End: Glen Nevis Visitor Centre, Achintee.
Walking Time: total 5,5 hours, Visitor Centre-Lake (710m) 2h, Lake-Summit 1,5h, descent 2h.


From the information centre, follow the river downstream until you come to a bridge. Cross the river and walk along it upstream until you come to a sign leading you towards the foot of the hill (honestly, if you don't walk by night in winter, you can simply follow the masses). From there, the trail winds up the hill and will lead you soon (30min) to an intersection, at which the alternative trail from the youth hostel meets the main trail. Follow the trail, which is rather "build" of stones and man made steps in this part (not very delighting..), to finally arrive at the lake. From here, you'll be ascending on Ben Nevis himself in a couple of long serpentines, which lead you after approximately 3 hours to a small plateau. You'll notice an intersection: straight on or turn right - it doesn't matter, both trails leed you eventually to the top. When you arrived at the summit plateau, stay on the trail and be aware of the gullies. After a while you'll notice a war memorial, some ruins and a lot of tourists and you know you've made it ;-)
Base: none
Marking: none, finding the way on the summit plateau can be difficult depending on weather conditions.


e.g. Ordnance Survey Landranger Map #41 Ben Nevis, Fort William & Glen Coe 1:50.000
Map of the tour (1:50.000) 110k

Travel Season:

Spring and Autumn (no midges, less tourists).


Do not underestimate that mountain and bring warm clothes, rain gear, food and drink with you. Don't walk to the top without a good map and a compass. If you want to try a more challenging variant, you can walk straight north from the lake and then east to get onto the northern ridge and access Ben Nevis via Carn Mor Dearg (1.220m). Get specific information about that walk at the Visitor Centre in Achintee.
Links: ./.

last revision: Monday, August 11, 2003 copyright