Ben Nevis

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Fort William, Scotland

Ben Nevis Fort William Reviews

craigg431 craigg431
1 reviews
Very enjoyable for travelers who like to be active Jun 30, 2013
Perhaps not the best for experienced climbers/hikers. (Although still a pleasant climb)

But for active travelers who happen to be in the area and would like a little bit of adventure, I would definitely recommend it.

Just beware of sudden fogs and colds temperatures at the top.

But if you are familiar with hiking then its a great thing to do on a morning impulse.

Drinkable fresh water at the top, wild animals roaming around and a great view of the country. Definitely a memorable experience.
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sarahelaine sarahela…
651 reviews
Britain's highest mountain Apr 24, 2011
Climbing Ben Nevis


Fort William is a relatively sleepy town, that probably wouldn’t be nearly as well known to tourists if it wasn’t for one thing – one looming, mighty, brooding thing glowering over the town.  Ben Nevis – the UK’s highest mountain.  In global terms, at around 1350m, Ben Nevis isn’t enormous, but don’t let that stop you visiting. 

One of the main reasons for its popularity as a tourist destination is that almost anyone with a reasonable level of physical fitness can climb the path on the south side of the mountain.  Coming up from a little over sea level and looping up the easier side of the mountain and back down takes 5-8 hours, depending on weather and how often you stop for sandwiches, on a well defined path.  Although there are patches of severe erosion, rocky parts and some steep places, you don’t need any mountaineering experience.  You do need basic  hill walking kit.  Make sure you have proper footwear – running shoes are not good enough – and waterproofs.  You should also have snacks and water to keep your strength up, a map and a compass.  

There are other ascents which are more challenging, ranging from steeper, harder paths to actual ice climbing.  I am not reviewing those ascents because I know nothing about them, except that they are challenging and you’ll want to do a fair bit of research before picking anything other than the main tourist road. 

The sense of achievement climbing Ben Nevis is great.  As you get closer to the top, people will start to encourage you and tell you that it isn’t too far to go.  This is lovely, if not always accurate – people were telling me “ten more minutes!” for at least the last 45 minutes of the ascent.

  You aren’t guaranteed views from the summit, as  Ben Nevis is high enough to be cloud covered much of the time, but you would be unlucky not to have some great views on the way up or down.  There was a whole loch system that we couldn’t see on the way up that we discovered coming back down as clouds lifted.  Ice and snow last a long time up there, and the climate and wildlife are loosely arctic tundra-like.  If you are lucky, you can see some interesting animals, but there are a lot of walkers and that scares some animals off the paths.  There is also a ruined weather observatory at the top, which is cool to explore in both senses of the word cool!

Bear in mind, especially in cloudy or foggy conditions in winter, that the main path up does skirt the edge of a ridge.  This is a long way off and safe if you stay next to the cairns that mark the route, but if you do go to explore the edge, remember that snow sticks out beyond the edge of the rock itself.  Be careful.

  Normal hill walking safety rules apply – make sure you’ve left your plans with someone so they know to call mountain rescue if you don’t come down the hill, especially if you are climbing alone, wear good footwear and take warm, waterproof clothing.  Also, remember daylight – Ben Nevis takes 5-8 hours to climb at the moment because they have had to divert the shorter path to allow erosion to recover.  People were setting off at 3pm and it would be hard to make it down in daylight – you don’t want to be coming down rough, boulder strewn paths in the dark!  There are also no toilets, obviously, because this is a mountain.  However, unusually, there aren’t even any boulders big enough for a girl to hide behind.  Not that this should put you off.  Just saying.


At the bottom, there is a pub with lovely food and nice toilets.  This is a fantastic thing, which I will review separately.  Access to the Ben Nevis path is in Achintee, up a little road through an industrial estate.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
spocklogic says:
Sure thing. These are part 4&5 of Episode #2 "Death in the Morning". He gets to Ben Nevis about 1/2 way through the first clip, but Burke is always entertaining in his historical/scientific take on 'Connections'.
Posted on: Jul 03, 2011
sarahelaine says:
Thanks for those! I can't get them to work from my phone but I'll look next time I'm at a real computer. :)
Posted on: Jul 03, 2011
spocklogic says:
Speaking of clouds, you may find this historical/scientific perspective of Ben Nevis interesting. From James Burke's Connections Series, here are two clips for the Ben Nevis story:
Posted on: Jul 03, 2011
raj24 raj24
1 reviews
The Great Ben Nevis Aug 02, 2011
One of the most beautiful mountains in the Scotland. The day starts like this. I stayed in a youth hostel in Inverness.

So I took a bus from Inverness to Fort William. The bus journey took around two hours But, it's worth a ride. You would enjoy the mountain views, Lochs ( rivers ) throughout your bus journey.

Some one has advised me before wherever you go try to visit the visitor centre first because the people over there know the area very well. I visited the centre and I collected the information about the The great ben Nevis. Even they assist me to buy some food in a nearby store because you would easily get exhausted soon.

I bought some sandwiches, water and some biscuits and I started walking towards the path. From Fort william bus station there is a bus no 61 which serves the The great ben nevis visitor centre. But, I walked from the fort william bus station. It took me around forty minutes to reach the visitor centre.

I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the mountains. Everywhere it was nice, calm and tranquil. I said myself.. This is what I want.. I started rolling my camera and took some pictures. I started walking on the mountains. It was a bright sunny day and I had a small backpack. Even though it was not that heavy, I made constant stops. Wherever I stopped, I tried to utilize my time by taking some pictures.

The whole hike would take around 6-8 hours.. So I would suggest you to start you hike early. I didn't complete the hike and I suppose I was more than half way through the hike.

There was a beautiful lake in the middle of the hike. You would enjoy the views. I sat there for one hour and I didn't like to come from that place. Unfortunately my return bus to Inverness is around 8 in the evening. So I made myself sure to get down early. It was one of my memorable walks.

Plan your trip well before and enjoy your day. Try to book your tickets more in advance to save enough money.
Fort william, The Ben Nevis.
Fort william, The Ben Nevis.
Fort William, The Ben Nevis.
Fort William, The Ben Nevis.

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