Glencoe Self Catering

Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK and is close to Fort William, about fourteen miles away. It is a huge attraction for many walkers and climbers who spend a great deal of their time walking and climbing around the Ben Nevis area and surrounding Glen Nevis.

The mountain summit of Ben Nevis is 1344 metres and can be reached in various different routes. The easiest route is the so called Pony Track route which thousands of charity and fun walkers use to walk up Ben Nevis every year. Over the years people have carried pianos up Ben Nevis, dressed up as clowns, vampires and various other things, and even driven a car up Ben Nevis.

It is still a dangerous mountain if you do not know what you are doing and do not follow the correct path. The Pony Track path is the easiest path and most of the other paths are not for novices. Going up to the top of Ben Nevis and back down will take most people around ten hours and so is still a serious walk. Since it is obviously so high there is snow on some part of the mountain all year and it gets very cold as you ascend Ben Nevis. You should set off at eight or nine in the morning at the latest and go prepared with extra clothes, provisions emergency and safety equipment. You should also only go if the weather forecast is good. Since it is so high mist can be at a  worryingly low level and can confuse and dissorientate people easily.

If you prepare well and take the right equipment, on a good day most reasonably fit people should be able to walk up and back down the mountain safely.

There is lots of information in a couple of buildings and displays near the car park at the bottom in Glen Nevis. If you are considering a trip up Ben Nevis it is a good idea to visit this early during your holiday to check out weather conditions for the week, and to check the recomended kit that you require. Many people have been killed on Ben Nevis over the years so it should not be underestimated as a serious mountain which needs to be treated with respect.

If you do get to the top there is a cairn and if you have done your homework right and it is a clear day with no mist or clouds, then the view is stunning with visibility of around 120 miles to as far as Skye and Loch Lomond. To give an idea of scale the summit area extends to nearly 100 acres in size.

In 2000 the Ben Nevis Estate was bought by the Scottish conservation charity the John Muir Trust.

There is an interesting Ben Nevis hill running race which some of our friends do each year which is to the top of Ben Nevis and back from a point at Claggan Park just outside Fort William with a total route of nearly nine miles. Would you believe the record is a mere one hour twenty five minutes. You have to be able to run it fairly fast to be allowed to enter the race with a cut off time of two hours at the top. If you do not meet this then you get sent home!