Ben Nevis

Photo of Ben Nevis
Photo uploaded by Matt Coppock

Ben Nevis is the highest peak in the United Kingdom. Though modest in height, it is a bold mountain, comprised of volcanic rock, and baring a northeast face that is two miles long and 2000 feet high. This sheer cliff-wall has several excellent rock-climbing routes, and has a well-equipped hut at its base. There are other climbs in the area as well, as Ben Nevis is part of a large complex of ridges, buttresses, walls and gullies. The main route is fairly easy in decent conditions. In Winter meters of snow can pile up and make the climb much more challenging.

Elevation (feet): 4,409
Elevation (meters): 1,344
Continent: Europe
Country: United Kingdom
Range/Region: Scottish Highlands
Latitude: 56.7979
Longitude: -5.00419
Difficulty: Walk up
Best months for climbing: Jun, Jul, Aug
Volcanic status: Extinct
Year first climbed: 1771 First recorded ascent
First successful climber(s): James Robertson
Nearest major airport: Glasgow
Convenient Center: Fort William

Trip Reports

There are 59 trip reports for Ben Nevis.

  • Log #469 - by Kyle Briggs on Oct 04, 20043.00 stars
    We climbed to the summit along with 177 other people in rain sleet and at the top heavy snow, overall it took us 7 hrs.
  • Log #470 - by Marco Bensi on Sep 27, 20043.00 stars
    Durante un nostro viaggio in Scozia abbiamo fatto anche questa bella escursione. 1334 metri di dislivello tre ore di salita. Per la via normale
  • Log #471 - by Peter Dijkers on Sep 19, 20043.00 stars
    The Ben Nevis is one of the peaks which give you a spectacular birds-eye view over the northern part of west-highlands. The north face is a beautiful climb, not so difficult, but gave me a satisfied...
  • Log #472 - by Keith Griffiths on Sep 16, 20043.00 stars
    Took 3.75 hours to summit. Weather was kind with moderate winds on top. Cold set in after about 30 minutes on summit. Took around 200 pics en-route.
  • Log #473 - by Frederick Leentfaar on Sep 12, 20043.00 stars
    Like my dad already mentioned in the entry below, this was the second time we tried to reach the top. We found out it was still at least one hour to the top from the point we were forced to go back...
  • Log #474 - by Krijn & Frederick Leentfaar on Sep 11, 20043.00 stars
    Second attempt. Had to give up the first time due to bad weather conditions, but reached the summit this time. Weather conditions were good and the views were great! Will be back!!
  • Log #475 - by Jane, Matthew and Andrew whitehead on Aug 28, 20043.00 stars
    Reached top in four hours - poor visibility, very windy and bitterly cold on summit!
  • Log #476 - by Francis Burton on Aug 08, 20043.00 stars
    GReat day for climbing, four of us made it in 3 hrs 55 mins. Saw all types of weather, sun, rain, fog, and wind. Exhilarating, then drove down to to Scafell Pike
  • Log #477 - by Sammy Ranchod Shaw on Aug 05, 20043.00 stars
    entered for Sammy by his mum 'easy climb, standing in cloud, it is very cold, took over 3 hours - great!'
  • Log #478 - by The Turner Family on Aug 01, 20043.00 stars
    Started at 8 am in glorious sunshine, mum dad and 2 kids aged 9 & 11 (all experienced walkers). Reached the summit at 12.30 in a complete white out! Returned through pouring rain and howling wind...
  • Log #479 - by Dean on July 30, 20043.00 stars
    Started the hike at 6:00am and had the Ben all to myself. Periods of drizzle on the way up, but cleared up nicely just after leaving the top. The views of the countryside were spectacular. Then came...
  • Log #480 - by Fleesh & BT on July 29, 20043.00 stars
    What a peach of a day to climb Ben Nevis! The hike was spectacular due to the clear weather with fantastic views throughout. Took us four hours to reach the summit (that's one steep rubbly path in...
  • Log #481 - by ben kerr on July 18, 20043.00 stars
    summer climb of observatory gully,super scramble up left hand side then cross to the middle,care required.snow for the last 100m.extreme care required,melting snow and cornices at edge of gully,ice...
  • Log #482 - by Elizabeth on July 17, 20043.00 stars
    As part of training week with the Cadets we went for a day's walking on Ben Nevis.. I fell over on the steps at the start, by the time we'd got halfway up I was limping badly and lagging too much -...
  • Log #483 - by Martin Evans on July 14, 20043.00 stars
    Take care in poor visibility at summit area, especially when leaving!
  • Log #485 - by dave & caroline on June 25, 20043.00 stars
    very challenging but bloody cold in the winter months infact freezing only for the crazy in winter. be vigilant at all times carry kit that you would'nt normally carry . could'nt stay at the top too...
  • Log #486 - by richard vickers on June 23, 20043.00 stars
    It was my first time.Did it with four friends.It was really sunny and fine,we could see for miles,the people were strangely friendly,everyone had big smiles on there faces. it was hard work but well...
  • Log #487 - by Vanessa on June 19, 20043.00 stars
    My cousin Pete and I went up with progessively bad weather as we climbed and it was sooo cold and wet at the top. We had wet weather gear but some nutters were doing it in jeans and other...
  • Log #488 - by James D. Holds on June 11, 20043.00 stars
    Walked it during my honeymoon last year. Visibility was poor when we started, and got worse as we got higher. Rain and cold, added to the fun. Steady rain, near freezing, with half gale winds, and...
  • Log #489 - by Frank YATES on June 09, 20043.00 stars
    Left the carpark in Glen Nevis at 4.30am. Glorious Day. Climbed the Ben via the tourist route, arrived on the summit @ 7am. Clear beautiful magical sky.
  • Log #490 - by Allan Leighton on May 27, 20043.00 stars
    Beautiful day. Started at the Nevis range Gondolas, which we used, over Aonach Mor to Aonach Beag, down to the Bealach and up a superb ridge to CMD. CMD arete to the Ben Nevis summit. Down the...
  • Log #491 - by Chris Lamb on May 24, 20043.00 stars
    Hi Myself and another 19 people walked Ben Nevis for charity, i am 31 and this is the first time I have ever attempted anything like this, including hills. All I can say is well worth the effort,...
  • Log #492 - by Alison James on Apr 30, 20043.00 stars
    Took the tourist trail, lucky with weather, it was fine till the snowline, then into cloud. T shirts for 1st 3000 feet, then added fleece, finally as we reached the snow, added full winter kit! Hard...
  • Log #493 - by mike hyde on Mar 22, 20043.00 stars
    went up on a very bad day,why do some people think they can go up just wearing basic water proofs and no equipment ,i found it hard with all the equipment and called it a day at 4000 feet as it was...
  • Log #494 - by Dave Cable on Mar 21, 20043.00 stars
    Well, what can be said of the great one?! This is an utterly amazing walk and I believe, the best of the 3 highest UK peaks, (we've done all three!) Anyone even with the minutest interest in...
  • Log #495 - by gary greenslade on Mar 08, 20043.00 stars
    top tip,get fit before you try the ben in winter.dress light until 3000ft or you will a guide that will show you the way ,fort william tourist information have their number.they charge...
  • Log #496 - by Jim McPherson on Mar 04, 20043.00 stars
    Took 5 hours on way up and 4 hours down Visibility poor - but managed to enjoy great views Climbed in the cairngorms on Tuesday But the Ben was much harder
  • Log #497 - by mike hyde on Feb 27, 20043.00 stars
    what a view from the top ,clear blue skys and could see for miles,it was so fantastic watching the sun rise made all the pain go away ,going back up in a few weeks ,but i think i will not be so lucky...
  • Log #498 - by edwin on Jan 22, 20043.00 stars
    Well, i almost walked to the summit but the conditions didn't allow me. Somemore it is getting darker. I was doing this alone. On the tourist path.
  • Log #500 - by Gordon Moss on Dec 29, 20033.00 stars
    It is the Ben that got me started in climbing back when I was 18. Such a beautiful and magical Mtn. It is understandable why I go every year.
  • Log #501 - by thomas on Dec 21, 20033.00 stars
    I went up the tourist track till lochan, then up to Carn Mor Dearg and (covered in thick fog and heavy winds) over the arĂȘte to the top. After a short cup of tea I was more rushing than walking down...
  • Log #502 - by Jeremy Edwards on Nov 17, 20033.00 stars
    2002 Visibilty poor (10m)Path very slippery, carried too much kit and paid for it (full rucksack, tent(!) sleeping bag, 24hr rations the lot. Weather really cold, although no snow. 2003 Very hot, ran...
  • Log #503 - by Jon Campbell on Nov 06, 20033.00 stars
    Usual route from Glen Nevis to lochan, up onto Carn Mor Dearg, along the arete, up the Ben, down the tourist route. Excellent weather, fantastic visibility, still a good bit of snow on the top.
  • Log #504 - by Chris Robinson on Oct 17, 20033.00 stars
    Summited the Ben via the Carn Mor Dearg arete. Fantastic experience. There was 2 foot of snow above 2500 ft which made it all the more of an adventure. Best hill day ever !
  • Log #505 - by brian jones on Oct 03, 20033.00 stars
    i started off in summer type shirt at the top i was wearing full winter gear such was the change in the conditions very enjoyable all the same.
  • Log #506 - by Max Wurr on Oct 02, 20033.00 stars
    Trudged up the tourist route on a grey early autumn day to find it snowing heavily at the summit. Amazed by the number of folks we met on the way down that were heading for the summit in trainers and...
  • Log #507 - by David Heilmann on Sep 29, 20033.00 stars
    Up via Youth Hostel path in just under 3 hrs, down in slightly more than 1 hr, with K. Wussow. Reasonably good weather, although rather windy and (on the summit plateau) slightly foggy, but this is...
  • Log #508 - by Joshua Cook on Sep 21, 20033.00 stars
    Terrible weather, white out conditions on top, sleet, snow, rain, and wind, your normal Scotland winter weather. Mike Johnson and I had a great time though.
  • Log #509 - by Duncan Kinnen on Sep 18, 20033.00 stars
    what is the geological explanation for the loose rocks on the summit ? Have they been tipping up there to make it higher ???
  • Log #510 - by Michael Brignull on Sep 10, 20033.00 stars
    Great day out for myself and 13 year old, Enda who got to the top, (via the youth hostel path), in four hours.
  • Log #511 - by Brian Murray on Sep 07, 20033.00 stars
    Over eight years later I still remember this as one of my favourite climbs.Wall to wall sunshine but still patches of snow on the top - which cooled down my hot feet
  • Log #512 - by Steve on Sep 05, 20033.00 stars
    Made it to the top in just under 3 hours. Visibility good until on the summit plateau. Descending was very tough on my knees. Recovered in time to climb Snowdon three days later.
  • Log #513 - by Gordon L. Hewstone on Aug 24, 20033.00 stars
    Long time since I did this one. Up the tourist path and across a small patch of icy snow near the top. Boiling hot day in the valley but intermittent snow showers at the top and freezing cold. When I...
  • Log #514 - by gary /gordon on Aug 18, 20033.00 stars
    freaky weather changes
  • Log #515 - by Csaba Riedlinger on Aug 14, 20033.00 stars
    Excellent weather/conditions/view - lucky day. Bit too touristee and well beaten track. Great experience, definite wish to return.
  • Log #516 - by Raju S Pillai on Aug 04, 20033.00 stars
    "One of the Adventures and the biggest challenge which I ever faced"
  • Log #517 - by Mark on July 21, 20033.00 stars
    Climbed Ben Nevis on a hot, sunny summer day with a few hundred other people. A mountain like this garners an interesting group of summit seekers, from the very experienced to the very inexperienced....
  • Log #22157 - by Knighty on Apr 11, 20113.00 stars
    09:00hrs Saturday 19th March 2011, Crampons at the ready, rope in the rucksack and with our hydration packs full we set off for the summit. We planned to follow the path starting at Achintee House....
  • Log #21511 - by Bill Fisher on Nov 14, 20083.00 stars
    Had a great day out with my stepfather David taking the tourist path up to the summit. We were fortunate with the weather with visibility remaining good most of the way up to the top. From 2000ft...
  • Log #21538 - by Simon Beck on Dec 08, 20083.00 stars
    Took 2 weeks off from the office in Feb 1991 due to the super conditions. Fine, cold, water ice 1500foot-2500foot then icy snow. Ideal snow in the easy gullies on the N face. I climbed it 5 times...
  • Log #20477 - by Marc Krajewski on Nov 07, 20063.00 stars
    My first ascent of Ben Nevis was on a warm sunny day in late August 2000. We set off from Glen Nevis Campsite at about 0800hrs and proceeded up the Ben Nevis (tourist route) to Lochan Meall an t...
  • Log #19357 - by sarah prest on Sep 27, 20063.00 stars
    The climb up was fine and easy until you reach five finger,theres a lot of shingle and it seem to be forever before you reach the summit. But i would really recommend it to anyone. I would love to do...
  • Log #20431 - by Bob Shortis on Oct 11, 20063.00 stars
    Straight up the tourist path. I'm getting on a bit but we meet a good many people, including a lovely lady who was celebrating her 60th birthday by climbing the mountain. We encountered low cloud...
  • Log #20080 - by Sam Coppard on Aug 11, 20063.00 stars
    I'm 13, and I found it pretty easy. Parents struggled quite a bit, and I ended up carrying by far the heaviest pack the majority of the way up and most of the descent. At the top, 60mph winds,...
  • Log #20124 - by Richard Wilkins on Sep 27, 20063.00 stars
    My first trip to Ben Nevis and I choose to take the "Tourist Route" as the weather was not great to start with. I had originally intended to go via the CMD arete however the poor visibility put me...
  • Log #21135 - by mike geach on Dec 25, 20073.00 stars
    Look i climbed it by the Carn Mor Dearg arete both times which was excellent but just wanted to say that the hut described in your article belongs to mountain rescue and is not open to hikers -...
  • Log #21183 - by Kevin on Feb 08, 20083.00 stars
    Did this with a good friend on the 9th August '07. We camped out the night before and left at 7.30 in the morning to avoid the crowds. Enjoyable ascent, although a bit of a slog.
  • Log #21719 - by Matt Coppock on July 21, 20093.00 stars
    First climbed the Ben at 7 years old in '76. Ran the Ben Nevis race twice, fasters time 2hrs 17min up and down. But did the north face in winter in 2006 this is the best side of the mountain,very...
  • Log #22044 - by Antoni on Aug 16, 20103.00 stars
    Easy climb, navigation required in adverse conditions.