Walk: Ben Nevis, Highland

Climb to the crest of the Highlands with the 11-mile hike to the summit of Ben Nevis  

The great bulk of Ben Nevis, UKs highest mountain at 4418 feet, towers above Fort William in Lochaber

Ben Nevis’s North Face is strictly for climbers, but walkers can enjoy superb views of these magnificent cliffs from the area north of the mountain.  

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The following route leads you off the popular ‘tourist path,’ and is tough walking, involving some 1,700m of vertical ascent – so it will only suit fit and well-equipped hikers, whose party includes at least one experienced hill walker– especially in winter. 

The great bulk of Ben Nevis, UKs highest mountain at 4418 feet, towers above Fort William in Lochaber
Ben Nevis, Scotland ©Getty
1. Glen to lochan 

Park in Glen Nevis and set off along the main ‘tourist route’. After about three miles you will reach the ‘halfway lochan’, Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe.

2. Into the valley 

Head north, skirting the lower slopes of Carn Dearg, until the path turns southeast. After a few hundred metres, leave the path and head east, crossing the Allt a’ Muillin river. In front of you lies a 600m ascent up rough slopes to Carn Beag Dearg. 

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Hiker south of Ben Nevis, Scotland ©Jake Graham
3. A spectacular ridge 

From Carn Beag Dearg, follow the high ridge south to Carn Mor Dearg, enjoying the sensational views of Ben Nevis’s north face.  

4. To the summit 

The ridge steadily drops 200m before a faint path leads steeply upwards to the summit. Descend to the west via the ‘tourist route’.

For an alternative route, visit Walkhighlands.

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Images: Getty