The UK's Highest Mountain
As most of you will know Ben Nevis is the tallest mountain in the UK towering at a colossal 4406ft or 1344m. Due to its height and enormous beauty it is one of the most popular yet dangerous places in Scotland, for example in 1999 saw 41 rescues including 4 fatalities.
Watch our HD video of a week in the life of Ben Nevis HERE - http://blog.aboutfortwilliam.com/2012/05/video-another-week-in-the-life-of-ben-nevis/
There are around 100,000 ascents of Ben Nevis each year with the majority of tourists using the walking route accessible via lower Glen Nevis. This track was created in 1883 at the same time as the observatory and is more commonly referred to as the ‘Pony Track’. The track goes right to the summit through a series of windy paths up the western face, most climbers tend to use the Allt a’ Mhuilinn path which leads to the cliffs which is accessible via the ‘North Face Car park’ in Torlundy along the A82 before the turn off for Nevis Range.
Whichever route you decide to take be sure to wear the right gear!!! Kit up for the mountain with its snowy peak, changeable weather and unforgiving winds or you’ll find yourself being carried off by one of the friendly faces of the the busiest Mountain Rescue Team in the UK. The inexperienced walker can expect to see the summit in between 4 and 6 hours with the sure footed veterans hitting the top in under 3, but however long it takes you the views from the top will make it all worthwhile!!!
If you like your history the first recorded ascent of Ben Nevis was made on the 17th of August 1771 but James Robertson, a botanist from Edinburgh, who was in the region to collecting botanical specimens. Also the first record for fastest time up and down the Ben was set in 1895 by William Swan, a local hairdresser who ran to the summit and back in 2 hours 41 minutes!
There are plenty facilities peppered along the Glen Nevis road including hostels, camp sites and Bed & Breakfasts to rest your arching bones, all of which are only minutes from the town centre of Fort William.
If you decide that the Ben is not for you then carry along the main road through Glen Nevis, winding through the single track roads and you’ll come to the setting out point for Steall Gorge a comparatively light walk with stunning views of waterfalls, mind boggling geology and a nerve shredding wire bridge crossing!
On 17th May 2006 a piano that had been buried under one of the cairns on the peak was uncovered by the John Muir Trust which owns much of the mountain. The piano is thought to have been shouldered to the top for charity by removal men from Dundee some 20 years earlier.
Ben Nevis has a clone in New Zealand which stands at 1619m, 275m taller than the Scottish peak.
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