It is rare to get clear views from the top, and indeed the cloud had closed in. What an incredible, eventful, briefly frightening and life changing experience. His entry read: ‘I ascended Ben Nevis which is reckoned the highest mountain in Britain. It is worth bearing in mind that a covering of snow, particularly when accompanied by low cloud, can make route finding and navigation very challenging. There’s a distillery at the foot of the mountain. Furthermore, many people climb Ben Nevis for the amazing views it gives, of the nearby towns, valleys and lochs. Weather phenomena recorded in previous years in Ben Nevis ☃ Water Temperature in localities in Ben Nevis ☀ Weather forecast for Ben Nevis in September ☔. ! The last thing you want is to be stuck 1,300 metres above sea level with the sun beating down on you with no means of protecting your skin. The first recorded ascent of Ben Nevis was made on the 17 August 1771 by James Robertson, an Edinburgh botanist, who was in the region to collect botanical specimens.Another early ascent was in 1774 by John Williams, who provided the first account of the mountain's geological structure. After crossing a conveniently placed bridge, traversing a trail of steps and hopping over stones in the stream of a waterfall, you’ll come to a long zig zag section. These give detailed information about expected conditions on the mountains as opposed to just a general forecast for conditions at sea level. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. This allows for a steady ascent, up a well maintained path. The average time taken to climb Ben Nevis is 7-9 hours, with the climb to the top taking around 4 hours, and the return 3 hours. You’ll thank yourself when the wind is hammering the rain into you and you’re able to stay dry. Enjoy. Ben Nevis with kids My friend and I are planning to climb Ben Nevis in August, along with our three children (aged 12, 13 and 15). It is strongly recommended that your first ascent of Ben Nevis be attempted during the summer months (approximately May to September). How Long does it take to climb Ben Nevis? It aims to inspire, enable and educate runners. A. I have just come back from climbing Ben Nevis, it is not a tourist path it is a mountain path, at times very hard, especially the steps on the way back down, my total time was 7 hours, 4 hours to get up, my companion stained a muscle coming down so we took it very easy on the decent. This not only maintains morale, but it keeps group members together and avoids faster group members having to stop (and possibly get cold) whilst waiting for slower group members to catch up. Particularly important during busy periods of the climbing year like in summer when conditions are less treacherous. After we warmed up, changed and had a bite to eat, we bought an obligatory Ben Nevis fridge magnet from the gift shop before hitting the road to Edinburgh (where we stayed). After crossing the bridge over the River Nevis, you will start to climb steeply using the steps conveniently provided. Alpine in stature, imposing and elegant in appearance, the four great ridges of the Ben are superb experiences to climb. the compass bearings necessary to negotiate your way safely from the summit of Ben Nevis back to the zig zags. Here are five essentials you need to put in your backpack when hiking Ben Nevis: First Aid Kit – at least a basic one with some blister plasters. 2). Boy, 7, climbs Ben Nevis after his parents were told he would never walk. Some emergency kit should be carried in case you or a member of your party suffers an injury which, in the worst case scenario, may immobilise you. Walking poles are also highly recommended, helping to relieve pressure on the knees, particularly in descent. After a 30 minute journey we managed to… From here, the famous zig zags begin, with the path climbing steadily up the western flank of the mountain, right to the edge of the summit plateau at the top of the zig zags at a height of 1200 m. (Note the circular shelter and abrupt flattening). August 2016 . This lochain is known as “the halfway lochain” (Pic. Looking after the mountain environment is also incredibly important. I hate staying in one place for too long, and 4 months in my hometown of Maidstone in Kent has been too long. The highest mountain in the whole of the UK, it seems as if half of Scotland is spread before you when at the summit on a clear day – from the mountains of Skye in the northwest to the Cairngorms in the east. This can be broken down into phases, allowing 4 hours to get to the summit and a further 3 hours to walk down. Additional items such as sunglasses and sun cream can be judged according to the weather forecast, and don’t forget any personal medication that you may require during the course of the day. August 3, 2020. by Guillaume Borde. Continue Reading. Take great care in this area as the path takes you very close to the edge of cliffs. Ben Nevis stands at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the region of Lochaber, close to the town of Fort William. We started our climb at 9 am. Climbing a mountain takes you out of the artificial walls of the modern world and thrusts you into the sheer might and beauty of nature. With a peak of 1,345m high, Ben Nevis is the highest and most iconic mountain in the UK. It features thoughts, advice, product and service recommendations and tutorials. Weather Forecasting in Scotland – Top Picks, Why Hike in Scotland at Different Times of Year. Aviemore A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to hold a conversation whilst you are walking. This is crucial if attempting the mountain without a guide, but even if you are going with a guide, it does no harm to check the mountain weather forecast yourself so you have a good idea of what to expect on the day. Due to the lovely weather of the Scottish highlands, sunscreen wasn’t necessary for our climb. The walk up Ben Nevis begins at more or less sea level, finishing over a vertical kilometre higher. So make the most of those rest breaks, keep them brief but purposeful, and keep moving at a steady pace. If you’re a runner whose in need of something different and fun to spice up you’re training regime, look no further than scaling a mountain. Reaching to the top feels good! If you want more information about all the other possible routes scaling Ben Nevis, check out this useful article article. When we almost encountered a brush with hypothermia due to being absolute idiots and not bringing our waterproof clothing, we were able to motivate each other to keep pushing ahead to warm up. Friday 25th September was the day I decided to climb Ben Nevis for the first time! PRICE FREEZE - Book at 2020 Prices and £100-£300 Travel Voucher for Every Traveller ». Please don’t make the same mistake! Our biggest learning experience from climbing Ben Nevis is to bring waterproof clothing. Not good. Though we couldn’t see very far in front of us, on a clear day you can see for miles and miles around. The first recorded ascent of Ben Nevis was in 1771, 4. Don’t be fooled by the weather conditions down in Fort William, it will be very different on the upper slopes of Ben Nevis, so make sure you take warm and waterproof clothes including hat and gloves. A seven-year-old boy with cerebral palsy is preparing to climb Ben Nevis at the weekend. Conditions will be very different between these two extremes, so flexibility is key. The plan is to put together a few teams to climb Nevis in August this year. “Hiker and Biker, James has summited Ben Nevis more times than you can count!”, More By This Author I’m someone who loves travelling and exploring new places. runnersfirst.co.uk is a participant in the Amazon  Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. The mountain is now all that remains of the imploded inner dome of the volcano. When the infamous Scottish weather of rain and cloud subsides, those who reach the summet enjoy a beautiful panoramic view from the moutain’s peak. If you don’t live near the hills, or you are visiting Scotland on a tight time schedule, at least try to make sure you have a good basic level of fitness, best achieved by walking, running, cycling or swimming. Ben Nevis 9th August 2014. After reaching the end of the zig zag section and into the long rocky step section of the mountain, we felt much warmer and no longer feared for our lives (dramatic, right?!). So, what did I do about it? It’ll make it a more fun climb. I knew I needed a big change from my new daily life of working from home, seeing friends digitally, running and studying. Having looked on the Met Office’s website, we were primed to take on the wind and the rain. This is the hill visible from the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre, often mistaken for Ben Nevis itself! Runners First is a blog for the running community. While the view from the top is nearly always hidden in clouds, the views from your journey up will astound you and will give you many opportunities to take stunning photos as you take a break from walking. If you are climbing Ben Nevis under your own steam, please pay attention to your safety at all times and never be afraid to turn back if conditions dictate. A Silva Expedition 4 compass is recommended for mountain navigation. The climb generally takes anywhere between 7 and 9 hours. US: 1-866-740-3890 I often say to clients that you don’t need to be fast to climb Ben Nevis, but you do need to be efficient. Brave! However, it’s always worth bringing a bottle just in case the sun decides to make a guest appearance. – Take at least 2 litres of water with you! As a result, we had to climb the mountain without waterproof clothing and only a few layers of running gear. Scotland is very fortunate to enjoy a right of responsible access to most land for non-motorised recreational purposes, including walking. The chances of reasonable weather over this period are much greater than at other times, and the longer days are definitely reassuring. Enjoy! To this day, the ruins of the observatory can be viewed upon reaching the summet. If you have poor phone signal, it may be possible to send an emergency message to 999 or 112, although your phone should be pre-registered in order to achieve this (see https://www.ngts.org.uk/how-to-use-ngt/contact-999-using-ngt.html# for further information). The Ben Nevis distillery is a single malt whisky distillery at the foot of the mountain. Another early climb was undertaken by John Williams in 1774 and he provided the first account of the mountain’s geological structure. Thousands of people climb Ben Nevis every year and, like it or not, all those pairs of boots have an impact on the mountain environment – even yours and mine! Whichever starting point is chosen, all lead on to the pony track which climbs steadily along the lower flanks of the hill Meall an t-Suidhe. In 2019, a team of highliners crossed Gardyloo Gully (4,000ft up) on a piece of cable. Other than this, other essentials include food and drink, and a headlamp with spare batteries. After studying various forecasts for several days we decided to go for Monday 24th August to make our attempt on the summit of the UK's largest mountain. We set off at 10:30AM. Such a strange time. It is essential that you take a map suitable for navigating in the mountains, a compass, and knowledge of how to use them. I've climbed Ben Nevis several times and on the latest occasion as part of a Three Peaks Challenge. The observatory was staffed full-time until 1904 when funding dried up. Not wanting to contract a case of hypothermia, we warmed up by getting our blood pumping with a light jog down the mountain. The mountain used to be an active volcano, until it erupted and collapsed on itself, millions of years ago. Check out our complete guide to what to wear hiking in Scotland. Founded in 1825, it’s one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland and attracts many visitors all year round. The two lying side-by-side is evidence the huge volcano collapsed in on itself creating an explosion. From here, the path crosses the summit plateau, up a couple of final inclines, to the corner of Gardyloo Gully (marked by three cairns). Ben Nevis - is the tallest mountain in the UK at 4,409ft! 75,279 were here. Being the absolute rookies we are, my brother and I purchased a range of waterproof clothing for the trip but forgot to pick up the bag that it was stored in from our home in Kent. In the late-1870s, the Scottish Meteorological Society built an observatory for studying the weather at a high altitude. However, that’s not to say you need to do the same thing. Published: Dec 10, 2020, Meike van Krimpen | More By This Author Glen Nevis Restaurant and Bar is another excellent choice, located in Glen Nevis between the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre and the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel. It’s August 2020. Thank you Scotland! An extra warm layer or two available within the group, a spare hat or two, and perhaps an extra couple of pairs of gloves will be very welcome if you find yourselves having to stay put for any length of time. Just after a small bridge, the path turns sharply into the valley containing the Red Burn, climbing more steeply to Lochain Meall an t-Suidhe. A third part of the hill towards the top is entirely naked, resembling a heap of stones thrown together confusedly. Enjoy. It’s the highest mountain in the British Isles. Many people find walking down as tiring as going up, so be honest with yourself and the rest of your party, and make sure you have enough “left in the tank” to complete your journey without assistance. My name's Craig and I run. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall Book Summary. The rock climbing on Ben Nevis fits nicely into four categories: The Great Ridges. Make sure you bring plenty of supplies to sustain yourself for the voyage. Weather in Ben Nevis in September 2020. Suncream – Yep, i’m not joking. 5), as the approximate line of the modern path follows a line once used by those accessing a weather observatory which used to operate on the summit of Ben Nevis. It was a busy day for climbing so my brother and I found we were overtaking many others during this stage as we like to go at a decent pace. The mountain track can be accessed conveniently from three locations in Glen Nevis – either the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre (large pay and display car park, public toilets and information centre), the Ben Nevis Inn (limited free car parking, fabulous pub and bunkhouse accommodation), or the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel (very limited parking, excellent hostel accommodation). I’ve just got back from climbing Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the UK. The weather at Ben Nevis is notorious for suddenly changing at the drop of a hat so make sure you’re prepared. If looking after a group, it is important to make sure that every member of the party is keeping as comfortable as possible. It is good practice to walk at the speed of the slowest member of the group. Pack a waterproof coat, trousers, shoes, gloves and hat and remember them. It is not quite halfway, but the path does become easier for a time here, providing some welcome respite for the legs. The rocks and pebbles in this section make it hard to get a solid footing so we were sure to be careful about where we were stepping. This includes “biodegradable” waste such as bananas skins and apple cores. At the top of Ben Nevis is a rocky plateau of about 100 acres, a trig point denotes the highest point, while there is also a ruined observatory (now a shelter for those caught out by the weather). Above here, the path turns sharply right, continuing until the Red Burn is crossed. I decided to drive almost 10 hours to Scotland’s Fort William with my brother and climb the tallest mountain in the UK. As the foggy, cloudy and rainy conditions made it hard to see more than 5 metres in front, we were careful to stick to the path and not stray off course. Highland The initial excitement of crossing the metal bridge to the start, the challenge of hopping across the waterfall stream, navigating through the reduced visibility of the foggy summit and enduring the gruelling weather conditions were all highs and lows of my climb. Wanting to briefly get away from thinking about what I can and can’t do in face of Coronavirus, I decided to go to the Scottish highlands for the challenge of climbing Ben Nevis in an effort to improve my running. If you’re going to climb Ben Nevis, make sure you have fun! Though a difficult and arduous climb, it’s not comparable to the suffering people with cancer go through. A seven-year-old boy with cerebral palsy whose parents were told he would never walk has climbed the highest mountain in the British Isles. If you are getting out of breath whilst talking, you are probably walking too fast! Following a successful summit we were quick to head back the way we came and rapidly descend the mountain. Take your time climbing the mountain. If you are on your own, carry a personal “survival bag”, a small First Aid kit, and a fully charged mobile phone. ... I’m not here to badger you readers for money but instead telling you why I am climbing Ben Nevis at night. Published: Sep 30, 2020 5 min read, Emy MacLeod | More By This Author The normal time taken to climb the mountain path is 3.5 hours. Let's face it, it's a very busy mountain with all the problems that causes. You could climb Ben Nevis with your romantic partner, family members, work colleagues or your mates. However, for a walking route suitable for a first Ben Nevis ascent the mountain track is the route of choice. The remains of the observatory are still visible today. There is a platform at the mountain’s summit which we quickly ascended with a fellow climber being kind enough to take our photo. However, high winds, heavy rain, snow, and poor visibility can and do occur during any month on the year on Ben Nevis, so always pay attention to a reliable mountain weather forecast such as those produced by the Met Office or the Mountain Weather Information Service. There’s a perfectly good reason for this. Ben Nevis is really called Beinn Nibheis, 2. It had been a difficult and slippery task going up and it was quickly dawning on us all that if you add downward momentum to ice, snow and rocks it adds a different dimension to the next 3 hours or so! Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. Temperature of water and air, precipitation, amount of days with rain and advice on the best time to visit Ben Nevis. Despite the weather forecast looking bleak with rain, fog and wind on the horizon, things were holding up and we were dry. Give it a try. James Robertson, an 18th century botanist, was in the Scottish highlands on a mission to collect specimens for Edinburgh’s College Museum. An early start means you can take your time without worrying about the day turning to night during the climb, and you’ll be able to find a parking space. A mountain climb is a power workout for us runners. As you do! Staying down in Glen Coe we got up at 6am to get ready and drove up to Glen Nevis. Please do not drop litter under any circumstances! In 2018, BASE jumper Tim Howell jumped off of Ben Nevis which was covered by BBC Scotland. In the relatively cold mountain environment, decomposition of such things takes much longer than might be expected, leaving nothing but an unsightly mess for those who follow. My and my fiance and another lovley couple had checked the weather the day before and it was to be clear skies, hardly any cloud and temp to be about -11 at the top. Travel guide and advices. Ben Nevis via Mountain Path, August Climbing this mountain was the highlight of my trip to Scotland in late summer (early August). At first, we found the path easy, and steadily climbing we left the glen behind. The key word here is responsible, and we can all do our bit to help minimise our impact on Scotland’s wild places. 6). Bein Nibheis can also mean the famous Scott god Lugh, who was well known to have spent his time on tall mountains. On a clear day you can see Northern Ireland up to 120 miles away, 5. Its proper name is in fact the pony track (Pic. Ben Nevis attracts walkers and climbers from around the world, and with good reason. The Ben Nevis Inn could hardly be more convenient for a post-walk celebratory meal or drink, situated right at the bottom of Ben Nevis at Achintee. I love climbing mountains because: I know what you’re thinking. The path is very well trodden, and apart from in very poor weather hard to miss. Read an overview of the climate. Dalfaber Drive Having just returned from Scotland after the Ben Nevis trip, I can confidently say that climbing Ben Nevis was the most fun I have had in months. The Harvey maps recommended above include an enlargement of the summit of Ben Nevis, along with the bad visibility descent route – i.e. Considerable efforts go into maintaining and repairing the mountain track each year, often by volunteers working in some pretty tough conditions. Published: Apr 25, 2019More by James. Walking or Climbing Ben Nevis . After a bit of online research, the ‘Mountain Path’ appeared to be the longest option described as the most straightforward. The terrain is steep path throughout. The conditions were particularly treacherous at this point. What gear did I use for the Ben Nevis climb? This site is owned and operated by Craig Barden. Seriously. The average low temperature on Ben Nevis in August is 2.8°C and the high is 6.4°C. Mobile phone coverage on Ben Nevis is generally good. Over 130,000 adventurers complete a journey to the summit of the Outdoor Capital at 1345m every year with a further 100,000 people taking a mini adventure part of the way up the mighty mountain. If the time it takes you to get here is much longer than this, consider the implications on the likely time taken to get to the summit and return safely. If you are in this kind of mindset, you probably want to get on top of the UK and climb Ben Nevis. Pic 6 – Lochain Meall an t-Suidhe, “the halfway lochain”. 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