|Ben Nevis from Glen
Nevis visitor centre
|Estimated net time||5-6 hours|
|Difficulty||No difficulties, but a minimum of care should be shown with respect to cornices at summit. Very good man-made path except through scree at the top.|
|Drinking water||Access to running water from a couple of streams around mid-way to the summit.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout most of the route (May 2008).|
|Parking||Room for many cars by the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre.|
|Start height||17 metres|
|Vertical metres||1330 metres for the roundtrip|
|Trip distance||16.4 km|
Just north-east of Fort William, on road A82, follow signs for the Glen Nevis visitor centre. From the visitor centre's car park walk 200 metres north along the river, then cross the river on the bridge, and continue south along the river. 330 metres after having crossed the bridge turn left (east), and then turn right 300 metres later. Follow this path in the south/south-east direction, and continue all the way to the summit, as it zigzags its way upwards.
Expect to see a lot of other hikers on this path as this is the "tourist route"!
09. May 2008
This Friday was Håvard and my second day in Scotland, and because of poor weather forecast for Saturday we decided to do Ben Nevis on the Friday. We drove from Aviemore after breakfast and some shopping, and was ready to start hiking from the Glen Nevis visitor centre at 11:05. The weather was excellent, with 23°C and a light wind making the relatively high temperature feel just right for a long hike.
The first few hundred metres there weren't many other hikers around (a notable exception was of course "the bird in the pink bikini"), but after around half an hour of hiking we started to meet and overtake a lot of hikers. This continuously got "worse" the further up we got; we must have met and/or overtaken several hundred hikers during our five hours in the mountain.
When we got up to Lochan Meall An T-Suidhe Håvard and me agreed that I should proceed at my own pace, and potentially hike another mountain after having got to the Ben Nevis summit. I therefore increased the speed and got to the summit in just over two hours. By now it was raining, and the fact that I had misinterpreted the map slightly, made me have second thoughts about continuing to another mountain. Eventually I decided to just wait for Håvard at the summit, killing time by walking around and having a closer look at the potential routes to other mountains.
After 37 minutes of waiting Håvard got to the summit. We took some more photos and had our lunch before heading back down. During the descent we met a Canadian who asked if we wanted a photo taken of both of us. We accepted the offer, and chatted with him for probably about ten minutes, while he was killing time waiting for his wife to catch up. After this Håvard and me agreed to once again split, allowing me to run down and wait for him at the Nevis Inn at the start of the path.
When I got down to the Inn I changed to dry clothes, and got myself an Irn Bru and a pint of something suitable as a post hike refreshment. By the time my refreshments were emptied Håvard turned up and it was time for the drive back to Aviemore.
Back at the hotel it turned into a late night, chatting with Charlie and Ian who were about to start the John O'Groats to Lands End walk they had planned to do over the next three months (Charlie walking and Ian driving). I wish I had time and money to spend three months hiking . . . . . . Whatever, the company was good but the session in the bar probably wasn't the best preparations for the next days planned long hike.