While in Fort William, we wanted to hike up Ben Nevis. Ben Nevis is 4,409ft above sea level and is the highest mountain in the British Isles. It is in the western area of the Scottish Highlands. It takes about 2.5 hours to get to from Glasgow. The back side of Ben Nevis is pictured above. At the bottom of this post we have included some tips for those of you planning to climb this mountain.
We walked the pathway from the car park over by the visitor’s centre. It is a nice leisurely flat walk. Many sheep hanging around feeding on the vast amounts of green grass. You are always guaranteed to see at least a few sheep in Scotland when you are out wandering around. Of course, I need to have my picture with this fluffy animal. The sheep seem pretty used to the number of people around, they keep eating while you take pictures.
A beautiful view of Glen Nevis (valley) from about half way up the mountain.
At this point we figured we were already getting close to the top, and making great time.
To our shock, we only reached the halfway point. At the halfway point you will see this tiny little lake on the flat area of the mountain.
When you turn around you see this view behind you! OK, so maybe this wasn’t as easy as we thought. We were thinking how we were in such great shape, we made it up in way less time then we expected. As you can see there are areas covered in snow and a stream that you have to pass over. We had a few minutes break, and carried on.
The views become even more breathtaking as you climb further up the mountain. As you can see the weather was becoming foggy the further we climbed up the mountain. When you do plan your hike, try to plan it for the best weather day because you never know what will happen while you are on the mountain.
This is the highest point we climbed. It was about 200 ft from the top of Ben Nevis. Yes, the weather was very foggy and we heard from a couple climbers that they had turned around because they couldn’t see much.
Back down I came, my shoes were slipping a little on the snow. I made sure that I put a lot of weight on the right side in case I slipped. I preferred to fall into the mountain then losing my balance and rolling down the steep hill to the left.
Even Andrew was taking his time over the snow walkways.
It took us about 5 1/2 hours to climb up (close to the top) and back down. We were absolutely exhausted at the end. Our legs were sore for a few days after this hike, I think we both learned we need to hike some smaller hills first and stretch out before attempting such a long climb. Regardless, it was still a lot of fun and a beautiful landscape to marvel.
Tips for Hiking Ben Nevis:
1. Bring lots of water so that you don’t get dehydrated.
2. Bring a few snacks to munch on.
3. Take a few breaks and sit down to enjoy the view.
4. Make sure you leave a few days while visiting because the weather can change on a whim. You don’t want to find yourself climbing up in a storm and while it may be sunny when you leave it could be windy and raining in a couple hours. This happened to us, we changed the day that we were going up because the weather forecast was looking grim later in the week.
5. Leave a couple recovery days after your hike if you plan on doing more hiking. We went to the Isle of Skye right after hiking Ben Nevis to do some more hiking. While we were able to do some hiking we were running low on energy because of this hike. We should have taken some rest time right after.
I got more lucky than you on my trip there, but then again I didn’t encounter any snow. My tip would be – don’t expect any view, but you get to see anything enjoy it while it lasts.
Great tip! I also agree, enjoy it while it lasts.
Hi – Did you hike Ben Nevis in July? We were thinking of hiking Ben Nevis in late April and didn’t know that there would be snow.
Hi Catherine, actually we hiked Ben Nevis at the end of April. So the same time you were thinking of doing it. There was only snow at the top of Ben Nevis, it is actually a good time to go. The weather is extremely unpredictable at times (wind gusts, rain, the top of the mountain can be in the clouds).