Ben Nevis is not only the highest mountain in Scotland, it is the highest in the whole of the UK, yet despite this it is also the one that attracts the most visitors, which in turn means that it is the site of the majority of mountain rescues that take place in the UK, making it quite possibly the most dangerous. It measures a staggering 1,344 metres in height, which equates to 4,4406 feet – all of which people seem to have an insatiable need to walk, trek and climb. As mountains go this one has to be one of the most accessible in the world, with many people looking to walk up the mountain starting in nearby Fort William. The main thing that the walkers that make the trip through Glen Nevis up onto Ben Nevis need to remember is that they will be leaving the mild conditions and safety of the valley to venture into less hospitable terrain and need to dress accordingly, or else they may find themselves being the next walkers in need of rescue.
The Route Most Travelled
For those looking to walk their way to the summit there is really only one route to follow, it begins in Glen Nevis, and will take you at first through the picturesque Lochan Meall, after this point the path becomes very worn and heavier to walk. From here on your walk will take you in a clear zig-zagging route up the side of the mountain, the higher you climb the greater the difficulty of the path. The views from up here are absolutely fantastic, providing that there are no clouds that is, which is quite rare.
The weather up on the mountain is generally cold and wet, often in stark contrast to what the walkers have left behind in the valley. At the summit you will find an emergency shelter in which many climbers choose to stop and eat their lunch, and the ruins of an observatory that was built here in 1883 which is all that there is to offer some shelter from the wind. Another sight often found upon the summit are groups of walkers and climbers all wanting their picture taken as proof that they made the climb.
On A Clear Day
If you do manage to get to the top and find the sky clear you will see the landscape stretched out before you in such a way that makes the trials of the climb more than worthwhile. Across to the east you will be looking out over Aonach Beag, Aonach Mor and Carn Mor Dearg. Around to the south past the Glen you will be able to see the Mamores Ridge and even further afield to the distant mountains of Glen Coe. You can truly feel as though you are on top of the world and if you manage to make it there and find that there are no crowds it can be quite an emotional experience, though to experience this you will have to set off incredibly early.