At 1.345m Ben Nevis is the tallest mountain in the United Kingdom. Even though this may not seem particularly high in comparison to other mountains on the continent, the ascent should not be underestimated. The climb starts near the town of Fort William, in the Western Highlands, at roughly 100m above sea level. The path is rough and stony and weather conditions are often challenging, but it is certainly worth it: even during the climb you can enjoy a stunning view of the beautiful Western Highlands.
When you have made it to the top, you can see the ruins of an old observatory, built in 1893 and used to collect meteorological data until 1904, data which is still used today to understand the weather in the Western Highlands. Today the ruins are also used as a shelter from the elements. Ben Nevis used to be an active volcano and evidence of the explosion under which the mountain ultimately collapsed can be seen in form of bright granite along the ascent.
The north face, with its 700m cliffs, is popular with rock climbers and adventurers and offers different degrees of difficulty. During winter the use of crampons and ice picks is necessary for some parts.
The first person to climb Ben Nevis was botanist James Robertson in 1771, followed by John Williams for geological studies in 1774. In 1847 Ben Nevis was officially classed as the highest mountain of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1883 the “Pony Track” was built, the first track to the summit. Because of its safety this is the most popular track today, which we also use on our Western Highlands Tour.
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