Ascent of Ben Nevis on 2018-07-18

Climber: Diana Davis

Date:Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Ben Nevis
    Elevation:4413 ft / 1345 m

Ascent Trip Report

I jogged to and from Ben Nevis from downtown Fort William via the West Highland Way, near the Leisure Center and through the Braveheart Car Park. It is probably under 2.5 miles if you go directly, but I made some wrong turns. For this part of the trip, I found the Google Map and the blue GPS dot feature on my phone much more helpful than the map I purchased, as the trails on the ground did not seem to correspond exactly to reality.

From the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre, the trail is extremely obvious, with no need even for signage along the way. You could follow it perfectly under any conditions other than complete darkness. The trail is wide and well maintained all the way, including at least a mile of stone stairs. At the top of the mountain, the trail is less obvious, but still very easy to follow due to the absence of lichen on the rocks on the trail and its presence everywhere else.

I was planning to run much of this hike, but in the end I only ran to and from the trailhead. The bottom half of the mountain is mostly stone stairs, and for the top half the trail surface is mostly scree, making it difficult or dangerous to run on; I felt that if I ran, I would almost certainly fall.

The Visitor Centre says that it is about 9 degrees cooler at the summit than at the base, and I found this to be very plausible. I wore shorts and a short-sleeve shirt for the bottom half of the mountain, and added a long-sleeve shirt and then a jacket as I approached the summit. It was pleasant weather, with high clouds allowing for good views. There were hundreds of people on the trail even on a Wednesday, including many children around age 10 and several dogs. I heard many languages being spoken, including French, Irish, German, Chinese, and English with many accents.

It took me about 2:15 from the Visitor Centre to the summit, and about the same to come down. Round trip from downtown Fort William was about 5 hours moving time, and 6 hours total due to breaks for snacks, pictures and reading interpretive panels.

I do not recommend purchasing a map for this ascent. I spent 10 pounds on one, and I believe that this money was wasted.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail

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