We did Ben Nevis on Tuesday 30th April 2013 as it was going to be the best day weather wise according to the forecast...we were not disappointed! Beautiful blue, clear skies, plenty of warm (and at points very hot) sunshine with no wind, just the odd breeze!
The walk took us, there and back, 7 hours. The tracks and paths are very clear but, be warned, it is not easy. Very strenuous and hard going, you have to be fit.....remember, the descent can be as hard, if not harder (because you are so tired) than the ascent!
And don't be fooled by the beautiful weather either....it was like we'd entered a different planet when we arrived at the 1000m point. There was a LOT of fresh snowfall from the day before on top of the mountain on top of all the snow that was there before and it was deep. And it was VERY COLD! Fortunately plenty of people had ascended earlier in the day so the tracks were clear enough for us to follow.
Once at the top, however, it was all (pain and tears!) totally worth it. Stunning views and sense of achievement was second to none.....although at one point (around the 1200m point) my legs did stop working and turned to jelly!
1. Wear plenty of layers and water proof trousers and a waterproof coat with a hood to protect you from the wind and pack a hat, scarf and gloves even if you don't need them until you're right near the top....because you will.
2. Take an OS map, compass and whistle. We didn't actually need these but created security in the knowledge we'd got them with us. There were still lots of people around (safety in numbers and all that) but better to be prepared. And don't forget the sunscreen.....it might be cold but the sun, on clear days, is really strong!
3. If it's snowy up there you WILL need crampons, boots suitable for them and an ice axe. Plenty of people were doing it without and just wearing normal walking boots but it was very dangerous as the snow was so deep and at parts very slippy. One false move and you'd have been careering down the side of the mountain!
ICE AXE, BOOT & CRAMPON hire for £12.50 per person from Cotswolds in Fort William...brilliant staff in there!
4. Take plenty of food and water.....especially water. This will keep you going!
5. Take your time and if you feel unsafe at any point turn around. Ben Nevis has been the for a long time and it will be there again, stay safe and respect this huge, fantastic mountain.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.