Think you know Ben Nevis? Until you’ve been up in Winter, think again! The mountain is transformed by snow and ice into a serious but massively rewarding undertaking.
Winter conditions prevail on the mountain from around December to April. Our normal route of choice is the Mountain Track which is straight forward in Summer but in Winter it can become much more challenging under deep snow, hard ice, high winds and white out conditions. If you’re after a more challenging route, check out our Winter Mountaineering or Private Guiding courses.
Any route on the mountain in winter requires the use of technical equipment including ice-axe, winter boots and crampons. Hire can be arranged locally in Fort William. If you’ve had some previous experience in Winter conditions using ice axe and crampons then this is ideal.
If you’re new to winter walking, we can offer you a 2 day course. A ‘Ben Nevis Winter Weekend‘ allows us to use the day before your ascent as a winter skills training day to get you up to speed before tackling ‘the Ben’.
The rewards of a Winter ascent of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain are great, with (sometimes!) views of snow covered peaks as far as the eye can see and a real and deserved sense of achievement. No guarantee is made to reach the summit as sometimes in Winter this is just not possible. However, we will do everything we can to give you the best chance whilst looking after you each step of the way.
Is this for me?
You should have some experience of summer hill walking.
The Winter environment can be quite demanding so a good level of fitness is recommended.
Ratios- up to 1:6
Larger groups please contact us for prices
|No. of People||Ben Nevis Winter Ascent||Winter Skills + Ben Nevis|
- Technical Kit
- Winter walking boots – Need to be at least B1 rated and be able to take a C1 crampon. E.g. Scarpa Manta Pro (B2), Scarpa SL Active (B1) (Hire can be arranged via Scottish Mountain Hire or Ellis Brigham.
- Crampons- C1 or C2 crampons e.g. Grivel G10 or G12’s (Hire included)
- Ice-Axe- General Walking or Mountaineering Axe- 55cm length ideal (Hire included)
- Thick walking socks
- Wicking baselayer/thermal -This keeps moisture away from your skin and reduces how cold you feel as a result. Synthetic or Merino Wool are effective- Cotton is NOT suitable.
- Warm Trekking trousers or Thermals- to be worn underneath waterproofs.
- Insulated mid layer- to be worn underneath waterproofs but on top of thermal/ baselayer for example a warm fleece or Primaloft top.
- Waterproof jacket – e.g. GoreTex, E-Vent, Paramo, Hyvent, etc
- Waterproof Over-trousers- e.g. GoreTex, E-Vent, Paramo, Hyvent, etc
- Warm hat plus + 1 spare
- Waterproof gloves + at least 1 spare pair of gloves
- Spare warm layer- e.g. Warm fleece or Synthetic/Primaloft Jacket
- Other Kit
- Rucksack – 40-45 litre recommended
- Rucksack liner/Drybags- Most rucksacks aren’t waterproof so either a large poly-bag liner or several smaller dry-bag type bags recommended.
- Food and water – around 2 litres of water and plenty of snacks and high energy foods to get you through the day. A small flask can be a nice moral boost!
- Survival bag- Several types available to suit most budgets- Blizzard Blankets are amazing!
- Sun screen, sun glasses (weather dependent!) – mountain sun can be fierce.
- Ski/ Snow goggles very useful when walking into the wind and spindrift.
- Gaiters- stops snow from getting into your boots.
- Head Torch + spare batteries or another spare torch
- Personal medicines
- Trekking poles (Optional) – can take 3 tonnes of loading off of your knees over the course of a day and also good in deep snow
What’s Included/ Not Included
- Qualified and Highly Experienced Winter Mountain Leader
- Hire of Ice axe and Crampons
- Action photos of your trip!
What’s not included
- Personal Clothing
- Boot hire (can be arranged)
- Travel/Cancellation/Personal Injury Insurance
Meeting Times are usually 0730-0800hrs (will be confirmed beforehand).
The location for our winter skills day will be determined by the weather/avalanche hazard, group ability and aspirations and will be discussed beforehand.
For Ben Nevis, we’ll meet at the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre Car Park.