Observatory Ridge Guide

Observatory Ridge is arguably the best of the Great Nevis Ridges. With sustained rock climbing in the lower part and superb scrambling up high, this really is a world class climb.

A step up from Tower Ridge and North East Buttress, Observatory Ridge is the hardest of the Nevis ridges. It is graded a Very Difficult rock climb and consists of around 4 pitches of rock climbing followed by at least 250m of grade 3 scrambling to the top with a few tricky sections thrown in for good fun! This is a truly stunning climb with superb situations as the climb is situated between Zero Gully and Point Five Gully, two of the famous ice climbs in winter. The route tops out very close to the summit of mountain, giving a superb way to climb Ben Nevis, as well as a highly enjoyable 4 star classic climb!

Being less travelled than some of the other ridges, the rock becomes extremely slippy and greasy when wet so this is a route best tackled in dry weather.

Is this for me?

You should have a good level of fitness to do this route with previous hillwalking recommended.

You will need to have done some rock climbing before, preferably on grade Difficult/Very Difficult or above. Please feel free to get in touch to discuss your experience and aspirations.

It is worth noting that this climb is not possible in all conditions and a fairly settled, dry spell of weather is recommended

Ratios- up to 1:2

Larger groups please contact us for prices

No. of PeopleObservatory Ridge Guiding
Kit List
  • Technical Kit
    • Helmet
    • Harness – both of these can be supplied
  • Personal Clothing/Kit
    • Walking boots/Approach Shoes
    • Wicking baselayer – keeps moisture away from your skin and reduces how cold you feel as a result. Cotton is not suitable.
    • Trekking trousers– Lightweight, fast drying trousers are ideal.
    • Mid layer– to be worn on top of baselayer in cooler conditions, for example a lightweight fleece or Primaloft top.
    • Waterproof jacket
    • Waterproof over trousers
    • Warm hat– e.g. Woollen beanie
    • Gloves– minimum 2 pairs (at least one waterproof pair). Leather gardening style gloves are good for scrambling
    • Spare warm layer– e.g. fleece, synthetic insulation like primaloft,
  • Other Kit
    • Food and water – around 1-2 litres of water and plenty of snacks and high energy foods to get you through the day.
    • Rucksack – 30 litres- recommended
    • Rucksack liner/Drybags– rucksacks aren’t waterproof so either a large poly-bag liner or several smaller dry-bag type bags recommended.
    • Sun screen, sun glasses – mountain sun can be fierce and the sun does come out occasionally in the Highlands!
    • Small Personal First Aid Kit– e.g. blister plasters, painkillers, medications
    • Whistle
    • Head Torch– for Late Summer/Early Autumn (August onwards)
    • Trekking poles (Optional) – can take 3 tonnes of loading off of your knees over the course of a day- recommended for the Aonach Eagach descent in particular!
What’s included/not included

What’s Included

  • Qualified and experienced Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (MCI)
  • Hire of helmet and harness
  • Action Photos of your day!

What’s not Included

  • Personal Kit
  • Transport/Accommodation/Meals
  • Cancellation/Personal Injury Insurance
Meeting Location/Time

Meeting Times are usually 0700-0730hrs (will be confirmed beforehand). If travelling to the area by public transport let us know and we may be able to arrange a pick up.

North Face Car Park

Enquire Now about Observatory Ridge Guiding

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