Any recommendations anyone?
A small group of us (about four or five plan) to amble up Ben Nevis in the summer (not, I hasten to add, as part of a 'three peaks' attempt).
We hope to drive up to the area, camp overnight as near to the Glen Nevis YH as possible, do the walk early on the second day, camp a second night at the same place then leave the next morning.
So we're looking for a campsite within reasonable walking distance of the start of the 'tourist path'. If there's nowhere that near, we'd be prepared to drive a few miles if necessary. We don't need much in the way of facilities - in fact, we prefer basic no-frills sites.
Any recommendations, hints or reports from OM-ers will be gratefully received.
Hope this is the correct forum section - if not, apologies
That was quick! Ta Ed, ta Mike.
TBH, I had forgotten that Scotland has a much more enlightened attitude to access and wild camping.
From what I've read so far, it seems that though the tourist path lacks challenge, views and solitude it is the 'easiest' - in the sense of being less arduous in ascent and more straightforward in terms of routefinding. So given the mixed ability and experience levels of the group's members, I thought that the tourist route might be our best bet. It will be everyone's first visit to Ben Nevis and only two of us have more than the most basic nav skills.
All that said, I'm open to persuasion ...
Glen Nevis campsite has a reasonable rep if you want a campsite.
Like the others I'd rather avoid the Tourist Path as much as possible.
You could drive round to the North Face Car Park and go up via the CMD instead.
I've taken several folks up Ben Nevis on the Mountain Path (Tourist Path) and most of them have found it tough enough. In poor visibility there is a bit of accurate navigation needed near the summit unless you plan a gully descent.
I've used Glen Nevis camp site several times but it is quite expensive. You have to pay for the tent, price depends on size, the number of occupants and the number of cars. The camp site on the Mallaig Road west of Corpach was receommended to me but I haven't had time to try it out yet. Maybe next year.
That bastard Skip wrote (see)
It will be everyone's first visit to Ben Nevis and only two of us have more than the most basic nav skills.
Ah - hadn't seen this post prior to posting mine.
If that means you shouldn't really be out on a hill unsupervised then you'll be in a lot of good company on the Tourist Path.
On a good day and with basic nav skills then the CMD round is easy enough.
Mike fae Dundee wrote (see)
Navigation isn't a problem in summer, Lindsay. There's a motorway and caterpillar of folk all the way to the summit!
Was up there in July 2010 and had to wait on a completion party for an hour. Crap weather. After finding a spot that didn't have shit or sanitary products to sit and wait we were approached by a couple who were lost 100m from the cairn. They weren't even quite sure they were on the Ben.
Although once they were back at the summit the motorway beckoned.
I did the Glen Nevis camp and Mountain Path a couple of years back... The campsite is good if pricey - but its got a lot of location going for it.
Yes the mountain path is easier than other routes, and yes there were numpties up there who shouldn't have been (more than one without a map, a couple with beer as hydration juice).However, the clouds started about 200m, so a decent path (mainly) and only a couple of navigation problems were rather appreciated... If you want the top to yourself I can recommend a 5:30 start - worked for me...
The CMD is indeed an awesome route up the Ben but im sure SB already knows that and really only wants to firstly ask about campsites and secondly make sure he and his team ascend the top in one piece without too much bother.
The CMD however
From the North face car park there are little if any paths leading to the CMD which can make for hard going through heather and bracken,its a long day needed to also complete the CMD of about 8 to 10 hours depending on team fitness and strengths.You MUST have a head for heights if not you really should be on the tourist path,be able to scramble over large rocks up and onto the summit tho this is not dangerouse as long as you stay clear form the edge.
There is no quick escape route down the CMD unless you have ropes so personaly unless the CMD was something i wanted to personally set out to do and not just summit the Ben then just DO the tourist route.Oh and then you have to go fetch your car again.
Glen Nevis campsite clean nice not cheap.What about the Ben Nevis hostel right under the pub right at the foot of the tourist path
* THE DIDSTER * wrote (see)
From the North face car park there are little if any paths leading to the CMD which can make for hard going through heather and bracken,its a long day needed to also complete the CMD of about 8 to 10 hours depending on team fitness and strengths.You MUST have a head for heights if not you really should be on the tourist path,be able to scramble over large rocks up and onto the summit tho this is not dangerouse as long as you stay clear form the edge.There is no quick escape route down the CMD unless you have ropes so personaly unless the CMD was something i wanted to personally set out to do and not just summit the Ben then just DO the tourist route.Oh and then you have to go fetch your car again.
Actually - there's a complete very good path to the foot of Carn Dearg Beag and then a formed path onto the ridge with no heather/bracken (for Scottish path values - no tarmac or catseyes).
My wife likes the CMD and she hates exposure.
You can escape down it but you'd be better to reverse.
The linked route takes you back to your car.
But the Tourist Path is easier - folks with high heels and carrier bags manage it every day.
Kinley Thanks for the linky (which I've bookmarked) - great piccies. I've considered CMD and left to my own devices that would be my choice to. But I won't be by myself.
I don't think we'll get lost. I hope not cos I'm the one with experience of hillwalking and nav. We'll be taking 50K and 25K OS, the Harveys and - of course - compasses. So long as the group stays together we shouldn't end up on the wrong mountain.
But I really don't fancy eating lunch in a sewage works - is it really that foul up there?
Lindsay. Thanks for the warning - I've read that one needs to keep centrally between the NE cliffs and Five Finger Gully.
By the way, when you say "...most of them have found it tough enough" do you mean tough in terms of the going underfoot, the amount of ascent, the exertion required, or what?
From what I've read (and looking at the map), in terms of ascent and distance the tourist path up Ben Nevis looks roughly - very roughly - equivalent to, for example, going up The Cheviot from Langleeford twice in succession (that's four times three miles and twice approx 2,000 feet).
Yup - if you drop anything DON'T EAT IT!
If going by the Tourist Path - as someone else said - start very early.
Yup - bang on the nail, Dids
Kinley wrote (see)
... folks with high heels and carrier bags manage it ...
Note to self: remember to pack my strappy little stiletto slingbacks
How far are you travelling - just thinking that you must be driving a day to get there and a day to get back - so having only one day walking seems a bit mean?
Anyway, I used to lead groups up the Ben very regularly (sorry guys...was as a 3 Peak guide, my only defence is I was a student, have 5 kids and a mortgage) and nearly every group commented on the roughness of the path and how relentless the climb is. Three peaker target times are about 3 1/2 hours up and 2 hours down - 5 1/2 total for people moving fast. The quickest I did it was just over 4 hoursand the longest was 8 hours to the1/2 way Lochan and back...yes, you read that correctly.
There is little water on The Ben and none once you pass the 1/2 way lochan (which is only 1/3 of the way) and the path is...to be honest...boring for the most part, especially if the clag is down.
I'd go up for a day or two extra..do the Ben by all means, use the tourist track if you feel confident thats what you want to do and the go explore Glencoe or the Ring Of Steall or whereever and have 2 days out. I might even look at using the bunkhouse at The Nevis Inn instead of camping
GOF thanks for that. I was thinking of allowing about 8-9 hours for the out-and-back (including stops and assuming the weather is halfway decent) and I'll be advising everyone to carry at least a litre of water each.
On the more general point, I agree that Scotland is indeed a long way for a short visit. One of our number will already be up there on a camping holiday,another wants to jopin us at Glen Nevis as the start of a longer holiday, and others - including me - are undecided how lonmg to stay.
GOF wrote (see)
(sorry guys...was as a 3 Peak guide, my only defence is I was a student, have 5 kids and a mortgage)
By eck - a student with 5 kids and a mortgage? You obviously skipped the family planning classes!
Although I note there are a mix of tenses in your statement - I hope you don't have 5 children in separate places as a result of being a 3 peaks guide. That would be costly.
we did Ben Nevis in 2009 and had the most warm weekend ever known to man up there
Stayed at the main Glen Nevis campsite Friday & saturday andI had the sumitt all to myself for about 30 mins with views as far as the eye could see.Awesome stuff. I hope you get the same, it's a great place My Ben Nevis photo's
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