Not as famous as Tower Ridge, but a heck of a sight quieter way up the Ben.
Surgeon's Rib, Ben Nevis -
Surgeon's Rib provides an alternative
away from the masses, taking a rib between Carn Dearg and
the final section of the tourist route onto the Ben Nevis
Online Map link
GIBBER FACTOR* 2
Overview There are many routes to the top of the UK's highest
mountain, from long plodding walks to alpine style ridges.
For scramblers, and those with a head for heights the CMD Arete and
Tower Ridge are the all time classic routes, but in summer even these
alternatives to the traditional tourist track can be a little
The carn atop Carn Dearg - PTC's OM
Surgeon's Rib provides an alternative away from the masses, taking
a rib between Carn Dearg and the final section of the tourist route
onto the Ben Nevis summit plateau.
From the Youth
in Glen Nevis follow the River Nevis for almost a
mile, passing the Old Graveyard, then move diagonally up the hillside
aiming for the top of the obvious drystone wall.
From the top of the wall move onto the north side of
Allt an Aon Doruis - or Surgeon's Gulley as it is better known, and
continue to a steep section of broken rock and heather.
Although this can be taken directly this choice would leap to
grade 3, but by traversing left along the foot of the outcrop you can
reach a small gully that bypasses the difficulties.
Take this narrow gully diagonally right to rejoin the crest of the
rib on easier ground. Continue uphill as Surgeon's Gully splits on
your right to reach a series of rock steps.
The summit of the Ben - Steven Horner, OM
The first step has an obvious large flake which is passed on the
right. Further rock steps between sections of walking can be sought
out to make the scramble interesting until the rib flattens.
A ridge now curves right to join the CMD Arete route, and a
collection of small outcrops here provides interest for the scrambler
looking to add more contact with the rock to their route. The ridge
slowly decreases in width and becomes boulder strewn as it joins the
main ridge 400 yards north of Carn Dearg.
From here follow the ridge to join the final stretch of the
traditional walk onto Ben Nevis.
From the summit of Ben Nevis the descent takes the
zig-zag path used by thousands of people each year, but care should
always be taken on this descent as danger lies all around in anything
but clear, good,weather. The summit area is complex with several large in-cut gullies which can be deadly in poor conditions.
John Cameron's shot of the Ben in June
the size and complexity of the summit - OM
The MCoS has issued an excellent definitive guide to descending
safely from the summit at www.mountaineering-scotland.org.uk/leaflets/nevis.html
Caution Scrambling is
potentially dangerous and, particularly at the higher grades,
requires technical skills and equipment to minimise the risk. We
suggest that you take professional instruction or climb with an