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Ben Nevis via the CMD Arete

Saturday 10th August 2024

About the event:

Ben Nevis is found near Fort William in the western highlands of Scotland. It's a fabulous area, absolutely loaded with mountains and other activities for the adventurous type - mountain biking, watersports in Loch Leven and Loch Linnhe and lots more.

At 1,345m above sea level, Ben Nevis is Britain's highest mountain. It's the highest Munro too. There are numerous ways to walk (or climb) Ben Nevis. The most straight forward is the so-called donkey track, built to take Victorian ladies up to the summit observatory on the backs of donkeys.

However, it is a tedious rocky plod and misses all of the majesty of Ben Nevis. You see very little of what makes this mountain so special.

We'll be taking the quieter South Direct approach, starting from the far end of Glen Nevis. We'll meet first in the North Face Car Park to leave a car or two and then head round to the start. It's a linear walk!

The start is quite steep alongside a long slab waterfall providing magnificent views across to the Mamores. We come out into a large coire (a bit of a bowl) before heading up toward the start of the Carn Mor Dearg arete. From here we take a faint track through the boulders with some easy scrambling up to the summit of Ben Nevis to join the madding crowd (briefly). It'll feel like a shock to the system suddenly seeing loads of people. But we won't be there for long before heading back the way we came and then traversing the arete.

It's quite wide in places but a few steps require care. It will give us magnificent views of the famous North Face of Ben Nevis as we curve around the ridge and up onto Carn Mor Dearg - another 4,000ft+ Munro.

From here it's a long but straight forward plod back down to the North Face car park before we head back round to our start point to collect the vehicles.

If you're about for the weekend and want to make it an absolute epic, join us for the Ring of Steall on the Sunday!

Meeting Point:

We'll meet at 0730 at the North Face Car Park to drop a few cars off and drive around to the start at the far end of Glen Nevis

It's a linear walk and we'll return to the North Face Car Park at the end of the day. To see the start and end points in Google Maps, please click the links. These will open in new tabs


There are some steep and trackless sections as well as some scrambling. A good head for heights is required as well as good hill walking fitness and stamina for a good day out.

The scrambling is no worse than Crib Goch or Striding Edge in summer conditions - but the arete is a lot longer than either. If in doubt, please get in touch.


A good level of hill fitness is requires. We're off paths for a fair amount of the day and there are some easy rocky scrambling. A head for heights is required.


The day costs £49 per person with discounts for booking more than one person


I can take a maximum of 8. Please be aware that this is an open trip. Anyone can book on so long as they have the right experience and fitness. However, should someone in the group find this too difficult, the whole group will have to retreat. It's just one of the possibilities of these sorts of events. No refund will be offered in such instance. It will be for the safety of everyone.


Please see the All Activities section of the kit list here. Walking poles for the descents are recommended!

Images from Past Events