Ben Nevis Tourist Route

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by My Dog Likes Fishing, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. My Dog Likes Fishing

    My Dog Likes Fishing Funster Life Member

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    Travelling up to spend a week on the CC Bunree site in Scotland next week with the view of walking up the tourist route to the top of Ben Nevis.

    Worried about the weather and possible snow. Has anybody walked the tourist route to the summit with snow on the ground. Is it possible or should we leave well alone?

    Information appreciated thanks.
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    You must have seen the dead father and son in Chamonix this week.

    If you go looking for trouble there's a good chance you'll find it.

    It looked a nice easy walk when we were sat in the campsite just below it with the warm autumn sunshine on the walkers.

    Why not wait.
     
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  3. RogeTeri

    RogeTeri Read Only Funster

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    Lost a friend there last year who walked to summit and was killed on the decent. Went off the path slipped and fell three hundred feet. Raising money for charity and sadly missed.
     
  4. callumwa

    callumwa Read Only Funster

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    I've gone up that way a few times with snow on the ground but it was not fresh snow. The temperatures were low, but we had clear blue skies and almost no wind, and were well kitted out and prepared.

    You got to have a really good weather watch before you start, and throughout, as it can close in incredibly quickly, especially nearer the top..

    Check with locals and, but if you (or they) have any doubts at all give it a miss.

    For most of next week its showing -2 to -8 in the evenings, and just 2 to 7 during the day, and that's down at Fort William, not up the mountain....

    :Smile:
     
  5. 1948

    1948 Read Only Funster

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    Did the route a few years back in late may, and can remember that just before reaching the top crossing a muddy snow slope 100 meter or so. So this time of year, i would suggest you need to be well equipped with suitable clothing and footwear , equipment, ready for ice and snow conditions.
     
  6. callumwa

    callumwa Read Only Funster

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  7. Sid52

    Sid52 Funster

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    There will almost certainly large amounts of snow and ice and unless you have ice axe and crampons and know how to use them I would strongly advise staying well clear. You also have to know how to use a map and compass if caught out on the summit with low cloud, high winds and blowing snow. There have been many accidents with people falling through cornices over the north face in poor visibility or ending up in Five Finger Gully which can also be a death trap.
    You will also need to be fit, as you are climbing from near sea level, and that means an early start to allow for slower progress over deep or icy snow.

    Sid
     
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  8. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    We did it about 20 years ago so I'm sure it has changed since then, as already said make sure your well prepared, I think they have changed the name or are trying to as tourist route gives the impression it's easy some people try in in trainers and tee shirt as its a nice day at the bottom.

    Back when we did it the tourist info office had a digital board telling you the weather conditions on the hill and if you should try it or not so might still be there.
     
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  9. tomm2

    tomm2 Read Only Funster

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    Thats always been the problem there , with that name . Tourist route implies its a cosy stroll.Not the reality of the area being a place where the weather up top can turn on a penny , from sunshine to blinding snow or mist in seconds. I"ve seen snow up there in May , never mind this early in the year.

    To the OP, not wishing to spoil any of your plans , but if your in any doubt whatsoever about the weather or your own abilities , possibly it would be best if you left it alone until well in to the year .
     
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  10. Bluemerle

    Bluemerle Read Only Funster

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    My advice would be, dont go up there. The fact that you have had enough sense to ask, suggests that you may be lacking in winter walking experience, in which case leave well alone.

    I took my son up there in mid June a few years back, we set off in shorts and teeshirts, i have the photos somewhere of the summit, thick snow and very poor visibility. I needed to use a compass to get us back to the path. As already said very easy to walk off the edge.

    On a brighter note i have found in Scotland that often the lower level walks give you a far better day out from the point of scenic views.

    Whatever you do, enjoy yourself and stay safe.:Smile:
     
  11. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    The annual mean temperature at the summit of Ben Nevis is below zero. At this time of year there will certainly be a lot of snow there. Unless you are an experienced winter mountain-walker, do not attempt it. The weather can change very quickly and envelop the summit in a 'white-out'. Without a security rope, ice axe, crampons, map, compass and knowledge, the summit of any Munro is not a place for the novice until it is clear of ice - probably around May for the higher ones.
     
  12. Nethernut

    Nethernut Read Only Funster

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    If you look at this site, link below, you will see that there s a "considerable" avalanche risk. Definitely not weather for a "walk up the hill", please don't risk it the the Mountain Rescue team won't have to turn out in bad weather to rescue you. :BigGrin:


    http://www.sais.gov.uk/page_Lochaber.asp
     
  13. golly

    golly Funster

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    Here are some pictures from May/June 1984, when my son and I did the tourist route. As you can see some snow even then I would think the level of snow would be up to the level of the rescue hut in the photo this time of year.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  14. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Just to make the point, here is a picture of the summit of Aonach Beag taken last Saturday morning. This is an outlier peak in the Nevis range, to the East of BN and about 100 metres lower.
     

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  15. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    I've been up there in heavy rain and wind with a heavy back pack but unless you have masochistic tendencies I would give it a miss with snow on the ground. It is coming down that could be difficult.
     
  16. bailey

    bailey

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    Done it many times you would be foolhardy to try it at this time of year the snow forcast is bad for this w/end you could struggle to get to the site as you will have to cross Glancoe
     
  17. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    There have been more deaths on the Scottish mountains this year than ever before due to the conditions, don't become another statistic. Why not drive up the glen and do the walk at the end up to the end of the glen.
     
  18. golly

    golly Funster

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    Is the wire rope bridge over the river still there ? I remember crossing that and on further to the waterfall at the head of the glen many years ago.
     
  19. gordoncbrown

    gordoncbrown Funster

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    Without a doubt it's not advisable for even experts to go up there with the forecast we have for the week ahead. But some of them do but they know what they are doing and know the risks. As an ex Scout Leader, ex Armed Forces , I would give it a wide berth this week. I would actually wait until they are warning of sunstroke up there.......:thumb:
     
  20. My Dog Likes Fishing

    My Dog Likes Fishing Funster Life Member

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    Many thanks to everyone for all your advice. I will take heed and have already been planning other walks.

    We are regular and fairly experienced walkers. We live close to the Yorkshire Dales and the Lakes and spend a lot of weekends on the hills. That's one of the main reasons our van gets used so much. Last October we walked to the top of Snowden taking the easiest route and I was expecting the tourist route up BN to be something like that. It sounds like tourist route is the wrong name for the walk.

    Glad I asked for your advice now. Thank you all again.
     
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