Mt Everest of Scotland – Ben Nevis

Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Ben Nevis (1344m) is the highest mountain in Britain, the trailhead near sea level.

Over 100,000 attempt it every year making it perhaps the most climbed “famous” summit in the world.

Needless to say, many of those have hardly any walking experience.

I was there on one of the finest days of the year. Thousands of people made the top. Some in Crocs. Tiny children in thin coats. Extended families. Elderly couples. They were very, very lucky.


The top of the big Ben is cloud shrouded 6 days out of every 7. But not today.

ruined observatory
ruined observatory

At the summit it was cold and windy. I felt I was the only one on top with warm enough clothing. (3 under layers, full hooded down jacket, Gortex shell)


The temperature is normally 9C (48F) colder at the top than the base. Not counting wind chill.

Via the standard tourist route, the Pony Track:

9mi (14.5km)

I went for speed making it up in just over 2hrs, walking. Nobody passed me on the climb, not even the trail runners who walked up, ran down.

Each year a race up-and-down is held in September.

1hr 25min 34sec (mens record)

1hr 43min 25sec (ladies record)

See my 30 photos of this most excellent climb.

4 Replies to “Mt Everest of Scotland – Ben Nevis”

  1. I think I once climbed Ben Nevis too, Rick. I know we started out at the bottom in fog so thick we had no idea of where the top was. On some lump we turned back down. That was it. You were lucky to get a good day – almost unheard of in Scotland.

  2. Don’t you think you may have known if you had climbed the highest summit in the UK? Its not a stroll in the park with your polo shirt and loafers is it? I mean really? I’ve done a lot of walks,mountains and glens and to think you might have “done ben nevis” is absurd..psml betb u have a great big car too that show what you are worth lol NOT

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