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We will travel up to Fort William on Saturday 23rd August to arrive at the Fort William Youth Hostel on the Saturday evening. Twelve beds have been booked (6 male and 6 female) for two nights in this modern chalet style Hostel by the River Nevis. To book, complete the Events Booking Form. Donít forget to enter the number and sex of those traveling and indicate if you would be willing to take your car, and how many others you could take. Some might consider starting off on Friday to break the journey

Details of the Ben Nevis Route

The start of the walk is directly from the Youth Hostel where a path connects with the main path from the Upper Glen car park. Follow the path through the woods towards Eas an Tuill valley. Do not cross the Water of Nevis. At Eas an Tuill the path opens up. A mountain rescue post and Steall waterfall can be seen on your right. At this is point it is possible to take a slight detour and cross the river to have a closer look.

The river is crossed by a Burma style bridge. At first sight this looks a relatively easy means of crossing the river. However, you may soon change your mind when, half way across, the whole thing starts shaking. After crossing the river follow the path to have a closer look at the mountain rescue post and Steall Waterfall.

When you have finished at Steall Waterfall cross back over the river and rejoin the path. Follow the path until you meet a bridge at Steall Ruins. Do not cross the bridge, instead turn left and start the climb uphill. The path is quite indistinct, just keep the stream on your right and you will level out with Meall Cumhann on your left.

From here just keep following the Allt Coire Guibhasachan gradually uphill. At this point you will be in a valley with Aonach Beag on your right and Ben Nevis in the background on your left. Follow the path as it climbs steeply to an altitude of 830 metres marking the watershed between the Allt Damm and Allt Coire Guibhasachan. At this point turn left and start the climb up the steeply-angled ridge towards the summit of Carn Mor Dearg. The summit is marked by a cairn and measures 1223 metres (4012 feet).

The way to Ben Nevis follows the celebrated Carn Mor Dearg Arete which skirts around the head of Coire Leis. From the summit of Carn Mor Dearg, and along the ridge, there are fascinating views of some of the grandest cliffs in Scotland. In summer the ascent, although narrow in places, is little more than a scramble. The traverse of the ridge under snow is a different proposition entirely, and is regarded as one of Scotland's classic winter routes.

Carn Mor Dearg is seldom climbed for its own sake, and the opportunity to link two 4000 feet peaks in one expedition should not be missed. Carefully follow the ridge round until you reach the southern end of the arete. Here a notice bears the legend 'Abseil poles 50ft intervals for roping down only'. Below, a line of iron posts plots a route down a stony rib into the head of Coire Leis.

The final steep rise to the summit of Ben Nevis begins at the notice on a stony path threading among huge boulders, heading firstly to the south-west and then veering gradually round to the west, keeping well clear of the cliffs to the right. Near the top a line of iron posts at approximately 25 yard interval provides another guide to the plateau, which only comes into view when a group of Cairns suddenly appear near the Ordinance Survey trig point. As well as the trig there are various Cairns, an emergency shelter and the ruins of the meteorological observatory. The observatory was manned for twenty-one years from 1883 to 1904 and readings were taken every hour during this period. The view to the north and east takes in Carn Mor Dearg (the big red peak), Aonach Mor (the big ridge), and Aonach Beag (the small ridge). Along with Ben Nevis (the meaning is not certain - possibly the 'venomous' mountain), these four mountains form a group of peaks over 4000 feet - there are nine altogether in Scotland (none in the remainder of the British Isles). The other five 4000 footers are in the Cairngorm hills much further east. Beyond Aonach Beag lie the Grey Corries - a long ridge which comprises four Munros - Scottish mountains over 3000 feet in height above sea level (there are 284 Munros). To the south the view encompasses the Mamore ridge with a further ten Munros - Ben Nevis occupies a supreme position amid a sea of lower peaks.

From the summit pick up the well worn 'tourist path' and head down hill. Be careful in misty conditions, as it is easy to get lost and pick up the wrong path. The path forms a series of zig zags all the way down towards Lochan Meall an t- Suidhe. Take the Red Burn down until you reach a signpost directing you towards either the Youth Hostel or Visitor Centre. Head towards the visitor centre until you come to Acintee house. Turn left and follow the path to the River Nevis, as you walk along you will see the Youth Hostel, turn off the main path to cross the river over to the hostel.

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