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Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions covering the activities we provide. The list is by no means exhaustive and we hope we have answered any questions you might have.

If your question is not listed, please contact us to discuss your enquiry.

Climbing Ben Nevis requires a reasonable level of fitness. While it's a popular hike and doesn't demand technical climbing skills, it's a challenging ascent. The main trail, the Pony Track or Tourist Route, is a long and steep path that requires stamina and endurance. The round trip usually takes around 7-9 hours, depending on weather conditions and individual pace.

In the month before your Ben Nevis day, we recommend you aim to have completed at least a few 8 mile walks, ideally over mixed terrain and in various weathers. If you can complete one longer day walk, with a backpack, over hilly terrain – this will give you confidence that you have the stamina to start your walk. To help you prepare, we’ll send you an Adventure Fitness 6-10 week training plan when you book.

Take a look at our downloadable Climb Ben Nevis training plan to help you get ready for the big day.

The time it takes to climb Ben Nevis can vary widely based on several factors, including the chosen route, weather conditions, individual fitness levels, and rest breaks taken along the way. On average, the ascent via the Pony Track or Tourist Route, which is the most popular and easiest path, takes around 4-5 hours to reach the summit. The descent can take roughly 3-3.5 hours.

Therefore, the total time for the round trip via this route typically ranges from 7 to 9 hours. Our guides will ensure the walk moves at a pace everyone is comfortable with.

In principle, yes, however this does depend on the child’s fitness and experience. As a guide we recommend over 10 year olds only, in order to keep up with the other participants on our open Ben nevis days.

Babies can be carried in a secure baby carrier back-pack, but please do bear in mind that the path surfaces are uneven and the weather can change suddenly. Your baby will need to be wrapped up warm, as they won’t be moving and can chill quickly.

Every time you book a Ben Nevis walk with us, we donate £1 to the Ben Nevis Partnership.

If you’d like to fundraise for a particular charity, just tell who you want to fundraise for and we can help you spread the word and maybe even recruit some fellow fundraisers to walk with you.

Most charities will offer you a fundraising pack with sponsor forms and t-shirts which will guide you. You will still pay us your Climb Ben Nevis cost, and it will be up to you to raise funds for your charity, on top of paying us to join our walk.

View our dedicated Charities section for more information.

We recommend a substantial breakfast with complex carbohydrate and protein to fill you up for the morning, e.g. porridge with peanut butter and banana.

Take at least 1.5 litres of water with you in a reusable water bottle and pack a variety of foods –both savoury and sweet - that will sustain you during the day. Try to choose complex carbohydrates and whole foods, rather than overly sweet foods and chocolate. Foods like malt loaf, mixed fruit and nuts, cheese and ham/salami, oat cakes, raw fruit bars, dark chocolate, filled wraps, mini pork pies or sausage rolls will last well on the hill and sustain you over several hours. Cold pizza is a particular favourite for some of our staff!

Remember to never leave any wrappings or fruit peel on the hill and take all litter back off the mountain.

Our Ben Nevis days are walk-only, so don’t be put off by our name! While we call ourselves Climb Ben Nevis, we do not actually climb with ropes and harnesses. If this is something you’d like to explore, though, we can provide thrilling days scrambling on classic routes in summer or maybe climbing the many gullies and faces on the northern side when winter arrives! Please contact us if you would like more information on this.

For your Ben Nevis day, you might want to bring walking/trekking poles (check out our Guide to Walking Poles if you’re not sure what you need).

Everyone who signs up to one of our Climb Ben Nevis days should be ready for various weathers on their walk. This includes extreme heat as well as wind, rain, low cloud and even snow showers!

We recommend layers, as they allow you to adjust your clothing based on changing weather conditions or your level of exertion during the climb.

We’ll provide you with a full kit list before your guided climb, but here are some ideas:

  • • Moisture-Wicking Base Layers: Start with moisture-wicking materials (avoid cotton) for both top and bottom to manage sweat and keep you dry.
  • • Insulating Layers: Depending on the weather, add insulating layers such as fleece or wool to retain body heat. Consider a fleece jacket or a down jacket for colder conditions.
  • • Waterproof Jacket and trousers: Outer layers should be waterproof and windproof to protect against rain, snow, and wind. Gore-Tex or similar materials work well.
  • • Hiking trousers: Sturdy, comfortable trousers designed for hiking that offer mobility and protection against abrasions.
  • • Hiking Boots: Wear sturdy, waterproof hiking boots with good ankle support and proper traction for navigating the varied terrain.
  • • Socks: Opt for moisture-wicking and comfortable hiking socks to prevent blisters. Consider a liner sock underneath for added comfort.
  • • Gloves and Hat: Carry gloves for warmth and protection against the cold, along with a hat or beanie to retain heat.
  • • Sun Protection: Sunglasses with UV protection, sunscreen, and a wide-brimmed hat or cap

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