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Ben Nevis Climb, Scotland. Photo: Host/Atlas Mountaineering
4.8
| 71 reviews

Summit Ben Nevis and Learn Winter Mountain Skills

Head to Scotland to swot up on essential mountain skills before climbing to 1345m on the UK's highest mountain

Duration

2 nights

Annual Leave

0.5 days off work

Group Size

Up to 12 people

Season

Dec-Apr

Location

United Kingdom

Meeting Point

Ellis Brigham, Fort William

Classic Accommodation

Hotel

Customer Reviews

(71)

4.8

Difficulty

Challenging

From

From

Learn how to survive in some of the harshest conditions the United Kingdom can throw at you

Stand on top of the UK's highest mountain... the view. The feeling of success. Did we mention the view?

Stay in central Fort William, the adventure capital of the wild Scottish Highlands

Featured by The Independent as one of 'the best walking holidays in Scotland'

Day 1

Plan and prepare

Ben Nevis, Scotland. Photo: Host/Atlas Mountaineering

Your Scottish winter adventure begins. Meet your guide in Fort William and grab any kit you need for the next few days on the hill. Once you’re done, it’s off to your accommodation. All that’s left to do now is settle in, meet your fellow adventurers, grab some dinner and get ready for the challenging days ahead.

Day 2

Winter skills training

Hiking

6hrs · 12km · 700m up · 700m down

Over the course of today, your expert mountain guide will teach you how to survive in winter conditions and how to move safely over some of the UK’s most challenging terrain using an ice axe and crampons. It’s a great chance to learn new skills in a truly awesome setting.

You’ll spend about six hours refining your abilities, and then it’s back down the mountain for a hearty dinner and the chance to prepare your kit for the big one – summiting Ben Nevis.

Day 3

Ascend Ben Nevis

On the CMD Arête, Ben Nevis, Scotland.

Hiking

8hrs · 20km · 1345m up · 1345m down

Approach Ben Nevis early and get a tantalising first glimpse of the challenge ahead. Boot up and begin the 1345m ascent. It’s a tough climb, but you’ll take regular breaks to catch your breath and enjoy the view. The route taken will depend on weather conditions and the group's ability: there are various options, including the knife-edge CMD arête, but the final decision will be taken by your guide.

After a celebratory summit photo, it’s time to head back down for a well-earned wee dram, before making your way home.

Included

Guides

Local, certified and friendly mountain guides

Accommodation

2 nights at Fort William’s Alexandra Hotel

Meals

Proper breakfasts to fuel you up the mountain

Equipment

All the technical equipment to make a succesful ascent including crampon-friendly boots

Not Included

Some equipment

Some meals as described

Personal expenses

Travel insurance

Travel to and from the start point

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Hotel · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Scottish breakfast. Photo: getty ref 1315663970

For breakfast, expect a typical Scottish buffet. For lunch, you'll be able to buy your own: there are three supermarkets and two delis locally, and plenty of time to do this on the first evening. The hotel also offers a packed lunch on request, but we recommend buying some extra snacks. For dinner, you'll be in the town where your group can find a good cosy pub. Most dietary requirements can be accomodated, including vegetarian and vegan diets.

What is the accommodation like?

Fort William

You'll be staying in a small hotel or local guesthouse in Fort William such as The Nevis Bank Inn, a modern hotel on the banks of the River Nevis in the centre of Fort William, which is renowned locally for its restaurant. As this part of the Highlands can be very busy, the exact accommodation will be confirmed closer to the time of departure. Rooms are allocated on a twin-share basis wherever possible, but on occasion you may be in a triple-share, depending on availability and the group split.

Upgrades

For solo travellers wanting their own space, it is possible to request a private room upgrade. Prices start from £45 per person per night, but can be as high as £200 for last-minute requests. The exact price will be confirmed on request.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Ellis Brigham Store, Fort William

17:00 on Day 1

Ends

Fort William

17:30 on Day 3

Transfers

The tour starts at the Ellis Brigham Store in Fort William at 17:00 on Day 1. You can check into the hotel any time from 15:00 (although luggage storage is available from 12:00) and then make your way to the Ellis Brigham Store to meet your guide at 17:00. The Ellis Brigham Store, the train station, the bus stop, and the hotel are all only a few minutes walk from one another.

On Day 3, your host will drop you off at the train station, your accommodation or the car park in Fort William (depending on your preference).

Travel options

Fort William is very accessible, regardless of where you are travelling from – the area is well-serviced with excellent rail and road links. Glasgow and Inverness airports are 98 and 70 miles away respectively. International and domestic flights into Glasgow are available throughout the year, with regular flights to and from both London Heathrow and London Gatwick. From Glasgow, regular buses depart from Buchanan Bus Station and reach Fort William in just over three hours (service operated by Scottish Citylink). Alternatively, if you travel via Inverness, the bus journey takess just over two hours, and is also operated by Citylink.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

All your technical equipment (crampons and ice axe)

You will be provided with stiff walking boots (B1, 2, or 3 grade) to fit crampons (you are welcome to bring your own, if preferred)

Your host will also carry essential equipment such as a first aid kit and group shelter

What do I need to bring?

  • Rucksack (we recommend 40 litres) with liner
  • "B" rated crampon compatible walking boots (optional - these can also be provided by your host)
  • Thermal base layer
  • Fleece top – not cotton
  • Polyester, fleece or woollen trouser and tops (no jeans)
  • Heavy-duty waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Hat
  • Thick waterproof ski gloves and warm liners, or two pairs of good gloves
  • Scarf or neck gaiter/buff plus spares
  • Ski goggles
  • Head torch
  • Walking poles
  • Flask or water bottle
  • Energy snacks
  • Whistle
  • Sunglasses and sun cream
  • Emergency survival bag (6’ by 3’ orange poly bag available from any outdoor store)

If you're not sure your boots will be compatible with crampons - check out our useful guide to find out more.

*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Pre/post trip accommodation in Fort William (Single) From:

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post trip accommodation in Fort William (Single) From:

Per Night

Pre/post trip accommodation in Fort William (Twin/Double) From:

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post trip accommodation in Fort William (Twin/Double) From:

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Pre/Post Accommodation in Fort William - Hogmanay Special (Single) From:

Payable Before Departure

Pre/Post Accommodation in Fort William - Hogmanay Special (Single) From:

Per Night

Pre/Post Accommodation in Fort William - Hogmanay Special (Twin/Double) From:

Payable Before Departure

Pre/Post Accommodation in Fort William - Hogmanay Special (Twin/Double) From:

Per Night

Hannah L.(April 2024)
Scotland Adventure

What a weekend. Lucked out with the weather, clear skies for mountain skills day though very windy later on. No views at the top on Ben Nevis but an incredible day! Great group dynamic. A shame we couldn't do CMD route but have to go with the majority - still a fantastic weekend and would recommend to anyone! Iain out guide was the best :)

Charlotte G.(March 2024)
Really recommend Much Better Adventures.

I have now completed my goal to climb all of GB's highest peaks. Ben Nevis was my last one and I couldnt have asked for a better organisation and team, to do it with. I had a great time on this challenging adventure. The accommodation was great. The team of guides were so helpful, kind and knowledgeable. I felt safe and well looked after. I really recommened Much Better Adventures. I made great friends, felt challenged and out of my comfort zone but was encouraged and supported the whole way. Thank you MBA

Mark F.(March 2024)
Well recommended

Great trip as per usual with MBA. Guides Aidan and Iain were fantastic, the hired equipment was of high quality and the rest of the people on the trip were all fantastic. Already looking to book the next one.

A great hike, very enjoyable in the snow and the technical skills were certainly interesting and well taught. Much tougher to come back down than going up!

Wayne B.(March 2024)
What an experience

Thank you for a great weekend. Iain and Aidan were great guides. Lots of fun was had. They were informative, engaging and fun. I have never done anything like this before and I felt I was im safe hands with these two. Glen Nevis was a good warm up on Saturday. Ben Nevis! You were tough. The weather at the summit, like I have never experienced before. Challenging to say the least. A good group of people and we all got eacher to the summit.

Leanne P.(February 2024)
Incredible experience

Incredible experience! I’ve done some summer/autumn hiking in the past year but really wanted to learn some winter skills before venturing out on my own. I’m not the fastest, I’m a slow and steady hiker who just plods on and the group dynamics were great. Everyone was really patient and Aiden was a really great, friendly and knowledgeable guide. Would highly recommended this adventure to everyone. We summited Nevis in 4 hr 30 with a further 4hr for descent (I think - my watch died!). Stops along the way for photos/refilling water etc. Crampons on from about midway I think! We massively lucked out on weather and had the best visibility!

Tom B.(February 2024)
Scottish mountain adventure

Our guides Aidan and Mark were exceptional during the 2 day course, the first day was focused on a base for the Ben Nevis ascent on day 2. This was a highly rewarding and fulfilling 2 days in Scotland and I am very glad I booked on.

krisan h.(February 2024)
Snowy adventure

First trip with much better adventures and will confess was fantastic. Be advised it is tough and def need a decent level of fitness. Learnt a lot over the weekend and Phil was a great guide. Weather was def challenging which made the hike even more satisfying

Philip(February 2024)
Great course to build your confidence & winter skills

Fantastic course to build winter mountaineering skills and to learn some of the more technical elements of how to use ice axes and crampons effectively.

Our guide John was superb and passionate in teaching us the correct techniques. We also had a great memory when one of group members (Rachel) brought some left over pizza and shared it between us all on the summit of Ben Nevis which went down a treat!

Freddie K.(February 2024)
Great course would definitely recommend

I had such a great time on this course! Perfect for those looking to step up from summer hiking into the winter world.

Connor is super helpful with all the admin, with a well oiled itinerary. John was an unbelievably helpful guide. His knowledge is outstanding, and I've been able to pick up so many useful skills.

Follow the kit list though, and remember to bring multiple pairs of gloves

Daniel W.(January 2024)
Great to summit. back up plan failing

Unfortunately the weather did not allow the full course to go ahead, while John was great going up Ben nevis in appalling conditions and kept everyone going. It felt like there was not a real back up plan with the weather not being suitable for the skills. This made us leave early as what was suggested wasn't what we had booked for.

Anya R.(January 2024)

A truly great weekend!

Louise H.(January 2024)
Great guides

Really fun and worthwhile trip. John was an excellent guide and teacher. Never thought I’d let myself fall backwards down a mountain! Felt very well supported in the extreme weather conditions on day one. Great starting point if you’re planning more winter climbs. Incredible scenery.

John O.(January 2024)
Great weekend

This was a fantastic experience with excellent guides and accommodation, even the weather was well organised :-D

4 instead of 5 stars for some admin issues and I would have expected transport to start points of each day's adventure, but we were asked to drive ourselves.

James L.(January 2024)
Superb experience

Guides were great. Hotel was spot on. Experience was delivered as promised. Group dynamic was superb. Great job.

Ceri(March 2023)

Great weekend in beautiful Highlands. Guides were excellent and luckily group dynamics too.

Elise(March 2023)

Sliding head first down a patch of snow in the pouring rain was definitely a highlight (who would have thought) of the trip, when learning to use ice axes. The views from the summit of Ben Nevis were stunning. Unfortunately, weather, instructor ratios and group limitations meant we weren't able to tackle anything particularly challenging, so we just hiked up the path to Ben Nevis. It would have been better if we could have split off into smaller groups better matched for goals and abilities. Ian, the guide, was lovely, very knowledgable about the area and did his best to cater to everyone's needs etc. I felt safe throughout and overall had a great time being outside.

Marieve(March 2023)

Highly recommend

Avinash(March 2023)

Good and hassle-free trip. Instructor was knowledgable and group was great.

James(March 2023)

The weekend away was a great experience to get an insight into winter mountaineering. The highlight was climbing Ben Nevis with the knowledge learned from instructors the previous day. The group dynamic was great, with a range of different backgrounds. I felt very safe with the equipment and training from the staff, who were very professional on both days.

Lee(March 2023)

Excellently lead experience with great accommodation and a good group. It is correctly labelled as Challenging, as there is a lot of walking - so keep this in mind before booking.

Guglielmo(February 2023)

Great experience to approach the mountain in Winter for the first time. Our guides (Olli, David, Phil) were amazing: friendly, expert, inclusive. Kit provided was top notch. The group dynamics was great as it build up over the hours/days together. Highly recommended

Sarah(February 2023)

What a fantastic weekend! Everything was super well organised, the group were fantastic and I felt very taken care of. Safety and kit provided was on point and the guides were very knowledgeable. Great fun!

Fraser(February 2023)

The trip was great! Very well organised and the overall experience was fantastic!

Karen(January 2023)

Awesome trip, from start to finish! Every part of the weekend was well planned and executed. Connor and the team are passionate about providing the very best experience for every person, regardless of level of experience or confidence. They showed flexibility, compassion and were always available to us over the course of the trip, to help, instruct and support. Learning new skills, connecting with new people, reaching the summit on a beautiful, cloudless new year’s eve and spending Hogmanay with such a wonderful group was THE best way to start the year. Memories to last a lifetime.

Rebecca(January 2023)

We went for Hogmanay and had a fantastic time, over the course of the two days we naturally split into 4 groups depending on fitness (there were 17 of us), two groups made the summit and the other two were guided elsewhere on an equally fun adventure. Connor and his team were fantastic, it was so well organised and we felt supported and safe at all times. Shout out to Sam our guide, who was fabulous. I cannot fault anything. The hotel (Nevis Bank Inn) was also great. Highly recommended by us

Mihai(January 2023)

Excellent experience, Connor and the crew were nothing short of phenomenal throughout the trip. Always prioritizing safety, group dynamics and ensuring we learn our skills. They were professional, fun and a joy to be around with, kind and amiable, helping everyone and attending the group's needs. The group dynamic was excellent, my personal highlight of the trip for sure. Celebrating Hogmanay in this trip was a highlight of my last few years for certain. The hotel restaurant staff were amazing as well, I'll certainly go back to that next time I'm in Fort William. The summit day was exquisite, no clouds on the sky, plenty of snow and frosty - a perfect hiking day for a great group! I highly recommend this!

Paul(January 2023)

The trip was absolutely fantastic. Everything about it was excellent. The guides were amazing but the best bit was meeting new friends. Hopefully life long friends! I am already planning my next adventure with Much Better Adventures. Everything was brilliant. I have travelled all around the world but this tops everything! 5 star experience.

George(March 2022)

A very enjoyable trip, the guides Mark and Sam were very knowledgeable and took us on some fantastic routes. We were unable to make the summit of Ben Nevis due to weather conditions however the skills I learnt and the summits we did achieve over the weekend were still well worth it.

Fabrizio(March 2022)

The weekend was a fantastic intro to winter mountaineering, helped by warm and sunny weather. The guides were very competent and always put our safety and well-being first. I went home with a bag of new skills and eager to build on top of it.

Unfortunately we didn’t make it to the top of Ben Nevis because the guide turned us back a bit after having started the CMD Arête ridge. He made the call based on the feeling that it would have been too challenging and risky for the group. It was the tough call to make, and at that point probably right decision, because a couple of people were really struggling. I wish they had be more forthcoming and not leave to everyone discretion whether to go up with group that did the standard route, or the more challenging one. As beginners is hard to assess your own capabilities, but after the first day of practice, I believe the organisers could have done a better job into dividing the two groups

Andy(March 2022)
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