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

Summit Ben Nevis and Learn Winter Mountain Skills

2 nights
Challenging

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

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with local, certified and friendly mountain guides

Hotel

2 nights in a local hotel or guesthouse

Meals

2 breakfasts at your hotel or guesthouse

Equipment

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

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 12 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

4.8
| 71 reviews
Scotland Adventure
April 2024
Hannah L.
Scotland Adventure
April 2024
Hannah L.
Scotland Adventure
April 2024
Hannah L.
What an experience
March 2024
Wayne B.
Incredible experience
February 2024
Leanne P.
Incredible experience
February 2024
Leanne P.
Incredible experience
February 2024
Leanne P.
Scottish mountain adventure
February 2024
Tom B.
Scottish mountain adventure
February 2024
Tom B.
Great course to build your confidence & winter skills
February 2024
Philip
Great course to build your confidence & winter skills
February 2024
Philip
Great course to build your confidence & winter skills
February 2024
Philip
Great course to build your confidence & winter skills
February 2024
Philip
Great course to build your confidence & winter skills
February 2024
Philip
Great course to build your confidence & winter skills
February 2024
Philip
Great guides
January 2024
Louise H.
Great guides
January 2024
Louise H.
Great guides
January 2024
Louise H.
Great guides
January 2024
Louise H.
Great guides
January 2024
Louise H.
Superb experience
January 2024
James L.
Superb experience
January 2024
James L.
Superb experience
January 2024
James L.
Superb experience
January 2024
James L.
Superb experience
January 2024
James L.
Great weekend in beautiful Highlands. Guide...
March 2023
Ceri
Great weekend in beautiful Highlands. Guide...
March 2023
Ceri
Great weekend in beautiful Highlands. Guide...
March 2023
Ceri
Sliding head first down a patch of snow in...
March 2023
Elise
Sliding head first down a patch of snow in...
March 2023
Elise

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'

Key Information

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.

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.

This trip has been rated as Challenging

A good level of fitness is recommended – you'll be out for up to 10 hours in a cold, mountainous environment moving over challenging terrain. On Day 2, 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.

On any winter hike in a high mountain environment, you will potentially encounter high winds, rain, snow, ice and steep slopes. Ben Nevis is no different and you should be prepared to face these conditions. The average temperatures between November and March are between -6°C and -1°C, but factor in wind chill and it can feel much colder. You should read the kit list carefully and pack everything listed.

The dates for this trip have been chosen based on when there is a high chance of there being enough snow, to ensure the skills covered are winter and snow focused. Your host has run these trips for many winter months with a reliable snow forecast. The weather in the area is, however, becoming increasingly hard to predict – on the rare occasion that there may not be enough snow to learn all the winter skills as planned, your guide will still ensure you have a full day of learning mountain skills.

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:

Per Night

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
Scotland Adventure
Scotland Adventure
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
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
Incredible experience
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
Scottish mountain adventure
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
Great course to build your confidence & winter skills
Great course to build your confidence & winter skills
Great course to build your confidence & winter skills
Great course to build your confidence & winter skills
Great course to build your confidence & winter skills
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