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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


Trip Ref #9885

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

2 nights
United Kingdom
0.5 days off work
Up to 12 people
Ellis Brigham, Fort William




Based on 58 reviews

Be prepared. This is a real challenge with some full-on sections, but the view from the top is worth it.

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

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


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


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.



Local, certified and friendly mountain guides


2 nights at Fort William’s Alexandra Hotel


Proper breakfasts to fuel you up the mountain


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




Day 2

Hotel · Twin or triple share




Day 3




What is the food like?

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.


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




Ellis Brigham Store, Fort William

17:00 on Day 1


Fort William

17:30 on Day 3


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
  • Towel
  • 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

- 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.

- Lee(February 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

- James(February 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.

- 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(January 2023)

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

- Mihai(December 2022)

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!

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 69kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2023 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

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.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

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.

After you've checked out of your accommodation on Day 3, you'll be able to store your luggage either at the hotel or in your guide's vehicle.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.


Pay In Installments

You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.

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