Adventures / Adventure School

Summit Ben Nevis and Learn Winter Mountain Skills

Swot up on essential mountain skills before climbing the UK's highest mountain (1,345m)

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Trip Ref #9885

Adventures / Adventure School

Summit Ben Nevis and Learn Winter Mountain Skills

Swot up on essential mountain skills before climbing the UK's highest mountain (1,345m)

DURATION

2 nights

LOCATION

United Kingdom

ANNUAL LEAVE

0.5 days off work

SEASON

Dec-Apr

GROUP SIZE

Up to 12 people

MEETING POINT

Ellis Brigham, Fort William

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel

DIFFICULTY

Challenging

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 ultimate adventure capital of Scotland

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    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

    The trip was Epic. -15 degrees on the top of Ben Nevis, 40mph winds, almost white out conditions - a proper taste of winter mountaineering and the whole group felt completely safe with Matt and Nev as our guides. They did an exceptional job and we ended up helping several other people off the mountain - our guides may well have helped avert any further tragedies this winter. Real flexibility on the 2nd day due to strong winds and we climbed and abseiled locally. Hotel was pretty basic as was food, but thats fine. Top trip and created some great experiences and memories.

    John, March 2022

    Great trip and lead team on this adventure. Really well organised and the two instructors were fantastic all the way. Would highly recommend this trip to anyone who is looking for a challenge and a sense of achievement in reaching the summit of Britains highest mountain.

    Ger, March 2022

    Great fun, great guides and beautiful part of the world

    Katharine, February 2022

    Absolutely fantastic. Mark and Neville (Guides) were great. Loved learning how to use crampons and an ice axe. They even gave fab pub recommendations for food! Really well organised, felt really safe even though a times out my comfort zone! Couldn't have asked for more, would highly recommend the trip.

    Andrew, February 2022

    This trip was fantastic. The team were extremely helpful and friendly and also accommodating to everyone's plans. Met some lovely people and was lucky enough to get a fantastic view from the top.

    Jeremy, February 2022

    I'd previously climbed Ben Nevis in summer, but it was awesome to climb in winter conditions. The guides were excellent and I learnt a lot. It was a great weekend. Thanks MBA!

    Nick, January 2022

    This Ben Nevis trip was excellent, three weeks later and I'm still talking about it (and recommending it) to anyone who will listen! The information provided made it an easy trip to prepare for, the guides were friendly and knowledgeable, and the adventure was a good challenge without being excessively physically demanding. Great fun!

    Nick, January 2022

    This Ben Nevis trip was excellent, three weeks later and I'm still talking about it (and recommending it) to anyone who will listen! The information provided made it an easy trip to prepare for, the guides were friendly and knowledgeable, and the adventure was a good challenge without being excessively physically demanding. Great fun!

    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

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Ellis Brigham Store, Fort William

    17:00 on Day 1

    Ends

    Fort William

    17:30 on Day 3

    Transfers

    Your host will pick you up on arrival and drop you off at the station, your accomodation or car park in Fort William at the end.

    Travel options

    Regular trains run to Fort William from across the UK. The nearest airports are Inverness (INV) or Glasgow (GLA).

    Day 1

    Hotel · Twin or triple share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2

    Hotel · Twin or triple share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 3

    Departure day

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    What is the food like?

    For breakfast expect a typical Scottish buffet. For lunches there are three supermarkets and two delis locally: there is 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 the 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 at The Alexandra Hotel in the centre of Fort William, an iconic feature of the town for the past 125 years.

    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. We can confirm the exact price on request.

    Day 1

    Plan, prepare and get ready

    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 the day your expert mountain guide will teach you how to survive in winter conditions and 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 - Ben Nevis.

    Day 3

    Ascend Ben Nevis

    Hiking

    8hrs · 20km · 1345m up · 1345m down

    Approach Ben Nevis early doors and get a tantalizing first glimpse of the challenge ahead. Boot up and begin the 1,345-metre 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 ability. There are various options up, including the knife-edge CMD arête, the final decision regarding which route will be taken by your guide.

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

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us 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 also (B1, 2, or 3 grade) to fit crampons (welcome to bring own if desired)

    Your host will also carry essential group 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 - they 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/2 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.

    No optional extras are available for this trip.

    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 2022 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 mountain environment moving over challenging terrain.

    Sure can! Over 50% 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 temperature between November - March is 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.

    We have chosen the dates for this trip based on when there is a high chance of there being enough snow to ensure the skills covered are winter and snow focussed. 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 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.

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    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.

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