Adventures / Adventure Tapas

Ben Nevis Adventure Weekend

Summit Ben Nevis, throw yourself down canyons and climb Scotland’s only via-ferrata site.

Head to Fort William for a jam-packed adventure weekend in the magical Scottish mountains. Don your wetsuit for some canyoning in the dramatic watery wonderland of Inchree Canyon and test your nerve with an introduction to via-ferrata. Hike up Ben Nevis, wild camp under the stars and end with a Sunday lunchtime summit. All in three short days. Phew.

Your exhilarating weekend includes:

  • Guided Ben Nevis Ascent
  • 1 night Hotel Accommodation
  • 1 night Wild Camping
  • 2 Breakfasts
  • 2 Lunches
  • 1 Dinner
  • Experienced, Certified Mountain Guide
  • All Camping Equipment (incl. tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat)
  • All Technical Equipment (incl. wetsuits, harnesses, helmets)
  • All transfers to and from activities

Perfect for

This trip requires no previous experience of hill walking, but you must be fit and capable of two days of walking for up to 6 hours a day. In some sections of the trek we will walk on pathless mountain terrain and you will be carrying your own lightweight tent, food and sleeping equipment for all of it. The canyoning and via-ferrata are both introductory sessions so no experience is needed for these activities.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price: - Flights
- Travel Insurance
- Tips for your guides (optional)
- Non-technical personal equipment (warm jacket etc, see kit list) - Meals in Fort William

This trip will run with a minimum of 3 people, and a maximum of 8. Please note, if there are not 3 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Your host recommends to pack: To Wear - Thermal wicking base layer and fleece top – not cotton - Polyester, fleece or woollen trousers and tops – no jeans - Walking boots (three season) - Sturdy footwear for canyoning that will get wet (old trainers ideal). These can also be used for the via-ferrata.

Personal Items - Sleeping bag liner (essential) - Towel - Hat and gloves - Spare fleece or woollen top - Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers - Flask or water bottle - Rucksack (60ltrs ish) - Whistle - Sunglasses and sun-cream - Walking poles (recommended but non-essential) - Camera – definitely recommended! - Head torch - Spare socks and underwear - Swimwear for under wetsuit while canyoning - A small number of tissues and one or two wet wipes - A personal medical kit (plasters, painkillers etc, just in case) - Dry bags or some heavy duty bin liners for all kit - You favourite snacks to eat while hiking

Canyoning is basically jumping, sliding, swimming and leaping down a steep gorge. It’s lots of fun and is open to all with no previous experience needed. Expect to get wet in beautiful Scottish mountain surroundings - your wetsuit will keep you warm so all you need to do is come with a sense of adventure and a willingness to get up close with nature.

Via-ferrata routes are all over Europe and are a popular way to access the mountains without mountaineering experience. There are only 2 sites in the UK and the Ben Nevis one is certainly the most spectacular. Via-ferrata is essentially the name for a series of iron rungs, ladders and cables that have been fixed into a steep cliff - our session will see us walking next to the Grey Mares Tail waterfall. We’ll climb up 100m and cross over the waterfall. You will be in a harness and permanently clipped into the continuous safety cable so there is no danger of falling. This combined with expert guiding ensures you are in the safest hands possible allowing you to experience and enjoy this seemingly inaccessible environment. While it is truly spectacular, it is also very exposed so you need to have a head for heights and it isn’t suitable for vertigo sufferers.

This trip requires a good level of fitness but no previous mountain experience is required. Each day is physically demanding but incredibly rewarding with between 4-5 hours walking as well as the adrenaline filled activities before the hiking. No previous canyoning or via-ferrata experience is needed. Both sessions are introductory and designed to enable you to give something new a go in the incredible natural Scottish landscape; a way for you to really get up close and personal with nature!

You will need to carry your own overnight gear (sleeping bag, mat and tent split between two) for the wild camping night so should be comfortable carrying approx. 5-8kg while walking on uneven terrain.

The food you will eat while trekking is camping-specific mountain food. You will be provided with dehydrated meals that are heated up at camp. These are light to carry and provide all the sustenance you need.

This is ready-made camping specific food and is designed to be eaten out of the bag. The flavours are great and the various meals are really tasty. You will be given a camping food pack that includes some snacks, dinner, hot drink supplies and breakfast along with cutlery so everything you need is provided.

For drinking water, there are plenty of options on the mountain to fill up from natural streams. This is exceptionally clean water but if you would like to take an extra precaution, please pack water purification tablets.

All technical kit is included. While canyoning, wetsuits, a harness and a helmet will be provided.

For the camping night you will be provided with one tent to share between two, a 3 season sleeping bag and a sleeping mat. You are of course welcome to bring your own kit, please just let the host know if this is your plan before dpearture.

From the south of England, the simplest and probably most enjoyable travel option is the sleeper train from London to Fort William. You leave London Euston approx 9pm and arrive in Fort William approx 10am the next day. On return, departures are approx 7pm from Fort William, arriving at approx 8am in London. You can book a choice of cabin option with beds, or seats are available if you want to save money. Great bargains to be had if you book up to 12 weeks in advance.

https://www.sleeper.scot

The other option is a flight to Glasgow, Inverness or Edinburgh and bus, train or taxi from there.

Citylink run regular services from Glasgow airport (approx 2hrs 50), Glasgow centre (approx 3hrs 15), Edinburgh (approx 5hrs 20) and Inverness (approx 2 hrs). Check www.citylink.co.uk or phone 08712663333 for more information.

By train, the West Highland Line runs from Glasgow Central Station to Fort William, with departures approx 4/5 times a day taking approx 3hrs50. It is considered of the most beautiful train journeys in the world! Check www.scotrail.co.uk.

Your host can arrange a private transfer from Glasgow airport for £265 each way (up to 4 people). There are also local taxi firms that can arrange transfers from Glasgow (2hr30 drive), Inverness (2hr drive) or Edinburgh (3hr drive).

The weather is highly changeable in the Highlands so we advise you pack everything listed on the kit list - you could be walking in a t-shirt and an hour later need a full fleece and waterproof get up. Your host will let you know pre-departure if the weather conditions are particularly extreme but as this trip is in the summer months, you should expect a mix of sun, rain and wind.

We’ll be camping in a remote location close to Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe, away from the crowds. We will be in tents close to each other and we won’t be having a campfire. Your little tent will feel just like home once you roll out your sleeping bags. The sunrise, stars and sunset are amazing, with almost no light pollution, you’re in for a treat. There’s a good chance we’ll see deer around dusk so keep your ears and eyes open!

Got a question not covered here? Contact the host.

Location

View map

This adventure takes place in and around the town of Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. Fort William is the mountain sports capital of Scotland and draws walkers, climbers and bikers from around the world. The town provides great access to the spectacular Glen Nevis valley, the gateway to the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.

The Scottish mountains in winter are a truly magical place. The snow clad summits often shrouded in mist have captured the heart of many a mountain lover. During the trip, you’ll be tackling the commanding 1,345 metre summit of Ben Nevis – but not by the ordinary tourist route. Your experienced guide’s expert local knowledge and well-honed mountain skills will ensure a safe and enjoyable passage up one of the mountains more challenging routes.

Start point

Ellis Brigham Store in Fort William - 12:00
Your adventure begins at the Ellis Brigham store in Fort William where your guide will meet you at 12:00. If you’re arriving by train it is short walk to the store. See FAQ’s for travel advice to Fort William.

Finish point

Fort William Station - 17:00
At the end of the adventure, your local host will transfer you back to the train station for 17:00 or to your accommodation/parking lot in Fort William.

What to Expect

Day 1: Arrival and Canyoning

Your Scottish summer adventure begins at 12:00 midday at the Ellis Brigham store in Fort William. You will meet your local guide for a short briefing about the weekend ahead before jumping on a transfer shuttle to Inchree Falls Canyon.

Spend 2-3 hours jumping from cliffs, sliding down natural flumes, swimming through deep pools and scrambling and climbing up and over rocks and waterfalls. Head back to Fort William for a well-deserved hearty meal in one of the many pubs or restaurants in town.

Day 2: Via-Ferrata Experience, Ben Nevis Ascent and Wild Camp

An early start today as we head out to Scotland’s only via-ferrata site in picturesque Kinlochleven, beside the 90m Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall. Via Ferrata literally means ‘iron road’ in Italian and is the name used to describe the metal steps and bridges that were installed along treacherous mountains passes in the Alps in the First World War. Now enjoyed by many as a leisure pursuit, we’ll spend a couple of hours clambering across the rocks on the giant metal ‘staples’ (attached at all times with a harness and ropes).

We’ll next head to the start of the trail to start hiking towards our wild camping spot for the night. The trail and overnight spot will vary according to mountain conditions but you can be sure to enjoy some spectacular vista’s as you make your way higher. After a few hours walking it will be time to make our campsite. Your guide will help you pitch your tent and prepare your dinner. As the sun sets we will walk up a neighbouring hill and watch as the stars come out before descending back to our tents for the best nights sleep you’ve ever had. This is real wild camping and you have most certainly earned your sleep.

5 hours of walking

Day 3: Summit Ben Nevis and return to Fort William

We’ll wake up early today and hopefully get to see the sunrise before preparing our breakfast and heading off to finish the task ahead i.e summiting Ben Nevis. We’ll aim to be there for an early lunch stop at the top to celebrate our achievement before heading back down to Fort William. There’ll be time to raise a glass and enjoy an evening meal before hopping on the train home.

5-6 hours of walking

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts. In case the weather does not allow summiting Ben Nevis, an exciting programme will be offered. The order of the days and the wild camping night could be changed around if the weather requires us to do so

Accommodation

You will spend the first night at The Alexandra Hotel right in the centre of Fort William. A traditional nineteenth-century Hotel, The Alex, as it is known locally, has been an iconic feature of Fort William for the past 125 years and provides traditional Scottish Hospitality at its best. You will be sharing a twin room and breakfast is included in your stay.

For the wild camping night, you will be staying in a lightweight tent that you have carried to the campsite. It will be your 5 million star hotel for the night. You will be provided with a high-quality lightweight sleeping bag and mat to ensure you are warm and have a great nights sleep. Of course, if you have your own please feel free to bring them. The tents are shared amongst the group and you will be sharing with another group member. You’ll typically eat your evening meal watching the clouds roll past the Scottish Highlands.

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Dates & Prices

Prices include

Accommodation · Equipment · Financial Protection · Guide · Happiness Guarantee · Local Transport · Meals As Described · Happiness Guaranteed · 100% Financial Protection

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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