Climbing Ben Nevis in September

Q. Hi, 11 of us are climbing Ben Nevis in late September for charity but we are all novices. We are all reasonably fit but have all heard mixed reports on how hard and easy it is. I want to get some training in beforehand but am unsure of how much. Secondly where would I find a good training program for this? Thank you in advance. Glenn.

Glenn Clark, Nottingham


A. Ignore anyone who says climbing Ben Nevis is easy - it is not, It is hard, very, very hard. Particularly so since you are all novices.

Even via the tourist path it over 5 miles of relentless steep uphill slog climbing more than 4/5ths of a vertical mile.

Furthermore, September is leaving it a bit late in the year because the days are getting shorter and a walk that is difficult in daylight is much, much harder in the dark. June would be a better month to go.

Hope this helps

Mike (Editor)


A. It's not that hard! If you have a basic level of fitness, you can do it! We were up and down in 5 hours.

Jen Williams, London


A. I have just come back from climbing Ben Nevis, it is not a tourist path it is a mountain path, at times very hard, especially the steps on the way back down, my total time was 7 hours, 4 hours to get up, my companion stained a muscle coming down so we took it very easy on the decent. Take poles if you have them, and gloves, spare pair as well. The top of the Ben is cold about 4 degrees it is madness to go up ill prepaired, but the feeling of getting to the top is fantastic, you have reached the top of the highest mountain in the uk, enjoy

Ritchie , Swansea


A. We climbed Ben Nevis as part of a 3 peaks challenge last Sept. It is a good hard climb. Take time to get your pace right at the start and keep it steady. It is a hard climb but one of the best in my opinion.The weather changed constantly and make sure you carry food and water. Dont forget to enjoy it.

Mac Mccandless, Grimsby


A. I am also climbing Nevis at the end of September with a bunch of friends. Ben Nevis is new to me and after consulting with other walkers I am reliably informed that its hard work. My colleagues and I have plenty of experience when it comes to walking in mountains so fitness is not an issue but the route we hope to take is the CMD arete which will test my dodgy head for heights!My advice is to get up early and set off aound 7/8 am which will allow plenty of time for the slowest member of your party to set the pace.

Davy Mack., Belfast


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