Ben Nevis: via the Tourist Path
Start/Finish: Car park outside the Ben Nevis Inn at the end of the Achintee Road. The parking is limited so if all the spaces have gone, the next best option is the Visitor Centre car park in Glen Nevis where there is much more parking available. To reach the Ben Nevis Inn from the south, go through Fort William on the dual carriageway then past the railway station, to reach the Glen Nevis roundabout. Stay on the main road, A82, and take the second right – Claggan – just before the traffic lights for the left turn to Inverlochy. Note that this turning is only a short distance past the Glen Nevis roundabout and could easily be missed. Once on the Claggan road, turn right just before the Spar shop and follow the road, soon single track, to its end at the Ben Nevis Inn.
Distance/Time: 14 km Approx 4 hours
Peaks: Ben Nevis, 1344 m, NN 166 712. OS sheet 41.
Introduction: This is the easiest route to the summit of Britain’s highest mountain. On 4/6/2010, parts of the path were under reconstruction.
Route: From the end of the road, continue on the obvious signposted path which climbs steadily before zig-zagging just below Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe. The path curves around the top of the wide grassy gully before crossing the Red Burn. After a longish straight, the zig-zags start which take you up on to the summit plateau. On a 3 m high stone plinth is the trig point of Ben Nevis, 1344 m. There is also an emergency shelter on a higher plinth and the ruin of an old building. Most of the area around the plateau is a boulder field.
Return by the same route. In bad weather, there is a line of high cairns from the summit to the zig-zags.
Notes: This walk took place on 4th June, 2010. If the route has to start at the Visitor Centre, this increases the distance and the climbing adding about 20 minutes to the day.