I doubt that we could have picked a better day to have climbed 'The Ben' at this time of year. We had sun, cloud, and snow making the views both stunning and dramatic at different times.
We parked at the Nevis Visitor Centre, Glen Nevis and crossed the river to make the the ascent up the mountain track. If I have one regret it is that we did not encompass Carn Mor Dearg Arete in the walk as there was a little concern over the extent of snow covering, but it is my ambition to return to complete this one day.
The lads came out for the big one once more as they tend to for the greater challenges! Despite the relatively good conditions the wind was biting requiring a little more than the usual micro fleece.
The climb is as you would expect on a very good well maintained path all the way to the summit and in good conditions navigation should not be a problem, even for the novice. The route gives fantastic panoramic views, particularly along Lochs Linnhe and Eil towards one of my favourite areas, Glenfinnan. Just beyond half way we reached the first sprinklings of snow and decided to pause momentarily to layer up, and to enjoy a hot drink and the views across the half way lochan - Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe - before the final push for the summit.
Once we started again we were glad of the extra layers when, nearing the summit, we were met with a snow covering, deep in drifts, changing the outlook of the walk from an autumn stroll to a more winterly feel. The lads seemed to enjoy the extra challenge posed by the icy conditions and the change in landscape.
We were almost there by this point and it was only a short push to the summit for fantastic views, which we tried our best to capture with the camera. The wind was that cold that I could barely take my gloves off for any great length of time in order to capture the images. We utilised the shelter to get out of the wind whilst we enjoyed well deserved hot drinks and marshmallows.
Following our refreshment break we made our way down the same route back into Glen Nevis stopping only to take a couple of photos:
A great walk with fantastic views and it was wonderful to complete it as a family but in my view the quieter lesser known peaks offer the better, more satisfying routes.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.