This is quite possibly one of the best ways to experience Ben Nevis, especially if you like to stay off the beaten track and avoid hoards of other walkers. We past one person in the first 20 minutes of the walk, then we didn't see a soul until we got to the summit which was utterly crowded. The route down was equally crowded (passing at least 10 people per minute) until we broke off from the main route again.
The path, even when un-marked is clear (either a clear path, narrow ridge, or just follow the grade up), with the possible exception of some early confusion in the woodlands at the beginning of the walk. The final scramble up to the summit plateau is a little daunting, but so long as you keep climbing you will get there. Once we reached the top it was shrouded in mist but we were able to follow the voices of dozens of other climbers to the summit marker. The route down, when shared with the "Tourist" track is somewhat boring but it can be fun to see the variety of people attempting the climb. After breaking from the path it got very VERY wet and eventually we gave up avoiding the deeper bogs and resigned ourselves to the fact that we would be arriving back at the car park with soaking wet shoes... We crossed Allt a' Mhuilinn fairly early and the water come up to our ankles (I was very thankful for my gaiters) if you hold out, better crossings are available.
My mate and I did the walk in 6.5 hours moving at a good clip with all sorts of weather, we had sun, rain, and a little bit of snow in the middle of August.
Great walk, strongly recommended!
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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.