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This popular walking route follows the Mountain Track to the mighty summit of Ben Nevis – Britain’s highest mountain at 1345 metres.
If you like hiking or hill walking in Britain, sooner or later you have to climb The Ben. Why? Because it’s our biggest, baddest and best mountain.
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You may have heard the Mountain Track dismissed by its other names ‘The Pony Track’ or ‘Tourist Track’ but don’t be fooled – this is a long, steep and strenuous walk that starts with solid paths and stone steps and finishes on scree slopes, snow fields and a summit plateau that veers dangerously close to sheer cliff edges.
On a clear day you’ll be rewarded with views that feel like they cover the whole of Scotland, with layer after layer of mountains, lochs and islands stretching to the horizon in every direction.
If you want a tougher challenge the CMD Arete on the eastern flank of Ben Nevis approaches the summit via a long, sweeping ridge that offers some thrilling scrambling – but should only be attempted by those with the relevant experience.
When you reach the summit, take some time to explore the ruins of the old observatory that once marked the highest point in Britain – and look out for the resident snow buntings who’ll aim to steal your lunch!
This route was voted 15th in a 2017 ITV poll to find Britain’s Favourite Walk.
IMPORTANT: Ben Nevis is a formidable mountain and it isn’t uncommon for snow to be falling at the summit in high summer. The Mountain Track veers close to the fearsome cliffs of the mountain’s North Face as you approach the summit, so plan your route carefully and make sure you carry the right gear and navigational equipment – and know how to use it!
TOG VERDICT: a tough and challenging walk to the roof of Britain, but in fine weather conditions it should be within the capabilities of all experienced hikers. What a mountain!