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Ben Nevis is Britain"s highest mountain at 4418ft, it's known to the locals and mountain climbers as "The Ben." If you think you're ready for a challenge, have hiking experience and knowledge of navigation then why not attempt to hike the Ben Nevis tourist route. The Ben Nevis tourist route starts from the visitors centre, followed by 8 miles of hiking. You need to be prepared to climb this mountain and carry the essential equipment as there are casualties every year on this mountain. The weather can change very quickly on this mountain, you can be hiking in the sunshine one minute then suddenly be in a cloud storm with temperatures below freezing. Always inform someone what time you started your climb and what route you have taken. If it's impossible to inform somebody then leave a note in the front window screen of your car with details.
From the visitors centre, cross the bridge which will take you across a river. From there follow the Ben Nevis signs. Start the hike at a pace you're comfortable with unless you're attempting to challenge the Ben Nevis world record time from Fort William to the top and back at 1hr 30mins.The scenery around this mountain is breathtaking so take time to enjoy the views whilst you're climbing. The tourist route path is easy to follow but don't take any "short cuts",this could lead to disaster. The path leads you across streams which are bridged, after that you're heading for the zig-zags, this is were it becomes a steeper angle. Take plenty of breaks and drink fluids. You're now heading for the summit plateau, keep your eye out for a huge area of boulders, this then follows by reaching the summit. Be very aware especially in bad weather conditions there are ridges and gullies before reaching the summit which have falls of 2000ft.Once reaching the summit, congratulate yourself and if you have time take a look at the remains of the observatory buildings with its tiny emergency shelter on top do so and don't forget to take a photograph of yourself reaching the top of Britain"s highest mountain. Once leaving the summit, remember you're following the same path on your return, again do not cut corners. If you do take breaks and have refreshments, please don't leave litter on this mountain. On your decent remember it's faster to decent than ascent so don't let your legs runaway from you and keep a steady pace, your pace...Whilst on decent continue to take time and look at the views of the glen and Stob Ban. This is a spectacular mountain and it's a wonderful achievement when you can say to yourself and others "I climbed Ben Nevis",
Remember-: Think before you attempt to climb this mountain via tourist track and turn back if you find you're having difficulties, this may avoid you calling mountain rescue services out whom do a wonderful job for no pay.
We will soon be providing readers with photo collection of Ben Nevis tourist path, so keep an eye out because it will show you all stages of the mountain climb.
Things to remember in your rucksack- map of area/or explorer map, first aid kit, torch, whistle, change of clothing, food and plenty of drinks, hat, gloves, compass and walking poles. These items are your basic needs but remember if you're Winter climbing on this tourist route you will need further items like crampons, ice walking axe etc.
Things not to do-: Don't challenge this mountain if your fitness and health is poor. Don't leave litter on mountain, respect the mountain and its surrounding countryside. Don't call mountain rescue services unless it's a emergency, it's not a call out service for people who want a free helicopter ride.
Beware-: weather conditions can change within minutes so please be aware.
A must-: wear good walking/hiking boots, take waterproof clothing and drink plenty of fluids.
A good book to read about Ben Nevis & Glen Coe is Collins rambling guide.
Your safety is very important when you challenge yourself to climb this mountain via tourist route remember ENJOY yourself and enjoy the mountain and its surroundings.
This is one of the most popular mountains in the world and every year it's climbed by thousands of people. It's a great place to visit in the Winter season but all seasons are just as popular.