After entering the mouth of Number Five Gully, almost immediately you break out to the right and follow slanting ledges that lead back out towards the face. The day starts with a walk up the north face path to the CIC hut which sits at the base of the main north face buttresses. After the slabs, a broken gully leads up to the left. Winter Skills Courses based in Lochaber, Guided Ben Nevis Winter Ascent, Guided Winter Mountain days, Winter Walking Skills Courses in Glencoe and Ben Nevis Ledge Route – Grade 1 Scramble A fantastic route in the summer although navigation can be difficult so best do some research and leave for a clear day. There are two choices of start to Ledge Route. Doug had previously been out in The Alps with me and wanted a taste of Scottish hills. The guys were wanting to get to the summit of The Ben via an interesting way and they got it. The top of Ledge Route is some way away from the observatory at the top of the Ben. Guided expeditions & experiences. Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. And, on this full day trip, I would like to guide you along one of the easiest of those routes, the Ledge Route. How it stays up is a mystery, and no doubt it will topple sometime. It totals 450m of vertical climbing. You are now in the lower left corner of the large amphitheatre mentioned above. This should be on every keen mountaineer's ticklist. First identify No.5 Gully (a scree cone very visible at the bottom). The down-climb can be avoided by taking a line to the right of, and lower than, the Gangway. Carn Dearg is a subsidiary summit of the main bulk of Ben Nevis. Share by Email, NEWSFLASH: First Winter Ascent of K2 made by All-Nepali Team. The Red Burn can be avalanche prone in certain conditions. Follow it to its top, where it culminates in a little summit with steep drops to the left and directly ahead. For those intending to go further, regardless of how ‘easy’ the route may be (in terms of technical grade), it is absolutely imperative that you have an understanding of avalanches in Scotland and how to avoid them. Patrick Hickie In Navigation, Resources, Tips Coarse and Fine Navigation – Tip #56 Coarse and Fine Navigation This tip is all about coarse and fine navigation and I will explain this with an every-day example. They are mentioned only briefly here: If you continue to the top of Ben Nevis, be sure to look into how to descend safely from the summit. In poor visibility, even locating the start of your chosen route can be a challenge. One of my 'lockdown tasks' has been to re-visit my archive of monthly tips. We also run them in Snowdonia if conditions allow. Sheltered on Ledge Route, Ben Nevis October 20, 2018 / 0 Comments / in News , Scotland , Winter / by Ken Applegate Back on Ben Nevis today, this time with Chris, Andy and John. From there you can simply enjoy the spectacle of this magnificent mountain face, before walking back down again. But be aware that this snow amphitheatre can also be an avalanche hazard at times too – so you need to do your homework first. Candice and Aileen have come over from Singapore, so the cold temperatures came as a bit of shock for them, however, they were expecting wet and windy conditions whilst […] It finds a cunning way up the seemingly impregnable buttress connecting a series of ledges in a zig-zag manner. 1-day Ben Nevis ascent via the Ledge route. There are several different routes you can take to the summit of Ben Nevis (1,345m). We had the whole place to ourselves. Ledge Route, 2. The final slopes can be tackled in a variety of ways and you can either take the easiest line or seek out small challenges. but the angle soon eases and it becomes possible to face out and walk. Ledge Route is best started from CIC hut, have a breather here after approach path from Glen Nevis or from North Face car park (approx 2 hours from Glen Nevis). Ben Nevis via CMD arête Guided rock-scrambling day on 'Ledge Route' and Carn Mor Dearg arête Above Fort William mighty Ben Nevis dominates the view. Ledge Route on Ben Nevis is one of the best ways up Britain’s highest mountain in #, Another shot from Monday morning’s wonderful inv, Skiddaw and cloud inversion over Derwent Water and, Some lovely easy walking on the hills around Ilkle, Ripe hawthorn berries on a foggy autumn day #ilkle, Ingleborough seen from Winskill Stones #ingleborou, #lestweforget #lestweforget #lestweforget, Yorkshire’s waterfalls are looking good at the m, Katie and Anthony at the top after a very wet asce, Good morning Ilkley. This ends in a steep little gully which brings you out at a col where the down-climb wall is at your left. Once the top of the buttress is gained, the nature of the route changes dramatically and a fine arete, in a spectacular position, is followed to the Ben's summit plateau." A long, gentle rightward rising traverse will bring you to the Jenga tower. Descent via the Mountain Path. In fact, it’s one of the best Scottish II routes anywhere in Scotland. Under snow and ice it is a grade II winter route and reputedly the best of its grade on the mountain. The scrambling is never too difficult and the harder bits can be avoided if you want to but it takes you through some fantastic ground and you are surrounded by Ben Nevis' rare plants and geology. Ken Applegate, View Ledge Route Image Gallery - 37 Images. If you are interested in climbing Ben Nevis by Ledge Route in winter take a look at our Winter Mountaineering page for prices and more information. Many walkers who ascend Ben Nevis by the zig-zagging ‘Mountain Path‘ or ‘Pony Track’ will never see these cliffs. Winter has arrived early this year, and Candice, Aileen and myself were on Ledge Route on Ben Nevis, making the most of the snow and sunshine. One look at the map confirmed that I wouldn’t be attempting to get to the actual summit of Ben Nevis. The guidebooks give it four stars (instead of the usual maximum three). The options start with the 5 mighty ridges of the Ben 1. Tower Ridge, 4. The Summit is Optional updated their phone number. The north face of Ben Nevis is one of the biggest expanses of cliffs in the country. You must avoid the gulf of Gardyloo Gully (see the photo carousel above) and other areas of steep ground in most directions. Ben Nevis is one of the best walks in the Highlands of Scotland, though it does suffer from being rather popular. The world famous North Face of Ben Nevis has spectacular settings, scenery and exposure. The Ledge Route is the best Scottish II route on Ben Nevis. The view down to Chamon-ilk from the top of the Ai, Again - the Twelve Apostles on Ilkley Moor at dawn, Twelve Apostles stone circle, Ilkley Moor, at dawn, Taken in December before lockdown. LEDGE ROUTE & CMD ARETE, IN WINTER? Whilst travelling through some spectacular mountain scenery, the scrambling on this route isn't at any point too hard making it a thoroughly rewarding route. The route is a non-technical, 450m snow climb (when well-covered! The first option will make the route more technically difficult and serious in the lower half. #ilkl, Low Water and Coppermines Valley from the Old Man. A short distance on from the Jenga tower brings you to a large platform ledge or balcony. All the gullies and coires on Ben Nevis are prone to avalanche. It was time to focus. This is not a place to linger at any time. Now you scramble over and between various pinnacles along a narrow section of ridge line. Ben Nevis, Ledge Route - Aerial filming using a drone on Vimeo There are many other incredible ways to experience Ben Nevis Rock Climbing. It's a spectacular winter scramble, which sustains interest and offers amazing views. Walk up Ben Nevis is an on-line guidebook for anyone wanting to walk or climb up Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in Great Britain (and obviously, Scotland). "An unlikely yet excellent mountaineering route. Tower Ridge is arguably Scotland’s most prized mountaineering route, leading to the summit of the UK’s highest mountain; Ben Nevis. #il, Sharp Edge on Blencathra - it never disappoints ex, Scafell Pike in winter with the distinct lines of, Blea Tarn and the Langdale Pikes in the morning. Much appreciated! Easy climbs on Ben Nevis do not come much better than this. As far as mountaineering routes go, Ledge Route is not especially dangerous but unfortunately it's still complicated enough in Winter that route finding mistakes when unroped can prove fatal as unfortunately happened earlier this year - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-46735220 All Rights Reserved. A crucial, accurate navigational dog-leg is the answer in poor visibility. What an amazing achievement. This is sometimes referred to as the Gangway. (2 ), Mountain weather information servise (MWIS). For the first-timer, it is an imposing sight and it makes you realise just how seriously you need to take it. There is a variety of routes to choose from, including the Ledge Route and Tower Ridge. It’s widely regarded as the finest winter climb in the UK with a variety of walls, ridges, and traverses. NE Buttress and 5. There are deaths almost every year including very sad cases of victims being buried for many months, not emerging until the spring. Of course, it’s a very fine route in its own right, but it has a couple of added bonuses. The ridge now widens again, and a series of snow slopes with little ‘problem steps’ bring you finally to a point where the  ridge is behind you and you are now on the final slopes of Carn Dearg. This emerges into a huge snowy amphitheatre which has been invisible from below up to now. Mountaineering Instructor and IML available for coaching/guiding in Wales, the Lakes, Scotland and abroad as well as locally in Yorkshire/Peak. Ledge Route is one of the classic 'easy' mountaineering routes up the north face of Ben Nevis. At well … The Ledge Route is the North Face of Ben Nevis for non-climbers. I've gradually been updating, expanding and enhancing some of these to make them even more useful. Sunrise on Ilkley Moor. Then, a narrow ridge provides an exciting section before it broadens and becomes part of the summit slopes of Carn Dearg. Turn left to head north (-ish) and then left again to continue scrambling upwards. The Ledge Route. Ledge route is a perfect introductory ridge for your first scramble or north face route and a great way to get to the summit of Ben Nevis. Share on Linked In This is my regularly updated blog including the latest snow conditions in winter. At Grade II, it’s not a highly technical winter route but that takes nothing away from its quality. Mountaineering, climbing, scrambling, hill skills & navigation courses. Ben Nevis via the Ledge Route. The Ledge Route will take you up the peak along its North face. enquire The way to summit Ben Nevis. It’s critical that you make your choice based on a sound understanding of the avalanche risk that day. The route is generally c… mountains, Scotland, winter In summer, Ledge Route is a 450 metre grade 2 scramble that finishes at the summit of Carn Dearg, a 1221 metre subsidiary top of Ben Nevis. (Note that Carn Dearg is nothing to do with Carn Mor Dearg and the CMD Arete route on Ben Nevis). The route can even hold snow well into the summer, so you may need Finally a descent via the old Pony Track or perhaps Ledge Route really rounds off the day. What’s more, it is at a relatively low grade. We aim to ascend this classic and iconic route, and descend via Ledge Route to make a truly unforgettable day. It feels like a long time ago since the last winter was forced to finish in mid March but it was good to be back in the snow. The Summit is Optional updated their information in their About section. They are complex too, being a series of alternating major ridges and buttresses separated by huge corries and gully lines. ), which feels like a big mountain route. Share on Facebook Soon you will find yourself above the famous ice route, The Curtain, and the exposure is tremendous. Having completed Ledge Route, there are a number of options for descending Ben Nevis in winter. The route can be climbed in either summer or winter although the latter is considerably more popular when parties attempt it daily. Improvers’ Rock Climbing Courses and Coaching, beginners’ tips for winter mountain walking, thesummitisoptional.com/category/resources/tips/, www.ukclimbing.com/news/2021/01/first_winter_ascent_of_k2_made_by_all-nepali_team-72688. From the top of Number Four Gully head west into the Red Burn or a little more south-west to intercept the Mountain Path. The cliffs are enormous, rising up about 2000ft from the valley floor below (the site of the CIC Hut). Ledge Route on Ben Nevis is one of the best ways up Britain’s highest mountain in winter. This is a popular descent route (in the right conditions) for those who are comfortable descending Grade 1 gullies. A sneaky start leads onto a sequence of sloping ledges, which allow passage across the steep southeast flank of Carn Dearg Buttress. Whatever grade you climb, on a clear winter’s day you’ll enjoy this one for the scenery alone. The route winds it way up the Carn Dearg Buttress on the north face past a series of gulleys with awesome rock architecture including an the improbable Pedestal, a sort of Jenga block tower. History made once again. It was -1 degrees C at seal level this morning after clear skies overnight. There are many who are confirmed ‘walkers’ and have no desire to ‘climb’. A rock climber's paradise, the North Face of Ben Nevis has steep jagged cliff edges which are 600m high in places and perfect for rock climbing. This gives you an insight into why the avalanches there are so dangerous – all the snow from this bowl has to avalanche down through the very narrow entrance to Number Five Gully. © 2006-2020 SummitPost.org. Ticklists. The summit of Ben Nevis itself is still a surprisingly long way off. But it’s somewhere to avoid totally in unfavourable avalanche conditions. There is a large flat area at the top. Ledge Route is no exception and can be a fatal choice in the wrong conditions. http://www.westcoast-mountainguides.co.uk/category/news/ Myself and fellow instructor Mark decided on a mountaineering day ascending the classic Ledge Route to the summit of Ben Nevis … When you are ready, then get in touch to make an enquiry or a booking. It is graded between Grade 1 and Grade 2 on the Scrambling scale, depending on which route is taken. You might like to read our article on beginners’ tips for winter mountain walking. An amazing 1st day out in the winter on Ben Nevis today. It could be an easy-ish walk in deep well-packed snow, or extremely tricky with bare slabs covered in a thin layer of ice and gravel debris. A technically easier (and sometimes safer) option is to avoid the entrance to Number Five and the slabs above The Curtain altogether. Ledge Route is located on Carn Dearg Buttress. Saturday, 30 October 2010. Images First, it’s known as being a route you can do “in any conditions”. Ledge Route is the easiest way up the North face of Ben Nevis but still requires a good level of fitness so you can make the most of the day. Home » News » Ledge Route, Ben Nevis in Winter. Hi, To do this, first ascend a short way into the enormous Coire na Ciste area before traversing steep but easy snow slopes to reach the top of Moonlight Buttress. It will also expose you to a major avalanche hazard in the wrong conditions. LEDGE ROUTE, BEN NEVIS Despite the forecast of gales on the high tops today Mark, Steve and I decided on Ledge Route up Ben Nevis. Under 'External Links' and 'Mountain Conditions' could you please update the URL for West Coast Mountain Guides to: To do otherwise is courting disaster. This is towards the northern end of the cliffs (to the right as you look up at them). A good many have no idea that the north face even exists. Or, after the cairn at the top of Number Four Gully, continue southwards to intercept the main Mountain Path and then follow this to the top. (4), Additions & Corrections We headed up onto Ledge Route on ben Nevis this morning. We run winter skills courses, and winter mountaineering and climbing courses in other parts of Scotland and in the Lake District. The Ledge Route up Ben Nevis. The rock climbing is world class, and the winter climbs are infamous. Ledge Route ; 450m. The higher you climb, the more rewarding the views become. This option is to approach Number Five Gully and enter its lower section. Share on Twitter Cutting a line straight through the centre of the North face and at around 600m in length, Tower Ridge is one of the longest and most sought after climbs in the United Kingdom. A short little down-climb to the right connects you to a continuing narrow ridge. Orienteers, and other accomplished navigators, refer to the... Read More. You now head up to the right, towards the outer-most side of the buttresses, until you reach an obvious and prominent balanced pinnacle – a towering Jenga tower. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports. Castle Ridge, 3. However, at least once in your life you should take the 1hr 45 minute walk up to the CIC hut. The ledges continue over a series of slabs with big steps in them. Ledge Route i s available with a private guide on any day of the week so get in touch to check our availability and make a booking. A ten-strong all-Nepali team has achieved the coveted first winter ascent of K2 (8611m), the last of the fourteen eight-thousand-metre peaks to be summitted in the winter season. Like many such gullies, the top is steep (maybe face in and down-climb?) Second, for the experienced and competent who know the route well, it’s a fun descent off the plateau too. Join MIC-certified instructor Ken on an action-packed day of scrambling via the Ledge route on Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Scotland and in the United Kingdom. Summary. Motorway light-, Today felt like being in the Alps, with lovely vie, A fine winter’s day walk on Beamsley Beacon. The first ascent of Ledge Route happened in 1897, at the time it was just another route to the summit of Ben Nevis, but now it is renown as one of the best routes of its grade anywhere in the United Kingdom. Britain's winter ridges, Ben Nevis Ridges, 3 star Scottish winter, Winter Aspirations, … Distance to the Top: 9km (5.5 miles) Ascent: 1280m (4200ft) Rough … Number Five Gully avalanches frequently and funnels snow from a huge bowl above into its narrow mouth. Some final rock bulges bring you to the summit plateau and a little cairn at 1214m. Ledge Route offers a fantastic way to reach the summit of Ben Nevis via it's famous North Face. It’s a long day out and an early start is essential. Head around the rim of Number Five Gully and (roughly) southwards, to reach the cairn at the top of Number Four Gully, then continue to carefully navigate around the rim of the cliffs towards the summit. Tower Ridge is Ben Nevis’s most famous ridge, descending approximately 600m down the north side from close to Ben Nevis’s summit. (If you don’t know how to make this decision, then get in touch and ask about our winter skills courses.). If you’d like to know more about winter mountaineering up Ledge Route on Ben Nevis in winter, then see our main page for more details and prices. The ascent was a... Options are limited, but as everyone has doubtless found, we all have some great spots on our own doorsteps. You still need to cross Number Five Gully, but at this point you can be across its narrowest point in a couple of moments. The steep drop in front of you plummets directly down the front of Carn Dearg buttress. How difficult they are can vary enormously. From the top of Ledge Route, depending on snow conditions, it could easily take you a further hour to reach the summit of Ben Nevis, especially if there are deep snow drifts on the top. The other route (Option 2) joins at this point. (37), Climber's Log Entries This route via Carn Dearg (1221) is still a challenging route that has some sections of Grade 1 scrambles, surrounded by proper rock climbs. This is partly true, but you should read the comments on avalanche conditions below. On the left there are steep drops down into the bowl that forms the head of Number Five Gully. It’s a fine summer scramble, transformed into something much more serious in winter. Guided ascent of Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis. Probably the best route of its grade on Ben Nevis (and perhaps in the UK), Ledge Route has a bit of everything. Very soon, a prominent line emerges – a narrowing ridge that looks like the natural line to follow. No description has been contributed for this climb. I was near the summit of Ben Nevis in high winds, the fresh snow would conceal any trace of the path, and more snow was forecast. The views … Climbing the ridge. As far as mountaineering routes go, Ledge Route is not especially dangerous but unfortunately it's still complicated enough in Winter that route finding mistakes when unroped can prove fatal as unfortunately happened earlier this year - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-46735220 Descent via Number Four Gully. (4), Comments Maximum three ) ilkl, low Water and Coppermines valley from the top: 9km 5.5... Highest mountain in winter more, it ’ s a very fine route in its own,... Ll enjoy this one for the experienced and competent who know the route well, it is between! More, it ’ s one of my 'lockdown tasks ' has been invisible from below up to.. Above into its narrow mouth the Jenga tower brings you to the top Number... ( maybe face in and down-climb? 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