© Craig Dubh Mountaineering 2018
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Route: The Pony Track
Height: 1344 metres
Time: 6-8 hours
Meeting: Achintee, Fort William
Join us as we climb Ben Nevis, Craig Dubh Mountaineerings' signature trip!
Reaching the summit of Ben Nevis is no easy feat. At 1344 metres above sea level, it is a long 16km to the summit and back down. However, the sense of achievement and surrounding views definately make it worth it.
Following the old Pony Track which was built in 1883 to transport equipment to the long gone weather station on the summit, you will begin your journey at Achintee (NN 126 728). The track from here is well-founded and does not get particularly steep. As you climb higher, spectacular views of Glen Nevis and beyond open before you, and if you are lucky you will catch glimpses of the old vitrified Fort, Dun Deardil, across the glen and Glen Coes westernmost peaks further beyond. The track then heads into a shallow glen and gently zig zags before flattening out at the famous 'Half-way Lochan' (Don't be fooled by its name, you're not quite half way yet!).
Here you come to a fork in the road, and head right up the well made path as it begins to steepen. Cross the Red Burn (now you are half way, in height at least) and be sure to taste this fresh mountain water! As you ascend further you will note the distinct change in the terrain and the colour of the rock. Here the track begins to zig-zag in a seemingly endless concourse of snake bends - but persevere, it does have an end!
Keep your eyes peeled for glorious views out across Loch Linnhe towards Ardgour, or North West to Knoydart and beyond - it really is spectacular!
Finally you come to the final few bends, and a general flattening in the incline. The last 'up' is the short and sweet 'MacLeans Steep' which takes you onto the plateaux proper. Watch out on your left as the path does come quite close to the top of the North Face - sheer cliffs which can catch out the unwary walker. From here you follow the track to the remains of the weather station, an old disused hotel, the summit shelter and, of course, the summit itself! Congratulations - you have made it to the top. If there is a view (which isn't as often as you would hope) then soak it in, take plenty of photos and make sure you eat and drink to replenish your strength.
Once you have taken in as much as you can, before you get too cold (all year round!) then its time to head back on down the way you came up, being sure to avoid the cliff tops and any track junctions along the way!
On completion, be sure to drop in to the Ben Nevis Inn for some refreshments and grub!
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Call 07738665418 to arrange a Tailor Guided day