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.
Easy scrambles on Ben Nevis do not come much better than this. In summer Ledge Route should be an aspiration of ANYONE looking to summit Ben Nevis. Walkers should not be put off by the imposing North Face or the allocation of extra equipment such as helmets and harness. In dry weather and with good route-finding we can scramble using the rope in only a few key places. That’s not to say we are not looking after you, your Ben Nevis guide will be alert to all the dangers and be able to guide you along the safest and most simple passage to the summit. Ledge Route is a popular descent route for climbers having made an ascent via a more technical route such as Tower Ridge or Castle Ridge.
You must climb Ben Nevis in winter! We can teach you how to use crampons and ice axe and pass on the necessary winter skills for an ascent. Depending on which line you take Ledge Route is a grade I / II winter climb. Our team of instructors and guide can tailor the day to suit you and the conditions, no previous winter climbing and mountaineering experience are needed, you will have enough time to learn the basics before you set foot on the route.
Our team spends ALLOT of time in the mountains. We want to pass this knowledge onto you, whether that’s on a guided ascent of Ben Nevis or learning the skills to scramble independently.
We offer a guided ascent in both summer and winter conditions by request, we don’t have set dates for joining groups. This allows us to provide a tailored day out on the mountain, something that will add to your experience and be better value for money.
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Whilst climbing Ledge Route your team will be attached to one rope. In Summer this might mean some sections the rope will be used and others without. This does not mean we aren’t looking after you! Your instructor will be advising and safeguarding your movement along the way. With this technique known as ‘spotting’, we can allow a higher ratio. In the winter, however; a max ratio of 3 participants to 1 of our instructors is necessary as we will be tied in throughout the ascent. The price includes the use of harness and helmets plus the use of all technical equipment such as ropes and hardware. If you have a bigger team requiring an aditional mountain guide, get in touch. We believe we are very competitive on price.
A guided ascent of Ledge Route
As the day of your ascent approaches your guide will be in contact to discuss any final arrangements and discuss the prevailing weather forecast. At which point you can agree to a suitable time to meet in the morning and inform them of any kit requirements you have.
(Example itinerary base on previous participants)
0830 – You will be collected from your accommodation if it is within a few miles of Ben Nevis. Alternatively, you will meet your guide at Torlundy.
0845 – Conditions and group ambitions will dictate whether you start walking from Torlundy North Face car park or drive up a forestry track to a slightly higher car park.
0900 – Once over the style the excellent path winds its way gradually towards the North Face of Ben Nevis with spectacular views in every direction. The first landmark up ahead is the CIC Hut, a small alpine-style lodge nestled beneath the cliffs. Here we can get water from a freshwater pipe that feeds the hut, or if you are lucky your guide might have a key and take you inside for a cup of tea!
1000 – Climb Ledge Route! If you didn’t know where the route starts you would think you were going to climb something very steep! Tucked up inside No5 gully there is a system of ‘ledges’ zigzagging back and forth avoiding all the vertical ground on either side of you. We gain height quickly using the rope here and there depending on weather conditions and ability.
1345 – There are many ways to descend from here including but most popular being the Ben Nevis Mountain Path or the CMD Arete. Having spent the day with your guide they will be able to assess the best and most enjoyable way for you or your partner to safely descend. To read about how to navigate off Ben Nevis summit.
1615 – Expect to be back at the vehicles and on your way to a celebratory drink and well-earnt meal.
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