The first ascent of Ledge Route happened in 1897, at the time it was just another route to the summit of Ben Nevis but Ledge Route is now renown as one of the best routes of its grade anywhere in the United Kingdom.
Easy climbs 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 kit such as helmets and harness. In dry weather and with good route finding Ledge Route can be climbed using the rope in only a few key places. That’s not to say we are not looking after you, your instructor will be alert to all the dangers and be able to guide you along the safest and most simple passage to the summit plateau.
You must climb Ledge Route 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 is 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 Ledge Route or learning the skills to scramble independently.
We offer a guided ascent of Ledge Route 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 there is more ropework involved. 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, get in touch. We believe we are very competitive on price.
A guided ascent of Ledge Route
As the day of your ascent of Ledge Route approaches your instructor will be in contact to discuss any final arrangements and discuss the prevailing weather forecast. At which time you can agree to a suitable morning meet time 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 instructor at Torlundy.
0845 – Conditions and group ambitions will dictate whether you start walking from Torlundy North Face carpark or drive up a forestry track to a slightly higher carpark.
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 fresh water pipe that feeds the hut, if you are lucky your instructor might have a key and take you inside for a cup of tea!
1000 – Climb Ledge Route! If you didn’t know where Ledge 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 instructor 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 click here.
1615 – Expect to be back at the vehicles and on your way to a celebratory drink and well-earnt meal.
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