Tower Ridge is arguably Scotland’s most prized mountaineering route, leading to the summit of the UK’s highest mountain; Ben Nevis.
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. To complete a guided ascent in summer requires a good head for heights and substantial hill walking experience. The route is never sustained but there are numerous sections of ‘difficult’ standard rock climbing to negotiate. Some previous summer climbing experience would be advantageous but not essential.
During the winter months, Tower Ridge becomes a much more serious prospect. It is not uncommon for unguided teams to get benighted near the most difficult section; Tower Gap. This is a smooth slot in the ridge which is too wide to stride so requires careful exposed downclimbing before a steep exit and the final ridge towards the summit plateau. Previous Winter Climbing & Mountaineering experience is essential as crampon and ice axe techniques are critical to a successful and safe ascent in winter. An alternative and equally rewarding way to climb Ben Nevis in winter is via Castle Ridge. Often sheltered from wild winds and shorter in difficult conditions Castle Ridge is a brilliant alternative. Winter conditions can often dictate what is possible so a flexible approach in winter is the best way to stay safe and still climb challenging and rewarding routes.
Our experienced team has extensive knowledge of Ben Nevis, we know this ridge particularly well having made hundreds of ascents in every type of weather. We offer a guided ascent of Tower Ridge 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 value to your experience of climbing this impressive route on Scotland’s highest mountain.
DARE TO EXPERIENCE ADVENTURE
Whilst climbing Tower Ridge your team will be attached to one rope. We believe the safest way to climb in this style which is often referred to as ‘moving together’ is to keep the ratios low which means no more than two people climbing with one of our experienced instructors. The price includes the use of harnesses and helmets plus the use of all technical equipment such as ropes and hardware. If you have a bigger team requiring an additional Ben Nevis guide, get in touch. We believe we are very competitive on price.
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A guided ascent of Tower Ridge
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 to be reached is the CIC Hut, a small alpine-style lodge nestled beneath the cliffs. It should take no longer than 90 minutes to get to this point where bottles can be filled with fresh water that flows off the mountain.
1030 – Climb Tower Ridge! Your guide will discuss and assess the best way to start the ridge given the weather conditions on the day. Some short pitches of graded climbing (Diff) will be tackled on the Douglas Gap and the Towers which give the ridge its name, but expect to be moving as a team for a large portion of the day soaking up the extraordinary scenery and learning some history along the way. Soon after crossing The Eastern Traverse and the formidable Tower Gap, a short walk is all that stands between you and the highest point in the UK.
1445 – There are many ways to descend from the summit including but not limited to Ledge Route, Carn Mor Dearg Arete, Coire Leis and the Ben Nevis Mountain path. 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.
1715 – Expect to be back at the vehicles and on your way to a celebratory drink and well-earnt meal.
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