You are hereLedge Route - Ben Nevis

Ledge Route - Ben Nevis

It had taken four and a half hours to get here, driving from
Newtonmore, slogging up the Allt a’Mhuillin to the CIC Hut below the
cliffs of Ben Nevis, and finally weaving our way up hundreds of feet of
scree slopes below Number Five Gulley.

puff puff shuffle shuffle


"How slippery when wet ????"

Now we grouped at the entrance to the gulley, waiting in the steady
drizzle and wondering just how slippery the rock would be up above.

Mark, Richard Kendrick and Andrew had begun by driving to Inverness on Wednesday night.
Thursday had seen us up Ben Wyvis, on a misty morning which however
cleared in the early afternoon just as we were leaving the summit ridge.

We had views out west to see An Teallach about 25 miles away, and began to think we were getting the edge on the weather.

An Teallach across Loch Glascarnoch

Go west young man !

Watching the forecast carefully (Mark had a wireless laptop to tune
in to the latest MWIS at all times !!) we spent a pleasant evening at
Loch Morlich (less informatively renamed Cairngorm Lodge) Youth Hostel
with a nice meal (thanks Sarah !!) and waving to the red squirrel who
ate just outside the conservatory.

I'm nuts about mountaineering

On Friday, we chose Bynack More as a munro furthest from the
incoming weather. We were rewarded by a completly clear day on the hill
– albeit a bit windy – and only an inconsequential shower in the

near Bynack More Summit


When I were a lad, all this was fields.............

Then it was down to Luibleathann Bothy via a nice bar meal, to light
a good fire and let the wine breathe ready for the arrival of Steve
Green, Amanda, and Katie.


The forecast promised an improving day on Saturday, so we hung on at
the bottom of Number Five, standing in the rain, until a hint of blue
began to appear round the corner of the huge Carn Dhearg buttress.
Finally, “let’s just have a look at the first bit……”.

It still seemed doubtful as we clambered 50 metres up the gulley, with lots of water cascading down its bed. 

Then Ledge Route breaks out right onto the first of the ledges. The
way was soon barred by an 8 metre rock slab. Easy in the dry, no doubt.
Running with water, and greasy, the prospect of a slide on rock could
be followed by a slide on grass and plenty of air time over the edge of
the gulley yawning below. Richard and Andrew carefully made the 3 or 4
moves up the slab, and with the rope dropped down, the rest soon
followed. (We also made a check that an abseil point was available, in
case it got any worse…….).
Round a corner, a grassy rake took us to the upper ledge without any
drama, and then onwards to the rocky rib which connects the buttress
back to the main mountain.

This way !


All perfectly straightforward now, good holds, rock drying, cloud
lifting off Tower Ridge to our left, and views out and down into

"Ello".......from "Chad" Green of Lochaber

Finally, we topped out on Carn Dearg. The summit was now becoming
visible, so we joined the throng on the tourist path, to achieve
Katie’s very first Munro on The Ben. (and Amanda’s first time to
actually see much of it !!).

The afternoon was getting clearer, so Steve led us on down the rocky
northeastern side and across the famous CMD arete for more easy

As afternoon wore on into early evening, we crossed Carn More Dhearg and then down down down to the path back to the car park.
A long day of 9 hours walk/scramble and a late pizza back at the Roy Bridge Hostel.

It was just as well we had a magnificent Saturday in the bag, as
Sunday was pretty poor everywhere. Mark had blisters from new boots, so
went to check out Cafe Mambo in Aviemore, whilst the rest had a Sunday
constitutional from the Sugar Bowl car park across to the Chalamain Gap
in high winds, plus the wee hills of Creag a’ Chalamain to the north.
afternoon tea was provided by Steve (and Beverley…..ta very much…..)
back at the bothy, before most of the team left for home.

Andrew and Richard spent a final night at the bothy, and then Monday
dawned glorious sunny and clear. Some Munros by Drumochter were chosen
for a little exercise on the way south……we rather stormed up Geal Charn
in just an hour……but with pause for respect however at the brand new
cairn erected in memory of Mick Costello “ice climber extraordinaire”

The summits of Geal Charn and A’Mharconnaich gave us excellent views
of Culra Bothy, Ben Alder, and the wide landscape all around.

now here we are on Dalnaspidal bridge...................


Och, my heart is in the Highlands....(home of the Clan McKendrick ??)

Five super mountain days. A grand trip.

View more of the trips on our Reports page.



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