/ Ben Nevis Vs Snowdon Pyg Track
I'm not sure if this has been posted before or similar, apologies if it has, and feel free to delete and link to relevant discussion.
So this July we are looking to climb Ben Nevis as we will be in the area. Last year climbed Snowdon via the Pyg track and whilst enjoyable and straineous found it a little boring at times as it felt we were just walking with no real steep climbs etc.
So with that in mind and Pyg Track being our first climb, I was looking for advice about which route to go up Ben Nevis. The options I believe are Mountain Track and CMD.
Would the CMD route be a foolish option for us to take considering the lack of experience we have?
All thoughts are welcome. Thank you in advance.
CMD is only more interesting in the upper part and the approach is probably more boring than the Pyg track. Every route up Ben Nevis is significantly longer and higher than Snowdon. Snowdon is one of the most amenable peaks in the UK. You might want to try doing Snowdon via Crib Goch to see how you deal with the exposure and then perhaps Scaffell to see how you cope with the extra distance before you have to address both issues on the same walk.
Thank you for your quick response. I was looking at Crib Goch but decided to do Pyg as it was our first climb lol. But yeh I would like to go back to Snowdon and do that route up.
So you think the Mountain Track would be the most appropriate route up for us? Or were you saying don't do it at all? Lol
Is the Carn Mor Dearg arête as exposed as Crib Goch?
Possibly not, it's exposed but not so much a "knife edge" as Crib Goch.
In reply to Jafffacakes:
I'm not saying don't do it, just warning that's it's a far more serious undertaking because of the distance and the height so you need to be prepared for that. Snowdon via the Pyg Track is in comparison a walk in the park. For starters you start quite high up so there is not that much ascent. Ben Nevis, as well as being the UK's highest mountain starts more or less at sea level.
Thank you for the heads up. Also not too keen on having hundreds of people around me haha. But I guess that doesn't stand up to much against safety/ability to actually get up it.
Thanks for your help
If you're in the area, and not too confident, you could hire a guide and ascend Ledge route, descend CMD arete. It's a great way to see the north face and you would generally only hit crowds crossing the summit plateau.
Both routes are pretty easy grade 1/2 scrambles and so much better than up and down the tourist path.
I would suggest doing something else in the Fort William area (e.g. Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean, or the Grey Corries) which is a step up from the Pyg track, and leaving the Ben until you have more experience and can confidently do the CMD arête and/or Ledge Route.
I would say maybe the normal route for your first visit there, with not so much experience. Give yourself as much time as you can because it is a big day out.
Hey, I can't comment on the CMD route but I did the main route last week, twice. I did it on a Friday (set off at 7am) and on the Saturday (set off at 5am) both of these times it was busy but not Snowdon busy. I was able to access the trig completely on my own, I've never done that on Snowdon and I've been up a fair few times.
Snowdon - The Pyg route up was 2552ft of ascent over 4.2 miles (607ft per mile). Ben Nevis route up was 4491ft of ascent over 5.5 miles (817ft per mile). Both routes are quite similar in that parts have been maintained with stepping stones but some are also stale and boulders. If you found Snowdon manageable then Ben Nevis is only slightly tougher. We had fantastic weather so the views were amazing, the views on the way up don't change too much though, there is a lake part way up but not way near as scenic as the lake at Cadair Idris. I would definitely recommend going up though especially if you're in the area.
Someone should(will) correct me if I’m wrong but I think the vast majority of the exposed terrain on CMD has a bypass just off to one side? The final boulder field to the summit is pretty safe if not a bit tiring. I like the Watkin path on Snowdon for easy walking, much quieter than the main routes but you don’t get the views of the horseshoe until near the summit.
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