/ Which route up Ben Nevis?

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O'Donopoo - on 08 Jun 2017
Castle ridge or Ledge route? If you only had one day to spend, doing either of these routes, which would you choose, or would you choose something else (Other than CMD as that's already a plan)?
A friend and I will be in Fort William mid-July and torn between these routes, we're both experienced walkers and rock climbers but will not have any climbing gear on us.
We're looking for something with decent exposure/views as that makes everything a little more exciting
We also have one day where we have to be back in Fort William by 4 for our bus home at 5 so could also do with suggestions for a short(ish) day
Many Thanks
stevieweesaxs107 - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to O'Donopoo:

Solo of Tower Ridge Surely if your Rock Climbers
You'll not beat that for Fun,Exposure & a Summit finish
CurlyStevo - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to O'Donopoo:
The crux on castle ridge isn't really much easier than the crux of tower ridge to be honest (not sure if its avoidable from memory), sure less intimidating.

Not done ledge route in summer.

The best summer ridge on the Ben that I've done (North, Castle and Tower) that's just about a scrambling grade is tower ridge IMO. You could make it pretty safe with a waist tie in a few slings and biners and 30 metres of rope if you so desire.

If you get an early start castle ridge should be very doable before early afternoon for you last day. round trip of 4 hours walking max plus 3 hours leisurely scrambling. Leave out at 7am and you would have plenty of slack.

For reference it only took me 2.5 hours to do tower ridge from the CIC hut - we stopped to eat, definitely not rushing. Castle ridge would have been similar i guess.
Post edited at 17:24
stevieweesaxs107 - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to CurlyStevo:

If your doing the cmd, Towers your best bet saves you a walk round from the top of Castle, Tower has great Features and a good Finish lunch then a blast round cmd. However I'm Biased I love tower having done it umpteen Times (As curlystevo says grab a couple of Slings & biners and you'll be set)
petestack - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to O'Donopoo:

You could do the lot (Castle, Ledge, Tower and CMD in 7.5 hours road-to-road)?

http://www.petestack.com/blog/ben-nevis-ridge-day.html

But, yes, if going gearless, be aware that both Castle and Tower Ridges have exposed cruxes, and Ledge Route proper (as opposed to by the higher entry) has an exposed slab low down that can be nasty in the wet.
O'Donopoo - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to stevieweesaxs107:

I was reading up on that and it sounds like an incredible day out but we'd be wearing trail running shoes and wouldn't have any climbing gear. I'm comfortable in my ability, having done VD wearing the same shoes I'd be wearing when I go to Scotland but I would hate to get 3/4 of the way up and come down because I bit off more than I could chew without any ropes.
Have you soloed it before? What was it like in terms of difficulty?
O'Donopoo - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to stevieweesaxs107:

So you're suggesting an ascent of Tower Ridge, then a descent of CMD? I like the sound of that as I could fit more stuff in
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O'Donopoo - on 08 Jun 2017
UPDATE

We have decided to add Tower Ridge onto our CMD arete day as stevieweesaxs107 suggested
We have also decided to get up early and fit Castle Ridge into our short day as advised by CurlyStevo
That still leaves us one full day for something exciting, could possibly get the bus to Glen Coe if anyone has any suggestions around there (aside from Aonach Eagach as that's also already on the itinerary)
CurlyStevo - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to O'Donopoo:
One thing I would say is on a multi day trip unless you are mega fit, you may need to factor in an off day or just be careful not to go too crazy on any one day.

One hill you really should climb is this Buachaille Etive Mor

Tonnes of good scrambles on it but something like up broad buttress and down north buttress would make a good day out (you could traverse the top to add a bit more time on to the day) The hard bit of north buttress in descent is quite steep and takes a little working out the right way, but its chimneys with holds (you never udge) and its not too bad at all un-roped, the rock is a little suspect in places so be careful (but its generally fine), its also the easiest ridge to locate from the summit as its the most defined ridge and ends on the summit. Broad buttress is really quite good and somewhat unknown / underrated but not so good in descent as its more smeary than most.

The day I did Aonach Eagach I also went up https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=132958 and down https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=36001 but I was really quite hill fit for me at the time and wasn't planning on more hill climbing the next day! The top of curved ridge in descent isn't that easy to find if you don't know the way
Post edited at 17:53
O'Donopoo - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Also just added Buachaille Etive Mor
We've already considered the tiredness aspect and if we're too knackered will just find something else to do
I feel fairly confident though as I've done multi day trips before, albeit slightly shorter but in winter so carrying loads more kit
stevieweesaxs107 - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to O'Donopoo:

I've been over Tower Many times Solo
Wearing Salmon speedcross or Trail shoes
Last time was on a cracking day, left it late in the Afternoon took a Sbag Bivi and light Stove and climbed over Tower and round the Cmd and Bivied in the Wee Circular Howf just down from the cmd Summit, Amazing views of the Ben and a fantastic Stary Sky

I know the route well and I've done it in a few wet days however if the forecast isn't dry I'd avoid it unless you know it well and I'd defo want a few slings, even when I solo I always take a sling or 2 and a big sling for the gap it can be handy since the block fell (fine if your over 6ft
Hope the weathers good for you it's a Top Notch way up the Ben
Simon Caldwell - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to O'Donopoo:

Another good option is to take the ferry across to Ardgour, walk/run/hitch along the road, and do Garbh Bheinn by one of the ridges

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