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Castle Ridge


The perfect introduction to the classic ridges of Ben Nevis's dramatic North face. This route is shorter and more accessible than the other ridges, but still packs a punch with some tough scrambling moves and exciting rock architecture.


Route Length 



Max Ratio



Experience Grade 

Hard - Grade 4 Scramble


Approach Length (Approximate) 



Total Trip Length 



Meeting location 

Fort William


Experience Duration 

1 Day



Good summer hillwalking experience. Ideally some experience of scrambling at Grade 2 or above. 


Is it for me? 

The UK's highest mountain is a giant whaleback from the South, greedily concealing its prized North face. Once approached from the North, the five major mountaineering ridges leading down to the bowl of Coire Les come into view. This route takes the first ridge encountered, allowing an easier approach and descent and making this a great introduction to Ben Nevis mountaineering.


We start our day with the traditional climbers romp through the woods and alongside the Allt a Mhuillinn, amongst other rock climbers with designs on the mighty North Face. Turning off the main trail and crossing the river early in the corrie, we follow steep ground to gain the start of the ridge.


The route is long, but unsustained and with some easy sections, however, there are occasional committing, airy and exposed moves. The Tilted Slab is the routes most famous feature, it's a memorable section and shouldn't be missed. With a qualified and experienced instructor guiding you, you'll have the opportunity to attack this fine, exposed section of the route head on, making easy climbing moves in security hundreds of meters above the corrie floor. Much good quality scrambling in a tremendous setting brings us eventually on the high plateau summit of Carn Dearg.


An easy, long romp down a Northern flank eventually intersects the corrie floor and shortly afterwards, our path home.


This is a big day on Ben Nevis and Good standard of fitness is required for the approach and return. However, for those with the energy and determination, there are few mountaineering experiences more satisfying in the UK


Mountains included in route 

Carn Dearg 1221m (optional)

Ben Nevis 1344m (optional)


Additional information 

You will be guided on the route by a suitably qualified, fully insured and competent Mountaineering Instructor. All mountaineering equipment required for the route and instruction on its use is included. However, clients must ensure they bring appropriate clothing as listed on our kit list page. In case of dangerous weather conditions an alternative activity or a full refund will be offered. Please read our Terms and Conditions for further information.

Castle Ridge

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