Route: This route includes all the Munro tops in the range, so
there are three detours, one substantial, which are unnecessary for those only doing Munros.
It naturally breaks into two walks at the lowest intermediate point,
namely the bealach between Carn Mor Dearg and Aonach Mor.
The ridges Ben Nevis to the bealach after Carn Mor Dearg are stoney and so slow to traverse.
NB It is difficult to get bearings for the descent from Ben Nevis to the start of the Carn Mor Dearg arête when the cloud is down, there is fresh snow on the ground and it is too early for there to be any footprints. This will often be the case for early starters on Scotland's highest mountain which has snow cover for over half the year. However, there are useful poles to mark the correct line of descent. The Carn Mor Dearg arête itself is not difficult, although narrow and exposed.
Note also the possibility of avalanches on the steep, exposed descent from Aonach Mor to Stob an Chul-Choire.
Even in summer, crampons, an ice axe, a map and a compass are essential if there is any snow at all on the summit and you stray from the tourist path.
Weather 5/6/04: Cloud base 2000', patchy rain, much compass work involved.
Weather 11/5/09: Sunny day, cool E wind, no cloud, ground snow above 3000'.
Weather 8/6/15: A mostly sunny day, but cool, with stiff cold breeze and some snow showers. In cloud until on Carn Mor Dearg arÍte, and also later on Aonach Beag. Ground snow above 3000'. As usual, compass and crampons were used frquently.
|0350||0525||0400||Park at "P" in Glen Nevis at end of road, NN168692||140||0||0.0 miles||No Orange|
|0610||0455||Ascend path on E bank of Allt Coire Eoghainn
from behind car park to lip of Coire Eoghainn
|0535||0710||0600||Cross corrie burn where it splits into many parts,
then W up ESE ridge to T Carn Dearg
|0755||0625||NNW for 400yds to col by small lochan at 985m,
NNE for 800yds until slope levels out,
then contour due N to tourist path.
|0635||0700||Descend gently N to col (Nr 4 gully – flag)||1185||1080||2.4 miles|
|0640||0810||N to T Carn Dearg||1221||1160||2.55 miles||Orange|
|0645||0715||NW/N/NE to Carn Dearg (N top)||1211||1125||2.75 miles|
|0650||0815||SW/S/SE back to T Carn Dearg||1221||1135||2.9 miles||Orange|
|0655||0820||0725||SSW back to col NN158717||1185||3.05 miles|
|0800||S/SE to tourist path, then E to M Ben Nevis trig pt||1344||1335||3.7 miles||Orange|
|0800||0835||Descend SE/E to start of arête. (See warning above)||1140|
|0825||0935||0905||NE to lowest point on Carn Mor Dearg arête||1058||4.37 miles|
|0955||NE/N/NNE to M Carn Mor Dearg||1220||1500||4.93 miles||Orange|
|Continue N to next col||1155|
|0930||1030||1010||NNE to T Carn Dearg Meadhonach||1179||1525||5.25 miles||Orange|
|Return SSW to col||1155|
|1025||S back to M Carn Mor Dearg||1220||1590||5.6 miles||Orange|
|1040||1145||1135||Descend E to bealach NN187723
Only half way!
Return S from here if you've had enough!
|1215||Ascend E steeply to ridge where ground levels out||1130||1890||6.5 miles||Wk Orange|
|N to M Aonach Mor||1221||1980||7.0 miles||Wk Orange|
|1210||1340||1330||Descend steeply E to col. There is often
a steep snow field here, subject to avalanche
|1225||—||1345||Either: E to T Stob an Chul-Choire||1068||2050||7.6 miles||No Orange|
|1245||—||Continue NE along ridge to Stob Coire an Fhir Dhuibh||985||8.1 miles|
|—||N to col||880||8.5 miles|
|N to T Tom na Sroine||918||2090||8.7 miles||Orange|
|—||Return S to col||880||8.85 miles|
|—||1515||Take direct line back to col avoiding the tops (no path)||997||2210||9.8 miles|
|—||—||Or: NE/N around corrie to col||880||1990||8.25 miles|
|—||1425||—||N to T Tom na Sroine||918||2020||8.4 miles||Orange|
|—||—||S to col||880||8.55 miles|
|—||—||S to Stob Coire an Fhir Dhuibh||985||2125||8.95 miles|
|—||1515||—||SW to T Stob a Chul-Choire||1068||2210||9.45 miles||No Orange|
|—||W to col||997||2210||9.8 miles|
|1415||1630||1545||Then: W back up snowy ridge to M Aonach Mor||1221||2430||10.15 miles||Wk Orange|
|1435||1610||S to bealach NN194718||1080||10.9 miles|
|SE to M Aonach Beag||1234||2585||11.15 miles||Orange|
|SSE to col||1080||11.6 miles|
|1520||1740||E to T Stob Coire Bhealaich NN202709 (Ht 1090
on OS map.) This top is at the end of a spur, & so
appears similar to the next top.
The W top is higher, the E top has the cairn.
(Lost time finding this top in mist the first time.)
|1555||1745||E to end of ridge (or path cutting corner)||1048||12.0 miles|
|1800||S down path on cliff edge to col||895||12.3 miles|
|1625||1807||1740||SSW to T Sgurr a Bhuic||963||2675||12.4 miles||Orange|
|W along spur to dip before brown knoll at 800m,
descend right towards river, to join valley path
high (about 100-200m) above Allt Coire nan Laogh.
|1735||1910||1840||SW down valley path to Steall NN187688||230||13.95 miles|
|1810||1940||1920||Path W/NW/SW beside Water of Nevis to car park||140||2685||15.55 miles||No Orange|