Ben Nevis via Tower Ridge

My wife Jane and I went to Scotland for a vacation and we had the luck of having two really good weather days in Fort William. We used that luck to climb the classic Tower Ridge on the North side of Ben Nevis. This is a classic hard scramble/climb.  The ridge straddles the line between a scramble and a climb, I would rate it about 5.2/5.3 and alpine grade II. For those familiar with Cascade Routes it’s harder than the chimney section of the Fisher Chimneys but easier than the West Ridge of Forbidden. I carried a light rack of 3 Tri Cams (.5-2), 6 nuts, a few slings, a cordellette, and a few locking carabiners.  I took a 40m rope but a 20m/30m would have been fine but might have made retreat difficult. In the end I used only 3 placements as I was able to use horns the whole way and although I might still bring a light rack if I were to guide it the horns on the route could be used exclusively with a good eye for the terrain.

Here is a video I took of the ridge from the summit.

Of course I also have all the navigation data that you can download. Here is another video of a map overlaid on Google Earth using the .kmz file that you can download below.


Now for the navigation files:

Click for the data you want

.KML File

Tower Ridge GPX
(Some browsers add a .xml extension, delete the .xml leaving only the .gpx extension before saving)

.KMZ File

Jane halfway up the Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis