Carn Mor Dearg CMD Arete up Ben Nevis from Glen Nevis

Carn Mor Dearg CMD Arete up Ben Nevis from Glen Nevis

By Dave Roberts   

on January 3, 2021   No ratings yet.

Carn Mor Dearg CMD Arete up Ben Nevis from Glen Nevis

Further Details

Route Summary:

An alternative start and finish to the CMD Arete, rather than the usual CMD from the North Face Car Park approach.

Start and Finish: Glen Nevis Visitor Centre

Distance: 19.6 km

Ascent: 1739 m

Time: Allow 8 hours

Timings are approximate and depend on the individual. Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.


Parking, cafe, toilets.


Prolonged scrambling at Grade 1

Public Transport:


Glen Nevis Visitor Centre

Post Code for Sat Nav: PH33 6ST

Ben Nevis Guidebooks: 

Ben Nevis Maps: 

Carn Mor Dearg CMD Arete up Ben Nevis from Glen Nevis Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Carn Mor Dearg CMD Arete up Ben Nevis from Glen Nevis

The Scramble over the Carn Mor Dearg Arete is one of the classic mountain walks. It’s not a route for hill walking novices, you’ll need serious hill walking experience in order to complete this safely. We’ve published the full CMD Arete Scramble from the North Face Car park – which has the details for the route that needs following, with this route coming with minor variations.

Carn Mor Dearg CMD Arete from Glen Nevis Route Description

1 You’ll need to start off by following the Mountain Track up Ben Nevis from one of the various starting points, probably the visitor centre. This starts off steadily, before a final pull up towards Lochan Meall an t-Suidh where you’ll need to leave the Mountain Track.

2 The next section of the route is either a direct approach across the glen, with a river crossing over Allt ‘a Mhuilinn, or a longer route via the CIC hut. We’d opt for the direct approach if possible as you’ll need to be getting onto the CMD as soon as possible – it’s a long enough day as it is!

3 You’ll have the long, long slog up towards the ridge, with a faint path taking you up towards the summit of Carn Dearg Meadhonach and the CMD. You’ll need to follow this route – Carn Mor Dearg Arete from the North Face Car Park – for the full description. You’ll need to follow that route over the CMD arete, a wonderfully airy traverse that’s unrivalled in scale and grandeur by any other route in the UK.  While a prolonged grade 1 scramble, it is not technical and not too exposed as it’s a rather wide ridge compared to something like Crib Goch.

The only difference from the North Face route is that you’ll need to follow the Ben Nevis Mountain Track back to the start once you reach Lochan Meall an t-Suidh.


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Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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