The Ledge Route up Ben Nevis

The Ledge Route up Ben Nevis

By Dave Roberts   

on January 3, 2021   No ratings yet.

The Ledge Route up Ben Nevis

Further Details

Route Summary:

Grade 1 scramble on Ben Nevis’ North Face – a classic route!

Start and Finish: North Face Car Park (also possible from Glen Nevis)

Distance: 7.9 km

Ascent: 1295 m

Time: 5-6 hours

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




Grade 1 Scramble – with the usual warning not to stray onto more technical routes. You’ll need excellent route finding skills.

Public Transport:

None – you’ll need to get a taxi from Fort William


North Face Car Park

Post Code for Sat Nav: PH33 6SW for the turning at Torlundy!

Ben Nevis Guidebooks: 

Ben Nevis Maps: 

The Ledge Route up Ben Nevis Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

The Ledge Route up Ben Nevis

The Ledge Route is the North Face of Ben Nevis for non-climbers. This route via Carn Dearg (1221) is still a challenging route that has some sections of Grade 1 scrambles, surrounded by proper rock climbs. The route can even hold snow well into the summer, so you may need winter kit such as crampons and ice axe (and the skills to use them) even in spring and autumn – in the hope that patches will be avoidable in summer. You should be able to tell how much snow is on this route before you start (in clear weather).

As is usual with this sort of route, one of the main dangers is straying onto difficult ground that’s the terrain of rock climbers.

CIC Hut near the Ledge Route up Ben Nevis

The Ledge Route starts from the North Face car park and follows the excellent track up into Coire Leis and along the Allt a’ Mhuilinn river up to the CIC Hut. It’s here that the Ledge Route starts in earnest. The route is steep, but reasonably short at only 1km in length and around 460 metres of ascent to the summit of Carn Dearg (1221). From here, you’ll get grandstand views of the North Face and a reasonably exclusive route to the summit of Ben Nevis that hugs the clifftops, before joining the masses. The easiest route would probably be via the Mountain Track to Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe, and then crossing over Coire Leis and a river crossing to rejoin the North Face Track back to the start.

Those looking for even more scrambling could return via the CMD Arete – now that would be a full on mountain day!

The Full Guide to scrambling The Ledge Route will be added soon!


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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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Recommended Ben Nevis Maps: 

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