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Issue 60 - Winter Wonderland

Scotland Magazine Issue 60
December 2011


This article is 6 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Winter Wonderland

Ben Nevis climbs to 4409 feet and is, by around 115 feet, the highest point in Britain (Ben MacDui in the Cairngorms is the second). It is surrounded by some of Scotland’s finest mountains, including Carn Mor Dearg and Sgurr a Mhaim, and therefore, during the winter months the mountains of Glen Nevis, above Fort William, become a winter playground for hillwalkers, mountaineers and skiers alike. If you climb to the summit of Ben Nevis you will see the ruins of the observatory, which was permanently staffed between 1883 and 1904, and the meteorological data collected during this period was important in trying to understand the vagaries of the Scottish mountain weather.

For such a prominent and renowned peak it may surprise many that the derivation of Ben Nevis is still shrouded in mystery. It may translate from the Gaelic Neimheas meaning evil or venomous one but its true meaning may never be known.

But to appreciate the real size and scale of Ben Nevis (apart from a walk to her summit which can take several hours, even by the ‘tourist’ track) it is best to view her massive form from the banks of Loch Linnhe at Corpach, a few miles from Fort William from where the surrounding houses and buildings are dwarfed by the colossal bulk of this magnificent mountain.