Author Topic: Ben Nevis - is it ok in late april?  (Read 347 times)

Mihai

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Ben Nevis - is it ok in late april?
« on: 23:18:49, 10/01/19 »
Hi Friends,


Me and some mates are planning on taking a tour of Scotland in late april - start of may. Since Scotland has a lot of great mountaneering oportunities we're also interested in doing some summits. We're pretty experienced mountain hikers but we're planning on traveling light so we won't be having any winter climbing equipment with us like icepicks or crampons.
I'd like to know if late april is a good period for mountain hiking in Scotland. I'm especially interested in the +1000m peaks like Ben Nevis and such. Is there still a lot snow / ice on the trails during that period? Is it advised to climb using just all-season climbing boots in late april?

Thanks in advance for your reply and wish you a great weekend up ahead!

Kind Regards,
Mihai
Soon-to-be visitor from Romania

richardh1905

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Re: Ben Nevis - is it ok in late april?
« Reply #1 on: 08:37:21, 11/01/19 »
Firstly, welcome to the forum Mihai.

In late April you could still encounter snow up high in the Scottish Highlands; in fact I would say that it is quite likely. The summit plateau of Ben Nevis is a trap for the unwary in bad conditions, as a big overhanging cornice can form over the lip of a gully near the summit, around which the path skirts - potentially very dangerous in the mist.

I have had some epic walks in full winter conditions in April, and on one occasion my wife and I encountered a substantial fall of fresh snow on the summit slopes of An Teallach (Northern Highlands) on the 7th of June!

My advice is to bring an ice axe at least.
« Last Edit: 08:41:30, 11/01/19 by richardh1905 »

Owen

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Re: Ben Nevis - is it ok in late april?
« Reply #2 on: 21:47:05, 12/01/19 »
The normal route up Ben Nevis is quite easy and can be done all year round, it's just a very long walk. Having said that you can also encounter snow anytime from October to May. Even in mid-summer you can still get snow showers but it doesn't normally settle then. In April is's quite common to still be ski touring on nearby Aonach Mor. Really you have to let weather conditions guide you, bring ice axe and crampons and if you don't need them it's a bonus. If you don't bring them and need them you'll be stuck.