Carn Mor Dearg (CMD) arête
Start point – North Face Car park, Torlundy PH33 6SW
Distance overall – 18km
Height gain – 1700m
Difficulty – Hard mountain walk, with some scrambling
This route is a long undertaking, but those who are fit and up for a challenge it is one of the great ways to climb Ben Nevis. The path works its way up through the forest before ascending the sometimes boggy flanks of Carn Mor Dearg. From the summit at 1223m there are impressive views over to the rock climbs on the North Face of Ben Nevis. The route then descends slightly to the dramatic ridge linking to Ben Nevis. This is the Carn Mor Dearg Arete. Sticking to the crest of the ridge involves some easy scrambling in an exhilarating position. The knife-edge ridge brings you across to the flanks of Ben Nevis, where boulder and scree slopes lead you up to the summit. The descent follows the Mountain Track down to the half-way lochan, and then branches off for a short pathless section to reach the Allt a’Mhuillin. Crossing this will bring you onto the good forest tracks returning to the car park.
An alternative start is at the Glen Nevis visitors centre, traversing over from the half-way lochan. Although longer at the beginning, this allows a more straightforward descent down the Mountain Track.