Project LP.A1 (2014 - 2017)

Ben Nevis Path

In the autumn of 2015 Nevis Landscape Partnership undertook a project to upgrade the lower half of the Ben Nevis Mountain Path. The budget required for a project of this scale is £880,000.

The project has now been completed with 3.5KM of path now having been repaired. Much of this was completed by contractors but over the last 4 years there was also 3,323 hours of volunteering which also contributed significantly to this project. Our aim was to build a robust path that, with necessary maintenance of drain clearing and the odd repair, should last for years. When walking up Ben Nevis today it is very difficult to remember just how dangerous most stretches of path were. This was not due to a poor initial build but simply a lack of frequent care and maintenance and if this issue is not addressed, exactly the same thing will happen to the path again.

The serious upgrades have been carried out by contractors using stone from Bon Awe & Banavie Quarries. In an ideal world, stone from the mountain would be used however available stone is now around the 3500-4000ft level and days when you can fly a helicopter at that height on Ben Nevis in November are few and far between.

Almost one-thousand tonnes of stone has been flown up the mountain to be used in the building and protection of the path. Work mainly took place over the winter and, for path-building, the warmer winters have been kind with no prolonged spells of hard frost or snow at the levels we were working at. Winter conditions however were still challenging and far from ideal. But working during winter means we can avoid the 120,000 people who take the main path up the Ben during the summer months.

The lower sections have been very successfully repaired by our Trainee Volunteer Rangers, Friends of Nevis volunteers and National Trust for Scotland Thistle Camps. The work carried out by volunteers amounts 475 days of full time work.

Nevis Landscape Partnership have achieved fantastic results due to a major financial boost allowing us to tackle the repairs all over the mountain and hire professionals. These works have been a result of six years of hard work from The Nevis Partnership, our partners and the contractors and volunteers who have made them happen. The upgrades will only last if the Ben Nevis Mountain Path is maintained, this is our biggest challenge if we do not want the path to once again fall into disrepair and all the hard work of so many people to go to waste.

To avoid the exact same situation time and time again something has to be done and contributions have to be made regularly in order to preserve such a popular and nationally important path.

If you have enjoyed your trip up Ben Nevis, why not 'Tap to Donate' with our new contactless donations device in the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre, or put some change into the Friends of Nevis Cairns at Achintee. If everyone who visited the Glen, never mind climbed the Ben, did the same...

Well, you do the sums.


The Ben Nevis Mountain Path Project was generously funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Natural Heritage, Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Work has been carried out by McGowans Ltd. Environmental Engineering, Cairngorm Wilderness Contracts, Highland Conservation, Turnstone, Upland Access, PDG Helicopters, Skyhook Helicopters, Friends of Nevis, National Trust for Scotland and Nevis Landscape Partnership's Trainee Rangers.

Select another project

Project Diaries