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Weekend: Sea to Summit

Ben Nevis

  • Where?

    United Kingdom

  • Altitude

    1,344

  • Duration

    2 days

  • Weather

  • Physical

    P2

  • Technical

    T1

  • P2 - Prolonged walking over varied terrain. There may be uphills and downhills, so a good solid fitness is required. Expect to be able to do a 6 to 8 hour walk over undulating terrain with a few punchy uphill climbs carrying a pack up to 6kg in weight.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • T1 - No technical skills are needed.  A good steady walking ability only is required.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • Overview

  • Date & Prices

  • Pics & Vids

  • Itinerary

  • Kit List

  • FAQ's

Overview

Join us in this classic Sea 2 Summit Ben Nevis Challenge covering 100km on bike through the Great Glen in the Scottish Highlands, before summiting Ben Nevis, 1,344m, the UK’s  highest mountain. All you need is: a free weekend, a sense of adventure and good fitness. We organise everything else.

At Inverness Castle, you’ll meet your leader, support team and the rest of your group. The route starts by following the River Ness, through the Great Glen along the Southern Shores Loch Ness on quiet country roads with stunning views. There’s a well-earned lunch stop at Fort Augustus before we follow cycle paths and road towards Ben Nevis looming in the distance. At Fort William we spend the night in hostel accommodation. After a full Scottish breakfast, it’s time to tackle ‘Big Ben’.  Our 4-hour trek begins at Glen Nevis and ascends 1370m to the summit.  On summiting you will have the chance to enjoy the breathtaking views across the Scottish Highlands. A fitting end to the challenge. Transfers to Inverness await your descent.

This is a physically demanding weekend with long days testing your entire muscle range. But you’re in the heart of the highlands, at the top of the UK, and completing the challenge brings a fantastic sense of achievement.

Find out more
Weekend: Sea to Summit, Ben Nevis Weekend: Sea to Summit, Ben Nevis

Date & Prices

We currently have no scheduled dates for this expedition, however if you give the office a call on 0207 1834 360 it would be easy for us to get this up and running.

Included

  • Organisation of event
  • Price is based on group of 10
  • 2 days guided cycling and trekking
  • First aid trained staff & mountain rescue team members with radio backup
  • Support vehicle & driver
  • 1 night’s (Saturday night) hostel type accommodation including breakfast. We can offer upgrades on request, subject to availability at an additional cost
  • 2x lunches
  • Training program

Not Included

  • Travel to and from Scotland
  • Bike hire
  • Accommodation in Inverness
  • Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition

Pics & Vids

Itinerary

DAY 1 : Saturday

This morning we will meet early at Inverness Castle for an introduction to our challenge leader, support team and the rest of our group. We will have an introductory briefing which will include important safety advice as well as an opportunity to split us into different groups, each of which will have its own, highly qualified cycling guide.

Once all our bikes are set and ready to go, we will begin our ride, following the River Ness we ride through the Great Glen following the Southern Shores Loch Ness on quiet country roads with stunning views.

We arrive in Fort Augustus for lunch enjoying the back drop of the Scottish Highlands.

Our afternoon continues on a mixture of cycle paths and road through the Great Glen, with Ben Nevis looming in the distance.

Arriving in Fort William where we spend the night in hostel accommodation.
(Cycling distance 100km)

DAY 2 : Sunday

After a hearty Scottish breakfast, we leave our comfortable surrounding for Ben Nevis.

Ben Nevis, is the highest mountain in the UK, standing at 1,344m. With spectacular views across the Scottish Highlands as you trek to the summit, it is a stunning way to end the challenge. The trek begins on the main path from Glen Nevis. The walk to the summit takes approximately 4hrs and involves 1,370m of ascent. On summiting you will have the chance to enjoy the breath taking views of the Scottish Highlands.

The walk back down should take approximately 2.5hrs.

On completion of your challenge we will provide a transfer to Inverness.

These are subject to minor changes depending on weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the challenge and what you will experience.

Kit List

Bags & Packs

Rucksack

15 – 25L rucksack with a good waist belt. To carry your own spare clothing, water, camera, and all your personal kit including, snacks and water and a whistle for safety provisions

Kit bag

Preferably a soft duffle bag for clean clothes

Dry stuffsacks

A waterproof dry bag or equivalent to keep your phone, camera etc

Headwear

Warm headgear

This can be a warm hat, beanie, balaclava, anything to reduce the heat loss from your head

Upper Body

Fleece Jacket or Wind stopper

A full zip version is easier to put on and has better ventilation than a pull over style

Waterproof jacket

Breathable waterproof jacket that has a good hood

Gloves

A pair of thin liner gloves you can keep on the whole time if you need to

Base layer

Preferably Merino wool or synthetic wicking layer with a long sleeved top and long-johns

Lower Body

Waterproof trousers

Waterproof trousers can be of lighter weight than the top

Trekking trousers

These tend to be polyester so they dry quickly after a shower and weigh little in your pack. Consider perhaps a pair with detachable lower legs as an alternative to shorts

Feet

Socks

Change of socks

Walking boots

Well broken in boots/walking shoes, suggest boots in preference over shoes/fell trainers as with tiredness comes weak ankles. Also walking in dark doesn’t afford good foot placement. (If you’re flying wear these on the plane. Lost luggage is ok as we can lend, buy, or hire everything else but worn in boots we cannot help you with)

Technical Equipment

Bike (available to borrow from 360)

Bring your own bike if you are intent on not hiring one of ours

Helmet

Don’t forget your cycling helmet

Hydration

Water bottles / bladder

2 litres of water in bladder or bottles

Toiletries

Wet wipes biking

Useful for degreasing your hands after putting your chain back on or after lunch

Alcohol gel

Alcohol gel must be used diligently at all times to help avoid any sickness being shared within the group

Nappy sacks or dog poo bags

For waste and rubbish. We pride ourselves in leaving no trace while travelling, so please ensure you carry all your rubbish with you including toilet tissues and dispose of it appropriately where rubbish bins are provided

Medications

Personal first aid kit

Please bring paracetamol, brufen, some plasters/Compeed etc for your feet to help prevent blisters, antiseptic cream/ointment/wipes, rehydration salts (ie. dioralyte) and anti-histamines

Personal medication

Keep this in your daysack

Misceallaneous

Camera

Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards

Snacks

Bring snacks/energy food for your entire challenge. You will have the opportunity to buy food and snacks at Fort William before starting Ben Nevis

Head torch

Bring spare batteries

Trekking poles

These tend to be a personal preference but help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill

Ear plugs

For protection against the inevitable snorers!

Documentation

Travel insurance

Copy of own travel insurance details.  And relevant contact numbers.

We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. However, it is vital that you ensure that the insurance cover they offer is suitable for you, taking your personal circumstances (items to be insured, cancellation cover, medical history) into account. Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip.  To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

FAQ's

Food and Water

What food and drinks are included?

At lunch time you will stop and have a light yet energy filled picnic. Dinner and breakfast will be either at the hostel. Water and snacks will be provided throughout. Please let us know prior to departure if you have any specific dietary requirements or allergies.

Accommodation

What is the accommodation like?

On arrival in Fort William we will be staying in Hostel Accommodation. We can offer up grades on request.

Health and Safety

What happens if I fall ill, can’t keep up or there is an emergency?

The mountain leaders are well trained and experienced in managing situations on the hill should they need to get outside assistance for example ‘mountain rescue’ they all carry mobile phones and also radios for communication with the minibus drivers.

The mountain leader will always keep the group together for maximum safety on each peak and set a sensible pace for all to achieve this challenge. However if you are struggling you must be honest with yourself and the leader. Remember the top of the mountain is only halfway!

Any tips to remember while trekking?

Here are a few tips to remember while trekking:

  • Hydration is important. Drink plenty of water
  • Eat plenty to keep energy
  • Trekking poles are a great way to support the knees and provide stability
  • Honesty, if you are feeling unwell at any point please let someone know, we want to make sure everyone remains fit and healthy whilst trekking

Kit

What advice do you have on bikes?

We recommend you bring either a mountain bike or hybrid with a rear working light, cycle helmets must we warn at all times. Bikes can be rented for £35.00. It is challenging ride with a couple of challenging climbs. It is your responsibility to negotiate safely around the route and to comply with all road traffic regulations. Approximate distance 65 Miles.

What type of footwear should I be wearing?

The choice of walking footwear is incredibly important and should not be decided on price alone. The terrain is uneven and can be very rough so it is vital that you use a pair of strong canvas or leather boots with good ankle support, not trekking trainers, for your challenge.

Not only the boots but the socks that you wear are also very important and it is worth investing in some good pairs of socks that do not blister. Wearing your boots and socks during your training period on and off the hills will inform you of whether they are suitable for the challenge. Trainers are ideal for cycling.

What about other equipment/clothing?

You will need to bring your own helmet so that the fit will be perfect. You will not be allowed to ride unless you wear a helmet. We recommend you bring your own gloves too. They are an essential piece of kit that will relieve strain and abrasions in the event of a fall. You must also bring your own padded cycle shorts and stiff soled sports shoes are recommended if you are not wearing SPDs. Please refer to the kit list for more details.

The Challenge

What information can you give on the trekking section?

The trekking section of the challenge will take place on Ben Nevis it’s a steady climb to the summit taking around 4hrs, then a long 3hr descent into Glen Nevis. The trek will be led by qualified mountain leaders.

How big is the group?

Our minimum size group is 8 and a maximum of 30 with 12 participants per challenge leader.

How fit do I need to be?

The amount of training you will need to do will depend on your starting level of fitness and if you currently ride a bike or walk in the mountains regularly. A good level of mountain walking fitness is definitely required as is cycling.

Who will be leading the group?

We employ experienced and fully qualified mountain and cycle leaders to accompany and lead you. They are First Aid trained and have extensive experience in leading in the mountains. They will be ultimately responsible for your safety during the challenge. They will be carrying full safety  equipment and mountain first aid kits with them.

How many breaks will be taken during the trek and for how long?

The timing of breaks is quite liberal and there will be scheduled breaks for 5 minutes, the exact times and places of your breaks will very much depend on the weather and the well-being of your group. When ascending and descending in order to maintain a healthy and steady pace.

The Weather

What is the weather likely to be like?

The mountain weather in the U.K. can be very changeable, it can be glorious sunshine down at the base but be wet and windy on the summit. It is not uncommon for it to change from clear blues skies to rain and fog in moments. It is important to follow the advice we give and carry the correct kit (please see kit list).

Insurance

Do I need special insurance for this challenge?

You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the expedition. We cannot take you on the mountain without proof of insurance.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip. To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date. 360 Expeditions will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before your departure.

Training

Any tips on training?

The ideal training for the Sea 2 Summit Challenge is getting out there and actually training on your bike or in the hills walking. However, if you do not have the luxury of living in the hills or time to go out, then the stairs at home (or an office block of flats with lots of stairs) are a great place to start training. Remember to use the walking boots that you will be walking in after the first month of training to get them worn in.

If you have never cycled before, this ride is still achievable with the correct ride preparation. Start at least 3 months ahead of the ride with some short distances at weekends and whenever you can during the week. 5-10miles is not a great distance and will help your bottom and legs get used to it all. By 3 months prior to departure, you should be able to take on some long rides, up to 30-40miles in a day, and if you live in a flat area it is well worth getting out and finding some hills. If you cannot maintain a steady average speed of 9 miles per hour you are unlikely to be able to complete the cycling.

General

What do you do to protect the environment?

We limit the impact we have on the surrounding environment by remaining on the paths at all times so as not to cause further erosion on the mountain. We will ensure that all rubbish is disposed of responsibly and take all rubbish away with us.

Well what an adventure I’ve just had!  Amazing. Fantastic. Inspirational all in one. Even these words don’t represent my superb experience.

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