We are considering hiking up Ben Nevis next year with a group of friends, but some of them don't want to because of a fear of heights.

Are there paths up that don't come close to steep drops? The actual summit seems to be flat and wide and probably no problem.

I'm looking for pictures of the worst parts, I guess. On the page http://ben-nevis.com/walks/mountain_track/mountain_track.php I saw this image, and if it doesn't get worse than this then I might be able to persuade my friends:

Image from ben-nevis.com

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    If your friends are worried about heights, it sounds like they are inexperienced on the hills. Most hill-walking can be done with your hands in your pockets. On "The Ben", you ascend though about 1200m but the horizontal distance is about 12km. So the gradient averages about 10%, which is not very steep. The mountain is a rounded hump and there is really nowhere where you can fall off into the void. Far more concerning is the climate; the area is prone to rapid changes of weather bringing high winds, rain and snow - even in "summer". To worry about height is to worry about the wrong thing. – Oscar Bravo Jun 22 '16 at 7:06
  • @OwenBoyle: fear of heights isn't a rational thing. These people have hiked between huts in the Alps quite a few times, but it's gotten worse over time. – RemcoGerlich Jun 22 '16 at 7:22
  • @OwenBoyle - It's really not true that "there is really nowhere where you can fall off into the void." To the north and east of the summit plateau are 600m high crags, and Tower Ridge is a challenging and very exposed (grade 3S) scramble through up that side. Likewise, the Càrn Mòr Dearg arête to the east is a narrow and exposed ridge. Someone doing the normal tourist route up and down need not approach the crags and certainly won't be on the CMD arête or Tower Ridge, but it's misleading to say there are nowhere to fall off. – Richard Smith Jul 7 '16 at 15:48
  • @RichardSmith Indeed. Like most mountains, you can teeter over some mighty crags if you want to. But as Gandalf told the Dwarves, if you stick to the path you should be OK. – Oscar Bravo Jul 8 '16 at 8:57
  • @OwenBoyle - Yes, if you stick to the path it's fine, but on the summit plateau the path is extremely indistinct and it's very hard to stay on it if you're in the cloud and there are few other people about. Most years someone dies falling off the northern crags having got lost on the summit. – Richard Smith Sep 23 '16 at 23:59

Here's a fly through of the mountain track (sometimes known as the tourist route) on youtube. If you watch the brief video or any of the other real life videos of the hike, it should reassure your friends that there is nothing to fear.


If you stick to the Mountain track which starts from near the visitor centre you should be fine. There aren't any steep drops(didn't see one when I last climbed in August 2011) per se but there are drops nonetheless. But most of the drops are before the halfway mark. After the halfway mark it is more or less like a zig zag way winding up the mountain.

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