Extensive, exploratory geological and botanical surveying will once again be taking place on Ben Nevis next week; hill walkers, climbers and runners are being urged to avoid certain areas on the North Face from Monday 8th to Friday 12th of August. Ben Nevis North Face is a very big place and we have a relatively small team but we have been successful in visiting many places over the last two years. This year, the last of the current survey, we aim to reach the remaining areas.
This is the third and final year of Nevis Landscape Partnership’s ambitious project to create a comprehensive geological and botanical map of our highest mountain. Working with geology experts from Midland Valley and using innovative digital mapping has made surveying previously thought inaccessible areas a reality. The use of mountain guides to set up rigging and big abseils into dark, previously unexplored nooks and crannies has also benefited the British Society of Botany and lead to multiple new population discoveries in years one and two.
The main areas the team will be focusing on this year will be Observatory Gully, Orion Face and Little Brenva Face; due to the risk of rockfall the team has asked the general public to avoid these areas. The team will be using fixed rope anchors along the edge of the summit plateau and for the safety of those working below they ask that all ropes and anchor points are avoided. The whole North Face is likely to be scattered with scientists, mountain guides and Nevis Trainee Rangers who will be assisting throughout the week. Normal access to and from Ben Nevis’ summit via the mountain track will not be affected nor will access to The CIC Hut via Torlundy. If you want to climb Obervatory Ridge or NE Buttress please do so but it would worth speaking with us first at the CIC Hut beforehand so we know what your plans are. Thank you.
Year one was captured in Dave MacLeod’s fantastic film “The Hidden Side” which Nevis Landscape Partnership financed as part of a separate project to share this wonderfully diverse, interesting project with the general public. You can take a look over on their Vimeo channel, reports on the first two phases of the project can be found on Nevis Landscape Partnership’s website along with numerous articles regarding years one & two.
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.