CIC Hut Ben Nevis
CIC Hut Ben Nevis
CIC HUT WINTER CLIMBING COURSES 2023
Our CIC Hut Winter Climbing Courses run from Sunday evening to Wednesday night and allow for three full days on the hill. The courses are based at the highest mountain hut in the British Isles, nearly 700m above sea level, at the foot of the North Face of the Ben. This course is ideal for any level of winter climber from grade II to V. If booking as a pair, it is important that both have matched expectations and ability. If booking individually, I will seek to match participants well to a group which can serve their aims.
The course meets on Sunday afternoon at 3pm at Morrisons car park in Fort William, for a kit check and food shopping, then we walk up to the hut from the top car park (1.5 hours). Climbing instruction/guiding takes place on three days (Mon to Weds). We aim to be back at the North Face car park by 1700 Wednesday. We take it in turns to cook the evening meals; the other meals are on a more ad hoc basis. The hut has a fully equipped kitchen. There is a fireplace, drying room, kitchen and dining area and dormitory with mattressed bunks which can accommodate around twenty people. It is served by bottled gas and wind power for lighting, heating and cooking. A sleeping bag should be brought for use in the hut. Freshwater is available via a pipe outside which is fed by a spring high up the mountain. Small electrical items (phones/cameras) can be charged, but as the electricity is generated by a wind turbine, during very settled periods, this shouldn’t be relied upon.
Previous summer climbing experience, at least seconding routes to V Diff or Severe standard. Some Scottish winter walking or climbing experience is desirable.
Hut specific kit
Sleeping bag and liner
Travel Pillow (or pillow case to stuff with clothing)
Hut wear –So you can change out of your climbing clothing in the evenings. Only one set (it all has to be carried)
Spare baselayers, underwear and socks. Don’t bring too much, clothes will dry quickly in the drying room.
Lightweight Washkit ( include wet wipes )
Large pack (at least 70l) : it is easiest to walk-in with just one large sack, but it does mean you'll need to carry a small 20 - 35l day pack with you for the climbing. You will also need to carry group climbing equipment such as ropes.
Fleeces – one fleece layer for your upper body, plus a fleece gilet/vest.
Synthetic Belay Jacket, big enough to fit over all other layers.
Softshell jacket and trousers – a stretchy helmet-compatible hood on the softshell jacket is good
Warm Hat, Buff & Waterproof Gloves – The hat must be helmet compatible. It is very important to look after your hands in winter. Gloves: one thin pair, two thick warm waterproof pairs. Try to get gloves that are a neat fit so that you retain at least some dexterity in handling equipment whilst wearing them.
Waterproof jacket and trousers – The trousers should have thigh or full length zips on the sides enabling them to be fitted over boots/crampons. The jacket hood must be large enough to fit over a helmet.
Bivvy Shelter (provided and carried by instructor)
Head Torch – plus spare batteries.
First Aid kit –A small personal pack including medication for blisters.
Compass/Map – 1:50000 or 40000, ideally trimmed down to just cover Ben Nevis and its immediate surroundings. The map should be weather-proofed.
Flask –0.5-1 litre for hot drinks on the hill.
Lunch & Spare Food
Ski Goggles, sun glasses and suncream
Trekking Poles - optional.
Socks –Go for a medium to thick pair of synthetic or wool/synthetic blend socks. You may like to wear a thin liner pair underneath the thicker pair.
Boots – stiffness rating of B2 minimum and ideally B3.
Crampons, Tech ice tools plus spring leashes, helmet and harness (all available for loan from alienmountain, or bring your own)
Belay device with krab, two HMS Carabiners, one 120cm sling and two prussic loops on 5mm cord.
Dates for 2023
26 - 29 March
Cost and Equipment:
£550 per person
Prices include instruction and hut accommodation Friday to Sunday nights. You may need accommodation in the Fort William area on Monday evening before travelling home. Food costs will be shared. Technical axes and good crampons are available for free loan. Insurance not included.
A £150 deposit will secure a place on the trip, with balance due twelve weeks before departure.