The Great Outdoors (UK)



START: Glen Nevis Visitor Centre GR: NN122730

FINISH: Spean Bridge GR: NN220816

Distance: 35 kilometres / 22 miles

Ascent: 3034 metres / 9954 feet

The Lochaber Traverse is a formidable and challengin­g hillwalkin­g route involving Grade 1 scrambling, exposed ridges, steep and precarious slopes, and stretches of pathless, boggy terrain. I walked it west to east, but it is often completed in the opposite direction. I walked it in two days involving roughly 8 or 9 hours of walking, but it is sometimes completed by very fit walkers and runners in a very long, super-challengin­g day.

In summer conditions, there are a few navigation­al and routefindi­ng ‘sticking points’ to watch out for. The ridge descending directly east from Stob Coire Bhealaich is a loose and dangerous scramble – the general advice is to avoid it. I used the gully just to the north of Sgurr a’ Bhuic (GR: NN205703) instead.

The western slope of the Aonach Mor ridge, above the bealach between it and Carn Mor Dearg, is steep and precarious in places, but there are no other viable options.

In winter conditions, the Lochaber Traverse pushes up into the realms of graded mountainee­ring, requiring skills, equipment and experience to match.

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