Into the Wild – Wilderness Therapy for troubled teens

Into the wild

Into the wild

The wilderness has long been known to hold power for personal transformation, growth and positive change.

The Scottish Highlands are wild, isolated and rugged – the perfect place to transform the lives of young people struggling with emotions and life-circumstances.

Venture Mor has launched an intensive wilderness therapy programme aimed at young adults from across the UK, struggling with challenges of transition to adulthood. The issues they face could be anything from parental break-up, bereavement, trauma, anxiety and depression, disengagement from education or many other responses to difficult experiences during the tricky transition between adolescence and adulthood.

It is the UK’s leading wilderness therapy programme for young people (aged between 14-18).

leap of faith

Leap of faith

The three week programme consists of intensive and immersive psychological support and experiential learning opportunities through wild-country expeditions over some of the UK’s most remote and challenging terrain. This blend of resources, programme design and environment form a compelling base for self-reflection, strategy building and commitment to positive change.

Our programme and approach is unique within the UK, but this model of treatment has decades of success in the USA.

The process is focused on the therapeutic task. We don’t do activities for reward, but we do engage in them for a reason; the activities we undertake are essential, experiential opportunities for reflection and challenge. We might hike to camp up on mountain ridges and high peaks; we might canoe down river rapids and across expansive lochs flowing out to a coastal beach; we might slow the pace in a woodland and sleep in hammocks around a campfire to focus differently during our time outside.

The end of the day

Whatever form it takes, the trail will be led by our team of outdoor guides and facilitators who have unrivalled experience delivering developmental and therapeutic programmes in the most remote and wildest parts of Scotland.

Venture Mor’s first Wilderness Therapy programme in March and the journey for both the young people and the organisation was a success. The participants worked through themes of attachment, resilience, dealing with challenge, preparing for transitions and independence. They had space and time to tend to their painful psychological wounds, grow in self-awareness, and develop effective strategies to transfer home.

After the successful launch of the inaugural journey, another group of teens is now out in the wilderness working with professional therapists and guides. Future programmes are already attracting interest from parents and family members of young adults who have tried traditional therapeutic support (counselling, psychotherapy, CBT, CAMHS, medication options etc.) but have not been able to make the changes they were hoping for.

The next programme is scheduled for 24 March – 14 April 2018. Talk to us about what  Wilderness Therapy can do for your family.

Call on 0845 340 2059 or email info@venturemor.co.uk
For more information visit: http://venturemor.co.uk/wilderness-therapy-scotland-uk.php

Highland social enterprise heralded as Scottish success story

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Tuesday 16th February

 

Venture Mòr highlighted as a leading example with 685% growth in turnover

Now in its sixth year, the NatWest SE100 tracks the growth and performance of the UK’s social enterprises. In the latest NatWest SE100 data report, published today, social enterprises on the Index in Scotland show an average growth in turnover of 62% and a total combined turnover of £451.1 million. Scotland accounts for 12% of the total Index users, comprising of 149 social enterprises on the Index.

Venture Mòr, a social enterprise in Scotland working to get disadvantaged young adults into work through employability training delivered in the Scottish wilderness, has been recognised as a leading social enterprise in this year’s NatWest SE100 annual report.

Venture Mòr is an example of a successful social enterprise growing steadily and making a big impact. The organisation has experienced a 685% growth in turnover.

Trading since 2013, Venture Mòr organises adventure holidays, retreats, charity challenges, Duke of Edinburgh and school activity weeks across the Scottish Highlands, and operates a 4* hostel to fund the work of its parent company, Venture Trust. Venture Trust supports disadvantaged adults often suffering with homelessness, addiction, offending, and isolation, to make positive life changes. Through the Venture Trust wilderness programmes, a high percentage of these people achieve greater stability and confidence resulting in employment, education, training or volunteering.

Commenting on their recent growth, Amelia Morgan, head of development at Venture Mòr, said: “There are a number of key drivers for growth but most importantly, we recognise that we must offer a high quality service, above and beyond our social credentials. We focus on our customers and how we can ensure that their experience with us is fantastic, so much so that they can’t wait to come back. The fact that we’re a social enterprise and backed by Venture Trust is definitely a positive and genuinely appeals to people.”

She continued: “We also invested in marketing the business through social media, being present on partner websites and developing our own website.”

Commenting on the strength of the social enterprise sector in Scotland, Amelia said: “Since Venture Mòr was founded, we have noticed a significant change in the range of social enterprises trading, and crucially the increased support from the Scottish Government, business development and leadership programmes to assist social enterprises to start up, trade sustainably and grow and move the sector forward.”

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of Scotland, commented: “The Natwest SE100 helps social enterprises within the third sector to continually improve, learning from their peers and working together in a growing community of like-minded socially and environmentally responsible organisations.

“I welcome this report and the information it contains about the continuing success of Scottish social enterprises.  Social Enterprise is a growing and increasingly significant part of our economic and social landscape – playing a vital role in tackling social problems, strengthening communities and protecting the environment.”

Mark Parsons, Head of Community Finance and Social Enterprise, NatWest, said: “This report shows that social enterprises across the country are generating significant profits whilst having a powerful impact on their communities. The 80% average growth in turnover in the sector is hugely impressive, while the performance of the top 100 in the Index shows that there are some incredible high-growth social businesses out there – transforming economies and lives at the same time.  NatWest has been a proud supporter of the UK social enterprise sector over the past 20 years.  For some growing social enterprises, finance can still be a barrier to growth – but alternative financing options, such as our Social & Community Capital charity, can help them further their ambitions.”

– ENDS  –

Nothing like biking along the North Coast 500

NC500-Achmelvich-Beach

The North Coast 500 is a route like no other. It takes in some of the best road cycling the UK has to offer, with mountainous terrain, switchbacks, sheer drops, turquoise seas and white sand beaches a-plenty.

And what better way to explore the wild landscape of the north-west Highlands than as part of a challenge? You will feel a huge sense of achievement, pushing yourself to your limits and making lifelong friends, while raising funds for The Cookie Jar Foundation.

The charity provides help and support to both sick children and those in need, whether that be funding, educational or community based work. The funds raised from the cycle challenge will go to the Royal Edinburgh Sick Children’s Hospital so every mile you cycle will be doing something worthwhile.

The challenge starts in Inverness on 29 July 2016, and can be completed in one of three ways:

  • As a team of 3 splitting the 500 miles
  • As an individual cycling a leg of the challenge (over 2 days) – these spaces are first come first serve!
  • As an individual who is up for the challenge of covering the full 500 miles (6 days)

North-Coast-500-Scotland--009Our passionate and experienced guides will support you through climbs and exhilarating downhills, towards a huge achievement as you reach the finish line. We will provide accommodation, food and support vehicles, so all you need to do is turn up with your bags and get ready to cycle! 

 

  • What? A cycle relay challenge in aid of The Cookie Jar Foundation, covering more than 500 miles of the best that the North Highlands has to offer.  The route runs to and from Inverness, venturing up the West Coast and back via the rugged North Coast.  Where?  The North Highlands, starting and finishing in Inverness
  • When? 29 July – 3 August 2016
  • Contact sign up on the Cookie Jar website

12 Family Friendly Adventures For The Festive Period

1. Build a snowman and make snow angels

Make the most of the snow and build a snowman, don’t forget the carrot, raisins, hat and scarf for them!  And while you are at it, make a few snow angels as well!

2. Make pine-cone and twig Christmas decorations 

Go out for a walk and gather up all the pine-cones and twigs you can find, for a fun afternoon with the kids of making Christmas decorations!  Draw some eyes, for an owl and use some old scraps of fabric, or cotton wool to make a fun owl, or alternatively, glue some twigs onto a lollypop stick to create Christmas trees, and add on some pompoms or glitter if you want to make it a bit more colourful.

3. Animal watching

Winter time is a great time to go out and spot some animals.  Some of the animals you’re likely to see in Scotland at winter include, red deer, otters, common and grey seals, red squirrels, peregrine falcons, the golden eagle, pink-footed geese, red grouse and snow buntings.

4. Go for a walk

Check out the ninth blog of Christmas for some winter walk inspiration!

5. Outdoor bowling

Fill and freeze some water balloons (optional: add some food colouring to jazz them up), to create a fun outdoor bowling game!  Fill some plastic bottles with water for the pins, and find a relatively flat area and you are ready to go.  The frozen balls will last long enough for a few rounds of bowling.

6. Winter campfire

Who says campfires are only for the summer?!  Rug up warm and set up a campfire in the backyard (or local campsite site) and toast marshmallows over the fire, drink plenty of hot chocolate and tell campfire stories and try and identify the star constellations.

7. Cycle

Dust off the bicycles and scooters and explore the local neighbourhood.  And if you’re lucky there might still be some Christmas lights up in your neighbours gardens!

8. Treasure hunt

A treasure hunt is ideal any time of the year!  Either go searching for items belonging to nature e.g. birds feathers, pine cones, a heart shaped rock, a flower, or alternatively hide some of the old baubles around the garden and see how long it takes the children to find them all.

9. Ice-skating

Head into your local city centre and go ice-skating for the afternoon.  Make sure to bring a spare pair of socks, and wrap up warm!  It’ll take a few minutes to get stable on your feet, but once you get the hang of it, you will be twirling and jumping like Torvill and Dean!

10. Have a snowball fight

Build a fort, make a stockpile of snowballs and get ready to wage war on the other half of your family!  The older the children are, the more tactical you can make it, if they are just little ones have a competition to see how far they can throw the snowball instead.

11. Do some festive baking

Make gingerbread for a gingerbread house, reindeer pops, Christmas pudding crispie cakes or maybe some biscuits to hang on the tree.

12. Walks in the rain and jumping in puddles

Once all the snow has melted, or as the case is more likely, after its rained, wrap up in your new Christmas jumpers and put on the wellies, and enjoy jumping in puddles and seeing who can make the biggest splash!

11 Items You Should Always Have In Your Bag On a Scottish Adventure

If you find yourself reaching into your bag when you’re out on your bike or at the top of the hill and realise that a bit of kit that could have been really useful isn’t there, fear not.  Here is a checklist of some things you should never omit when you’re packing for a Great Big Adventure.  Most of the items relate to your own (and your mates’) personal safety and wellbeing, so pay attention and if it comes to it, everyone will be glad you did (if it helps, you could read this to yourself in the voice of a nagging parent? Just a thought).]

1. A map & compass

If you don’t know where you are or where you’re going, the adventure might end in:

  1. Disaster
  2. A long, cold, unplanned night
  3. Mild frustration
  4. Some learning which means you always have a map & compass in future

We always carry a spare map too – they are like large kites on occasion.  But it’s not just about carrying them.  You need to know how to use them too!  Spend some time practicing old school navigation and leave your GPS at home for complete confidence that you’ll always be able to find the pub at the end of a long day!

2. A whistle

If you get into difficulties, it’s useful to be able to attract the attention of passers-by or a rescue team.  It’ll get you found a lot quicker!

3. A group emergency shelter

At the size of a can of beans, for a 2-person shelter, there really is no excuse.  There are several brands on the market and you will be astounded at how effective these are.  Try one for lunch or a brew stop and you’ll never leave it out of your pack again.

4. A hat & gloves

When out and about, the temperature and the weather can change abruptly.  Most of our body heat is lost through the head, so having a warm hat to minimise heat loss will make a big difference if you get caught out.  Equally, if your fingers stop working because they are too cold, it can be hard to navigate and that could cause serious issues too.

5. Flapjack

Some sort of high energy, slow release snacks are vital in any adventurers backpack.  Check our third blog of Christmas for the only recipe you’ll ever need!

6. Mobile phone

For obvious reasons, it’s important to be able to contact people.  If you have signal, you can phone someone from the top of a hill to gloat, or raise the alarm if something goes awry.

7. A torch

Sometimes, through no fault of our own, a route takes longer than we expect. We spend a little longer than planned taking photos, swimming in fresh mountain pools or enjoying watching eagles soar.  It’s OK.  But make sure you take the stress out of getting back in the dark by carrying a head torch.

8. Midge net

In the summer, there are midge.  Unless it’s windy.  But it’s not windy surprisingly often which is why we recommend carrying a midge net.  Repellent is OK, but a net is better if you want a reasonable chance of functioning.

9. First aid kit

For those moments after unforeseen things have happened.  Make sure it is well stocked with items that reflect your first aid abilities.  There is much debate on what should be carried, but whatever you carry, make sure you’re comfortable with it and know how to use it.

10. Duct tape

For when your tent pole breaks or your jacket rips or your water bottle leaks, or your car bumper falls off, or your walking pole snaps, or your boot sole comes apart, or your trousers split or…you get the picture.  You don’t have to take a whole roll. Just wind some around a walking pole or a water bottle.

11. Fluid

Dehydration is something that affects us all, more than we realise.  When we are active, our body needs more fluid to function well but often we take in less because we are busy being active.  Make sure you take fluids with you and fill up when you get the chance. Drink when you feel thirsty.  Hydration bladders are excellent for this as you’re more likely to be sipping regularly.

10 Challenge Events To Try in 2016

1. North Coast 500 Cycle Challenge

  • What? A cycle relay challenge in aid of The CookieNorth-Coast-500-Scotland--009 Jar Foundation, covering more than 500 miles of the best that the North Highlands has to offer.  The route runs to and from Inverness, venturing up the West Coast and back via the rugged North Coast.  Read about the North Coast 500 in the 1st Blog of Christmas.
  • Where?  The North Highlands, starting and finishing in Inverness
  • When? 29 July – 3 August 2016

2. Indotrek

  • What? Experience the most pristine rain-forest locations in Indonesia.  Trekking through dense jungle track interspersed with trails along golden sun drenched beaches.1c5e1a193e07d9b5c1739670227a36e7bffe5b
  • Where? Ujung Kulon National Park on the island of Java, one of 50 national parks in Indonesia.
  • When? 18-30 September 2016

 

3. Mighty Deerstalker

  • What? Taking place during the night, ‘Scotland’s Original Obstacle Race’ sends competitors across rivers, through forests and over a mountain.
  • Where? Innerleithen Park in the Scottish Borders
  • When?  12 March 2016

4. London Marathon31e12fa927174085339a9212cdb23270d6957c

  • What? One of the world’s most famous and most loved marathons, the route weaves through London passing some of the city’s most recognisable landmarks.
  • Where? London
  • When? 24 April 2016

5. Loch Ness Marathon

  • What? A monster race, running alongside the shores of the world’s most famous loch.  Enjoy the jaw-dropping scenery and try and spot Nessie while you run!
  • Where? Loch Ness
  • When? 25 September 2016

6. Great Edinburgh Winter Run

  • What? A picturesque 5k run around Edinburgh’s iconic Arthur’s Seat, taking in views of the Scottish capital.
  • Where? Edinburgh
  • When? 9 January 2016

7. Forth Rail Bridge Abseil7c5dd683983aa82f3bfa6b45acbb4156c01d4f

  • What? A unique challenge that involves a breathtaking 165ft drop from the historic Forth Rail Bridge.
  • Where? South Queensferry
  • When? 18 October 2015

8. Supernova – The Kelpies

  • What? A night time event giving competitors the chance to explore the home of two 30m high horses, known as The Kelpies.
  • Where? Helix Park and The Kelpies, Falkirk
  • When? 12 November 2016

9. Skydive St Andrews157b864c386cea64efb5c5ded94500d97dfc5f

  • What? Adrenaline junkies searching for a buzz will find it if they sign up for a skydive.  Freefall from 10,000ft over St Andrews before the chute takes you gently
    to the ground.
  • Where? St Andrews
  • When? 8 May 2016

10. Caledonian Challenge

  • What? Two challenges: The 24 – 24 miles in 12 hours or The 54 – 54 miles in 24 hours.
  • Where? Both challenges cover parts of the Great Glen Way and the West Highland Way
  • When? 11-12 June 2016

The best part about all of these challenges is that you can take part and raise money for Venture Trust at the same time!  Visit the Venture Trust fundraising pages to find out how to sign up to any or all of these challenges.

9 Winter Walks To Set Your Sights On

Remember – whenever you go for a walk in the winter that is away from civilisation, you need to be appropriately prepared.  That means carrying the correct kit, checking weather and avalanche forecasts and making sure you share your route details with someone and let them know when you expect to be home.  This blog isn’t all about safety but you might some useful hints here.  Be safe and make good decisions – that’s the way to make sure you enjoy your winter walks!

1. The Pentland Hills

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The oft overlooked hills that form Edinburgh’s southern boundary have a great deal to offer.  In winter they are regularly dusted with snow and the joy of sledging or feeling the crunch under your boots is truly satisfying so close to home for the city dwellers. Carnethy hill (the highest of the peaks) and its neighbours offer what feels like a proper ridge walk end to end and the good path in the valley bed offers a nice return route.

2. Loch an Eilein

In the Cairngorms, if time or inclination does not allow the high peaks, there are plenty of options to ensure you still have a fulfilling adventure.  Hidden away through Rothiemurchus forest there are many charming spots.  The loch holds the remains of a castle on its island and reflects the majestic pines that encircle it.  Possible extensions are possible to Loch Gamha or to ascend Ord Ban.

3. Ochils

The Ochil hills begin the delineation from the lowlands of the central belt to the Southern Highlands.  Views from the spine of this range offer stunning vistas of the Forth river flood plain and the cities of Edinburgh and Stirling.  These hills create exciting and fun filled days out with deep slot canyons and gorges in the glens as well as Castle Campbell in Dollar Glen, surrounded by woodlands to explore.  From here you can reach King’s Seat and continue on to Ben Cleuch, the highest peak, where there is a real sense of being away from civilisation.

4. Ben Lomond 

Ben Lomond from the Cobbler

On the shores of Loch Lomond, rises the shapely figure of the peak of its namesake.  When properly snow-clad, this is a mountain adventure which would require the use of ice-axe and crampons, but due to its southerly location, it can sometimes be more accessible.  At 974m high, it is no pushover though, and the Ptarmigan ridge gives the feel of a real mountaineering day out, just over an hour from Glasgow.

5. Glen Nevis & Maell Cumhann

A walk in the valley that feels more like a trip to Mordor!  Starting at the road end of the famous Glen Nevis, the trail winds through trees, clinging to the side of the gorge as the River Nevis crashes below.  The glen opens up before you with the towering An Steall waterfall dead ahead.  After a long, hard cold snap, the falls have known to freeze, but it is a rare sight.  If not, a trip across the wire bridge to be sprayed may be too much adventure for some and is not mandatory.  Continuing up to the ruins of long abandoned crofters cottages could either be a point to turn and retrace the route home, or continue to the peaks of Meall Cumhann or Sgurr Bhuic (for those seeking a longer day).

6. Ben Macdui

The second highest peak in Scotland and with a supernatural guardian in ‘the grey man’, this is the hill that most disregard because the train doesn’t go to the top!  Just a few kilometers from the Cairngorm summit (where the train stops!), lies one of the most satisfying summits in the country.  An undulating journey across the arctic tundra of the Cairngorm plateau where only arctic hare, ptarmigans and snow buntings dare linger in the winter months.

7. Glen Feshie

Flanking the high peaks and cavernous glens of the Cairngorm and Braeriach plateaus lies an area totally worth exploring.  The glen holds secluded camp spots, waterfalls and pools to swim in, rickety bridges, bothies and of course, the chance to see a wealth of wildlife.  Away from the crowds you can choose how far you venture.  It is possible to link the spokes of other glens to meander through the landscape for days, or wander up and back in a few hours.  A stunning alternative to a high level route in any conditions.

8. Stob Ban 

An outlier from the dramatically entitled Ring of Steall, after the waterfall and meadow the route encircles, Stob Ban is an incredible and suitably shapely peak.  A great walk in winter when time is short, the path is often well trodden (except after fresh snow, obviously) and provides swift progress.  The bealach before the final push to the summit offer a choice to enter the rest of the Mamores and the remainder of the Steall collective. The views to the North of the Ben and to the South of Glencoe are unrivalled.  A sharp, satisfying incline rewards the hard work with an abrupt conclusion to the top.

9. Bein Bhan 

On the Applecross peninsula lies a monolith which forms one of the most architecturally impressive structures to be seen in Scotland.  Deep corries form stunning ice structures but coastal winds mean conditions here can be fickle.  Though not a Munro in height, this is very much a mountain in stature.  Do not underestimate the route in winter but if conditions are right, the rewards are great.

8 Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The Highlands & Islands

  1. Scotland has approximately 790 islands, 130 of which are inhabited.
  2. Inverness-shire, Scotland’s largest county, is home to Britain’s Highest peak, Ben Nevis (1,343 m/ 4,406 ft), Britain’s deepest lake, Loch Morar (310 m/1,017 ft) and Britain’s second longest and second deepest lake, the famous Loch Ness.ben nevis
  3. The Flow Country in the far North East of Scotland is the largest area of blanket bog in the world, extending to 1,544 sq miles.
  4. Ebenezer Place in Wick is the shortest street in the world. At just 2.06m long, it was created in 1883 when the owner of Mackay’s Hotel painted a street name on the shortest side of the building.Worlds-shortest-street-Ebenezer-Place
  5. The Neolithic settlements of Skara Brae on the island of Orkney, is the oldest building in Britain, dating from 3100 BC.
  6. The Falls of Glomach in Ross and Cromarty are twice the height of Niagara Falls.falls of glomach
  7. The first bombs dropped in World War II fell on Sullom Voe, an inlet between North Mainland and Northmavine on Shetland. There were no casualties.
  8. The Gulf of Corrycreckan, in the Inner Hebrides, has the third largest whirlpool in the world.

7 Last Minute Gift Ideas For Someone Who Loves The Outdoors

With less than a week until Christmas and still haven’t bought your family & friends any presents?  Don’t worry!  Venture Mòr have 7 great presents for the lover of the outdoors in your life.  No need to stress and panic buy items they won’t like!

1. Gloves

For anyone living in the UK, you can’t go wrong with another pair of gloves! Whilst it may not be the most exciting present, they will certainly appreciate it.  If your outdoor lover is attached to their phone, why not pick up a pair of touch screen gloves, so they won’t get cold fingers texting you!  Or if they are more of the hill walking type, a pair of insulated waterproof gloves to keep you warm on those long walks.  Or maybe if they are the type to always lose one glove, why not get them some cosy mittens on a string!

gloves 1gloves 2

2. GoPro

Want to film all your incredible adventures?  You need a GoPro! A waterproof, HD video camera to take with you everywhere you go.  Small and light-weight so it won’t take up too much space in your bag, but despite the size, the quality is great!  You will love being able to film your adventures skiing, mountain biking and even white water rafting.

3. Mini Carabiners

Great as a last minute stocking filler, you can never have too many carabiners!  Whilst traditionally the larger ones are used for climbing and caving, the mini ones are multi functional.  Use them as a keyring, to clip your thermos/camera/ gloves to your backpack or trousers so they won’t get lost when not in use.  No more digging around in backpacks looking for items at the very bottom anymore!

carabiners 1

4.  Snow Shovel

Although not the most exciting gift ever, they are highly practical.  And you can buy the ones with much shorter handles so they can be used as a sledge!  No matter how old or young you are there is nothing greater than making a good snow run, to sledge your way down, with added bumps and twists.  And also handy if you’ve spent too long having fun and need to dig the car out of the snow!

snow shovel

5. Torch

With the nights getting longer and darker, a torch is always a useful thing to have on longer walks.  Although you might think a phone will be ok, you don’t want to be wasting your battery.  Whether you get a head-torch, a rechargeable torch, or just a novelty pocket torch to get in the house, they will always be grateful for it.

torch 2

6. Beanie

Although American scientists have recently debunked the myth of losing almost half your body heat through your head, it’s still a wise idea to wear a hat, especially when climbing the Scottish Munros.  Choosing a brightly coloured beanie can be an easy way of being seen in case of an unexpected snowstorm.  Whether you go for a practical, fleece lined beanie, or a comedy one, they are always a great present!

beanie 1

beanie 2

7. A homemade gift voucher for a weekend away for 2 at Hartfield House in Applecross

Have an incredible weekend away at Hartfield House exploring Applecross and the surrounding areas.  Go for a dip in the sea, if you’re feeling brave or go for a walk and see what animals you can spot!

gift certhh

6 Routes Up Ben Nevis Most People Never Knew Existed

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Ben Nevis is the UK’s highest mountain.  It stands at an impressive 1344m above sea level.  To most people, it presents a significant challenge to make their way to the summit using the power of their bodies and minds alone.  The sense of achievement and accomplishment at the top is palpable and is well deserved.  For most they will have made their way from Glen Nevis up the Pony or ‘tourist track’ to halfway lochan before tackling the infamous zig-zags, eventually relenting onto the plateau and to summit shelter.

However, Ben Nevis has plenty of lesser known offerings, which once unlocked can offer potential for adventure unrivaled by almost anywhere else in the country!  How can one mountain have so much to offer?  Read on to find out…

1. The Carn Mor Dearg (CMD) Arête

The CMD Arête is any serious hill-walkers idea of an absolute delight.  A sharp but walkable curved mountain ridgeline depositing walkers at the lip of Corie Leis before a steep but rewarding ascent to the summit.  That feeling of walking towards the summit from a different direction to most everybody else is really worthwhile…try it sometime!

2. Ledge Route

The Northern corries of The Ben are home to some of the most intimidating terrain in the UK.  Steep, black, wet, rocky buttresses and seemingly impassable.  However, armed with a guide book and some mountain sense, keen scramblers will be rewarded by seeking out this classic that winds its way to the summit via some unique alpine.

3,4 & 5. North East Buttress, Observatory Ridge and Tower Ridge

Alpine in structure, imposing and elegant in appearance, the great ridges of The Ben are superb experiences for those looking for a new approach.  Observatory Ridge (grade – VDiff) and the imposing skyline of North East Buttress (grade – VDiff) at 400 metres long look and feel more like rock climbs than scrambles.  But Tower Ridge (grade – Diff) at 600 metres long really stands out.  Dan Bailey waxes lyrical about it in his book Scotland’s Mountain Ridges (Cicerone, 2006) ‘Tower Ridge has all the cachet and atmosphere of a truly classic climb.  With an obvious line, superlative length and magnificent situations it ranks among the grandest routes in Scotland.’  Sold?  Thought so!  These are big undertakings and can easily be underestimated by inexperienced groups.  Rock climbing equipment and knowledge of how to use it safely is highly advised.  But for the prepared they offer a day out that epitomises British mountaineering in summer or winter conditions.

6. The Long Climb

A proper rock climb requiring the skills and knowledge to tackle it safely.  If you or someone you know has all you need then this is a very unique (and very long trip) to the top!  Graded Very Severe (4c) in the British climbing system, this is a classic meandering line and forms the longest climb on any singular l rock-face in the UK. At 11 pitches (rope lengths) and 420m this is a challenge of endurance and route finding, but for those willing to take it on, they will not be disappointed!

We encourage all keen, enthusiastic individuals who are keen to explore these undertakings to do so only if they are fully prepared and trained to do so.  If you would like to take the stress away and know more about bespoke guided experiences delivered by the qualified, professional guides at Venture Mòr, then please get in touch and we’ll be happy to plan and deliver something to meet your needs.  We can of course design a training programme to provide you with the skills and confidence to undertake these routes yourself. The choice is yours!