Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. It is located on the western edge of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber region of Scotland, near Fort William. It is affectionately known as ‘The Ben’.
Ben Nevis attracts an estimated 125,000 tourists a year and another 100,000 climbers. Most of these hikers use the well-built Pony Track from Glen Nevis on the south side of the mountain. The main attraction for climbers is the 600 m (2,000 ft) high peaks to the north. Among the highest peaks in the UK, they have the best wrestling and climbing of all levels of difficulty, making this one of the UK’s premier destinations for ice climbing.
Located at 1,344,5277 m (4,41111 ft) above sea level, or 1345 m (1345 m on New Order Survey Maps), unusually high for a mountain in Scotland, the convention features the ruins of an observatory building that has been permanently employed since 1883.
The name ‘Ben Nevis’ comes from the Gaelic word ‘Beinn Nibheis’. ‘Beinn’ is a common galley word for ‘mountain’. The word ‘Nibheis’ is understood to have several meanings and is generally translated as ‘malicious’ or ‘venomous’. Hence the name ‘Venomous (or malicious) mountain’. Another meaning of the name Ben Nevis is that it is derived from the Beinn-Neamh-Bhathais, which Neamh means sky (or cloud), and Bhathais, which means the top of a man’s head. So this translates to ‘clouded mountain’ in the fullest sense of the word, but perhaps more poetically given as ‘mountain of heaven’.