Fri 12 Mar - Sun 14 Mar 2021

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

ESSENTIAL INFO

All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Why book with Charity Challenge

Level of difficulty

Food and drink

How is the group managed

How do we follow the route

Clothing and equipment

How to tell if your walking boots are suitable for winter walking

Training

Safety

Insurance

Toilets

Group size

Getting to and from the challenge

Leadership

Weather

What happens if bad weather means we are unable to complete the planned itinerary?

Terrain

Responsible Tourism

Challenge timings

Accommodation

Emergencies

Why book with Charity Challenge

  • The very best winter leaders to instruct you in all the skills you will need.
  • Crampon and ice axe hire included in the cost
  • Two nights’ accommodation in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.
  • The very highest quality Winter Ben Nevis Challenge on the market!

Why book with Charity Challenge

  • The very best winter leaders to instruct you in all the skills you will need.
  • Crampon and ice axe hire included in the cost
  • Two nights’ accommodation in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.
  • The very highest quality Winter Ben Nevis Challenge on the market!

Level of difficulty

The Winter Ben Nevis Challenge is graded as extreme. This is the perfect challenge for participants who are of an adventurous spirit and an open mind, who have taken part in other trekking challenges and now wish to test themselves in a more extreme environment. We would recommend that all participants are comfortable summer hill walkers who wish to test themselves in more challenging conditions. You can tell your supporters that on your Winter Ben Nevis Challenge you will be:
•    Summiting the highest mountain in the UK, under winter conditions.
•    Learning key winter skills for reaching the summit.
•    Trekking for between 8-10 hours on summit day

Level of difficulty

The Winter Ben Nevis Challenge is graded as extreme. This is the perfect challenge for participants who are of an adventurous spirit and an open mind, who have taken part in other trekking challenges and now wish to test themselves in a more extreme environment. We would recommend that all participants are comfortable summer hill walkers who wish to test themselves in more challenging conditions. You can tell your supporters that on your Winter Ben Nevis Challenge you will be:
•    Summiting the highest mountain in the UK, under winter conditions.
•    Learning key winter skills for reaching the summit.
•    Trekking for between 8-10 hours on summit day

Food and drink

The following meals are included in the cost of this challenge:
•    Breakfast at the hostel on days 2 and 3.
•    A packed lunch will be available to you each day.
•    Dinner at the hostel will be provided on the second day of the itinerary. 

We would advise that everyone also bring some of their own snacks to keep them going during the day.

Food and drink

The following meals are included in the cost of this challenge:
•    Breakfast at the hostel on days 2 and 3.
•    A packed lunch will be available to you each day.
•    Dinner at the hostel will be provided on the second day of the itinerary. 

We would advise that everyone also bring some of their own snacks to keep them going during the day.

How is the group managed

All Charity Challenge events are led by fully qualified winter walking leaders and operated as a team challenge. We encourage all participants to work together to complete the challenge. We believe that your experience is always enhanced by taking time to talk to your fellow challenger’s and learn about their inspiring stories. Our challenges are not designed as a race.
It is extremely important on winter challenges that the group moves together at all times. Unlike summer conditions the difficult nature of the winter conditions means that it is necessary to keep everyone close together as soon as we reach the snow line. It is important that everyone agrees to this way of managing the group.

How is the group managed

All Charity Challenge events are led by fully qualified winter walking leaders and operated as a team challenge. We encourage all participants to work together to complete the challenge. We believe that your experience is always enhanced by taking time to talk to your fellow challenger’s and learn about their inspiring stories. Our challenges are not designed as a race.
It is extremely important on winter challenges that the group moves together at all times. Unlike summer conditions the difficult nature of the winter conditions means that it is necessary to keep everyone close together as soon as we reach the snow line. It is important that everyone agrees to this way of managing the group.

How do we follow the route

You will be accompanied by our fully qualified winter mountain leaders at all times. These leaders will navigate the route so you can conserve all of your energy for completing the challenge.

How do we follow the route

You will be accompanied by our fully qualified winter mountain leaders at all times. These leaders will navigate the route so you can conserve all of your energy for completing the challenge.

Clothing and equipment

Equipment of good quality and durability could make the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. Because this challenge takes place in winter it is extremely important that you pay close attention to the kit list and that you bring with you everything marked as essential. A full kit check will be performed by your challenge leaders, and anyone without key pieces of kit may not be able to take part in the challenge.
Winter kit hire.
Included in your challenge costs will be the hire of crampons and an ice axe. In order for us to provide you with the correctly sized equipment please ensure that you complete your height and show size when registering for the challenge.

Boot hire.

You should pay particular attention to the correct boots for this challenge. Boots for winter need to be waterproof and also stiff enough to be able to enable you to use a crampon. Many summer walking boots are not suitable for using crampons.

Please read our advice about what boots are suitable carefully.
If you need to hire boots for this challenge then please place this hire via the ‘kit hire’ form that will be sent to you one month prior to the challenge. Boots cost £40 to hire for the weekend and can be paid for upon arrival at the challenge.

A full kit list for this challenge can be found on the website.

Once you book you will have access to kit discounts with our partners Outdoor Hire and Cotswold Outdoor.

Clothing and equipment

Equipment of good quality and durability could make the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. Because this challenge takes place in winter it is extremely important that you pay close attention to the kit list and that you bring with you everything marked as essential. A full kit check will be performed by your challenge leaders, and anyone without key pieces of kit may not be able to take part in the challenge.
Winter kit hire.
Included in your challenge costs will be the hire of crampons and an ice axe. In order for us to provide you with the correctly sized equipment please ensure that you complete your height and show size when registering for the challenge.

Boot hire.

You should pay particular attention to the correct boots for this challenge. Boots for winter need to be waterproof and also stiff enough to be able to enable you to use a crampon. Many summer walking boots are not suitable for using crampons.

Please read our advice about what boots are suitable carefully.
If you need to hire boots for this challenge then please place this hire via the ‘kit hire’ form that will be sent to you one month prior to the challenge. Boots cost £40 to hire for the weekend and can be paid for upon arrival at the challenge.

A full kit list for this challenge can be found on the website.

Once you book you will have access to kit discounts with our partners Outdoor Hire and Cotswold Outdoor.

How to tell if your walking boots are suitable for winter walking

If this is the first time that you have done any winter walking then the most important thing to consider will be whether your boots are suitable for walking on the hills in winter conditions. This can be a very confusing issue, and you will come across lots of things like B1, B2 or B3 and C1 crampon compatible! Please don’t worry about this.

In simple terms, you will require a B2 boot. We will be providing everyone with C1 crampons so you will be required to have a boot that is compatible with a C1 crampon. 

When using crampons it is extremely important that your boots have very little flex, and that the boot is very rigid. This is the opposite of what most people desire in a good, lightweight summer boot where you want your boots to have some flex to increase their comfort.

The following points should help you to decide if your current boots are suitable: 
1.    Check the stiffness of the sole - hold the heel and toe of one of your boots, then try and push the heel to the toe. If the sole of your shoe can flex when doing this test then your boots are not suitable for winter walking. If you can flex your boots a small amount (approximately 1-2cm of flex) then your boots are probably 3-4 season boots (B1). If there is practically no movement, then your boots will be 4-season (B2 or B3).
2.    Check how rugged the boot looks. A winter boot has a much more rugged and stiff appearance to a normal summer walking boot. For an example of a classic ‘rugged’ winter boot please click here.
3.    If you know the brand and model of your current boot then check online to see what it's designed for. Most retailers websites will state if the boot is designed for winter use and is either B1, B2 or B3.

If you have any questions about your boots suitability then please email a photo of your current boots to challenges@charitychallenge.com for advice.

If you do not already own a pair of winter boots, then we would recommend that you consider hiring a pair. Details of 'boot hire' will be available with your Final Details, one month prior to the challenge.

How to tell if your walking boots are suitable for winter walking

If this is the first time that you have done any winter walking then the most important thing to consider will be whether your boots are suitable for walking on the hills in winter conditions. This can be a very confusing issue, and you will come across lots of things like B1, B2 or B3 and C1 crampon compatible! Please don’t worry about this.

In simple terms, you will require a B2 boot. We will be providing everyone with C1 crampons so you will be required to have a boot that is compatible with a C1 crampon. 

When using crampons it is extremely important that your boots have very little flex, and that the boot is very rigid. This is the opposite of what most people desire in a good, lightweight summer boot where you want your boots to have some flex to increase their comfort.

The following points should help you to decide if your current boots are suitable: 
1.    Check the stiffness of the sole - hold the heel and toe of one of your boots, then try and push the heel to the toe. If the sole of your shoe can flex when doing this test then your boots are not suitable for winter walking. If you can flex your boots a small amount (approximately 1-2cm of flex) then your boots are probably 3-4 season boots (B1). If there is practically no movement, then your boots will be 4-season (B2 or B3).
2.    Check how rugged the boot looks. A winter boot has a much more rugged and stiff appearance to a normal summer walking boot. For an example of a classic ‘rugged’ winter boot please click here.
3.    If you know the brand and model of your current boot then check online to see what it's designed for. Most retailers websites will state if the boot is designed for winter use and is either B1, B2 or B3.

If you have any questions about your boots suitability then please email a photo of your current boots to challenges@charitychallenge.com for advice.

If you do not already own a pair of winter boots, then we would recommend that you consider hiring a pair. Details of 'boot hire' will be available with your Final Details, one month prior to the challenge.

Training

The Winter Ben Nevis Challenge is a long, sustained weekend event of up to 10 hours per day and covering varied terrain. Therefore, it requires a good level of fitness. Winter walking in particular is a more demanding undertaking as walking through snow is much harder than walking along footpaths in the summer. The ideal training for this challenge is, naturally, walking along similar terrain. However, if you do not have the luxury of living near the great outdoors, then the gym or walking in your local area are good places to start. Most training should be part of an ongoing lifestyle, but if this is not the case then you should begin training 4-6 months prior to the challenge and gradually build up. Remember to use the clothes, equipment and especially the shoes that you will be wearing on the challenge in order to get them worn in.
The more you exercise before the challenge, the more you will get out of it. Also see your Charity Challenge Fitness Training notes.

Training

The Winter Ben Nevis Challenge is a long, sustained weekend event of up to 10 hours per day and covering varied terrain. Therefore, it requires a good level of fitness. Winter walking in particular is a more demanding undertaking as walking through snow is much harder than walking along footpaths in the summer. The ideal training for this challenge is, naturally, walking along similar terrain. However, if you do not have the luxury of living near the great outdoors, then the gym or walking in your local area are good places to start. Most training should be part of an ongoing lifestyle, but if this is not the case then you should begin training 4-6 months prior to the challenge and gradually build up. Remember to use the clothes, equipment and especially the shoes that you will be wearing on the challenge in order to get them worn in.
The more you exercise before the challenge, the more you will get out of it. Also see your Charity Challenge Fitness Training notes.

Safety

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of our participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up Challenge Safe, one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. Challenge Safe formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the challenge activity itself. Your welfare is absolutely paramount!
Here are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:
•    Winter hill walking is a fantastic experience but has increased risks compared to summer walking. It is important that you listen to the challenge leaders at all time.
•    Winter conditions can be extreme, please make sure you have all equipment listed as essential on your kit list.
•    The summit plateaux on Ben Nevis can be a challenging navigational area, particularly in winter. Stay close to your leaders at all stages of the challenge.

Safety

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of our participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up Challenge Safe, one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. Challenge Safe formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the challenge activity itself. Your welfare is absolutely paramount!
Here are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:
•    Winter hill walking is a fantastic experience but has increased risks compared to summer walking. It is important that you listen to the challenge leaders at all time.
•    Winter conditions can be extreme, please make sure you have all equipment listed as essential on your kit list.
•    The summit plateaux on Ben Nevis can be a challenging navigational area, particularly in winter. Stay close to your leaders at all stages of the challenge.

Insurance

We don’t offer insurance for our UK trips, as any medical emergencies would naturally be covered through the NHS. Therefore, the main thing that you will not be covered for is cancellation. You can see our cancellation policy within our terms and conditions here. If you wish, you could look into your own policy that covers cancellation for travel within the UK.

Insurance

We don’t offer insurance for our UK trips, as any medical emergencies would naturally be covered through the NHS. Therefore, the main thing that you will not be covered for is cancellation. You can see our cancellation policy within our terms and conditions here. If you wish, you could look into your own policy that covers cancellation for travel within the UK.

Toilets

There will be no toilets when out on the hill. All toilet opportunities will be in the great outdoors!

Toilets

There will be no toilets when out on the hill. All toilet opportunities will be in the great outdoors!

Group size

You will be joining a group of between 10 and 20 likeminded challenge participants.

Group size

You will be joining a group of between 10 and 20 likeminded challenge participants.

Getting to and from the challenge

The accommodation for this challenge is likely to be in the SYHA Glen Nevis (this will be confirmed one month prior to the challenge). This hostel is located 5 minutes from Fort William and can be reached by public bus or taxi.
Parking at the hostel is limited.
Fort William is well served by trains from Glasgow.
Inverness is the closest airport. It is 1.5 hours from Inverness to Fort William.

Please note: We will send you precise instructions about how to get to the accommodation, and the timings of the event, one month prior to the challenge. We reserve the right to use alternative accommodation when necessary.

Getting to and from the challenge

The accommodation for this challenge is likely to be in the SYHA Glen Nevis (this will be confirmed one month prior to the challenge). This hostel is located 5 minutes from Fort William and can be reached by public bus or taxi.
Parking at the hostel is limited.
Fort William is well served by trains from Glasgow.
Inverness is the closest airport. It is 1.5 hours from Inverness to Fort William.

Please note: We will send you precise instructions about how to get to the accommodation, and the timings of the event, one month prior to the challenge. We reserve the right to use alternative accommodation when necessary.

Leadership

All of our challenge leaders holding winter walking and first aid qualifications. They are extremely experienced, and many of them have worked overseas with Charity Challenge. All of our leaders are there to ensure that everyone has the best opportunity to complete the challenge. They are there primarily for your safety so please respect any decisions they make during the course of your challenge.

Leadership

All of our challenge leaders holding winter walking and first aid qualifications. They are extremely experienced, and many of them have worked overseas with Charity Challenge. All of our leaders are there to ensure that everyone has the best opportunity to complete the challenge. They are there primarily for your safety so please respect any decisions they make during the course of your challenge.

Weather

This is a winter challenge, so please come expecting snow and associated winter conditions. The temperature on the summit is very likely to be below freezing and you should ensure you have suitable clothing.
In winter conditions it is also important that you have spare items such as gloves and hats. 

Weather

This is a winter challenge, so please come expecting snow and associated winter conditions. The temperature on the summit is very likely to be below freezing and you should ensure you have suitable clothing.
In winter conditions it is also important that you have spare items such as gloves and hats. 

What happens if bad weather means we are unable to complete the planned itinerary?

The nature of winter conditions means that it may not be able to complete the itinerary as planned. Our leaders will pay close attention to the weather conditions in the weeks leading up to the challenge. They will also be paying very close attention to the avalanche forecast.
We will always do everything we can to operate the stated itinerary it may, on occasions, be necessary to amend the itinerary. If this is required, then an alternative route may be planned.
On this challenge it may be necessary for us to cancel the planned ascent of the summit of Ben Nevis and offer an alternative lower level walk.
As this is a winter challenge, Charity Challenge can make no guarantee over winter conditions and cannot guarantee that you will be able to summit Ben Nevis.

What happens if bad weather means we are unable to complete the planned itinerary?

The nature of winter conditions means that it may not be able to complete the itinerary as planned. Our leaders will pay close attention to the weather conditions in the weeks leading up to the challenge. They will also be paying very close attention to the avalanche forecast.
We will always do everything we can to operate the stated itinerary it may, on occasions, be necessary to amend the itinerary. If this is required, then an alternative route may be planned.
On this challenge it may be necessary for us to cancel the planned ascent of the summit of Ben Nevis and offer an alternative lower level walk.
As this is a winter challenge, Charity Challenge can make no guarantee over winter conditions and cannot guarantee that you will be able to summit Ben Nevis.

Terrain

The terrain on the Winter Ben Nevis challenge is on good quality footpaths. However, in winter conditions footpaths can often be unrecognisable and so you should be prepared for a remote walking experience. Footpaths can often be icy at lower levels.

Terrain

The terrain on the Winter Ben Nevis challenge is on good quality footpaths. However, in winter conditions footpaths can often be unrecognisable and so you should be prepared for a remote walking experience. Footpaths can often be icy at lower levels.

Responsible Tourism

Charity Challenge believes that all of its challenges, whether in the UK or overseas, should have a positive impact on the communities we visit. 
In the UK we would encourage all participants to consider booking an additional night’s accommodation in the area they are visiting so that they can fully enjoy their challenge experience. Many of our challenges are set in beautiful areas of the UK so why not turn your challenge into a weekend away and go out for a celebration meal in a local pub or restaurant.
For more details about our responsible tourism policy then please click here.

Responsible Tourism

Charity Challenge believes that all of its challenges, whether in the UK or overseas, should have a positive impact on the communities we visit. 
In the UK we would encourage all participants to consider booking an additional night’s accommodation in the area they are visiting so that they can fully enjoy their challenge experience. Many of our challenges are set in beautiful areas of the UK so why not turn your challenge into a weekend away and go out for a celebration meal in a local pub or restaurant.
For more details about our responsible tourism policy then please click here.

Challenge timings

You will need to be at the accommodation by 8pm on the day of arrival.
On each of the challenge days you can expect an early breakfast. On the ‘skills day you can expect to be out on the hill by 9-10am and return to the hostel by 4-5pm.
On the ‘summit day’ we will aim to begin the trek at 7am. We anticipated being finished by 3-4pm.

Please note: Whilst we shall do all we can to stick to this finish time, please make sure you book flexible return tickets as delays can happen and we cannot guarantee a precise finishing time or be held responsible for any missed transport.

Challenge timings

You will need to be at the accommodation by 8pm on the day of arrival.
On each of the challenge days you can expect an early breakfast. On the ‘skills day you can expect to be out on the hill by 9-10am and return to the hostel by 4-5pm.
On the ‘summit day’ we will aim to begin the trek at 7am. We anticipated being finished by 3-4pm.

Please note: Whilst we shall do all we can to stick to this finish time, please make sure you book flexible return tickets as delays can happen and we cannot guarantee a precise finishing time or be held responsible for any missed transport.

Accommodation

2 nights hostel style accommodation is included in the challenge cost. Accommodation is in same-sex dormitory style accommodation with shared bathroom facilities.
We will confirm the accommodation one month prior to the challenge. Our normal accommodation provider is the SYHA Glen Nevis.

Accommodation

2 nights hostel style accommodation is included in the challenge cost. Accommodation is in same-sex dormitory style accommodation with shared bathroom facilities.
We will confirm the accommodation one month prior to the challenge. Our normal accommodation provider is the SYHA Glen Nevis.

Emergencies

Your leading team are trained to deal with emergency situations in remote areas and will be carrying a mobile phone and radios in case the emergency services need to be contacted. The event is not run as a race and you will never be encouraged to walk at a pace ‘beyond your ability’. There will always be a wide variety in people’s walking abilities which will be carefully managed by the leader team. This team will always keep the group together for maximum safety on each peak and set a sensible pace for all to achieve this challenge within the planned time frame.

Emergencies

Your leading team are trained to deal with emergency situations in remote areas and will be carrying a mobile phone and radios in case the emergency services need to be contacted. The event is not run as a race and you will never be encouraged to walk at a pace ‘beyond your ability’. There will always be a wide variety in people’s walking abilities which will be carefully managed by the leader team. This team will always keep the group together for maximum safety on each peak and set a sensible pace for all to achieve this challenge within the planned time frame.

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ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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