Ben Nevis

highest mountain of Great Britain

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Ireland at 1,345 m (4,412 ft 9 in) high.[1] It is in Scotland, near Fort William. The mountain forms part of the Three Peaks Challenge and attracts an estimated 100,000 climbers per year,[2]

Ben Nevis mountain

The name comes from the Scottish Gaelic, Beinn Nibheis, which may mean poisonous or terrible.[1]

The Summit

The summit war memorial, 2006

The summit of Ben Nevis is a large stony plateau of about 40 hectares (100 acres).[3] The highest point is marked with a large stone mound which sits an Ordnance Survey trig point.

The ruined walls of an observatory are also on the summit. An emergency shelter has been built on top of the observatory tower for people caught out by bad weather. The roof of the shelter is higher than the trig point by several feet, making it the highest man-made structure in the UK. A war memorial to the dead of World War II is next to the observatory.

On 17 May 2006, a piano that had been buried under one of the cairns on the peak was uncovered by the John Muir Trust, which owns much of the mountain.[4][5] The piano is believed to have been carried up for charity by removal men from Dundee over 20 years earlier.[6]

The view from the UK's highest point can reach to over 190 kilometres (120 mi), and mountains such as the Torridon Hills, Morven in Caithness, Lochnagar, Ben Lomond, Barra Head and Knocklayd in County Antrim, Northern Ireland can be seen.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Visit Fort William - About Ben Nevis Accessed 7/11/11
  2. John Muir Trust. "Ben Nevis owned by the John Muir Trust". Retrieved 2006-11-05.
  3. "Ben Nevis". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2006-11-25. (Subscription required for full access.)
  4. "Piano found on Britain's highest mountain". The Guardian. London. 2006-05-17. Retrieved 2006-06-22.
  5. "New twist in Nevis music mystery". BBC News. 2006-05-18. Retrieved 2006-06-22.
  6. "Trust names Ben Nevis 'piano men'". BBC News. 2006-05-19. Retrieved 2006-08-15.
  7. Viewfinder Panoramas: North, South Archived 2009-09-29 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 25 November 2006.