The Nevis Range mountain gondola is the only one of it’s kind in Britain. It is built on the north face of Aonach Mor which is the 8th highest mountain in Britain (1221 meters/4006 feet) located just outside of Fort William, Scotland. It carries visitors to the ski slopes and the mountain bike trails (there was a big mountain bike world cup event happening a couple of days after our visit) but many take the ride up just to see the amazing views and to do some hiking.
Visitors sometimes get confused by the name Nevis Range thinking that they will be riding up Ben Nevis which is the highest mountain in Britain standing at 1,345 meters/4,411 feet above sea level. That is not the case but you can see part of Ben Nevis from Nevis Range. I had lofty plans before arriving in Scotland to bag a munroe (climb a mountain specifically Ben Nevis) but it takes about three hours more or less to hike up it so I opted for Nevis Range instead and a close to one hour hike there after the assist of the gondola ride.
Not hiking up Ben Nevis didn’t mean I did not get a chance to see it. From my vantage point on Nevis Range I got to see and photograph part of it’s south face with those alluring snow capped peaks. The building on the left is the Snowgoose restaurant where the gondola deposits you and Ben Nevis is the darker mountain behind. Eating on that terrace with such scenery around you really enhances the flavor of your crisps!
Once we stepped off the gondola and into restaurant which sits at 650m/2132 feet, we walked around a bit taking it all in before deciding to take the hike up to the Sgurr Finnisg-aig viewpoint that sits at 1067m/3500 feet where looking south you can look out over Fort William, Lochs Linnhe and Eill and all the way out to Eigg isle which is just south of Skye.
The trail is roped off for guidance as well as safety but many take it upon themselves to do a bit of off the path wandering as well – me included.
The vistas seen while hiking were so beautiful. On this day with it’s perfect sunny blue sky we saw mountain after mountain, the aforementioned towns and lochs, fields, forrests and actual melting mountain snow streams which were crystal clear and very cold.
Getting closer to the viewpoint and taking a bit of a detour.
We made it!
It wouldn’t be exaggeration to say that looking around from this view point was breath taking for it was both literally and figuratively. I hadn’t done this much hiking in a long time and I was a wee winded but it was so worth it!
Almost touching heaven wouldn’t be embellishing much either.