Tower Ridge :: Shared Description

Besides being a wonderful mountaineering route, Tower Ridge has two great distinctions: it was the first rock climb on Ben Nevis, and it was first ‘climbed’ in its entirety as a descent. Two of the 5 Hopkinson brothers from Manchester, John and Edward, with John’s son Bertram, climbed as far as the Great Tower on 3rd September 1892, before retreating. Two days later, joined by Charles Hopkinson, they walked to the summit and found a route down to the Tower and continued the descent to the Allt a’ Mhuillin.

The first ascent was made in winter conditions by Norman Collie, Godfrey Solly and Joseph Collier on 30th March 1894, following on from the SMC Easter Meet at Inveroran. Collie wrote an unusual and imaginatively styled account of this expedition under the title ‘Divine Mysteries of the Oromaniacal Quest’ (SMC Journal vol. 3, 151-157, 1895). The article appeared under the pseudonym ‘Orlamon Linecus’ and is a gentle spoof on alchemical and magical writings. On reaching the summit the climbers were admitted into a ‘Temple’ which was the weather Observatory.

Tower Ridge is not technically a hard climb in summer conditions, but is a much more serious proposition in winter.

See ‘Ben Nevis – Britain’s Highest Mountain’ by Ken Crocket, SMC Trust 1986 and the chapter by W H Murray in ‘Classic Rock’, Ken Wilson, Granada 1978.
by Jim Barton
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5 images use this description:

NN1671 : Lower part of Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis by Jim Barton
NN1671 : In Tower Gap, Ben Nevis by Jim Barton
NN1671 : On Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis by Jim Barton
NN1671 : Tower Ridge from Ben Nevis summit by Jim Barton
NN1672 : CIC Hut and Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis by Jim Barton


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Created: Thu, 16 Dec 2010, Updated: Thu, 16 Dec 2010

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2010 Jim Barton, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.