Munro Bagging in a wheelchair!
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Walking Aid, Wheelchair, Powerchair
I've always wanted to climb Ben Nevis, so in a wheelchair, this was the next best thing. Various activities on site, but we went to go up Aonach Mór in Britain's only Mountain Gondola.Fantastic experience,very accessible, would highly recommend a visit.
Transport & Parking
We drove there , the range is off the beaten track a few miles out of Fort Wiiliam. Plenty of dedicated accessible parking near the entrance, a lot of the parking is on gravel surface , but there are spaces with tarmac/ paving at side. parking is charged at £3 per day
Access to the ticket and information area is on the flat, as is access to the gondola and restaurant. Slight slope from car park to main areas, not too far to walk, but no seating for a rest. We were advised before visiting that the Gondola was accessible to normal width wheelchairs,( up to 60cm wide) but my narrow power chair would not go on. The staff bring a small ramp to access the Gondola, as I'm able to stand and transfer, they suggested bringing their own wheelchair for me to transfer onto the Gondola, which worked well via the ramp. I sat in the Gondola in my chair, but seating is quite low for those with hip or knee problems. The operators allow plenty of time for those with disabilities, and radio ahead to the top to advise of any assistance required. Accessible cafe and viewing points at the top, but unfortunately, it was misty and visibility was poor when we got there.
Although I did not visit them on this occasion, there is a dedicated accessible toilet at the starting point of the Gondola, and another one at the top
All staff were friendly and helpful, but the Gondola operator in particular went out of his way to ensure I was able to experience going up the mountain, looked for solutions to my access problems, and took an interest in my experience when I came back down. He also stored my own power chair and my walking frame somewhere safe until I returned off the mountain.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
Would highly recommend this experience, the views are amazing, if a little scary at times ! Dress warmly , it was scorching sunshine at the bottom when we went, and by the time we got to the top I could barely feel my feet for the cold! Be prepared that even if it is beautiful sunshine at the bottom, it may be cloudy and cold 2000 ft up, but there's always a hot chocolate in the cafe at the top! Blue badge holders get a 25% discount, and essential companions go free, so be sure to advise them when purchasing tickets, we paid £14 for 2 of us together, when it would normally have been nearly £40. Despite it being busy, all staff went out of their way to be helpful and give me a positive experience.