Aonach Beag (Nevis Range)

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Aonach Beag
Inverness-shire
Aonach beag.jpg
Aonach Beag from Aonach Mòr
Range: Nevis Range
Summit: 4,049 feet NN197715
56°47’60"N, 4°57’15"W

Aonach Beag is a mountain in the Nevis Range in Inverness-shire. It is to be found about two miles east of Ben Nevis on the north side of Glen Nevis, near the town of Fort William.

Notwithstanding its modest name, which means "Little Ridge", Aonach Beag reaches a height of 4,049 feet at its summit, and so it qualifies as a Munro.

Lie of the land

Aonach Beag is one of the great mountains of Inverness-shire. Apart from Ben Nevis, the greatest of them all, Aonach Beag is the highest peak in the British Isles without the Cairngorms of eastern Scotland.

The mountain has three major summits:

  • Aonach Beag main summit, NN202709, 4,049 feet
  • Stob Choire Bhealaich, NN202709, 3,609 feet, a Munro top
  • Sgùrr a' Bhuic, NN204701, 3,159 feet, also a Munro Top

Aonach Beag is linked to its close neighbour to the south, Aonach Mòr by a high saddle or bealach The name Aonach Beag (small ridge) might suggest that this mountain is smaller than Aonach Mòr (big ridge), but Aonach Beag is higher of the two; the names refer to the relative bulk of the two mountains rather than their altitude.

Aonach Beag's north face holds one of Britain's longest lying snow-patches (NN196718), which sits at the bottom of the climb known as 'Queen's View' at an altitude of about 3,20 feet. This patch has been known to last through to the first lasting snows of the new winter. This snow patch was present continuously from late 2006 to late November 2011. [1]

Ascents

Although it is possible to mount much of the way on the gondola lift serving the Nevis Range ski area on Aonach Mòr, this is not the way for a self-respecting walkers.

The hill is usually climbed from the south from Glen Nevis. This way the walker avoids the paraphernalia associated with the ski development. Aonach Beag is almost invariably climbed in conjunction with Aonach Mòr.

References