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Ben Nevis access issues

Thursday 28th April 2022, 2:55pm

Update 12 May 2022 from Forestry Land Scotland:

The maintainance/ upgrading of the forest roads network is ahead of schedule to some extent and the civils works at North Face access road will be finished by the end of this week and the car park itself will be reopened, however with noticeable alteration to the  approach road. Here armoured rock on the verges will reduce inappropriate and informal parking ensuring that operational machinery, HGV’s and emergency access are able to use the through road without obstruction. This will have a noticeable effect on parking capacity in the Torlundy area and where the North Face car park “overspill” onto the forest road is greatly reduced.

The concentration will then move to MacKenzies Road (Map 3) and works will commence today 12th May 2022 with a halt during the MB World Cup (21st-23rd May) allowing for emergency access should it be required in the event of a major incident. There will be no through access for vehicles however pedestrian access will be enabled weekdays by bankspersons with delays and possible temporary closures likely at times.

[Mountaineering Scotland note: MacKenzie's Road is not the route usually used to access Ben Nevis or Carn Mor Dearg. There will be no interruption to access at weekends.]


There will be further updates as these works proceed and again FLS apologise for any inconvienence these essential forestry operations may cause to visitors at Leannachan Forest.

Climbers and walkers accessing Ben Nevis and Carn Mor Dearg from the north will face disruption over this summer and beyond, due to forestry operations in Leanachan Forest.

Forestry and Land Scotland has announced ‘significant’ forestry operations in the forest, starting in May and continuing through to March 2023.

Civil engineering works will be taking place from May to August, in preparation for the main felling and haulage operations which will run from September to January.

After that there will be further civil engineering work to repair and reinstate, lasting from January until March, when redesign work will take place at the North face car park.

Both the civil engineering and the harvesting works will affect access, in the wider Leanachan Forest area and particularly at Torlundy and the North Face car park, where there will be less ‘informal’ parking along the approach road and where capacity will be affected.

Access to the forest tracks will be controlled by bankspersons and delays can be expected. These will mostly be brief, although lengthy delays will be possible and even full or half-day closures. If these are to occur, notice will be given as far in advance as possible.

Details of major closures, delays or diversions will be available on the North Face page of the Forestry & Land website.

A spokesman for FLS said: “We apologise in advance for any inconvenience and will update with further information on exact timings and specifics as our plans formulate. However we would ask visitors to the forest over the summer to follow all safety signage and banksperson instructions should they be present within the forest setting.”

Photo: Ben Nevis from Carn Mor Dearg, by Alan Rowan

Map 1 indicates where felling, thinning works and subsequent haulage will be ongoing between September 2022 and March 2023. There will be disruption to forest access here with temporary closures and controlled timed access inevitable as operations progress.

Map 2 shows in red the roads where civil engineering preperation works (beginning May 2022) will also cause significant disruption to visitors. Again public access will be affected here with further temporary closures and controlled timed access on forest roads inevitable as civils works progress.

Map 3, showing MacKenzie's Road, as per May 12 update.