Dad precariously scales narrow ridge of Ben Nevis

NAIL-BITING photos show a dad precariously scaling the narrow ridge of the highest mountain in Britain – with no ropes.

Ben McKenna set off up Ben Nevis on Tuesday after meeting a father-son duo on a climb in Glen Coe the day before, who had inspired him to take on the challenge.

The 30-year-old is still healing from an ankle injury sustained in February but set off free-climbing the mountain, bringing nothing but a rucksack, a helmet, a drone and his daughter’s teddy bear.

The daredevil dad from Burnley, Lancashire powered up the mountain despite his injury and lack of safety belt and harness, reaching the summit plateau of Nevis in just under three hours.

Incredible footage shows Ben, dressed in hiking clothes and an orange helmet, standing in a gap of the mountain as he controls a drone flying away from him.

The camera zooms out to show the sheer scale of the mountain in comparison to Ben as he is left dwarfed by the colossal crags and ridges.

The clip then cuts to Ben standing at an edge amidst fog as the air gets colder and wetter, before a separate cut shows him reaching the summit of the mountain after a lengthy journey.

Separate nervy images show Ben standing on the narrow rocky Tower Ridge with no ropes attached to him, just inches away from a gap leading to a sheer drop below.

In many of the photos, Ben can be seen with his daughter’s teddy bear, who came along on the journey with him.

Pictured: Ben McKenna climbing the mountain. (C) Ben McKenna.

A final image following his conquering of the mountain shows Ben setting up a framed photo of him and his daughter, Maya, on the summit alongside her teddy bear and a Scottish flag.

Ben took to social media on Tuesday, to share his incredible journey, writing: “Ben Nevis via Tower Ridge. 15.08.23.”

The post received over 5,480 likes and more than 530 comments from users left with vertigo at just the sight of Ben’s journey.

David Dean wrote: “That’s a climb or a grade three scramble. I’m feeling wobbly just looking at this incredible picture!”

Rena Iacobelli said: “What an incredible photo. It does look a bit eerie though with all the mist. A massive well done to you.”

Elaine Mcpherson commented: “I’d love to do that route – looks amazing. Well done, your pics and drone footage are fantastic.”

Dave Black added: “Unbelievable mate. Good effort and a cracking video.”

The teddy and photograph of Ben and Maya.
Pictured: Ben’s photo and daughter Maya’s teddy bear at the summit. (C) Ben McKenna.

Speaking to Ben today, he said: “I was on Aonoch Eagach ridge when I met a guy who climbed Tower Ridge the day before with his son.

“Once I got back to my car, I decided that I was going to set off and do it the next day. I go solo a lot and enjoy the solitude it gives me.

“During the climb, I had to pause for five minutes in three or four places to work out how I’m going to get up.

“The biggest challenge I faced was Tower Gap as I didn’t have ropes to use for safety.

“I manoeuvred around the side, holding on with both hands whilst lowering my left foot to the rock above the sheer drop, so I knew I was secure.

Ben beat his own personal record
It took just under three hours for Ben to reach the Tower Ridge. (C) Ben McKenna.

“After that, I could hear voices through mist and I knew I was close.

“Once I climbed up the last section onto the top on Ben Nevis, I felt such a sense of achievement and it certainly is a day that I won’t forget.

“It made it a special feeling as it was a very challenging route but I was 100% confident when I set off that day, I’d be standing on top of Ben Nevis with my little girl’s teddy in hand.

“I read a quote: ‘Most people die at 25 but aren’t buried until 75’. It resonates with me because you should never stop loving life and going after things that excite you.”

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