The Nevis Range Mountain Gondola does not go up Ben Nevis as many people imagine. It goes up the 2nd mountain north east of the Ben which is Aonach Mor, Aonach beag being the mountain in between.
The gondola takes you half way to the summit of the mountain which is part of the Nevis Mountain range and is an excellent trip for anyone wanting to have an unusual day out.
The ride has many names and you could easily be excused, if you get more than a little confused. You might even think that there are many different gondolas in the area.
You may hear or read about it being referred to as the Ben Nevis cable car, Ben Nevis gondola, Nevis Range cable car, Nevis Range gondola, Aonach Mor cable car and Aonach Mor gondola.
The official name is of course the Nevis Range Mountain Gondola which I have titled this post. In saying that, probably the most common name I have heard it being referred to is the Fort William Gondola.
Being the only mountain Gondola in the UK certainly makes for a unique trip. After about 14 minutes the gondola drops the travellers off at the top station and The Snowgoose Restaurant & Bar which is 650m up the mountain.
Video Featuring Things To Do When Going Up The Fort William Gondola
The video below will give you some good idea what to activites are available when going Aonach Mor using the gondola.
The Fort William Gondola – What To Do Up There
It’s from here in the winter time that hordes of skiers and snowboarders will carry on to the top of the mountain by chairlifts and t-bars to enjoy the many runs available to them.
I say winter but really the season can start before winter when weather conditions are right. In fact the last trip we took up the gondola for some walking and sightseeing there was still plenty of skiing going on right down to the gondola top station.
That was at the end of March and there would be a good few weeks skiing left after that. If you wanted to ski later in the season perhaps the Cairngorm Mountain Resort might be the better choice. Being inland and on the plateaux the snow can last longer.
Walking, Climbing and Sightseeing in The Nevis Range
In the other months of the year the Nevis Range mountain gondola carries many visitors who want to go walking on the neighbouring hills.
It speeds the time of getting up there which allows both walkers and climbers to strike out on some of the more challenging routes.
Others will take the ride simply to enjoy the gondola experience and take in the magnificent views in the clear mountain air.
The start of the Great Glen, parts of the towns below, the road to Mallaig and the Isles, Loch Linnhe and Loch Eil, as well as the surrounding mountains contribute to the fantastic panorama.
Nevis Range Mountain Gondola Mountain Biking
The gondola makes it so easy for mountain bikers to get up high and begin their descent through forest tracks.
In fact the Fort William MTB (abbreviation for mountain bike) takes place each year on the slopes of Aonach Mor.
Large crowds gather around the course and at the finish line to watch the greatest downhill riders taking part. The event takes place on the 2nd and 3rd of June 2018 this year for anyone wishing to take part or to spectate.
Hang Gliding and Paragliding on Aonach Mor
For those who prefer to sail through the clouds down to the valley floor they can do so by hang gliding or paragliding.
After booking the freight deck, which will carry their equipment to the top station, they will find two excellent launch areas, Sgurr Finnisg-aig and Meall Beag.
Taking off from here will have them soaring among the highest mountains in the UK and able to witness some of the finest views around.
Nevis Range Tree Adventure
Another activity available in the area that will suit all members of the family is Tree Adventure. Here they have created obstacle courses going through the trees to suit every level.
The courses take the names of local wildlife, Squirrel, Barn Owl, Red Fox and Wild Cat. Squirrel being the starter and Wild Cat for the more adventurous.
A point to bear in mind before setting out to enjoy your tree adventure. The organisers insist that: “Each participant must sign a participation statement before taking part in the activity” and a parent or guardian must also sign for those aged 11 and under. Read their terms.
Snowgoose Restaurant and Bar at the Aonach Mor Gondola
Whatever activity you choose, there is always the Snowgoose restaurant and bar at the top station to have lunch and a beverage to keep you going.
Enjoy sitting in the terrace to enjoy lunch and take in the scenery at your leisure. And all this on the doorstep of Fort William just a short distance away.
As you can see planning a trip up Aonach Mor on the Nevis Range Mountain Gondola provides a mountain of activities to choose from, pun intended!
Apart from this trip there are so many other activities to do as well as see in the area. See my other posts and video about Things To Do In Fort William Area.
The town itself is a great base to set off each day on your next adventure. Such as the short trip along the road to visit Neptune’s Staircase.
This is a set of locks that takes boats up to a level where they can navigate up the Caledonian Canal. Or jump on the stream train to Mallaig a big favourite with Harry Potter fans.