First time up Ben Nevis - so decided to take the opportunity to experience the Arête. The walkhighland notes were brilliant. However, the boggy section up the side of carn dearg meadhonach was torturous for my old bones! Reaching the top of Mor Dearg was excellent looking over into the Annoch Mor valley.
The highlight of the trip then was very visible. The track leading down to the start - I took the route to the right - was a wee bit hairy but no problem. Once on the ridge the rocks were dry - they had been wet and slightly slippery on the way up - so walking over the top of the ridge was a joy - and I think probably easier than the path below. The views were fabulous. At the end it is a fairly steep hike to the top - I found it easier to stick to the rocks rather than the scree path! Once at the top of Ben Nevis, I couldn’t believe how busy it was - folk queuing up to get their photos taken at the top cairn!!! I made it in 6 hours - not bad for an old man! On the walk down I couldn’t believe 1) how busy it was and 2) how virtually no one looked up at you, never mind saying “hi”’!
Whereas the few people on the Arète were very friendly. I used my - Rev James Currie’s philosophy- ‘if someone doesn’t have a smile - give them one of yours’!
The path down was extremely busy - on a Thursday in September? The route from the end of the loch to the start wasn’t marked but it was easy to follow the - rough NNE - to ford the burn and set down to the car park. 9 hours and a fabulous day!
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