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ben nevis via cmd

ben nevis via cmd

Postby maryhillmoose » Sun May 08, 2011 5:53 pm

Route description: Ben Nevis by the Carn Mor Dearg Arete

Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis, Carn Mor Dearg

Date walked: 01/05/2011

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 1400m

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First trip report so thought I'd better make it a good 'un! Hopefully the fotos will work out, Ive been having a few problems uploading them, fingers crossed as I hope they tell the story of our great day! We are regular walkers, pretty fit and are off to Switzerland walking this summer so, needing some practice, we decided to take advantage of a bank holiday weekend and glorious weather to tackle ben nevis - yes! On a bank hol weekend! :lol: We had provisionally agreed to try the CMD route although I was a bit nervous about the effort required having run a marathon a week earlier! As it turned out the hordes of ants snaking their way up the mountain track convinced me we had to get off it as quickly as possible, it was like being on an escalator in a shopping mall. To be expected and I don't grudge people their chance of summiting, it was a beautiful day, clear conditions and a bank holiday weekend after all!
gorgeous day

hordes of walkers on mountain path

5 mins later, solitude

We made our way along the path to the CIC hut, under the huge cliffs of first Carn Dearg then the North face itself. The wind was picking up a bit but we ambled along, savouring the peace and quiet, only a few other walkers way ahead of us, their tiny outlines framed by Coire Leis with the Carn Mor Dearg ridge above. Our challenge for the day. But first we had to make a sharp left, cross the burn and get ourselves onto the top of Carn Mor Dearg itself. On reflection we should have done this at a much earlier point as Im convinced the quad burning slog that ensued would have been more tolerable and less littered with curse words...
Gary, about a third of the way up CMD

about an hour later, no kidding

Ive no idea how long it took to reach the top but it was the most tiring hill Ive climbed so far, like going up a ladder with no proper rungs...I spent most of it engaging hands to clutch boulders, heather or anything at all to help take the pressure off my wee legs! Oh, but what a view...

spectacular North face and summit

There were around 8 other people on the summit of Carn Mor Dearg, including two young guys who were looking for a route back down, having looked at the ridge and deciding it wasn't for them. The wind was gusting quite severely at times, when it caught you it did knock you sideways a little. But from the summit we felt like we could see every mountain top in scotland...

We started off along the ridge...
Gary with the ridge stretching behind

No question, I WAS scared for the first 5 minutes...but then my confidence increased when I realised I was moving quite easily over the boulders and scree...I was ENJOYING it! It was fun! It took about an hour to make our way along the ridge, we took breaks when a few particularly strong gusts of winds passed through, a good excuse if any was needed to marvel at our good fortune with the weather and its gift of those wonderful views..

nearly there

The shock for us was reaching the point where the ridge comes up against the NE side of Ben Nevis and we were back into another steep ascent, this time of a boulder and scree slope that at times involved scrambling up on hands and knees...

looking back the way we had come..

After another half hour or so the summit plateau seemed to just appear out of nowhere...snow covered and teeming with people but who cares...we did it!
nice hair


We stayed for around 30 minutes, just long enough to eat, drink and soak up the stunning vista all around. It was very windy and cold, by now it was around 4.30pm. We started off back down the mountain track and I have to say how glad I am that we didnt come up that way...its a tough path but unrewarding, coming down at least gives some nice views. Overall most people we passed looked prepared but we did pass quite a few in jeans, t shirts and even a couple of guys with their food in a plastic bag tucked into their shorts! We made it back at 6.30pm, and many were still heading up at that time. We didnt linger, a two hour drive back to Glasgow was ahead but I have to say it was the happiest bit of driving Ive done in a long time! The day even threw up a final treat as we enjoyed dusk over the arrochar alps...

This was the most challenging walk Ive done so far and Im not sure Id have attempted it in anything other that crystal clear weather, although I think the challenge for me was more mental than physical...now my confidence has sky rocketed! I want more!
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Re: ben nevis via cmd

Postby pigeon » Sun May 08, 2011 6:15 pm

Well done looks like a great day was had,we also went as far as the cic hut and i agree its tough up to carn mor dearg from there but without a doubt the best way to do ben nevis,most of the folk on ben nevis summit would be oblivious to the great route over the arete,some great pictures as well :clap:
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Re: ben nevis via cmd

Postby gagfax » Sun May 08, 2011 6:18 pm

Brilliant! I did this from the north face car park and would recommend it over the tourist route anyday as you only see it for half the way down. Never had your great views as it was clouded in. Toughest part i thought was the boulder field up to the summit. Weird not seeing a soul all day then meeting around 200 on the summit :lol:

Re: ben nevis via cmd

Postby HighlandSC » Sun May 08, 2011 6:24 pm

Nice account of doing the arete :) Looking forward to this route myself....but not the leg burner coming up CMD.
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Re: ben nevis via cmd

Postby Tenbob » Sun May 08, 2011 6:44 pm

Hope to get the good weather you did when I eventually tackle the Ben. And, I agree, this is the only way to take him on. I remember a while ago I looked at this route in other threads and thinking I couldn't do it but with more experience comes confidence and I can't wait now! Though, as HighlandSC said, not looking forward to the leg burner!
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Re: ben nevis via cmd

Postby morag1 » Sun May 08, 2011 7:02 pm

Fantastic - well done to you both

Have a great holiday in Switzerland :D

Re: ben nevis via cmd

Postby mgmt! » Sun May 08, 2011 7:50 pm

big up the maryhill massive !! picked a classic to start your trip reports with, exellent report and pictures, i,ll even let you away with the shades and thats only cause your fae maryhill, im no cool enough for shades 8)
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Re: ben nevis via cmd

Postby maryhillmoose » Sun May 08, 2011 8:28 pm

Cheeky wee mgmt! 8) Have been using the site for quite a while but never thought I'd done anything worth meriting a report, until now that is. Most of my walking is done in Kintail/Glenelg/Lochalsh area as we head there every year for a holiday.

This walk/climb was a test to see how fit I was in prep for walking the Alpine Pass route this summer, all I can say is bring it on!
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Re: ben nevis via cmd

Postby ChrisW » Sun May 08, 2011 9:02 pm

Great report and beautiful pics - congratulations on achieving that leg buster :D
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Re: ben nevis via cmd

Postby stixrooster » Mon May 09, 2011 4:46 pm

Great account, I too am hoping for such good weather on the 22nd. Not sure I like your quad burning comments though as we'll have come over the Grey Corries and the Aonachs the day before!
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Re: ben nevis via cmd

Postby chegp » Mon May 09, 2011 9:31 pm

I did this route the day before you in almost identical conditions - amazingly clear skies, but gusty. It really is an amazing walk and I know what you mean by suddenly getting peace and quiet after coming off the main path. We set out at 8.00, so it was bearable. Our shock came when we reached The Ben, where do they come from? And yeah, some people are just not prepared, at all. As everybody else has been saying, the arête route is definitely the way to tackle Nevis, although I didn't appreciate that there was a north face car park, I would recommend people go from there and I will be too if there is a next time. An added benefit is that it may be a little easier on the legs, but others who have done this will be able to comment - that slope from the CIC hut is a son-of-a...!
Real nice report. I was planning Ben Nevis via CMD for my second post, but I may just put up pics and refer to yours. Enjoy the Alps!
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Re: ben nevis via cmd

Postby rockhopper » Mon May 09, 2011 10:28 pm

cracking report and some nice clear photos of the arete - well done :D

that's you started now - looking forward to seeing your next reports 8)
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Re: ben nevis via cmd

Postby stixrooster » Tue May 10, 2011 9:18 am

Bit different up there to ths time last year!

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