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Ben Nevis by the Mountain Track

Ben Nevis by the Mountain Track

Postby Jockstar » Mon May 16, 2011 11:30 pm

Route description: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Path

Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis

Date walked: 20/04/2011

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 1352m

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After a great 10 days in Glencoe with wonderful weather and wild camping in Mull (bagging Ben More) and a trip to Iona we had set our plans on climbing Ben Nevis as the weather was so good. The picture of Ben Nevis from the coastal road down through Sunart heading for the ferry to mull at Lochaline was the perfect idea of the conditions that we wanted to climb the highest mountain in the UK. :D

Ben Nevis from Sunart

So we returned after our trip with the conditions still good, and we had high hopes as we went to sleep that night excited about the planned ascent the next day. However the plan of topping up the tan from the last week of glorious sunshine was instantly dashed as we woke up to dull,grey skies and the wind getting up. Not ones to be put off we set off up to Fort William to the visitor Centre and checked the weather out which was, as expected, changeable with low cloud and maybe some rain. Also there was still a bit of snow on the summit. :(

Ready for the Off

This Way !!

20 minutes in and the water proof is needed

We set off following the well trod path by the river and across the bridge before heading up towards the Ben Nevis Inn before beginning in earnest the path to the summit and went across the bridges and round by the Red Burn before following the path and all the people who were doing the same walk.

Over one of the bridges on the lower ascent

The waterfall of the Red Burn

Thirsty work - Su refilling her water

The ascent then becomes quite boring as you climb by zig zagging up the path until you reach a series of cairns.

Cairns give the direction to the top

Weather deteriorates further

We then came across the snow on the way to the top and the weather deteriorates further. :( :( :(

Su battles up the snow

Nearly there .....

At the end of this line of cairns is the summit with the ruins of the old meteorological observatory, which gave us some shelter as the snow and wind was really gaining strength. After warning some tourists to keep away from the North face gully we decided to get back down.

North Face Gully

On top of the UK.....hurrah !

As we quickly descended the lochan Meall an t Suidhe started to come into view and also the view across to Fort William.

Loch Meall an t Suidhe appears as we descend and better weather breaks out !!

Across to Fort William

So it was a good feeling to get back down having climbed the highest mountain in Great Britain but a touch disappointed with the whole experience. However as a tourist attraction it must be a good thing for Scotland. Also the advice given in the visitor Centre was first class and everyone should be made to go there first before setting off on their hope of getting safely to the top.
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Re: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Track

Postby Alan S » Mon May 16, 2011 11:33 pm

Well done to both of you just a pity you didnt get a clear day :)
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Re: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Track

Postby suhowfar » Tue May 17, 2011 12:06 am

Could not have put it better myself Bri, good report and pics. Enjoyed it being on top of the UK with great company :D
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Re: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Track

Postby Bod » Tue May 17, 2011 12:48 am

Like the north face gulley photo, well done on your whole trip. Up the Ben yeha, still to get there myself and been planning the options for years......well done Jockstar!
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Re: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Track

Postby morag1 » Tue May 17, 2011 9:40 am

Well done to you both for climbing the Ben, especially in such poor weather :thumbup:

Hubby and I are planning on doing this next year on my birthday, your report will help us :D

Re: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Track

Postby andyroog » Tue May 17, 2011 9:58 pm

Well done guys :D the mighty ben conquered
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Re: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Track

Postby monty » Tue May 17, 2011 10:04 pm

Well done on persevering in the conditions. That the highest one bagged, its all downhill from here :lol: :lol: :lol:

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