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Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis

Postby munrowalker » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:45 pm

Route description: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Path

Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis

Date walked: 04/08/2009

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Ben Nevis, yawwwn, yawwwwwn, I'm sure there's been a million posts about climbing up Ben Nevis, and I did think about not posting this one but then I thought I'm going to do a report on each trip I'm doing so there should be one for this as well.

Trip has been planned for this one for AGES, was supposed to be a weekend works kind of outing for a load of us. We're always doing social things so this was just another of those. Originally was planned to be nearly forty of us, gulp, what a nightmare to organise!

But as time got closer and reality that they'd actually have to climb the hill came close it dropped and dropped down to eight which was a lot less hassle to organise!

Day started on 1st August at 10am, was meant to be 9.30am but two of party were delayed due to B&B 's breakfast being spectacularly late!

Never mind we got cracking, along with millions of others up the hill. What a variation from every other Munro I've done, where there's often just been me myself and I up the hill. Felt like like being on Princes Street!

Pace was not too bad at start as everyone had fresh legs. Me and one other was only ones who do the hills, all the others were novices so wasn't about speed so no hurry at all. Lots of fun on way up.

Path, well was surprised just how good the path was, nearest I can describe to it was Loch Lomond which is nearly as good quality, but this was way wider! and flatter, at points I hardly felt like I was going uphill. Still everyone was enjoying themselves so why worry.

Weather was brilliant as well, sun was beating down, but I didnae expect this to continue as I could see loads of mist higher up. Lo and behold it didnae cloud cover kicked in and views dropped down to less than 20 metres.

Thankfully everyone had managed to get their millions of piccies by this point. Was really interesting for me seeing everyone get so excited at the views. I'm not jaded in any way, still love it, but their excitement at the views was really nice!

Through the mist I kept the group in close to each other, yeah sure its the tourist track but there was no way anyone was going to veer off, I've read enough stories of stupid stuff happening on the ben!

Get to summit after 5 hours,yes you read that right five hours. I've never stopped so much, but as everyone was enjoying themselves why worry about the speed, its a day out, who cares. They had great fun especially playing about in the frozen bit near the summit.

Summit was totally busy though, crowds round the summit all clammering to get their photos, people cowering in the ruined weather station trying to eat some food, some guys had a wee stove going, other popping champagne, all good fun. But we didnae hang around, rather cold, especially as some of our group hadn't taken gloves. I'd advised them all to take but they'd forgotten!

Then it was turn round and back down again, past even more people clambering their way to the summit.

Couple of things to write about on way back. Three Peaks challenge t-shirts! Hundreds of them, I knew it was popular, but the sheer volume of people doing it kind of stunned me! I was kind of wondering why people were heading UP the hill at 4pm, but kind of makes sense for a three peaks challenge timetable.

The other thing that I want to write about on way down, was sheer stupidity. Group of 18-19 year olds suddenly stopped and started fussing round member of their group, only an hour into the walk on the way up. She looked terrible, pale as anything and rather blue looking, looked like she was going to pass out.

We hung around for a wee while in case any assistance was required as we'd some big strapping guys who'd be able to help carry if required. They were desperately trying to get her to drink something.

WE asked if they need assistance, they said they were fine, but didn't look in any way at all like they were going to stop and take her back down. There was no way she should have been going any further, if she was that unwell just an hour in, god knows what she'd be like further in. I did say to them theres no way she should be going any further as it was a long way to go and a lot harder. They pretty much ignored this, in fact I distinctly heard them saying to the girl to get motivated to keep going! This was just stupid, there's times for using your pan loaf and realising its ok to trudge on,and times to play it safe, this wasn't one of the trudge on times.

Still, it wasn't my business as we didn't know them at all, and everyone else reckoned we'd done what we could, they could take our advice if they wanted it, but to be honest I still think I should have done more, maybe? I could just see Mountain Rescue being called out for her later on. Opinions?

Anyway back down to the Ben Nevis Inn by 6pm, yes I know 8 hours later! Longest hill walk I've been on. Reckon if I'd been on my own I'd have busted it in 4 1/2 hours, but was a fun day out, especially the nice cold beer in the Inn. My own plan had been to on way back down turn off and go back up Carn Mor Dearg myself, but time was against me on that. I'll have to save that one for a trip myself.
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Re: Ben Nevis

Postby Alan S » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:40 pm

good report munrowalker
there can never be to much reports on the same hill
i was the same when i done this,being shocked at the amount of people doing the 3 peaks challenge there must have been hundreds the day i was up,maybe theres too many doing it now,but each to there own.
who cares how long it takes as long as you enjoy it and return safe :)
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Re: Ben Nevis

Postby monty » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:50 pm

Hi M,
Nice little report. Every report is different so crack on. You must have been falling asleep on the way up waiting for your buddys :lol: I have ran the ben race a couple of times but I haven't walked it yet. When I do I will go the cmd arete route. I hope them youngsters were ok in the end. Your advice was spot on at the time. The poor girl should have slowly made her way back down.

Did you take any pictures? :D

Re: Ben Nevis

Postby munrowalker » Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:49 pm

Pictures, naw I didnae myself, I know I'll be back on the Ben myself at some point so was happy for everyone else to snap away.
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Re: Ben Nevis

Postby Paul Webster » Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:51 am

Enjoyed reading this... it is always great seeing non-hillwalkers enjoy the views. You'll love going back for the CMD.
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Re: Ben Nevis

Postby HighlandSC » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:57 pm

Quick question - do you get a good view of the CMD Arete whilst on the summit of Nevis?
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Re: Ben Nevis

Postby AndrewP » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:22 pm

Argh! This makes me cry. We were so keen on climbing BN via the Arrete, but the weather was just way too awful. :(
Well, I'm glad that it was good for others.
We made a good day of our aborted attempt by driving down to Easdale and climbing up some of the big rocks down there.
My son now wants to move there...
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