Ben Nevis - Never again
by Clairepm » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:14 pm
Route description: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Path
Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis
Date walked: 27/08/2011
Time taken: 7 hours
Distance: 17 km
Ascent: 1352m6 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
So off we went, left Inverness at 8am with the intentions of walking by 9:45 - but the tummy's were grumbling so we took a detour to MacDonalds in Ft william for a coffee and egg McMuffin...fantatstic.. stomaches well lined off we went to the Glen Nevis car park
The car park was very busy had to circle it quite a few times to get a space.... any how we set off with all the usual fresh leg/feet excitement the weather was looking ok, was quite warm and next to no wind, even 10 mins in to the walk, the views were fantastic.
As we got about 15 mins into the walk, i all of a sudden seen 100's of walkers apearing behind and infront (think a massive group came up from the youth hostel path) i had never ever seen so many people on a hill!! it was a whole trail of lemmings in every direction... it did become a right pain in the rear end, as sometimes you get stuck behind slow walkers and at the same time impatient walkers behind banging their walking poles and breathing right down my neck... not the normal enjoyable climbing experience i have come to expect.
we had reached the loch and had a brief rest and a quick handfull of jelly babies then set off up the zig zags
Fantastic views were starting to open up
The paths were great at this point a little relief if the thigh muscles had already started to ache...but then comes the real steeper parts
by this point i was really starting to feel the pain but nothing too bad, the cloud was blowing in a bit but blew away just as fast and strangely there was not much wind at all, although i must admit by this point i was praying for a couple of cold blasts of air to help cool me down a bit this was the sweatiest i had been in a long time. (all good for burning off the cheeky MacMuffin)
Suddenly the path seemed to get even busier with the people in their way back down... now this is when i really started to get a bit irritated, instead of people being courteous and walking down single file so we could carry on walking up, they stayed groups of 3-4 wide taking up the whole path making no effort to move in a bit - so everyone walking up found themselves pinned against the edges waiting for the huge lines of traffic to pass.
not to worry we were nearly there (so we kept being told) then all of a sudden the cloud blew in, it is so amazing how quick it change up there it took seconds to change, so we couldn't really see much of where we were headed thank goodness for the cairns that lined the way.
this was it we were almost there, we had almost reached the top of the Ben, my thighs were really starting to feel the burn now, and also huffing and puffing away really feeling the struggle we thought puuushhhh we are nearly there, only to be overtaken by a man runnung past us wearing plimsoles and shorts and holding a carrier bag
I was so shocked at the amount of people wearing trainers and shorts and trakkies(not too sure if they all made it) with no ruck sacks, so clearly no adverse weather clothing packed, is it any wonder so many people get in to trouble in these hills and end up wasting the valuable time of the MRT's
And finally we could see the summit although we had to be very quick with the camera as the cloud came and went in seconds
Sadly we didn't get a group shot of us all at the top, due to the fact that the queues were bigger than the January sales.
So we started our decent and boy was that sore on the knees, again thats where we came in to even busier traffic more and more people were getting leg and knee injuries, then all of a sudden we could hear a big rumble......
i do hope these guys were on a serious job, or a training session and not called out to rescue unprepared trakkie wearing eejits.
Sorry if the report seem like 1 big moan but i did enjoy the climb, the day was great as was the company and i must say the paths were very well maintained and the Ben was great to climb, with some spectacular scenery, sadly it was the sheer amount of people that has put me off climbing it again.
by PeteR » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:29 pm
by Clairepm » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:40 pm
by HighlandSC » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:41 pm
Me and a mate did this route on a late Sep Tuesday morning and it was still mobbed (but not half as bad as you seem to have had it). Try to take it for what it is- Britains biggest mountain with a motorway going up it, packed with tourists. Expect solitude and you'll have a ruined day. We actually had a laugh, laughing at tourists half dead a quarter of the way up, people in flip flops half way up, a bag piper on the summit, etc, etc.
by Clairepm » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:44 pm
by dacky » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:28 pm
by Phil the Hill » Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:13 pm
I climbed the Ben on the same day but went over CMD arete, could cont on one hand the number of people we came across before we got to the summit! I dont think I will ever go over the tourist path, its much too crowded.
I agree. The CMD arete is a much better route and much less crowded. It's best done in winter, when those awkward-sized rocks on the final slope are covered in nice firm neve that you can crampon up (assuming you're lucky enough to get perfect conditions). Less people on the summit in winter too.
by Mountainlove » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:51 pm
by Redrock » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:12 pm
by sloosh » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:14 pm
by HighlandSC » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:16 pm
by Border Reiver » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:40 am
by Merry-walker » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:33 pm
I did the Ben alone last month unless you count the millions of people with trainers, flip-flops, long flarey skirts, no coats, water or fluid. I really enjoyed the walk which had me sweating (rucsack weighs about a stone and a half of food and corn plasters) and only had clag right at the top.
The only thing that made it uncomfy was having to appropriately time the corners without poeple so I could pee in peace without being gorked at by someone who's never seen a lass pee before. Got so desperate at one point that I didnt care so dropped my kecks until a sheep came outa no where and flegged me with it's horns.....
I groaned every step ater that.
I'll be going again via the CMD cos I pretend to be hard ha ha ha
To be honest crowds on the hills dont bother me, I very much enjoy being part of the group, all with one aim in mind, to reach the summit no matter what. I enjoy meeting others and spending time with them. However its also nice to get a bit of solitude so we usually go out early in the morning when all is calm and peaceful.
Merry-walker, there is now..ahem.. a device for ladies so you dont need to drop your kecks on the hills anymore , will PM you the details if you want
by Driver84 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:51 pm
At least you got what looked like semi-decent weather, particularly when on the summit.