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My Second Munro

My Second Munro

Postby jackmw » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:10 pm

Route description: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Path

Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis

Date walked: 29/07/2011

Time taken: 12 hours

Distance: 19 km

Ascent: 1343m

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Granda had problems writing my Report, the photos would not load. After a good number of attempts, and weeks, he read the instructions - and reduced the size of the photographs:-

I changed my mind about doing a Sponsored walk up Ben Nevis, I had been told people had died on the Ben - Granda explained that Mountain Climbing is dangerous but if you are careful and make good plans it should be OK. He showed me the pictures of other Climbers doing Ben Nevis so I decided to try it.
Granda had been watching the weather reports looking for a good weather window - good visibility (no heavy cloud or rain) but NOT too sunny - we wanted it all!
So on Friday 29 July we had an early start, after double helpings of porridge, at 06:00. Leaving Rhum (the wonder dog - she has climbed Ben Lomond a few times) at home in Rhu near Helensburgh, because we thought the scree on the Ben might hurt her legs or her pads.We arrived at Glen Nevis Visitors Car Park at 08:00 (£3.00 all day) and set off to climb Ben Nevis at 09:00.
At Glen Nevis Car Park

We were surprised at the number of people about, all seemingly heading for the top of Ben Nevis, but by the time we were ready they had all moved on. Crossing over the bridge, the path to Ben Nevis followed the River Nevis for a short distance before heading skywards.
The midges were wearing their tackity boots, Granda had left his Avon "Skin So Soft" at home not expecting these beasties, he reckons it would have stopped them biting. Walking quickly we left some of them behind but they were still a pain, all the way up and down - they never made the top though!
100M Midges.jpg
Masking the midges

The weather as promised was good though at 09:30 not too warm - blue skies, and no wind, but we paid a price - hordes of midges lurking in the undergrowth waiting for a ready meal.
101M A good pace.jpg
A good lengthy stride

With a steady plod (Granda says I have a good natural walking stride – “not fairy steps” like some take) the going was good up to 150m, then we came across one of a number of stone laid paths, which in some places were like a mini “Giants Causeway” at least that’s what it was like to me. I can understand why some Walkers we met were using the grass “verge” rather than the made up path.
150M Easy going up.jpg
First of the made up paths

But these were hard on the ankles, coming back down!
Walking on up to 400m it started to get really warm, with no shade and no wind, it was off jacket and bonnet! Just higher and to the left lay Lochan Meall an T-Suidhe (known wrongly as “Half Way Lochan” at only 507m), in the distance we could see our planned lunch spot just by the Red Burn crossing, the real half way point, with the track zigzagging up (past the dangerous Five Finger Gully, just over the brow) heading towards the summit.
400M RedBurn.jpg
Path zig zagging upwards

More Giants Causeway took us up level with the Lochan (off to the left) where we caught up with the crowds resting, some having a plodge or even bathing.
Hard work these stone paths

Onwards and upwards - a gentle climb up past the Lochan to 540M where we met folk on their way back down after making the summit, they had set off at 05:30 - whilst I was still in my bed!
540M above Lochan.jpg
Looking back with the Lochan off to the right

We reached 620m after another Giants Causeway, and feeling a little tired we decided stop for an early lunch it was 12:15 – break out the cheese and jam sandwiches (miners fare says Granda), the mars bars and the coke. The views all the way up had been really nice and the camel train of fellow climbers was now getting bigger with folk coming up and going down - “ it would be Standing room only” at the top said Granda. I had noticed a few people my age climbing up, but none of them carried a Rucksack - not self sufficient like myself (well Granda did carry the water, coke, tent, ropes, ice axes and crampons just in case the weather man/lady had got it wrong). It was cooler now even with no wind and the sun beating down - the altitude said Granda. Their were a number of (accompanied) dogs climbing the Ben and they looked to be OK but we still had a good way to go with the really rough ground still ahead. Later we met a Man with his dog coming down, he told us THEY were “practising” for the “3 Peaks Race”.
620M Jack Lunch.JPG
Cheese and Jam sandwitch

Feeling refreshed after lunch and wee rest, we set off again. At 800m we had a great view looking back down towards Fort William, with “The Narrows on Loch Eil” in the distance and the track zigging (or zagging) past the Lochan below us.
800M Looking NW.jpg
A nice day, the Lochan on the right

It was here that we came across a for real Mountain Rescue above us. The helicopter came roaring in, lowered two people and then stood off a good distance away waiting.
800M Watching Rescue.jpg
A rough path ahead

We walked on up to 900m passing the accident scene. Nobody seemed to know what had happened, the rescue was taking place some distance downhill off the path, all we could see through binoculars, was someone in a basket stretcher waiting to be lifted off and what appeared to be a sole companion, along with the two Mountain Rescue people we had seen lowered earlier.
900M Watching Rescue.jpg
Helicopter hovering over incident

We walked on in the blazing sunshine – still no wind, no clouds but nice and cool and far fewer midges. The going was getting rougher underfoot, we were glad we had left Rhum at Home, even though she would have bravely climbed up and down the Ben.
930M Feet up.JPG
Resting the ankles

The Mountain Rescue Helicopter had lifted off the casualty and appeared to have dropped down to a Car Park below, SW of the summit, so we assumed that the problem may not have been too serious. The crowds seemed to thin out as we climbed, with the view back to Fort William behind us.
We had another Mars Bar and Coke break for a few minutes while we enjoyed the now peaceful views. The only wildlife we had seen so far were a few corbies (crows) flying about and that was it.
930M THATs Mah Boy.JPG
A proud Granda

Granda kept on lagging behind, he said it was because he was taking lots of photos for my “Report” - that’s another reason he took so long to write this Report, he did not realise he was restricted to 25 pictures so he had alot of sorting to do!
1120M Position Check.JPG
We're on the right track

I had Grandas GPS to check our progress up the Mountain, he showed me how to check our height against the Map contours.
I felt a bit tired as we got higher and the track got steeper so our Rest Stops were a bit more frequent. I told Granda that I felt OK and was happy to go on, we were nearer the top than the bottom!
1180 Porridge wearing off.JPG
Is this worth a Knickerbocker Glory

We met more people now, coming down as well as up. A lot of them were from different countries, Japan, Austria, Germany, Sweden, France, Eire, England – everyone was congratulating and encouraging me, saying that we were not far from the top. Some mentioned a nice surprise waiting just ahead, Granda was hoping for a Pub.
1227M Great Fun this.JPG
Who's tired now

SNOW and this was not in the shade – we joined in the snowball fight, but did not have time to build a snowman. It felt really nice and I reckoned I could go on for miles.
1332M A kindly round of applause.jpg
Almost their

The path levelled out and we met more very friendly people happily descending. A lot of them were surprised to see me near the top and again they congratulated me. Looking around at the Cairns Granda asked me if I thought they got lonely, I pointed out that they would keep each other company.
1332M Do Cairns get lonely.jpg
A stark view

It was now a little cold, even with the blue skies and sun shining with no wind. We had some spectacular views all around.
1332M Looking South.JPG
Looking down on the British Isles

It wasn’t “standing room only” at the top although it was pretty busy.
1341M SherpaGranda.JPG
The Observatory! A grand day out - as Wallace would have said

We were both happy to be at the top, it was a great day out made all the better by the smashing weather. A good number of people told us how they had tried a few times to get to the top of Ben Nevis but the weather had been too bad – apparently we were very lucky to have such a good clear day.
1341M WNW Loch Eil.JPG
We could see for miles, all around the British Isles

One of the people on the top spotted my GPS and asked if it indicated the altitude, which it did - 1341 meters! He reckoned “either the GPS was wrong or his map was wrong, as the OS height was 1344 meters”! After he left we realised that we had not quite reached the top – that was by the “Trig Point” which was at 1343 meters by our GPS.
1343 The Top.JPG
I'm on top of the world Ma! - well Great Britain!

We had a good rest at the Top chatting to different folk. A banquet, with more cheese and jam sandwiches, bananas, cheese biscuits and mars bars washed down with coke and water all to make our rucksacks a little lighter. Granda declared “the bars open” and brought out his wine gums. By this time it was about 17:00 and we set off back down.
The trek down was uneventful but seemed harder than when going up, with the Giants Causeways being even harder on our feet, I don’t think my “crocks” would have coped as well as they did when I climbed Ben Lomond. The midges seemed even worse as we got lower and sunset approached. Surprisingly we met even more people walking up, than earlier. A good number of “teams” all dressed with their team shirts were climbing up. As we came down we could see lots of them stretching into the distance.
Almost back to earth.JPG
No Probs says jack

I was really happy once we were near the bottom. My second Munro, the highest Mountain in Britain done!

“Quite a pleasant stroll!” declared Jack with a smile and a RUN to the car.

21:00 we happily drove to MacDonald’s only to find that “because of the weather they had ran out of milkshakes so it had to be coke, again – sorry Mum!

Jack Certificate.jpg

I had to wait until the next day, back in Helensburgh, to visit “Dinos” for my Knickerbockerglory it was great - too much though, so I shared some of it with Granda.

Well earned - hopefully the SECOND of many

I have not decided what’s next – Snowdon, Scafell Pike (the Three Peaks) or another Munro. Or maybe a trip to Eire and “Carrantuohill” which we were told about when sat on the top of Ben Nevis chatting to folk and I said I would like to climb all the highest mountains in the British Isles – then I could claim to have done the “Four Peaks”.
Last edited by jackmw on Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My Second Munro

Postby jstalker66621 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:35 pm

Well done young man..a top report and cracking pics...that knickerbockerglory is almost as tall as you!!! :)
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Re: My Second Munro

Postby morag1 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:42 pm

Well done Jack, you are a star, and so is your Grandpa :clap:

Re: My Second Munro

Postby cheekykarma » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:46 pm

Heh heh that is a fantastic second munro with a stunning day for it as well.

Congratulations to you Jack and your wee happy feet, and of course to Granda for his help on the report.
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Re: My Second Munro

Postby mrssanta » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:48 pm

great stuff will be looking out for more of yours!
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Re: My Second Munro

Postby Paul_Antonia » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:03 pm

Fantastic effort by you both and a great report too. You've done the biggest now so everything else should be just a walk in the park. Love the idea of the "Four Peaks" but not sure about the celebration knickerbocker Glory, Antonia reckons she's due one for every peak we climb, it's gonna cost me a fortune. Will definitely look out for your further adventures, just keep on enjoying the mountains. :D
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Re: My Second Munro

Postby lomondwalkers » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:40 pm

Great entertaining report Jack & Granda!! A well deserved Knickerbocker Glory :D Look forward to your next adventure, wherever it may be!
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Re: My Second Munro

Postby Jock McJock » Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:19 pm

Great report Jack, well done on getting to the top of the big Ben. My two kids are older than you and won't walk the height of themselves. Good luck with your next big adventure :D
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Re: My Second Munro

Postby bennevis2011 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:08 pm

That is amazing. Am so proud of him, he definately deserves that ice cream after such a great walk. I hope to read many more of his amazing adventures.
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Re: My Second Munro

Postby Caberfeidh » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:27 pm

Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrr, shiver me timbers, that's some climb~ well done! Your grandad looks familar; maybe I met him in the hills some time, or perhaps we sailed on a pirate ship together when we were young? :D
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Re: My Second Munro

Postby rocket-ron » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:23 pm

Well done jack and grandad
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Re: My Second Munro

Postby charliebloke1 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:37 pm

Great report & effort Jack (& grandpa of course) . . . I wish my nephew was as keen a walker as you, I'm going to have to show him this to show how it should be done . . . . i'm also quite jealous of the weather & views you had but probably more jealous of the huge knickerbockerglory! :mrgreen:
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Re: My Second Munro

Postby MarilynMunro » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:43 pm

Cracking report for a cracking day, well done young man. Looks like you and your Granda had a blast :D :D
Hope you have many more.

Just thought I'd add a little remark, I'll be using your trip report when I get round to this, and maybe even try the cheese and jam sarnies. Good man, well done Granda :wink:
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Re: My Second Munro

Postby ChrisW » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:14 am

Great report little fella, I'm impressed with your energy....reckon I'll try a bit of cheese and jam myself :lol:
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Re: My Second Munro

Postby gibby1701 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:37 pm

Well done Jack. Great effort by you and grandad.
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