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All the way up the Ben Nevis!

All the way up the Ben Nevis!


Postby mathstam » Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:53 pm

Route description: Ben Nevis by the Carn Mor Dearg Arete

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

Date walked: 02/09/2009

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 18 km

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I was visiting Scotland for two and a half weeks in september 2009 and was hoping for good weather for the one day I would be in Fort William during my trip. The sacrifice of a lamb taken in the field next to the Ben Nevis Inn, where I was staying, did the work and the weather was looking good when I woke up in the morning.
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I was on the road at 6:30, alone except for two guys I met that were coming down from the summit. They climbed it during the night to watch the sunrise. I don't know exactly what they saw because it did not take long before I was in total whiteout, before even reaching the fork to the north face of the mountain. But as the sun and the wind were rising, the fog cleared a bit, still clinging to the tops.
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As I was climbing the steep slope of the CMD, I saw a two herds of deers grazing casually. One was looking at me in a stange way, not quite appreciating being photographed.
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When I reached the ridge, after an hour of sweating and cursing and pausing every two minutes, the fog was coming and going around me, allowing some views, but I had to wait for them. At least it was still not raining.
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The walk along the ridge was amazing. I was hopping from one rock to another, thinking I was so brave to attempt such a perilous journey, when I saw two sheeps ahead of me. Hum, I was as brave as a sheep it seemed.
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I was back in the whiteout as I climbed the boulder field at the junction of the ridge and the Ben. On the summit I could see dozens of humanoid shapes in the fog. They were cheering, for they had climbed (I should say walked) the Ben Nevis. No one seemed to notice I came from the other way. I was smiling because I knew what they had missed.
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As I came down on the tourist (mountain) path, the summit cleared, d'oh! I was too far to come back up. Well, that was okay because I had some great views while on the ridge. The long way down was the hardest part of the day; my knees were hurting.
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I was finally back at the inn for a well deserved beer and meal. I had one look back at the moutain, really glad I had the chance to have such a great day.
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mathstam
 
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Re: All the way up the Ben Nevis!

Postby Stretch » Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:04 pm

This is the only way I'll climb Nevis, hopefully with a bit of snow around though. The pics are still very nice despite not having views from the summit of Nevis, especially the pic showing the ridge between the clouds and the one of your descent. Hope you had a great trip over!
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Re: All the way up the Ben Nevis!

Postby monty » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:42 am

Hi Math,
Well done on completing the Ben. Great pictures of the ridge and impressed how you got so close to the deer. But maybe they are getting used to the crowds. :D

When I reached the ridge, after an hour of sweating and cursing and pausing every two minutes


must have been a tough ascent :lol: :lol: :lol:

Have a safe journey across the water.

Hi Stretch, When you do it give me a shout, I may come along. :D
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Re: All the way up the Ben Nevis!

Postby Stretch » Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:46 am

Will do Monty, I've been putting Nevis off mainly because of all the negative remarks about the crowds, but I'm fairly inspired now thanks to this report. Looks like mathstam had a great time regardless of the crowds.
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Re: All the way up the Ben Nevis!

Postby HighlandSC » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:33 pm

I went up the tourist track yesterday. It wasn't overly busy being midweek (reason we did it!. I was at the car park previous saturday and swore never to touch that mountain on weekend!), but was certainly an interesting experience - watching all shapes and sizes battle up (of course in jeans/flip flops). Most were noted by their lack of an appearance at the summit! And what states some that did make it were in :lol: Okay it's an "easy" way up - but my knees are feeling it today!! A laugh was also provided courtesy of my GPS on the way back - according to it we were placed right in Five Finger Gully - good job we knew we were on the main path!

We hit a layer of cloud for the last few hundred metres, but it did clear at times on the summit and (i think) I've got some okay pics (report coming sometime...). I was delighted for it to clear and be able to watch the climbers coming up tower ridge, it was so calm you could hear them screaming with delight(or maybe fear!) and giggling. 2 were taking a break it seemed - about to take on tower gap!.....one day maybe :lol: ....but the CMD arete is definitely on my to do list once I'm a bit more experienced at scrambling.
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Re: All the way up the Ben Nevis!

Postby MacCookie » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:36 pm

Stretch wrote:This is the only way I'll climb Nevis, hopefully with a bit of snow around though. The pics are still very nice despite not having views from the summit of Nevis, especially the pic showing the ridge between the clouds and the one of your descent. Hope you had a great trip over!


Fingers crossed for a bit of snow this winter! A few folk in my walking group fancy the CMD Arete in winter conditions, so hopefully we'll make it up.

Ewan
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