novices on nevis
by mrssanta » Sat May 26, 2012 6:29 pm
Route description: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Path
Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis
Date walked: 21/05/2012
Time taken: 11 hours
Distance: 17 km
Ascent: 1352m2 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).
Here is the bright idea. Our minister, not known for being an exercise freak, decides to do the "three peaks challenge," accompanied by her husband and a youth worker also not famous for fitness fanaticism. Not in 24 hours, that would just be daft, but over four days. People find the whole idea so amusing that they sponsor generously. It seems to work, we have £3000 in promises so we have to do it!!! Self and Rudolph volunteer as sherpas/advisers/support party/people who know what to do on hills. Much planning preparation and panicking later, and we are on our way.
On the way home from Skye the previous weekend there was noted to be quite a covering of snow on the plateau of Ben Nevis and so there was panic buying of Pogu Spiky things which arrived just in time.
So on Sunday afternoon we drive up to Glen Nevis youth hostel just timing it nicely for tea at the Real Food Cafe.
Monday morning at 9am we set off, fortified by bacon and eggs. It is steep and long. Certainly when compared with Roseberry Topping, our practice hill (300m). We stop often for rests. First lunch at the halfway lochan appropriately named - lochan of the hill of sitting. It is clear and dry and the views are tremendous. We point out all the hills we have been up and feel rather smug and experienced. We hope our friends are suitably impressed. We think they jolly well ought to be!! Second lunch at about the 950metre mark. It's warm and pleasant and we are beginning to think we were a bit silly about the pogus. But at about 1000 metres we start to meet people turning back because of the snow. One team of young people wearing t-shirts in support of a children's charity, really disappointed because they had turned back and felt they would have to return all their sponsor money. Lots of people are on Ben Nevis today. They speak in all sorts of accents and languages, you certainly don't come here on a fine day for the solitude.
At 1050 metres we came to the snow line. It was pretty slushy and horrible. we put on the pogus and it made a real difference. Rudolph got his crampons on since he had brought them although it was not really necessary. One day he will get to use them in real winter conditions, but not today.
We reach the summit at about a quarter to three and have a nip of Irish Whiskey - (our youth worker friend is Irish so it's OK) and savour the views for a while.
It was very wierd at the top. There were loads of people there huddled in little groups not talking to the other groups. very strange, as going up and down nearly everyone said hello.
most people passed us I think. then we turned round and went down again. We stopped for our third lunch at the 1200metre mark where there was no wind at all, and donated our spare chocolate beans to a small boy who was refusing to go any further. He passed us bounding on the way down, very proud of reaching the top.
There was much steepness going down as well, and we were beginning to flag by the time we reached the junction of the paths again. But eventually we made it down, 11 hours from start to finish. A bit more than the average, but who cares?
Kettle on, cup of tea, shower, large bowl of pasta, the most amazing apple crumble, and bed. Tomorrow we drive south to tackle Snowdon.
by PeteR » Sat May 26, 2012 9:10 pm
I was up here on a sponsored night hike on the 19/20, but sadly we had only thick clag and snow when we hit the summit. Luckily my fellow team members loved the experience of being on top of the Ben in such alien conditions The snow and ice had certainly added another element to the walk for them too
And the summit's not that busy at 4.00 am
Of course, as we made our way down and the sun rose then the cloud startd to break. Seems these summits can be the same at night time as well as in the daylight hours
Walkhighlands very own action girl
by jonny616 » Sun May 27, 2012 11:48 am
by dogplodder » Sun May 27, 2012 8:04 pm
by Gavin99 » Sun May 27, 2012 9:04 pm
by mrssanta » Sun May 27, 2012 9:52 pm
Morag you flatter me! I am not really a superfit person at all, just having a good streak! Back up North to Deeside next week for half term, and we hope to take in a Cairngorm or three!
Quite different from Skye. I never came downhill as fast as we did in skye, or as slow as we did on Ben Nevis, I think fast is a lot easier on the knees if you have the confidence and balance.
by pollyh33 » Sun May 27, 2012 10:48 pm
You and Rudolph have certainly been blazing a trail over these Scottish hills despite the varying weather
Haste Ye Back! X