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The 3 Bens Challenge

The 3 Bens Challenge


Postby scoob999 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:14 pm

Route description: Ben Nevis by the Carn Mor Dearg Arete

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers, Ben Macdui, Ben Nevis, Cairn Gorm, Carn Mor Dearg

Date walked: 10/08/2012

Time taken: 21.5 hours

Distance: 48.19 km

Ascent: 3596m

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Ah where to start
This has been a long journey, since my unnecessary meeting with the Braemar mountain rescue team, and one that has left me spreading the word on there behalf and trying to get people to donate

Ever since THAT NIGHT on the White Mounth, I have been thinking about how I could repay there kindness and professionalism which leads to this story

I wanted to set myself a challenge, something not easy, but one I could achieve. Loads sprung to mind, the 3 peaks ect but I wanted to do something different “that’s me!” :roll:

So I decided on the 3 highest Bens in Scotland Nevis Macdui and Lawers. I had thought about the 3 highest but Braeraich is to close to Ben Macdui I thought, anyway with my challenge set I started thinking? Why not do Carn Mor Dearg via the Arete, mmm why not! And if I’m doing that why not add Cairrgorm on to Macdui? I could always leave it out if I’m to tired I thought, which leaves Ben Lawers which I wasn’t to worried about, after all I’d done it before, but never from the car park and over Beinn Ghlas

The date was set to coincide with the summer WH meet at Braemar, perfect setting considering who I was raising money for

This was another of those get up when everyone else is going to bed walks, I left home for a 3am start on Ben Nevis :crazy:
Still pitch dark with the stars shining in the sky, it turned out the weather gods would be on my side today for a change, and what a change it was! My original plan was to cut of at the half way lochan and over onto CMD from there, but with it still being so dark I decided to reverse my route doing the Ben first as I didn’t want to waste to much time navigating up CMD in the dark as it would be a long day as it was, so I kept on the pony track, easy to follow and probably a totally different experience in the dark with no one else around

Then I spotted a couple of head torches further up the hill and that was it, a goal, someone to catch up with, I do like little challenges lol I caught one of them up before the summit, just after being passed by 3 marines running down the hill with packs on! Turns out they were just completing the 3 peaks, so well done guys, we watched sunrise together and after a quick chat and a few pics the left leaving me on the summit on my own

Magical, Spiritual all of those words and more sprung to mind and more, I cant even begin to explain the elation I felt on the summit at dawn with the colours of the morning light WOW after soaking it all up for a while I set off for the Arete to CMD what a ridge! BRILLIANT FUN! Heading towards CMD I spotted another walker following behind me, very quickly! And he caught up with me on the summit.. Now those of you who know me, know I’m a bit of a joker and cant resist a laugh, and making others laugh
The first thing I said to this guy was, you were running, that’s cheating!! No I wasn’t running he said with a smile.. We chatted a minute and set off, if I’d caught the 3 men together before the summit on the Ben I was gonna tell them the summit doesn’t open till 8am :lol:

Going down the slopes of CMD I thought I’m glad I never came up this way! Was bad enough going down
Had a quick chat with another couple and there 2 kids heading up just below the CIC hut and headed up to the lochan, the mist had rolled in from the sea by this stage and visability was down to about 100 yards
I passed the lochan and joined what I thought was the main path and started to follow it downhill as you do!
After 50 yards or so I thought this isn’t right I don’t remember this even though it was dark when I passed quick check of the map revealed I was heading to the bottom of the lochan not the pony track DO’H, set a bearing on the compass for the track and I was off again. Lessons learned from before

Once back on the track I started passing walkers heading to the summit, then more, giving me looks like (you’ve not been up already have you) :crazy:
Now anyone that can, I urge you to start early and run down the hill as I did, the expressions on peoples faces was priceless, and I will do it again someday!! Did’nt stop to chat to anyone there was too many but I did say hello to everyone I passed :D

Back at the car with a total walk time of 6.16 hours 11.50 miles and 1534m of ascent WOW did I do that!
3 hours ahead of schedule already! :shock:

After a quick look for a bacon roll in Fort William with no luck I headed to Aviemore
A quick highland pasty mmm yummy and a new pair of socks from the shop and I was ready for Ben Macdui
The sun was still splitting the sky and I was on a high, not to many people walking by “oops sorry I don’t do poems” :lol:

This gave me more opportunity to tell everyone what I was doing and find out what they were doing I passed a few couples with kids on the path near Coire an Lochain then a group of French tourists with whom I took the opportunity to practice what little French I knew with them, they didn’t stay long! :shock: Cant think why? :lol: then another couple further on who had a turn back by 12 rule? Never heard of that before but they were a lovely couple out enjoying the hills like the rest of us Then another couple with there grandchildren “hope I got that right! She is compleating her round on Ben Lomond next week so very well done :clap: :clap:

Made the summit, still feeling good and not to tired so after a bite to eat and a few pics I set off for Cairn Gorm, the paths up here are very well made and easy to follow and I’m sure would be a great help in the clag
As I approached Lochan Buidh I met a group of 6 I think walkers, who seemed very interested in my challenge so I told them to look me up on Walkhighlands. Hope they do
Somewhere between the great slab and the Fiacaill Buttress I met the first WH members of the day, new to the site and to walking I think? Nice to meet you and for taking my picture Liam :D

Apart from Braeraich this was my first venture in to the gorms and what a spectacular place the Coire’s are stunning and I cant wait to get back again. I have to admit to jogging again between Lochan Buidhe and Cairn Lochan and the walk round the edge of thr Coire was amazing.
Cairn Gorm was starting to look a bit higher than I’d hoped by this stage and the legs were tiring now but I kept pushing and made it to the summit. The views from here as well as Macdui were stunning really looking forward to doing Beinn Mheadhoin looks fantastic :D

More pics on the summit here and a quick chat to two couples and there kids, the first munro for them and the youngest just 5 years old, well done “hope your knee was ok after your fall”?
From here to the ski centre was getting quite painfull on the legs and I had to stop a couple of times!
I made it back to the car with another great time of 5.19 hours and 11.42 miles and 1032m of ascent :shock:

Back into Aviemore a painfull stand for a fish supper and I was on my way to meet Iain at the Ben Lawers car park near killin to do my final two munros of the challenge. I said earlier I wasn’t to concerned about these two as I’d done them before but not from the car park, from the main road. ”which I still think is easier although more ascent” Iain wanted to do a night walk and I wasn’t going to turn down his offer of company over these two hills
Iain said I looked quite fresh considering! I can honestly say I never felt fresh at all, and probably smelt quite badly as well lol so I walked behind or downwind so he never bailed out and left me wandering the hills on my own :lol:

As we walked up Beinn Ghlas we saw a figure in the distance with a huge pack on! I thought that’s not one of the Fisherfielders gotten lost is it :lol: we caught up with him near the summit, it was almost dark by this time and I shouted ahead to him “have you got the kettle on” “aye” came the answer :lol: it was a Polish lad up to wild camp on Lawers for early morning photos
Sorry I never caught his name but we had a good laugh and to hear a Pole with a Scottish accent is brilliant
I’ll be looking his pics up on photo bucket or whatever it was called “Iain help” :lol:

Mist had started rolling over the bealach between Ghlas and Lawers and the wind was picking up so we tried to go a bit faster cause it looked like it was getting worse, and it was! Looking as we went for a wild camping spot for our new friend as we went, eventually finding a perfect sheltered spot below the summit
We came through the mist here for a final glimpse of sunset and a couple of quick pics on the summit

Challenge completed all that was left now was the walk back to the cars. Really glad I had Iains company here, was a bit eerie with the mist and the wind, again the paths up here are well worn and apart from a couple of rockier sections navigation wasn’t to much of an issue
Could you imagine if I got lost while raising money for the MRT :lol:

About half way down Beinn Ghlas we came out of the cloud and the wind was gone too! Really weird? :shock:
Would like to say it was an easy stroll back to the car and under normal circumstances I’m sure it would be
But my legs didn’t feel like mine anymore! And at that time I never realised quite what I’d done
(Time for Lawers and Ghlas 4.15 7.03 mile and1032m ascent)

30 miles 3596m of ascent in 15.40 hours walking. And 300 miles driving That’s why my legs are sore then!
It wasn’t till the next day it dawned on me that I’d just climbed 5 of the 10 highest mountains in Great Britain WOW how did I miss that when I planed this :?

This is a day that will live in my memories till the day I die AWESOME the only way to describe it :D

A massive thank you to everyone who’s donated, and those of you who hopefully will in the future,
The men and women of the MRT are there to help us as volunteers when our days on the hills go wrong for whatever reason.
Again a massive thank you to the various MRT teams in GB
I can only hope my original story has helped others see the obvious mistakes that can be made and learn from them

http://www.justgiving.com/user/35730030 if you can, you can donate here :D




I'm not sure if anyone has ever done this before? well why would they?
It would be amazing if i was the first and would be even better if iv'e started something new? :D
The Gauntlett has been thrown down and the times are there :wink:
But whatever happens take care on the hills please
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3 bm.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


3 bn.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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Last edited by scoob999 on Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The 3 Bens Challenge

Postby Bod » Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:35 pm

Amazing effort Scoob, very very well done! Great you had Iain joining you too for Ben Lawers :D :D :D :D :clap: :clap: :clap:
(Cracking wee videos too!!!)
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Re: The 3 Bens Challenge

Postby iainwatson » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:21 pm

brilliant report stuart,what an effort! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

loved the night walk on Lawers :D

pictures and vidoe are great,i'll add some on here that i took,

again,a huge WELL DONE buddy :clap: ,

looking forward to our next walk already :D :D

DSC07764.JPG
Scoob on the summit of Beinn Ghlas
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Summit picture on Ben Lawers
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Re: The 3 Bens Challenge

Postby scoob999 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:30 pm

Can i just say, if the climber who looked up and seen me staring down at him while doing that plank, reads this SORRY if i scared you :roll:
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Re: The 3 Bens Challenge

Postby SusieThePensioner » Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:19 pm

Well done, Stuart, that was amazing :clap: :clap: Great report and photos :thumbup:
I loved the videos as well :D
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Re: The 3 Bens Challenge

Postby monty » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:38 pm

Just outstanding Scoobs. Awesome challenge. Top man. :D
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Re: The 3 Bens Challenge

Postby macka17 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:51 pm

Well Done stuart on the great report and well done on completing the challenge :D Was good meeting you and im happy to take the credit for taking that picture but sadly i cannot as it was my friend lewis, hope to cross paths with you again to see what wild planking you will do again lol. Great effort :D
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Re: The 3 Bens Challenge

Postby Graeme D » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:09 pm

Epic stuff Stuart. You have my utmost respect and admiration. Was great to catch up last night in the Fife Arms. 8)
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Re: The 3 Bens Challenge

Postby ScottishLeaf » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:16 pm

Great effort Scoob, top man. :clap:

Did Ben Lawers in the snow and can mind of how exposed the wee summit felt, it'd be weird know those drops were there and not being able to see them! Your two videos are great. Also, that video of the CMD arete has intrigued me and scared me at the same time, looks easier to go down that way than up?

When I did the Tarmachan Ridge a couple of soldiers were finishing the 10 highest mountains in Scotland on 10 consecutive days. Have never seen anyone doing 5 in one day! Amazing.... should be in a red top paper for you effort.
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Re: The 3 Bens Challenge

Postby Stretch » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:03 pm

Congrats Scoob, great effort for a great cause. What a fantastic sunrise!
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Re: The 3 Bens Challenge

Postby Scotjamie » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:23 pm

Well done on an epic effort Scoob (and Iain). Was good to meet up and trust the thighs are easing up by now.
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Re: The 3 Bens Challenge

Postby fipriestley » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:03 am

Fantastic Scoob! Very well done :clap: :clap: ...definitely no catching you now :wink:
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Re: The 3 Bens Challenge

Postby basscadet » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:39 am

What an epic! - I hope you are pleased with yourself. Its the kind of trip you'll never forget :D
You got amazing pics as well :clap:

I think I know the polish chap you met, he's an affy good drummer. He has been rather amusingly picking up the lingo hasnt he :lol:
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Re: The 3 Bens Challenge

Postby Fudgie » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:58 am

Top bombing Scoob and you should be very proud of yourself :clap: :clap:
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Re: The 3 Bens Challenge

Postby jonny616 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:39 am

Legend :clap: :clap: :clap:

Fantastic stuff Scoob. I could hardly make Sheneval with the size of my pack, never mind get up Ben lawers :lol: :lol: :lol:

Next challenge get a driver :D
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