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Ben Nevis, the "easy" way!

Ben Nevis, the "easy" way!


Postby budvarone » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:03 am

Route description: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Path

Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis

Date walked: 25/08/2012

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 1352m

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We, Neil, Michael, and Neils daughter Ellie, and myself, set off from Glen Nevis Campsite at about 9am, the forecast had improved (thankfully) since I first checked it a week prior to our trip. There were a few low clouds hugging the hillsides, but we were optimistic, hoping they'd disappear. We passed the Visitor Centre and crossed the shoogly bridge, walking up the path towards the Ben Nevis Inn, crossed the fence and followed the path on the steady incline up to the lochan.
The cloud did lift a couple of times, but as we got higher they returned and we eventually had to dig the waterproofs out as we were starting to get quite wet.
The path so far was ok, a steady ascent, with only a few large puddles/muddy patches, but these were passed with ease. About an hour and a half after setting off we reached the lochan, where the path levelled off for a bit and allowed our legs to recover a wee bit. We crossed the Red Burn and stopped for an early lunch, and watched the cloud come and go down in the Glen.
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The climb starts!

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Looking up Glen Nevis

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The Red Burn crossing, that'll be us half way then!

The path from here on goes over a large area of scree and is more stony than before, and is quite steep at times. The cloud thinned and we started to get some decent views over to the Mamores and down towards Fort William, and even Norway! (private joke!) The path seemed to climb on for ever, but we weren't on a race, so we took several juice/view breaks and took our time, and just kept plodding on and after three and a half hours we reached the summit,shrouded in cloud, and bloody cold, as it usually is apparently!
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YAY! The summit! Trig point and observatory.

We met up with Michael, who always walks on at his own pace,( ie faster than us!)he'd been waiting on us for 40 mins, and after a taking a few pics we headed back down. Once we were out of the summit cloud the weather really improved and the views were stunning, so the descent was quite enjoyable...to start with! I always find going down to be harder on my old legs and feet than going up, and it wasn't long before the familiar aches and pains crept in! Once past the Red Burn, the path was easier to walk on, and it was with the thought of a pint at the Ben Nevis Inn, I kept going!
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Neil and Ellie on the way down.

The return trek also took us three and a half hours, and it was with an immense sense of relief that we met Michael at the Inn (he'd taken off again!) and supped our well earned pints!
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River Leven Blonde....lovely!

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Cheers!

While the walk up and down is quite straightforward, I found the distance and the climb quite a slog,and not that easy. I'll admit to being not that fit, and perhaps a wee (!) bit overweight, so it may be that. However, I think I can speak for all in our group, and say we did have a great day, although it was great to get back down, and raised £350 for Cancer Research UK!
Birdwatcher mode didn't really kick in as I'd left my bins back at the campsite, "too heavy to carry all the way up there" I thought, a Raven at the summit picking through some of the litter, and 4 or 5 Snow Buntings also at the top, was about it.
PS What's with all the litter?...it's everywhere! I appreciate it's a very busy walk, but that's no excuse for leaving that stuff lying about...PLEASE TAKE IT HOME!!!!
Thanks!
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budvarone
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Posts: 45
Munros:12   Corbetts:3
Grahams:2   Donalds:5
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Joined: May 2, 2012
Location: Scottish Borders

Re: Ben Nevis, the "easy" way!

Postby Chrisabelle » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:37 am

Well done, good report and congrats on raising money for charity too. :clap:
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Chrisabelle
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Posts: 186
Munros:1   Corbetts:1
Grahams:1   Donalds:2
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Joined: Sep 26, 2011

Re: Ben Nevis, the "easy" way!

Postby monty » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:09 am

Nice report. Looked quite busy up there. Its a good slog uphill and knee jarring descent. :D
monty
 

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