walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!


Postby dooterbang » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:25 pm

Route description: Ben Nevis by the Carn Mor Dearg Arete

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

Date walked: 30/03/2013

Time taken: 8.45 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 1555m

25 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).

Kerri (from my circuit class :wink: ) donned crampons for the first time last month and spent 10 minutes descending ice when we did the Horns of Alligin in Torridon. The experience obviously had her salivating for more crampon action as she purchased a nice shiny new pair of Grivel crampons and a Grivel ice axe :)

The Easter weekend promised a windless blue skied sunshine laden affair so I hatched a plan to take in the CMD Arete & Ben Nevis.

This would be Kerri's 4th & 5th Munros and had the possibility of her wearing crampons along a narrow ridge for the 1st time. We had done Striding Edge, Tarmachan Ridge & Beinn Alligin these last few months but the snow was soft then, if any, apart from some ice we encountered and my guess the highest mountain in the UK would provide some sooper dooper crampon action :) .

Friday night was spent taking in some banter at the Glasgow Comedy Festival with Bruce Morton & his Greater Shawlands Republic but we still rose at 5.15am Saturday morning and left Glasgows West End 6am bound for The North Face Car Park at Torlundy arriving 8am and good to go at 8.30am.

As predicted the sun was very much shining , some cloud did occasionally block the topping up of the winter/spring/summer tan though :? :lol: 8)

We headed SE for 6k, which was mainly all uphill, to reach Carn Mor Dearg. The views to the North Face of Ben Nevis stunning :)
Image

Image

Image

Kerri enjoying the feel of crampons on her feet and ice axe in hand :)
Image

CMD Arete to my left (your right).
Image

The snow was compact and hard above 600M and was perfect for crampon use.
Image

Nearing the summit of CMD we witnessed the MR helicopter attend a call for help from what I believe is Tower Ridge. I'm hoping all was well and that the use of a flare from those requiring help indicated no casualties.
Image

Image

Image

After 4 hours we eventually arrived at the summit of CMD to be presented by the most amazing views in all directions but particularly South to the Mamore Range and beyond :D
Image

Image

Image

At the Summit of CMD an Englishman, a Pole and a Czech girl (sorry, can't think of a joke) arrived shortly afterwards and would also be doing the Arete which now lay ahead of us.
Image

The Arete looked razor edged with boulders protruding above the snowline...we set off with excitement and fear :shock: :) 8)
Image

After a few awkward moves I stopped to think if this was safe for Kerri who only had minimal ridge, snow, crampon & ice axe experience. I asked her how she felt and the reply was assured so knowing that she handled previous ridges we moved on. By this time we had let the Euro group ahead of us which was handy as we could follow them and see how they handled any tricky moves.

A better perspective....


Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The Arete turned out to be fantastic fun. I wouldn't have felt that safe if the snow had been softer though. On 2 occasions we had to use our hands and clamber over the top of some icy boulders but apart from that it was fine. You do require a head for heights and good balance as the exposure on either side could unsettle you.

Nearing the end of the Arete we witnessed some crazy dude gliding/parachuting in what looked like his bivvy sack :shock: :shock: :lol: 8)
Image

Image

We now had a 200M climb to the summit of the highest mountain in the UK. The snow was again compact and perfect for crampons and ice axe. Without an ice axe and crampons a punishing fall into Glen Nevis would be the probable outcome as you required these to reach the summit.
Image

Image

Image

I loved this section of the walk/climb due to the physical challenge, stunning views and sense of adventure.
Just before the top I waited on Kerri as she was not far behind, due to the steepness I had to stand as sitting would be dangerous :shock: . Kerri admitted this section was difficult. She's fit but she's not hill fit yet :wink: :)

After 6 hours we finally reach the summit of Ben Nevis - check out the view :D
Image

Time for a pose... :)
Image

Image

Image

The snow covered observatory shelter
Image

Image

Image

Image

We found a quiet spot after reaching the summit and had a bite to eat before descending to the half way lochan. We took a fun route down coire na h-urchaire which found us sliding down on our backsides for a few hundred metres - big smiles all around :D :D :lol: 8)
Image

Image

At the half way lochan head North for 4K back to the car park. I followed the Allte a Choire Dhuibh which was snow covered and made the walk more pleasant. It was only the final 1.5K through the woodlands that hurt the old legs, the joys of 4 season boots :? !!

On route home we stopped at the Clachaig Inn for food and a beer. Was delighted to find the veggie option was a tasty puy lentil pie with puff pastry :)

In Alpine like conditions this walk is simply superb and I recommend if you haven't yet experienced it then to think about giving it a go...when the weather is kind. It's equally fun in summer time to without the snow.

Thanks to Kerri for joining me on such a wonderful day, we truly are blessed :wink:
Last edited by dooterbang on Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
dooterbang
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1824
Munros:255   Corbetts:57
Grahams:18   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   Islands:19
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

Postby mrssanta » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:33 pm

Wow Dooter that was brilliant! Fantastic excitement and views all round. :clap: And well done to Kerri going for it!
User avatar
mrssanta
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2971
Munros:245   Corbetts:10
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:44
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

Postby mountainstar » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:54 pm

Brilliant Dooter :clap:
Really WOW!!! Photo's as usual, you have the knack of finding great weather 8)
I love the Nicolas Cage Hollywood CGI snow explosion behind you that you got your movie mates to create on the Summit :clap: :shock: :wink:
User avatar
mountainstar
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2464
Munros:282   Corbetts:221
Grahams:24   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:20   Hewitts:218
Wainwrights:214   Islands:24
Joined: Dec 7, 2009
Location: Wrexham

Re: CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

Postby mountain thyme » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:09 pm

well done DB and Kerri (from circuits) .. cracking day and cracking pics.
If you were as fit as me you could have done it the way i did and add in the aonachs and the grey corries beforehand :wink:
User avatar
mountain thyme
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 982
Munros:36   Corbetts:218
Grahams:11   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:1
Wainwrights:1   Islands:14
Joined: Jul 22, 2010
Location: Glasgow

Re: CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

Postby Gable Gable End » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:16 pm

stunning photos here, absolutely stunning.
User avatar
Gable Gable End
Walker
 
Posts: 568
Munros:64   Corbetts:6
Grahams:4   
Sub 2000:7   
Joined: Apr 28, 2009
Location: Houston, TX

Re: CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

Postby Malckyb » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:11 pm

What really stunning pictures and what a day you got. Must have been so awesome...you are lucky people indeed!! :)
User avatar
Malckyb
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 125
Munros:78   Corbetts:5
Grahams:6   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:11
Wainwrights:18   
Joined: Jan 16, 2011
Location: Livingston

Re: CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

Postby scottishkennyg » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:06 pm

Well done to you both and congratulations on the day choice as the captured views are truly spectacular.
User avatar
scottishkennyg
 
Posts: 644
Munros:282   
Joined: Jan 2, 2013

Re: CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:54 am

Brilliant once again :D We were on Druim Fada and saw the helicopter hovering and did wonder if someone was in trouble. We also saw the crazy paraglider :crazy:
User avatar
Johnny Corbett
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 2940
Munros:18   Corbetts:206
Grahams:160   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:269   Hewitts:1
Islands:14
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Livingston

Re: CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

Postby morag1 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:35 am

Fantastic report, love this :clap: :clap: :clap:

The CMD arete is way too scary for me, I know I'll never be up there so it's good of you to show me what it looks like :lol:

That first photo would win the monthly comp no problem 8)
morag1
 

Re: CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

Postby pebbles-2 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:40 am

Superb photos!! What a stunning day you had. I long to do that walk, but think my first go will be without snow, however tempting it looks. Kerri is very brave indeed. 8)
pebbles-2
 

Re: CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:58 am

Nice to see big smiles all over the hills! :lol: There's nothing better than happy climbers jumping for joy on the mountain top...

Seriously, what an Easter we had this year - made up for the dodgy March days...We had four days off, four days spent hillwalking, scrambling up snowy slopes, enjoying the sunshine.

CMD Arere looks great in white :D I did The Ben from the "lazy" side, before I was confident enough to even try any scrambling. Have to come back and complete the traverse.
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3195
Munros:260   Corbetts:163
Grahams:112   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

Postby malky_c » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:17 am

Oh yes - doesn't get much better than that 8)

I've slid down some remaining snow in the Red Burn before, but never had proper winter conditions on the arete.
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5834
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:252   Hewitts:256
Wainwrights:102   Islands:33
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Inverness

Re: CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

Postby The Rodmiester » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:11 am

Absolutely stunning, God it does not get better than that, what an experience. Thank's for posting! :D
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 3388
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:75   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

Postby jenniferc6 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:13 pm

brilliant photos, it must have been a great day out :)
User avatar
jenniferc6
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 523
Munros:235   Corbetts:128
Grahams:28   Donalds:9
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:9
Joined: Aug 29, 2010
Location: Lonmay, Aberdeenshire

Re: CMD Arete & Ben Nevis, Alpine Style...?!

Postby Bod » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:40 pm

One to look at again and again :D :D :clap:
User avatar
Bod
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1512
Munros:282   Corbetts:47
Grahams:27   Donalds:20
Sub 2000:29   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:7   Islands:24
Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Location: Cowdenbeath

25 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).
Next



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 111 guests