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Early start for our Three Peaks Challenge

Early start for our Three Peaks Challenge

Postby del43f » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:32 am

Route description: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Path

Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis

Date walked: 24/05/2013

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 1340m

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We set off from the car park at the Bunkhouse at 4.45am. The initial walk was warm and dry. The path is mainly stone with some steps which is a good warm up for the thighs. There was two groups ahead of us which we could see off in the distance so we were able to gauge that we were on the right path.

The path flattened out by the Lochan to give the legs a little relief before starting to climb again past the Red Burn. Shortly after the first switchback, having had five minutes at the Red Burn, we climbed into the cloud base. It was at this point one of the groups ahead of us passed us on their return. They were also on the Three Peaks Challenge but unlike us were cycling between peaks, good luck to them!
Ben Nevis, the snow line

A short while later we hit the snow fields and the wind got up. At first it was relatively easy but slowly the mist got more dense to the point you could barely make out the next cairn ahead. What little tracks left by the other groups were quickly erased by the wind as well. About 20 minutes from the summit we heard the voices of the other group ahead of us. When we met, they warned us not to stray too much to the left of the cairns which they did almost to their peril.

We pushed on, twice having to stop between cairns due to losing sight of the one ahead. At 8.05am we found the summit cairn then hid behind the wall of the observatory to have our photo taken and celebrate our first peak with a dram. The wind chill was -15 centigrade and caused the tubes of our water packs to freeze. We stayed for a mere ten minutes and set off on our return.
Ben Nevis summit

There was an ever so slight improvement in the visibility so we could see the next cairn ahead. However in the little time spent at the top our footprints had disappeared. The descent to the Lochan was easy enough and we stopped off at the Red Burn for a break and to layer down. The hardest point was to come. From the Lochan the path became a slow traffic jam due to the amount of people coming up the way. Each group stopping to ask what they were up against and querying why we were coming down so early. In the end it took us just as long to get down as it did get up. We eventually got to the car park at 11am ready for our journey to the next peak.
Last edited by del43f on Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Early start for our Three Peaks Challenge

Postby mr_ash_37 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:03 am

Let us know how the next two peaks went please and pics if you have them cheeeeeers
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Re: Early start for our Three Peaks Challenge

Postby skuk007 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:56 pm

-15 sounds a bit nippy, but 6 hours up and down is still good going.
Gook luck with the next two :-)
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