by yellowbelly » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:45 pm
Route description: Ben Nevis by the Carn Mor Dearg Arete
Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis, Carn Mor Dearg
Date walked: 09/07/2013
Time taken: 8.25 hours
Distance: 16.2 km
Ascent: 1604m5 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).
So at 8:30am I met up with Mike Pescod of Abacus Mountaineering and we set off from the North Face car park.
This is the approximate route we took.
Up through the forest and out again and through the fence where the first view of the route ahead appears.
The route ascends over the lower slopes of Carn Beag Dearg on a thin path and as height is gained the half-way lochan comes in to view on the right.
More views of the Ben as the cloud descends for a while.
Finally as we gain more height, the clouds lift and a superb view of the Ben's North face appears.
A stream crossing our path was used to refill an already empty water bottle.
We skirt around the top of Carn Dearg Meadhonach and finally the summit of Carn Mor Dearg appears ahead.
As we reach the top, the wind rises and cools us off so it's time to put on a windproof and have a bite to eat. The cloud is blown into a vortex as it swirls over the arête.
The clouds then lift as two others ahead of us start their crossing of the arête and a good view of what lies ahead is revealed.
Time to crack on with it and Mike says we'll stick to the crest unless I say otherwise. So that's what we did and I found it most enjoyable following him a few steps behind. Only a couple of inelegant moves by me on the big blocks which were dry and provided plenty of grip. Just one or two places where it was best not to look down but concentrate on the next two or three moves and foot placements whilst keeping balanced.
At the half-way point we stopped and got a super view right down the Allt a' Mhuilinn.
To the left looking South, lots of hills too numerous to name (you'll know what they all are, cos I can't be sure )
So it was now time for the final push up the steep bouldery slopes and occasional path to the summit. With the sun beating down the "15 minutes to the top" promise seemed to take for ever. Several stops were required by me in order to take in more water and it came as a relief to emerge into low cloud and a cooling breeze on the top.
After only seeing 4 or 5 people on our route, there were now more like 100 on the summit plateau. We sat on some flat rocks near the edge, put on windproofs again and had another food stop.
Then it was time to follow everyone else down the zigzags and pass another 100 or so coming up. The water flowing in the Red Burn was very welcome and I refilled another water bottle and soaked my buff to cool my neck.
Leaving the tourist path, we skirted the half-way lochan then branched off right across country on a steady downhill plod with nobody else in sight.
There only remained the crossing of the Allt a' Mhuilinn, either by wading or using the slender 3" wide girder above a small waterfall at the forest fence as we did.
The last downhill forest path seemed to go on forever with tired legs and sore feet in the heat and I was glad to get back to the car at 5pm.
All in all a superb day's walk which I thoroughly enjoyed - even the hot weather wasn't a real problem
by ScottishLeaf » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:57 pm
Really looking forward to doing this route at some point.
by GillC » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:01 pm
by PeteR » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:55 am
Loved doing the ridge. Quite fancy a return in winter conditions
by tina bonar » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:54 pm
by laconic surf » Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:14 pm
Looks like you had a great day. I was trying to see if i could see myself on your photo of the Steall Falls but can't quite pick myself out - was probably hunched over huffing and puffing
Like I said in my report, I've got this route on my radar but will wait until the Ben quietens down a bit, will probably head up september/october time
Great report, well done
by yellowbelly » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:44 pm
Cheers Barrie. Yeah it's a bit weird when you see nobody for about 5 hours, then you see loads on the top. Some stylish tourists mind - French youths with just their manbags - really cool - and still smell good too , unlike myself
Thanks Luc. It was a good day to keep stopping for lots of photos with the added bonus of grabbing a swig of water wasn't it? I'm sure you now know the names of all those hills I couldn't identify. You'll enjoy this walk - keep to the crest as much as possible and avoid the bypass paths for maximum buzz.
by dtr42 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:53 pm
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