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Me and my big mouth

Me and my big mouth


Postby Bbbadger » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:57 pm

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

Date walked: 31/08/2013

Time taken: 9.5 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 1600m

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While on a caravan holiday in July 2012 we stayed at the Glen Nevis campsite for three days where our pitch afforded unspoiled views of the Ben and the well worn zigzagging track on the higher reaches.
It was during these carefree three days that probably some alcohol fuelled bravado caused a foolish slip of the tongue and I uttered "Ah could dae that nae bother". The passing comment was immediately picked up by Mrs Badger and stored in the undeletable section of her memory, the part used in arguments where the record of past demeanours is kept, to be used later when least suspected.
Time passed, and at the start of summer during a conversation regarding my upcoming 50th birthday in September she "reminded" me I said I would climb Ben Nevis to mark this milestone. Now I am getting on admittedly and bluster and forgetfulness go with the territory, but I was pretty sure I had said no such thing!
To compound the situation, she started telling anyone who would listen about "my" plan!
Pretty soon I was being carried along on a Tsunami of expectation , where no excuse to call off short of serious injury or death would be tolerated.
As can be seen from our activites on WH we started knocking off a few lesser hills within an hour of the house, my first hills for 14 years, plus a few 10-20K walks in preparation for the event.
In my previous climbing life, during barren winter months spent pouring over maps, I had read about the route via the CMD arete and thought if I ever done it, this would be the route.
When I told Mrs Badger about the alternative route of ascent her enthusiasm was initially dampened due to the terrain and her confidence in my map reading skills, but after some research on her part she came round to the idea provided the weather was favourable.
Thus at 08:30 on the last day of August, on the eve of my 50th, we found ourselves in the North Face car park, in the pouring rain, donning our Goretex for the task ahead.
A well signposted path was followed through the forest and we emerged at the style over the deer fence to get our first glimpse of the route ahead. The rain had stopped by that point and the cloud had cleared all but the tops of the two munros.
Taking guidance from a WH report we left the path to attain the ridge of Carn Dearg Meadhonach missing out Carn Beag as suggested. We were surprised at our progress and fitness, probably helped by the many stops for photos of the North Face and valley below. The wind was quite strong as we reached the peak so we decided to wait until CMD to have a break. Crossing the boulderfield we reached CMD summit where the wind was even stronger and stopped to have lunch about 1pm. Two incidents spring to mind here, the first was the trepidation on my part as some walkers departing the top gave me the impression that the next descent was steep and dangerous. The second was Mrs Badger nearly getting blown off the summit while trying to eat her roll! She assured me she was nowhere near the edge as I shouted at her to sit down in a panic.
The mist cleared, as I regained my composure, revealing the Arete ahead of us. At this point we debated whether to scramble along the ridge or take the bypass below. We opted for the scramble and were soon so busy concentrating on our footing the drop off was not noticed much and we soon reached the halfway point. Looking back on CMD dozens of walkers could be seen climbing the long ridge to the summit from the Aonach Mor side like ants on a march. We stood aside at various points and let about a dozen people in total pass as we worked our way along to the last ascent to the summit of Ben Nevis. At this point my legs were a BT weary and that few hundred feet climb over the rocks to the top was a grueller! I had a stitch for the first time in 20 odd years! The top and hundreds of walkers appeared sooner than expected and we found a space to sit and take the customary snaps. The sneaky Mrs Badger then presented me with a birthday cake and badge which she had carefully stowed in her rucksack. We both had a wee snifter out a miniature of Edradour to toast the achievement. The wind chill was cooling us down rapidly so we didn't spend much time on the top and set off down the ample path to the halfway lochan.
Just after we were off the top Mrs B admitted climbing the Ben, as we could now refer to it as we had climbed it, was in fact her idea all along. Luckily for her we were off the top or she could have been taking the five finger gully route.
The zigzag route was more appealing now as the gentle slopes were easier on the legs. Cutting off above the loch an we headed back to the Allt n Mhuilinn through the strength sapping heather and bog, forded the river and made for the car. We were both using the poles now to aid the descent and made it back to the car 9.5 hours after we began, exhausted but in high spirits.
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Last edited by Bbbadger on Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bbbadger
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Re: Me and my big mouth

Postby pigeon » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:33 pm

Well done Mr and Mrs badger,a fine way to celebrate your 50th,a tough route as well,proves there's life in the legs yet :lol:
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pigeon
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Re: Me and my big mouth

Postby GillC » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:07 pm

Fantastic,,well done,,,its an epic climb but worth it,, :clap: :clap:
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GillC
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Re: Me and my big mouth

Postby Bbbadger » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:49 pm

Thanks for the congratulations all, reading the exploits of a few of you on WH has reinfected me with the walking bug after 14 years away from it. Was on nightshift looking at possible walks for my days off, a sure sign of the contagion!
The WH meets look like a good weekend, unfortunately I'm working 8/9 November!
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Bbbadger
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Posts: 19
Munros:73   Corbetts:12
Grahams:7   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:28   
Joined: Jun 5, 2013
Location: Bo'ness

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