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A day out with Dad

A day out with Dad


Postby teaandpies » Fri May 22, 2015 11:36 pm

Route description: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Path

Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis

Date walked: 19/06/2014

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1378m

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During a/the spell of absolutely amazing weather we had last summer my father who has never walked a Munro in his life or every mentioned ever wanting to do so calls me up late in the evening wanting to know if I wanted to go for a walk up Ben Nevis :shock:
I think he had been listing to me and my brothers chatting about various walks, hills and munros and thought to himself he wanted a piece of that.

Once of the phone I realised that I was not prepared for a walk, my bag wasn't prepped, I had nothing in the fridge for a piece and frankly I couldn't really be bothered with it :silent: but I didn't want to say that to him on the phone, I wasn't sure if we'd get an opportunity to do a walk like this again and have the weather be so good.

After a dash to Tesco for supplies before it closed at 10pm all I had to do was pack the bag. I normally research my walks thoroughly, look over my maps and do bit of reading of WTH to get specifics from other peoples reports but with Ben Nevis I figured it was going to be straight forward...

The alarm clock goes off at 6am and I'm out of bed with as much enthusiasm as a vegan at Texan BBQ but the sun is up and if it wasn't for my father driving me to the hill I wouldn't be able to walk it so I was feeling good my day off wouldn't be wasted.

Ma old man picked me up just around 7am and we set off. I'm happy that I'm not driving because I hate the A 86, the first part is very winding with a lot of gear changing and there are always lorries absolutely charging up and down that road, it's always tree lorries and I always get the fear when driving behind one of those. I hate driving, I've always been happy as a passenger getting to enjoy the views and the there are a few good one on this journey.

We got to Fort William in good time but the town was already busy and as we made our way to the hill it was obvious that other people were taking advantage of the good weather. We parked at the youth hostel and got ready.

I would say the weather was perfect but it was actually far to warm for me personally.
1.jpg
Meall an t-Suidhe


I decided to just wear my 'approach shoes' for this walk, they have more ventilation and are a lot lighter. Given the great weather and the well worn path I knew it wasn't going to be a problem.
We set off across the bridge that crosses the River Nevis and our walk had officially started and at a fair lick. We blasted up the first bit of the path until we joined the main path that leads up from the visitor centre. We stopped to chat to an old man sitting on a bench but really it was an excuse to catch our breath. Once satisfied with our rest we proceeded along the stony path with the sun blazing over head, it was roasting with only shade offered by a few trees that lined the lower part of the path.
It doesn't take long to get some height and the views are already getting good.

2.jpg
Looking back to where we started from


3.jpg
Looking up the Glen


We made our way further up the path and my day was really going for it, it was way to warm to be walking like it was raining so I told him to rest up.

5.jpg
Taking another wee break


Not far from the above picture the mountain opens up a little bit more and you get a real idea of the size of Ben Nevis. We came around the path and away up ahead of us we could see a whole stream of people up making there way up to the summit, they looked like ants.
We stopped to enjoy the views at the Lochan which is approximately around the half way point and we were passed by other walkers we had passed on the way up, we'd would end up repassing and being passed by these folk all the way up.

6.jpg
Lochan Meall an t-Suiche


We got moving again and it wasn't long before I was stopping to take pictures again. The below picture shows the path around Meall an t-Suidhe as it opens up as mentioned above.

10.jpg
This high up and we can still see the start of the walk


I was maybe walking for 5 minutes before stopping to take in more pictures, I think I was starting to annoy my dad at this point but the heat was really getting to me so I was ok with taking in the views and water.

12.jpg
Views over the narrows


13.jpg
Views over Lochan Meall an t-Suiche


From this point the hill gets really steep and the path zig-zags it's way up from here but the path is loose and rocky and because of how dry it was and the volume people walking it was very dusty. All the green has been totally stripped by the weather form the top third of the hill and it gives a different feel to the walk.

14.jpg
The green totally disappeared and you are left with this lunar landscape


Right in the centre of the above picture you can see a tiny snow patch which seemed to be amusing for the people having a snowball fight as we walked over it.

Ben Nevis is a beautiful hill and if the weather is good the views are amazing.

15.jpg
Ben Nevis offers incredible views in every direction


Once we followed the path over the snow patch we were pretty much there it's just a case of avoiding breaking your ankle or falling off the edge of the cliff.

16.jpg
This bit of snow is the equivalent to that white cottage in Glencoe


17.jpg
I'll walk Nevis from that direction next time I think


The top was busy, as expected, with all sorts of people from hard core climbers to families, groups of young woman on a hen do to holiday makers. There was a line of people waiting to take there shot at the summit trig point but my father was oblivious to this fact and jumped the line haha

18.jpg
The old man photobombing at the summit


After acting as a photographer for a whole bunch of people a kind person offered to take a picture of my father and I at the trig point together. Thank you to that stranger, I think he may have been Dutch.

20.jpg
We got the summit to ourselves for a second


We spent a good 40 minutes plus on the summit, I sat down and had a bite to eat and took on water. I had drunk a full litre of water on the way up, that was all the water I took...this was something that I knew I was going to regret on the way down.

After sitting for a while I had stiffened up but we couldn't stay on the summit all day so we headed off but as I do with every Munro I took a piece of the hill for the collection.

31.jpg
A wee bit of Nevis for the collection


I took a few pictures of the way down when the light had changed.

26.jpg
Looking back to the summit as we left


28.jpg
I liked the contrast in landscape types


29.jpg
Realising we have to walk all the way back down there


The walk down took longer than expected, and the dust from the loose path was sticking to my face and getting in my mouth I was needing a drink badly and it turned out my father had drunk all his water also. Further down the hill just as you are on the part of the path that takes you down to the Lochan we came across a small but welcome supply of water pouring out of the hill side, it took a while to drink as much as needed and refill our bottles but it had to be done. Other people saw us filling our bottles and they decided to do the same thing.

My back, left hip and knees were hurting and walking had become a little painful for me but I didn't tell my dad, as he continued to power down the hill...it turned out that he had been in a rush because he wanted to catch a live football match on the telly in the evening :lol:

As we got down the past the lochan and past the rocky bit we were onto the lush part of the hill again and somehow, inexplicably we missed the turn off to the path. We were chatting away and we found ourselves walking thought a field of sheep that we obviously didn't come through on the way up. I couldn't help but laugh. We spotted a path down to the river and we took the path back along the river to the little bridge.
I was needing to get to a bathroom badly but I could no longer hold on. I stopped to take a pee and it was a great feeling however when I stepped back from the bush I was covered in splash back, luckily it was still warm so it dried within the half kilometre or so walk to the bridge, great end to my day.

We stopped in at the shell petrol station on the way back and I got myself an extra litre of water and a Lucozade for the journey home.


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Ben Nevis was very busy, there were a lot of people on the hill from all different backgrounds. I seen people in tears because they couldn't finish the walk, people in rubbish shoes applying stick plasters to blisters, I seen couples fighting, there were people running up and down the hill, plenty of eye candy.
This hill is busy, take it for what it is a tourist attraction, there's no point complaining about it. Just enjoy it for what it is.




(walked with my father)
Attachments
30.jpg
Another cracking view
4.jpg
My old man showing me up
teaandpies
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Re: A day out with Dad

Postby Petr Dakota » Sat May 23, 2015 1:59 am

Nice report & good effort for you & your dad :clap: I enjoyed reading ...well done ! You had a beautiful clear day, great view around & some beautiful photos you made. :clap: :clap: :clap: Interesting idea - your collection a piece of every Munro you have done :clap: :D :wink:
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Re: A day out with Dad

Postby basscadet » Sat May 23, 2015 8:57 am

That did look lovely :clap: I love going out with my Dad :D
I like what you said about taking the Ben for what it is - we need tourist hills - Hillwalking isnt just for the highly trained, anyone should be able to enjoy :thumbup:

You seemed to learn the water lesson - I would of taken 4 litres for the Ben on such a warm day :lol:
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Re: A day out with Dad

Postby teaandpies » Sat May 23, 2015 4:29 pm

basscadet wrote:That did look lovely :clap: I love going out with my Dad :D
I like what you said about taking the Ben for what it is - we need tourist hills - Hillwalking isnt just for the highly trained, anyone should be able to enjoy :thumbup:

You seemed to learn the water lesson - I would of taken 4 litres for the Ben on such a warm day :lol:


I made a massive mistake on that day. I do have a massive 3ltr bladder for my bag but I didn't use it. Lesson learned!!
teaandpies
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Re: A day out with Dad

Postby teaandpies » Sat May 23, 2015 4:38 pm

Petr Dakota wrote:Nice report & good effort for you & your dad :clap: I enjoyed reading ...well done ! You had a beautiful clear day, great view around & some beautiful photos you made. :clap: :clap: :clap: Interesting idea - your collection a piece of every Munro you have done :clap: :D :wink:



I'm the first to admit I'm a poor writer. I've not really needed to write or write reports since I was in school so over 14 years for me now.
I actually started writing my reports just to get my grammar skills sharpened up.

Thanks for being kind about my report, I do appreciate the input :)
teaandpies
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Re: A day out with Dad

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun May 24, 2015 7:26 am

You don't get too many days with views like that from the Ben. Good pictures. A friend took a bit of Mount Everest back for me Don't think its the done thing but I was quite happy :)
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Re: A day out with Dad

Postby teaandpies » Sun May 24, 2015 4:19 pm

Sunset tripper wrote:You don't get too many days with views like that from the Ben. Good pictures. A friend took a bit of Mount Everest back for me Don't think its the done thing but I was quite happy :)


That's a cool thing to have. :D
teaandpies
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Re: A day out with Dad

Postby Silverhill » Sun May 24, 2015 9:50 pm

Brilliant pictures. 8) This is an elusive hill and views are elusive too. I only bagged it on my 3rd attempt :crazy:
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Re: A day out with Dad

Postby teaandpies » Sun May 24, 2015 9:59 pm

Silverhill wrote:Brilliant pictures. 8) This is an elusive hill and views are elusive too. I only bagged it on my 3rd attempt :crazy:


I bet you were doing it in more hard core conditions...

What went wrong with the first 2 attempts?
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Re: A day out with Dad

Postby rockhopper » Sun May 24, 2015 11:19 pm

Nice day for it and some great photos :thumbup: Would agree with you about it being busy - think I saw more people on the top of Ben Nevis than on the rest of the hills I've walked all together :crazy: - cheers :)
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Re: A day out with Dad

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon May 25, 2015 12:44 am

Great report - really enjoyed reading it and the photographs are amazing - what weather you got. Agree that the Ben is a huge tourist attraction and your attitude is the best way to deal with the crowds.
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