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The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains


Postby Beaner001 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:45 pm

Munros included on this walk: Aonach Beag (Nevis Range), Aonach Mor, Ben Nevis, Carn Mor Dearg

Date walked: 24/08/2015

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 15.8 km

Ascent: 2036m

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Eric and I decided on a return to Glen Nevis to do the Ben and neighbouring Munros via the CMD Arete. We wanted to squeeze as much out of the day as possible and all were new Munros for three of the dogs and three were new for me, no new ones for Eric or Alfie again :shock:
We met at around 8.20am, the rain coming over from Aberdeenshire was horrendous and so I could not keep to national speed limits due to the surface water. However we were off by 9am and took a straight line up towards Coire Eoghainn, the Corrie where many people fall into in adverse weather when coming off the Ben.


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photo 1.JPG
Starting the ascent up towards Coire Eoghainn


One of the reasons could be they believe they should be coming off the summit to the South and see the North Face of the Ben so descend South instead of West along the Tourist track. Anyway it's a bonnie corrie but bloody steep going climbing right out of the car seat through wet grassy terrain, the bracken had not grown to full potential so we were saved that hassle but the midge was out in force. Eric ploughed on ahead and set a great pace, I had constant stops but they did not last long as the pain of the nipping beasties outweighed the pain of the climb :shock:

photo 2.JPG
Looking over to the Steall Falls and The Ring of Steall


Soon we reached the Posts, the lowest point between the ascent up the Ben and the start of the CMD Arete, Eric explained that there used to be a post here that the rock/ice climbers used to abseil back into the Coire Leis and back to the CIC hut. The reason is they would climb all the different routes and gullies on the Ben then descend back to the East towards the Arete and then abseil back down to save time. No such post is present now but there is a huge Cairn.

photo 3.JPG
First view of CMD and the Arete


We reached the path from the Arete and followed it straight up, the rocks are big and solid enough to make good time ascending but there are sections of scree that is best avoided. Soon the climb starts to lessen and then you come over the brow to the magnificent sight of the summit area. It just kind of creeps up and bites you in the arse but you are pleased nonetheless.

photo 4.JPG
Reaching the summit before the mist cleared


A short walk over the summit boulders to meet Eric whom had been waiting for a good few minutes and we sat for lunch. The plateau was a really pleasant place to be, my memories of it being a horrible place a few years ago while doing the three peaks challenge were now wiped out. I had previously promised to never return to the Harlot (Ben Nevis). Glad I did as the views came and went but we met a few nice people and spent over 30 minutes lazing at the Highest Point in the UK. Lovely. Maybe my view was different as we had not ascended the Pony Track and indeed never went down that way.

photo 5.JPG
Highest dogs in the UK

photo 6.JPG
Right to left (Summit cairn, emergency shelter and the old observatory)


After a few pics and food we went over to photograph the North & East faces and get a pic of tower ridge and Carn Mor Dearg too.

photo 7.JPG
The top of Tower ridge


Soon we were back at the Posts and ready to take on the Arete.

photo 8.JPG
Roy doing his Dumbo impression at the Posts

photo 9.JPG
Start of the Arete


I was really surprised at how comfortable I was on the Arete, yes we had ideal weather and in winter it would be a different kettle of fish but the dogs also sped over it with no issues. I found it a nice walk over and nothing compared to the rigors of Skye :wink: Of course there were a couple of sections that the dogs chose to take the bypass but by and large they followed the crest of the ridge with us and it was a really lovely airy walk with great views to the Bens best side.

photo 10.JPG
The Arete and the shoulder we'll ascend up to Aonach Mor and Beag

photo 12.JPG
CMD Summit ahead

photo 13.JPG
The Ben

photo 14.JPG
Charles Inglis Clark (C.I.C) Memorial Hut centre of pic

photo 15.JPG
The Ben


The summit of CMD was reached and we had another rest, we could see our route over to the Aonachs ahead, it looked a fair descent and re ascent but once you've had a few hill days in quick concession you become less worried about what lies ahead.

photo 16.JPG
Roy resting on CMD summit with the Ben in background

photo 17.JPG
The Ben again

photo 18.JPG
The Watershed shoulder East off CMD toward the ascent up to the bealach between Aonach's Mor & Beag


We followed the Watershed shoulder off CMD East losing just shy of 400m in height only to ascend back up to Seang Aonach Mor and turn North to the summit of Aonach Mor.

photo 19.JPG
Summit of Aonach Mor left to right (Tarsuinn, Lochy, Alfie, Roy)


This mountain to me felt well out of place, over to the West were the red CMD, the black Ben Nevis & to the East the Grey Corries, both Aonachs had a plateau feeling of the Glenshee hills in the East, not much rock up on top.

photo 20.JPG
The Grey Corries

photo 21.JPG
Aonach Beag


I guess all these hills had a bit of every type of hill present in Scotland. We didn't stay long on the summit and soon made our way over for the last ascent of the day up to the bigger of the two out of place mountains, Aonach Beag. The North and North East faces of the Beag looked like great climbs would be available on them, Eric said he witnessed Ice climbers on these faces climbing sheets of ice that were hanging off the faces in winter :shock:
We made the summit and a raven perched 50 meters away on the plateau, these are remarkable birds, one that I as a hillwalker do not pay much attention to as they are quite frequently seen, however on inspection of Eric's photos which he sent me, they are stunning birds (he will maybe post them on the site for others to see :thumbup: ) as the shots are the best I've seen.

photo 22.JPG
The Ben hiding behind the mist (my favourite pic as it's the Ben receding back from the limelight)

photo 23.JPG
Summit Aonach Beag

photo 24.JPG
Raven summit Beag


We decided to descend down towards Stob Coire Bhealaich as we wanted some shots of the Cliffs on Aonach Beag and some of the Grey Corries. While on the way over we encountered some sporadic groups of sheep so the dogs were kept at heel, they behaved really well and soon we made the Northern edge of the lovely wee point that is Sgurr a' Bhuic, I may one day go back up there as visually its a nice wee peak.

photo 25.JPG
Looking back to the Shoulder of Sgurr a' Bhuic which we descended down


Once past the Western edge of it we followed it's lower shoulder to the South West and down toward The Allt Coire Ghiuthsachan which we followed to Glen Nevis and the wee bridge over by the Steall ruins. The descent was all on pathless terrain and my knees were really feeling the burn, but it was my thighs that were giving me gyp for days after not the knees :roll:
Once down in Glen Nevis it was a simple walk back to the car park we started at, we passed many people that were pitching up for the night, god help them as the midge were horrendous :lol: :lol:
I am so glad I returned and gave Ben Nevis another shot as It more than made up for the first not so good experience, it is more than likely due to the route we took and the fact we never went near the Pony track and also we got to see her best side, the magnificent North Face is just spectacular :D
Thanks again Eric for a great day :clap:
Cheers
Last edited by Beaner001 on Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:38 pm

I'm knackered just reading all these reports these days - your turning red to blue at a fair old rate :clap: :clap: :clap:

That looked like a brilliant day with some great photos to show for the effort.

This is a route I've still to do, as a solo walker it's one I'll probably leave till next summer and look to get as good a day as I can as I'd prefer to see where I'm going along that ridge (or maybe it would be better if I can't see :lol: )
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Re: The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

Postby dav2930 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:56 pm

Great report Beaner on a very substantial excursion. Looks like you, Eric and the dogs had a great day out there. :clap:

There's so much to Ben Nevis; those who've only been up the pony track really don't know the mountain at all. 8)
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Re: The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

Postby electricfly » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:35 pm

Aye, another braw day was had on the hills. :D

You've certainly got at least one out of place mountain there. You selected the wrong Aonach Beag for the titles. Aonach Beag (Alder) is a good bit to the east! :lol:

Here's those Raven pics of which you speak... :wink:

Image

Image

Image

Good luck with the new job next week. :thumbup:
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Re: The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

Postby Beaner001 » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:55 am

Gordie12 wrote:I'm knackered just reading all these reports these days - your turning red to blue at a fair old rate :clap: :clap: :clap:

That looked like a brilliant day with some great photos to show for the effort.

This is a route I've still to do, as a solo walker it's one I'll probably leave till next summer and look to get as good a day as I can as I'd prefer to see where I'm going along that ridge (or maybe it would be better if I can't see :lol: )


I'm trying to squeeze lots of hills out this last two weeks as I see a lull coming on with a new job etc :lol:
The Arête really isn't as bad as I envisaged Gordie, but yes pick a good day, the views are stunning :D

dav2930 wrote:Great report Beaner on a very substantial excursion. Looks like you, Eric and the dogs had a great day out there. :clap:

There's so much to Ben Nevis; those who've only been up the pony track really don't know the mountain at all. 8)


Your bang on, i am so glad I went back and took a different route :D
Cheers

electricfly wrote:Aye, another braw day was had on the hills. :D

You've certainly got at least one out of place mountain there. You selected the wrong Aonach Beag for the titles. Aonach Beag (Alder) is a good bit to the east! :lol:

Here's those Raven pics of which you speak... :wink:

Good luck with the new job next week. :thumbup:


So your the only one that noticed, poor show and your the class swat, any corrections to my grammar required? :lol:
Excellent pics Eric, cheers buddy
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Re: The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

Postby ancancha » Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:22 am

An interesting walk to approach the Ben, a long walk with great views :clap:
Fabulous Raven photos 8)
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Re: The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

Postby martin.h » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:08 pm

Looks a great day out Matt, well done, it's one of those days to really enjoy and savour, fantastic mountains, good views and decent weather.

Good luck with the new job and lets hope the lull, mountain wise, won't last too long.

I'll PM you our plans for Torridon and if the job allows it, lets have a go at Liathach :D
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Re: The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

Postby KatTai » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:43 pm

Wow love the raven photos! Such beautiful birds!

Great report too, the dogs looked like they had a great time and it was great seeing the photos of them on the ridge :D
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Re: The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

Postby Petr Dakota » Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:34 pm

Well done doing Ben Nevis by this way :clap: :clap: :clap:
I have this route in my thoughts since I did Aonach Beag & Aonach Mor last year, but I was planning to do it opposite: Aonach Beag - Aonach Mor - C.M.D - B.N.
Nice pics there...and the Raven fom Eric is brilliant ! :clap: 8) :clap:
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Re: The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

Postby Collaciotach » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:04 am

Good trip :clap:

Aye we found the arete very comfortable as well :D
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Re: The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:16 pm

Thanks for reminding me of what I've been missing this summer - had hoped to do these 4 this year (probably in 2 trips though, you guys beat me on fitness :lol:) - but they'll still be there next year :?

Looks a brilliant day - dogs, ravens and humans all looking good :D :D
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Re: The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

Postby spiderwebb » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:07 pm

Fine day you guys had, again !! You are racking them up in these few weeks. Reminded me of when I parted my career and was in between jobs, a fair few of the best ridges provided wonderful memorable days over a week or so :D

Benn a while since I was up here though, the CMD I always feel is hyped into slightly more challenging than it actually is, quite wide for a ridge, but a stunning walk nonetheless with the best views of the Ben. Great pics :D
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Re: The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

Postby Beaner001 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:07 am

ancancha wrote:An interesting walk to approach the Ben, a long walk with great views :clap:
Fabulous Raven photos 8)


Anything to stay away from the busy Pony track :lol:

martin.h wrote:Looks a great day out Matt, well done, it's one of those days to really enjoy and savour, fantastic mountains, good views and decent weather.

Good luck with the new job and lets hope the lull, mountain wise, won't last too long.

I'll PM you our plans for Torridon and if the job allows it, lets have a go at Liathach :D


Looks like I'm gonna be busy travelling back and forth to London for first six weeks marts so hills will defo take a back seat I'm afraid :( needs must. Cheers :D

KatTai wrote:Wow love the raven photos! Such beautiful birds!

Great report too, the dogs looked like they had a great time and it was great seeing the photos of them on the ridge :D


Eric has really caught the raven well in the photos he's added :clap:
The arête is a fine walk that offers great views of the North and East faces :D

Petr Dakota wrote:Well done doing Ben Nevis by this way :clap: :clap: :clap:
I have this route in my thoughts since I did Aonach Beag & Aonach Mor last year, but I was planning to do it opposite: Aonach Beag - Aonach Mor - C.M.D - B.N.
Nice pics there...and the Raven fom Eric is brilliant ! :clap: 8) :clap:


It's a nice route Petr, go for it :D

Collaciotach wrote:Good trip :clap:

Aye we found the arete very comfortable as well :D


Cheers Colla , it was not nearly as airy as I expected :lol:

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Thanks for reminding me of what I've been missing this summer - had hoped to do these 4 this year (probably in 2 trips though, you guys beat me on fitness :lol:) - but they'll still be there next year :?

Looks a brilliant day - dogs, ravens and humans all looking good :D :D


Both pairs will be a fine trip, hope the weather plays ball for you :D

spiderwebb wrote:Fine day you guys had, again !! You are racking them up in these few weeks. Reminded me of when I parted my career and was in between jobs, a fair few of the best ridges provided wonderful memorable days over a week or so :D

Benn a while since I was up here though, the CMD I always feel is hyped into slightly more challenging than it actually is, quite wide for a ridge, but a stunning walk nonetheless with the best views of the Ben. Great pics :D


Cheers dave! now for yours and Eric's compleations :clap:
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Re: The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

Postby malky_c » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:18 pm

That looks like a good circuit :) . Lots of places here I haven't been to in years. I'll have to come back again sometime.
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Re: The Ben, the Arete and the out of place Mountains

Postby Beaner001 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:40 am

malky_c wrote:That looks like a good circuit :) . Lots of places here I haven't been to in years. I'll have to come back again sometime.


It's worth a look Malky, beats tackling the four from the North (the pony track and all the skiing equipment) anyway :lol:
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