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Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis

Postby Gillco61 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:20 pm

Route description: Ben Nevis by the Mountain Path

Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis

Date walked: 07/09/2015

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 1352m

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When I was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in December 2012 I could not walk upstairs without getting out of breath. I thought my love of mountain walking had ended. After chemotherapy and major surgery in 2013 I was thrilled to be able to go walking again. Six months after the treatment ended I found the cancer had returned and was no longer curable. I had further chemotherapy. I am now on a biological drug which will hopefully delay the spread. Before becoming ill I had climbed Scafell Pike and Snowdon. I really wanted to climb Ben Nevis. I had planned to do the walk with my daughter but finding times we were both free along with a good forecast was proving to be difficult. September dawned and I knew time/good weather were running out. Last Sunday I left my husband and two daughters behind and travelled to Fort William. The clouds were down when I arrived at Glen Nevis visitors centre at 8am Monday morning so I was expecting not to get any view from the top. The walk started over the suspension bridge then along a track before climbing steeply up. The first part was on a rocky path with some simple scrambling. I soon found I was walking in the clouds. I knew from my map there should be a tarn but visibility was so poor I could not see anything. The path here was less rocky and not so steep. I took the right hand turn and headed towards the waterfall. I found I had climbed through the clouds. What a wonderful view. The sky was blue and the sun was shining . Below me was fluffy white clouds with mountain tops poking through. I was now on the zigzag path with lots of loose stones/scree. I was too busy looking at the view to worry about the climb. I did the final climb with a fellow walker whom I met on the path. The path became steeper towards the top. There was a small amount of snow in a gully. Walking to the highest point was across grey stones. There were a number of cairns. By walking slowly I had not needed any rest stops. I had reached the top in 3 hours 20 minutes. It was hot and sunny. There were only about 20 people on the top and everyone was talking to one another. I started the descent down. This took 3 hours 5 minutes. I found the descent harder than the climb. I had broken my arm while out walking last year so took extra care. The zigzags with the loose stones were slippery and the rocky path nearer the bottom had some big steps down which involved some bottom shuffling by me. The clouds had lifted and the view was magnificent. I was sad to get back to my car. This has been a wonderful day
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Re: Ben Nevis

Postby dogplodder » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:32 am

Well done doing that on your own. That's an achievement for anyone - but particularly so after serious illness. Glad you got such a good day for it! :D
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Re: Ben Nevis

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:49 am

Nice one. 3 and a half hours or so is a pretty decent time!

Its quite a feeling breaking through the clouds from miserable damp weather to find yourself in a different, magical, world above the clouds. Happened to me once on the Ben too.

Wishing you all the best for a continued recovery.
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Re: Ben Nevis

Postby SecretSquirrel » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:52 am

Well done! I always find climbing through cloud and then seeing them laid out below fantastic!
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Re: Ben Nevis

Postby hooter2014 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:33 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Ben Nevis

Postby Petr Dakota » Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:56 pm

Well done !" :clap: :clap: :clap:
Brave attitude :clap: :clap: :clap:
All the best :clap:
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Re: Ben Nevis

Postby ancancha » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:29 am

Well done :clap:
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Re: Ben Nevis

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:17 pm

Sounds like you had a good day. The Ben is a hard mountain and from the visitor centre your climbing it from close to sea level. I was up the Ben last week also and still feeling it. All the best
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Re: Ben Nevis

Postby Sgurr » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:49 pm

Well done! I did it many years ago in perfect health and only just managed under three hours (and that by dint of having a light bag through forgetting my lunch), so doing it in that time after all you have been through is quite something. I hope that the drug will keep you stable enough to do more walks. and that your love of the hills will help you in the times to come.
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Re: Ben Nevis

Postby Silverhill » Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:17 pm

Well done, what an achievement! And to also get an inversion! I hope the drug works for you, so you can enjoy more wonderful days on and off the hills. :D
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