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Ben Nevis via CMD Arete

Ben Nevis via CMD Arete


Postby jwramsay » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:15 pm

Route description: Ben Nevis by the Carn Mor Dearg Arete

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

Date walked: 17/10/2009

Time taken: 10.5 hours

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 1500m

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Saturday the 17th October 2009 was a very beautiful day indeed, so having been a bit disappointed by Ben Chonzie the previous day, I set off early from the Central Belt with Ben Nevis via Carn Mor Dearg in my sights.

Being into photography, I had to stop on the way up to take some snaps:

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From just after Tarbet, Loch Lomond with a touch of mist and Ben Lomond showing clearly.

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Ben Lomond at sunrise

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Ben Dorain with some lovely whispy cloud - looking good for Ben Nevis!



It was such a beautiful sunny day, Rannoch Moor and Glencoe were looking at their best, so I had to stop and take photographs of these bad boys:

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Loch Tulla, some fog and a nice reflection

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No idea what this mountain is ...

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Oh, I recongnise it now. Buachaille Etive Mor

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Bidean Nam Bian


At last, 10am and I'm parked at the North Face Carpark, off the A82, and the long trek begins.
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The North face CarPark


An easy walk through the superb path in the woods, brings me out at the style with the first view of the Ben
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Ben Nevis and the Coire Leis


Wanting to see the famous CIC hut, I make a big mistake and venture too far into the Coire Leis. This leaves me having to go steeply up the side of the Can Mor Dearg, arriving at the top of the ridge just prior to the summit. Even though it was October the run was blazing down on me all the way up to the top of CMD and I used all of that lovely cool water I'd just precured from the Allt a' Mhuilinn burn. And I kid you not, I did all of this climb in a T-Shirt!
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View back down the valley


Not long after leaving the path, the views of the North Face open up:
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The magnificent North face

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more North face


There is even a herd of red deer and this one spotted me.
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Red Deer and the CIC hut


The going is very tough and I'm heartened to see the summit of CMD not too far away.
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CMD summit with a nice profile or the Arete to Ben Nevis


Finally, I reach the summit of the CMD, a 4009 foot munro itself, so I think that's the hard work done for the day. How wrong I was! Another munro is ticked off. Unfortunately Ben Nevis won't count as he was my 1st munro just over a year earlier and the reason for me being hooked!
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View North from CMD summit

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Still no Channel 5 !

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Aonach Beag

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The CMD Arete with the Mamores behind


So I begin the decent (hmmm that means more re-ascent than I'd been hoping for) and here is a look back to the CMS summit from the Arete:
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Looking back at CMD from The Arete


The going is much easier than I'd expected. I don't like expose but didn't find anything bad at all. There are lots of paths that you can use to bypass the rocky top, but I preferref mostly just to stay on top, as it's pretty wide.
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About half way?

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Look back along Arete to CMD and that pig of a climb I had!


At last, I reached the intersection with Ben Nevis and that last haul up that looked daunting "seems" like a piece of pie!
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Ben Nevis intersection

Alas, it's no piece of pie, a lot of rockhopping as I never found a path. At least there is NO EXPOSURE and you know that it'll soon be all downhill. The views of the Mamores and that Steall waterfall were just splendid, so lots of excuses to whip out the gear and get more footage.
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The steall waterfall

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Looking back from (almost) the plateau summit of Ben Nevis


At this point, I had to crack open my emergency can of full fat juice, as this final push is really demanding. I've also just discovered that only 25 photos can be added to a walk, so I'm going to change to link to photos on my Flickr and videos on my Utube accounts!

The summit beckons:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2591/4020812286_cede89a893_b.jpg
Image

I summited around 5pm! Yes I know, slow as anything, but I did take loads of video footage and photographs. I didn't hand about the summit for too long. I met Uli and his family on the Arete and Uli had taken pity on me and asked that I come back down the tourist route with him and his family, and that he would give me a run to the North Face carpark. He also gave me a wee carton of fresh orange which was like amber nectar - much appreciated mate.

Here is the final photograph that I took on the way down that tourist path to show that nightfall was almost upon us!
Image
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3521/4021097368_a38bccedd5_b.jpg

We had to descend for about 1 hour in darkness but had torches. The stars looked amazing, it was so clear. At 8.30pm I got a seat in Uli's car.

WHAT A DAY!


And thanks to Youtube's limits my video has to be split in two.

Part 1 - CMD and the Arete
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YLhy_nueQs[/youtube]

Part 2 - The final push and Ben Nevis
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOTPZ0cIlAs[/youtube]

To summarise, this was the hardest walk I'd ever done and still maintains that mantle. In no small part this was due to ascending CMD via the wrong route, I should have peeled off left right at the start and climbed the top from it's end. However, the buzz that I had on the 2.5 hour drive home that evening was just immense, I'd achieved something very special.
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jwramsay
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Re: Ben Nevis via CMD Arete

Postby GraemeMac » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:53 pm

Great report, looks like a perfect day. One of my best memories of the highlands so far was driving through glencoe to fort william on a brilliant sunny morning and taking loads of photos along the way, so your report has brought it all back :D
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Re: Ben Nevis via CMD Arete

Postby jwramsay » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:58 pm

Graeme, it really was the perfect day. Glencoe was hoaching with photographers that morning and you can appreciate why.

On the way home it was pitch black though :(
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Re: Ben Nevis via CMD Arete

Postby soulminer » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:13 pm

Great report and photos, love the radioactive cloud shot :lol: The only way to ascend the Ben, especially on the kind of day you had.
Cheers for posting
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Re: Ben Nevis via CMD Arete

Postby Alastair S » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:17 pm

Wow, what a stunning day & great report there jwramsay - definately the way to do The Ben :D
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Re: Ben Nevis via CMD Arete

Postby jwramsay » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:23 pm

soulminer wrote:Great report and photos, love the radioactive cloud shot :lol: The only way to ascend the Ben, especially on the kind of day you had.
Cheers for posting


Oh yeah, my Mordor photo! Was bricking it as we were about 3000 feet at that point! (and knew darkness was just around the corner)

Much better route than the Tourist trail for sure.
Last edited by jwramsay on Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ben Nevis via CMD Arete

Postby Merry-walker » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:26 am

Awsome pictures, boss report
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Re: Ben Nevis via CMD Arete

Postby Milesy » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:01 pm

What the feck is the antenna?????
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Re: Ben Nevis via CMD Arete

Postby pruney84 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:22 pm

great report and some absolutely stunning photo's there
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Re: Ben Nevis via CMD Arete

Postby jwramsay » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:31 pm

Milesy wrote:What the feck is the antenna?????


The guy was a Radio Ham, he was talking to folks like 1000s of miles away.
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Re: Ben Nevis via CMD Arete

Postby kevsbald » Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:53 pm

Amazing clarity in these shots.
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Re: Ben Nevis via CMD Arete

Postby jwramsay » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:10 pm

kevsbald wrote:Amazing clarity in these shots.


It was a great day for visibility.

Camera is a Nikon D40 with 18-55 kit lens, cost around £270 a few years back.
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Re: Ben Nevis via CMD Arete

Postby tomyboy73 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:42 pm

jwramsay wrote:
Milesy wrote:What the feck is the antenna?????


The guy was a Radio Ham, he was talking to folks like 1000s of miles away.




I saw some guy doing this on Tinto hill, :? , do you think when they`re talking to someone 1000`s of miles away they too are up a mountain ? :lol:

btw great report and great pictures, and i don`t know how you managed the drive home, i`d be too knackered. I`ll have to go back up Ben Nevis again sometime as the top of it was covered in snow. I had no idea all those buildings were up there, and the only view i had was the back of my mates head :lol:
IMG_2563.JPG
my Ben Nevis
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