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Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid)

Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid)


Postby scottishkennyg » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:31 pm

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

Date walked: 02/04/2015

Time taken: 8 hours

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Thursday looked a good day for fine weather so it was off for a walk round the CMD and onto the Ben. It was two years ago since the last visit which coincidentally was at the same time with similar weather. Unfortunately the news about the young walker who had gone missing reshaped the original plan to tackle another route.
The North Face car park was very busy when I arrived just after 0715 and it was obvious that there was a big dump of snow so it was an easy decision to head for Carn Dearg Beag and follow the ridge up to Big Ben.
The nice new path helped to get a nice pace without the high risk heart attack case the last path induced. And once again the people in the know were able to bypass this section and drive to the upper car park.
ImageIMG_0249 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
Left the woods and joined the main path up to CIC hut before turning off to engage a local resident who posed for a shot.
ImageIMG_0044 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

I headed up CBG NW flank which was a bit of a slog as the soft snow required more effort to negotiate. I met another walker on his way down. We had a quick chat and he said he had set off about 0600 and turned back as he was not feeling great. He headed back to the car and I plodded on to reach the summit ridge line at Carn Beag Dearg.
ImageIMG_0061 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
The height provided some great views of the surrounding hills which were covered in full winter garb.
ImageIMG_0059 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0065 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0099 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

Then it was a traverse along the ridge line and up to the top of Carn Dearg Meadonach
ImageIMG_0077 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0073 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

then on to Carn Mor Dearg munro summit.
ImageIMG_0087 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0088 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0094 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0110 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

It was very peaceful and the conditions were great. The views across to Big Ben and Coire na Ciste were superb.
ImageIMG_0093 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0103 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

CMD toward Mamores
ImageIMG_0128 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0125 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

I could hear a lot of echoes from the winter climbers on various routes of the East face of the Ben. Views across to the cliff faces brought back a sad memory of Mark Phillips who unfortunately died after a fall on Raeburns Buttress Feb.2013. RIP.
Some climbers across on the Ben.
ImageIMG_0139 (2) by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
I had a bite to eat and sat for a wee while enjoying the solitude before donning the crampons and setting off to negotiate the CMD ridge.
ImageIMG_0147 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0108 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
The ridge was covered in fresh windswept snow and there were no signs of any footprints or well worn sections. The soft peaked snow reminded me of the Mr.Whippy cones the tally vans sell. It was difficult to see what was beneath the snow, rock or not.
ImageIMG_0151 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0155 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

The snow was deep in sections and my wee short legs were stretched to the under carriage.
ImageIMG_0152 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

A view into the coire where some climbers appeared to be having a break.
ImageIMG_0161 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0171 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

It was hard to get a good stride and progress was slow. There were a few times when the snowline sheared under my massive 13 stone, note to self to resume diet.
View down to three climbers ascending coire wall.
ImageIMG_0172 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
I reached the abseil point where I was expecting to find the man made cairn. Alas it was not there. I sat down and reloaded before the final pull. The three roped climbers appeared and we had a chat. The guide was a member of the LMR team. He explained to me that the cairn was there it was just buried beneath the snow.
View from vicinity of buried structure.
ImageIMG_0188 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0178 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
I headed off up the steep slope and kicked away to create the first path of the day. It was very tiring and I had to stop about every ten steps for a breather.
ImageIMG_0175 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
Person atop Tower
ImageIMG_0199 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
View back down final ridge
ImageIMG_0209 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0176 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

I followed the post line to the big boulders then the gradient eased as the shelter came into view.
ImageIMG_0213 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

Summit plateau provides some superb views on a clear day.

ImageIMG_0224 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0217 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0229 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

I descended via the tourist route and then down to the waterfall, by the lochan and down to the woodland.
ImageIMG_0219 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0242 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

A troop of lads passed me and made their way into the upper VIP car park to be driven away in the white van. Reckon that saves at least one hour off the route and about 800 calories.
I followed the pedestrian route to arrive safely back to the car just after 1515 to end a cracking day on Big Ben. Once again the day on these hills deserves a 10 as they do not get much better.

The next day I looked like a burned tomato with white eyelids, I wondered why my eyes were weeping during the night, clearly a combination of exposure to elements and no protection taken by the walker. Must remember to pack sunglasses and wear SPF cream.
I put together a short video highlighting some of the walk including the Carn Mor Dearg arête with virginal snow coverage, which has been muted by youtube, and can be viewed at link below;
(Can watch in HD by selecting setting on video bar and selecting HD1080p for sharper quality images)

Thanks for looking and apologies for lack of sound.
Last edited by scottishkennyg on Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid

Postby hopper68 » Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:22 pm

I done this route two weeks ago, more snow has falling ..superb pictures
hopper68
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Re: Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid

Postby BobMcBob » Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:45 pm

Those photos are stunning. I did this route on a hot clear July day where the views were magnificent but this makes that look drab. I must go do a winter skills course!
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Re: Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid

Postby hopper68 » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:15 pm

hopper68 wrote:I done this route two weeks ago, more snow has falling ..superb pictures
hopper68
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Re: Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid

Postby onsen » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:27 am

Great pics....made easier when scenery is so accommodating . :thumbup:
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Re: Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:24 pm

Good report , aye sunburnt and eyelids weeping on Thursday fro me as well :wink:
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Re: Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid

Postby scottishkennyg » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:31 pm

hopper68 wrote:I done this route two weeks ago, more snow has falling ..superb pictures

Thanks hopper68,
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Re: Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid

Postby scottishkennyg » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:34 pm

BobMcBob wrote:Those photos are stunning. I did this route on a hot clear July day where the views were magnificent but this makes that look drab. I must go do a winter skills course!

Thanks Bob, I got lucky with the weather and the new camera, glad you got cracking conditions too.
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Re: Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid

Postby scottishkennyg » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:34 pm

onsen wrote:Great pics....made easier when scenery is so accommodating . :thumbup:

Thanks Onsen..so true
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Re: Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid

Postby scottishkennyg » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:36 pm

Collaciotach wrote:Good report , aye sunburnt and eyelids weeping on Thursday fro me as well :wink:

Cheers Colla, that is my eyes just getting back to normal 19/20 vision now..note to buy some sunglasses.
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Re: Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid

Postby simon-b » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:51 pm

Excellent, Kenny. The arete and its environs look magnificent at any time of year, when you get clear views like that. But it looks like an even bigger adventure with the snow.
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Re: Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:56 pm

What a great day for it.
I'd love to get up there when it's in winter nick
Fine photos
Al
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Re: Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid

Postby Beaner001 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:35 pm

Wow, wow, wow :clap: :clap: :clap:
That about sums up my thoughts on your TR there :lol: :D
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Re: Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid

Postby rockhopper » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:58 pm

cracking day for it - and a great set of photos as usual :thumbup: not sure I'd be adventurous enough to try it in winter but it does look good - cheers :)
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Re: Big Ben via the CMD again, gets another 10/10 (inc. vid

Postby scottishkennyg » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:39 pm

simon-b wrote:Excellent, Kenny. The arete and its environs look magnificent at any time of year, when you get clear views like that. But it looks like an even bigger adventure with the snow.

Cheers Simon
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