Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Ben Nevis the fun way

Having already claimed the highest peaks in England and Wales, part of our objective this holiday was to finish the set with Ben Nevis.  Not quite in 24 hours, but comfortably within 12 months of each other...  We had identified what looked like the best day to get to the top to maximise the chance of a good view.

Difficulty: 8.0
Walkers: Tim, Grace (14), Poppy (8)
10:32, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (14)
14:47, 9.6km 4h14 1359m, Carn Mor Dearg (1220, Munro)
16:44, 11.8km 6h12 1695m, Ben Nevis (Beinn Nibheis) (1345, Munro)
19:35, 20.6km 9h03 1747m, End (14)

Now we'd thought carefully about route choice, and I had researched a few options.  However to keep things reasonable we did relent and pick the busy way up.  Well most of the way up.

Poppy putting on a good astonished face on hearing we're going up there.  However that girl is made of sterner stuff and was quite interested when I dropped hints that I might want to find a more interesting way up.


The route up the first 600m of ascent is fairly unremarkable, but the views kept getting better.

At this point we hit decision point, and split the party.  Caroline took charge of Isabelle and Evie, taking the express route to the top.  Grace and Poppy were keen to do the more fun way up, even after impressing on them that it was further, more climbing, and they had to be sensible.

Turning the corner we had the first view up the valley to the north of Ben Nevis, with the plan to cross over and find out way up the other side.

Stopping for a bite of lunch before the climb, Grace was trying hard to avoid the camera.

Views of the north face of Ben Nevis were pretty awesome.

Finally we gave up trying to find anything more than random sheep tracks and made our way up the slope.  It probably would have been faster to head further north first and get to the top of the ridge further back.

Grace didn't quite get out of shot fast enough at Carn Dearg Meadhonach.  Not isolated enough for a Munro, but still quite a view down to Fort William.

Looking the other way, this time towards our two Munros, and the walk in between.

Grace at the top of Carn Mor Dearg, with the famous arete leading to Ben Nevis.

Now on the ridge, most of the way the top was a good few boulders wide, before the steep drop on either side.

And the fun just keeps going!

Here's a brief 360 video from here, showing Grace & Poppy sneakily taking the path just off the top of the ridge.

Last one of the ridge, promise.

Okay, not quite the last one.  I was wearing a GoPro head mount and edited the footage to get this highlight reel.

Stopping for a quick snack after the ridge, before the last climb up a boulder field to the top.

Looking back across the arete.

And at the top of Ben Nevis.  

This shows Loch Lochy and our walk from the previous day. 

Caroline and other others had beaten us by quite a way and were on the way back down, so we just took a few more photos before starting to make our way down.

More stunning views on the way down, this time looking south west.


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