Day 184: Ben Nevis Climb
Distance: 10.06 miles
Ascent: 4819 feet
Weather: Sunny Spells
Accommodation: Glen Nevis Campsite
I had a good nights sleep after the anxiety inducing England game last night. Today was going to be a quite different day as I was hiking up and down Ben Nevis, I had decided to add this onto the walk as I had never walked it before and it was only a few kilometres from Fort William. On top of this I was being joined by Ed and Becky who had driven up to Fort William via climbing in the Lake District yesterday.
I had a quick detour to the shop at 7am this morning to get supplies as I had forgotten Becky was vegetarian and then made 3 packed lunches before they arrived at 8:30 and it was great to see them. We drove over to the car park and began the ascent, fortunately I didn’t have to carry my full rucksack.
As we started there was not a cloud in the sky and it was absolutely boiling. In fact so hot I felt the climb was going to be very hard, and though I knew we would do it I was looking around at others who looked exhausted near the bottom and was not confident they would make it if the conditions stayed like this.
As we were skirting near Lochan Meall some clouds came over and the temperature dropped to a nice level. I thought how nice it would be to wild camp at the far end of this loch as the views would be stunning.
From the Loch the path hit the boulder or scree lands and the walking became more tiring on my knees as we slowly climbed up through the switch blacks, through a small amount of snow until finally reaching the plateau. We were very lucky to have some cloud cover to keep us a little cool, and fortunately the clouds were high enough that they didn’t obscure the view from top. We took the standard photo at the trig point, and then had some lunch amongst the boulders. It was nice to see some snow buntings at the peak a bird I imagine is only resident in a few places in the UK.
We came down the same route returning to the car before the 3 of us pitched at Glen Nevis Campsite, definitely the biggest campsite I have stayed in. We went out for dinner which Ed & Becky kindly got me as a belated birthday present.
It was great climbing Ben Nevis, and the views were magnificent but unsurprisingly lots of people which takes away some of the pleasure.