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Ben Nevis Route
1 Photoset

2019-07-06  
mini location map2019-07-06
23 by photographer avatarDaytripper
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Ben Nevis RouteEurope, WW
Europe, WW
Hiking avatar Jul 06 2019
Daytripper
Hiking10.89 Miles 4,550 AEG
Hiking10.89 Miles   8 Hrs      1.82 mph
4,550 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Convinced my son to leave the triple digit temps of Chandler to do some hill walking on one of the Munros in our ancestral lands. Had planned this for awhile having made a lodge reservation in Onich , Scotland for a 3 day window hoping for a day of decent weather, luckily we had 2 days of no rain. Being a Saturday with lovely weather everyone else thought it was a good day to tackle “The Ben” tallest mountain in the UK, so after our 20 minute drive we were barely able to squeeze in to a space at the pay and display lot beside the Ben Nevis visitor center . Good start as it saved an extra 1.5 miles walking if we had to use the overflow “Braveheart “parking lot, yep same one used by the film crew when shooting in Glen Nevis. Info in the visitor center indicating a good summit day, no rain , snow or ice and light winds with a 70% chance of clear summit and 32°.Important to know because of the narrow kidney bean shaped summit plateau if there is dense hill fog and snow it would require careful navigation ie.using a compass to avoid walking off the north face or into a gully. Off we went to cross the River Nevis on a foot bridge but we were not alone, I estimated we encountered 3 hundred other hill walkers during our up and back .Fortunately the mountain path ,aka pony path, was wide enough to pass 2 abreast, being originally constructed to bring supplies to the defunct observatory.It’s a challenging steady uphill climb from the start with a break as you approach the view of Loch Meall an t-Suide where there was a brief milder slope ,this is considered the “halfway lochan “,for some turning back here it’s the final destination. The views here were astounding enough to make it a destination but the wow factor of the views continued to increase from there.Next crossing over the Red Burn a cascading water course , easily by rock hopping ,then the path becomes steeper again and persists that way zig zagging until the last navigation cairn. As the summit is approached the landscape becomes more moonscape, light fog was present, we stumbled around the observatory ruins and by the emergency shelter. Ready to make the summit we waited in line of about 6 other groups in front of us. After hopping up to the summit or trig point and getting a picture we found a good break spot near the north face to snack and have the coffee and whiskey we brought along. Took off my wet shirt and put on a dry one and a thermoball jacket and knit hat which allowed hanging out comfortably at the top at least 30 minutes. During the time there we had some dramatic views when the fog would clear briefly, it was a beautiful scene looking over the many nameless to me peaks and body’s of water. Going down was tougher for me than up, took a couple of non damaging butt slides in the steep scree areas, did more picture taking and sitting breaks the last 2 miles than the rest of the day. Made one extra excursion up the Red Burn Valley to get closer to the waterfall but the loose rock was ridiculously unsafe with tired legs. The final 1/2 mile crossing the sheep pasture on a gentle slope toward the visitor center was quite a relief as was reaching the center, did I mention there were no restrooms or concealing vegetation on this hike! Overall an awesome and memorable experience I was lucky to share with my son.
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