|Looking at the route ahead. The Carn Mor Dearg Arete route, onto Ben Nevis.|
It was also the first time walking with my good friend Simon. I have to say before I begin, how much I truly appreciate his offer and efforts in driving the two of us up there. Alot of respect is due to this man for the amount of driving done in the two days, not to mention the walking that we were there for!
The plan was set. R.V in Derby at about 3am, hammer it up the motorway, and get walking. It was as harsh on us both as it sounded. We were both tired from poor sleep, and so stopped a few times on the way up to Fort William. A few hits of caffeine sorted us out enough to carry us up and across the border. It was the first time that I have met Simon in person, and he is a great chap. Conversation flowed, and we both seemed as giddy as each other at the thought of what was to come later in the day. The drive was a long hard slog (longer and harder for him), but we finally made it into Fort William. A quick run into Cotswold Outdoors for an OS map and a new pair of overtrousers for myself, then to Tesco for some trail food and camp food. After that it was to the camp site we went!
Glen Nevis caravan and camp site was to be our retirement location that night. Having no past experience of camp sites, my opinion is probably not as valid as most. That said, it was a very pleasant site. Spacious enough, with good toilet and wash facilities and an on site shop. Once I had returned home, one friend that has been before mentioned some sort of cafe on site? When you're used to washing from your water bottle and wiping your backside on a handfull of vegetation because your toilet roll got wet - it was more than comfortable enough for me.
|My Vango Tempest 200 pitched (poorly) at Glen Nevis Caravan and Campsite.|
|The lovely, fresh, rolling green of summer in the glen, it seems!|
|Upwards, along the "tourist" path.|
|The allt a mhuilinn.|
|The grand scale of the Scottish mountains.|
|Relentless scrambling over sandstone boulders can be tiring. Notice the mountain hut near the top right of shot for scale.|
|First glance of the view beyond the Carn Mor Dearg Arete.|
|A brocken spectre.|
|The Carn Mor Dearg Arete and summit of Ben Nevis.|
|The view over the Arete. Pictures do not do it justice.|
|The ridge does require concentration, and commands an amount of respect.|
|At the summit trig point of Ben Nevis.|
Well, the final scramble over varying sized boulders was a tough task. We were definitely tired by this point. Fueled with that sense of determination, only born from the "well it would have been pointless if we don't summit now!"; we plodded on. It was tough, and Simon had run out of water. But we kept each other going.
We made it to the top, with very poor visibility - just after 'sunset.' Though, it was still light. After pottering around and chatting a little with a tourist group, we began the arduos task of the descent. I must say, it was possibly the worst descent or even section of a walk that I have yet suffered. My knees still haven't forgiven me! I was glad of my tent that night! The night didn't truly envelope until around 1am, when it finally got dark enough to be defined as 'night' time, at which point I crawled into my tent and enjoyed a well deserved and very fulfilled sleep.