Monday, 2 November 2009

Ben Nevis - Conquered!

The weekend just gone was the long awaited Ben Nevis weekend. Three of us went up to Scotland on Friday morning, the rain starting the moment we stepped out of the airport to claim our hire car. A two and a half hour drive through stunning scenery, broken up only by a very spooky and Scottish lunch break at Drovers Inn, brought us to the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel handily situated at the foot of the route we would be taking up the mountain.

After unpacking and discovering the showers and kitchen we took a stroll to the Ben Nevis Inn where we cosied up with a few pints and probably annoyed the staff quite a bit by ordering our food a course at a time. Very good Inn indeed, also comes with a bunkhouse so would consider staying there next time. Getting back in the dark, talking about ghosties was great fun and after a good night's sleep we were up and out at around 8:15 Saturday morning.

We weren't the only ones trying to scale the mountain before the storms hit. There was a group in mild fancy dress and several family groups. The path had its tricky points but some sheltered areas for snacks and breaks. Once we got into the clouds the drizzle started and the winds got stronger. I was nervous at being blown off the top at some points and as we reached more and more false peaks (probably not real false peaks but for the last half house I kept thinking "it surely must only be up this next little bit") we were all feeling a bit disheartened but we made it, took a couple of photos, caught our breath and started to make our way back.

The wind and rain really took their toll and we were hoping to take a break below cloud cover to lunch and change out of our water proofs but it wasn't to be. The rain started to come down harder than ever, making the path slippery and the small waterfalls we'd had to cross on the way up into raging torrents. Nevertheless we made it without injury, just rather wet and tired. If we'd left much later in the day there's a very good chance we wouldn't have made it to the summit at all. Pints and a hearty meal back in the Ben Nevis Inn (we drove this time) were well deserved.

Photos and vidoe will follow at the end of the week but for now I'm just glad we managed to escape Scotland before the floods took hold in earnest!

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