Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

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Thursday, 18 October 2007

Carn Mor Dearg Arete and Ben Nevis, 18th October, 2007

Of course if you're looking for the ultimate place for peace and quiet, you should try Ben Nevis, especially by the "tourist route"! As Britain's highest mountain, it attracts all types of visitors, most of them probably without a Ben Nevis Map. So be prepared for a cultural and fashion shock as you slog up the uninspiring, almost paved track to the boulder strewn plateau, probably to met by this;

as we found, on our first ever trip up the Ben! There were easily a hundred or more "3 peakers" milling around in the gloom, and quite scarily as we discovered on later trips, most seemed unaware of the near vertical drop only of the North East face just metres from the trig point! Of course they had every right to be there, it just felt like the world and his dog were up there. But it did reinforce the need to carry a good Ben Nevis Map, such as the Harveys Superwalker series. All this aside, tackling the Ben is still a rewarding day out , albeit a bit of a slog, especially once on the "zig zags" to the summit. However, be aware of the fickle nature of the mountain and go prepared. This does not mean jeans, trainers, bin liner and a Ginsters pastie! I'm sure some of the "quality nylon sportswear" crowd look at us in Goretex and 3 season boots and think we're overdressed. But then we're not cold and have dry feet! Remember, even as late as June/July you could be faced with this as the summit.

It can be too easy to stray too far left (on ascent) into Gardyloo Gully, so be aware and take a map! A good choice is the Harveys Superwalker series, which has a detailed Ben Nevis summit map.

For a more interesting trip, and view of Ben Nevis, then competent walkers with a head for heights should consider climbing by means of the Carn Mor Dearg Arete (CMD). Although a longer day out with luck you will be rewarded with views like this. (more to come in my next post).