Just got back from my Ben Nevis walk late last night after an epic 12 hour train journey.
I’m pleased to announce that I have broken my elevation record, which now stands at 1344 mtrs!
As a result of doing this walk I have now climbed all of the highest mountains in England (Sca Fell Pike), Wales (Snowdon) and Scotland (Ben Nevis). To go any higher would mean departing these fair shores.
The walk was an unusual one due to the infrequent trains and the twelve hour train journey time. Normally, this whole walk could be done in a day, but alas, this was impossible due to the travel situation.
I decided a while ago that when I climbed Ben Nevis I would do so via the CMD Arete, rather than the more popular Pony Trail. I would only use the Pony Trail for the descent.
My reasons for doing this were twofold:
- The best views of Ben Nevis can only be seen from the North East. When one uses the Pony Trail for the ascent and descent one will miss out on what is perhaps the best view of the Mountain.
- I wanted to experience the thrill of walking on a knife edge ridge-line!
Another difference between this route and the Pony Trail is that I would be climbing 4 peaks on one walk!
- Carn Beag Dearg at 1010 mtrs
- Carn Dearg Meadhonach at 1179 mtrs
- Carn Mor Dearg at 1220 mtrs
- Ben Nevis at 1344 mtrs
I arrived in Fort William at around 2230 and proceeded to hike 7 km to the base of the mountain.
Day 2 was a normal hiking day, but was cut down to around 11km so that I could camp at a suitable location. There were only two trains on that day. The night train was fully booked, so I had to camp overnight at the end of Day 2.
Day 3 was my usual spare day – just a quick 7km jaunt to the railway station!
Below is the elevation and speed profile for the walk:
What’s interesting is that the descent speed is at broadly the same rate as the ascent, which just goes to show that descents are just as hard and should be factored into one’s planning.
Speaking of descents, the walking poles that were provided by Mountain Warehouse made a big difference, but I will cover that in more detail in their own review and in the more detailed daily write-ups.
Weather wise I was extremely lucky. Apart from a light drizzle on Day 1, the visibility was clear, with low winds and no sign of the wet-stuff during the ascent! I couldn’t have wished for more perfect weather!
Anyways, that’s it for now. Over the next three weeks or so I will write up the detailed daily reports. These will be followed by a review of the walking poles – which were a first for me.
So tune into next week for day 1 of the walk!