Ben Nevis is the highest mountain, not only in Scotland but in the entire United Kingdom and at the weekend, I finally bagged it. It was hands down one of the more difficult Munros that I’ve done, it was painful yet enjoyable on the way up but coming back down was torture. Especially on the knees. It’s both physically and mentally challenging but 100% worth it. My hat goes off to the folks that can do the 3 Peaks Challenge – My legs are killing me after only 1! Regardless, it was a cracking start to the weekend – Davey, Scoob and I went up on the Friday night and camped at Glen Etive, had a few drinks then bagged Nevis on the Saturday. What a day we got for it, absolutely beautiful!
Category – Munro
Height – 1345 metres (4,412 ft)
Location – Fort William, Western Highlands
Difficulty – Intense
Timing – 6 – 8 hours
Rating – 9/10
There are a number of routes to climb Ben Nevis, the way we went was just past the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre. It’s about 2km out of Fort William and there is parking there, we opted to park a little bit further up the road, just past the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel.
The first part of the ascent was challenging, constantly going up rock steps. My legs were burning! It was like that for roughly an hour/ hour and a half. The route started to break up at bits, there was gravel paths before the next set of stones which was nice to walk on. It took us around 2 hours to reach the “Halfway Loch” where we stopped for a bit. We carried on, with more steps and legs burning and had a wee stop at a waterfall to get a few pictures. After that, the path zig-zags up towards the summit. There’s a few false summits, don’t get your hopes up until you can actually see the cairn which marks the highest point. All together, the ascent took us 4 hours and 2 minutes which was pretty reasonable, I thought.
The descent was by far the hardest part, for me anyway. Constantly going down all those steps gives your knees a hard time! We got down in basically half the time but the pain was excruciating by the end. There were a few shortcuts we took on the way down which helped cut the distance but they were a bit steeper than the normal route. We managed to get back down to the van in 2 hours 8 minutes so all together 6 hours 10, up and down.
Despite the moaning and pain, I actually enjoyed climbing Ben Nevis. Towards the end, I was cursing it mind you. Looking back though, it was a beautiful day and we got to see panoramic views for as far as the eye could see. We couldn’t have asked for a better day to be honest. The climb is tough, the descent is tougher but the views and sense of achievement is definitely worth it. I said that I wouldn’t be doing Nevis again but my Dad wants to do it next year. I’ll be doing a bit more training next time!
I never got that many photos – most the time I was too tired or sore. I’ve attached a few of them below though! I’ve also started publishing my photo galleries, you can see them here: Iconic & Historic, Rivers & Lochs, Wildlife & Lifestock or Mountains & Landscape.
Thanks for reading,