Date: Friday 17th June 2016. Route: Ben Nevis via the CMD arete.
Been looking forward to this walk for a long time. Knew that it was going to be the best weather day of the weekend so plans were made and I wasn’t going to be disappointed. I woke up and climbed out of the van to be pleasantly surprised to see Andy walking towards me. He’d driven up from Bristol during the night and would be joining us for the CMD arete and Ben Nevis. Nice to see you again Andy.
Picked up Karen close to her B and B and then drove back to the North Face car park where I met Evie who had previously walked with Karen and would complete the group of 4 walking today. We left the car park near Torlundy about 8.30am and met a few others also planning on the same route today. The sky was a beautiful blue and surprisingly the midges were fairly small in number.
A fairly east start thought the trees before reaching the Allt a’ Mhuilinn and we were heading onwards and upwards with great views of the North Face of Ben Nevis and the CMD arete. Saw lots of used bright red gas containers and 3 other walkers a short distance in front of us. The ascent up towards our first target was relentless but with the views and weather there were no complaints. Reached the false summit of Carn Dearg Meadhonaoch (1179m) first and had a quick chat with another group of 3 walkers we would continue to see throughout the day. We pushed on towards Carn mor Dearg (1220m), took some quick photos and some food at the summit and examined the route over the CMD arete. Karen and Evie decided the bypass path didn’t look any better so we decided to stick to the top of the ridge as much as possible, with me leading the way.
I loved this route, walking ridges in good weather is definitely one of my favourite types of walking and this was awesome.
We stopped a couple of times on the arete to take in some liquid and catch the views before reaching the Cairn at (1115mts). The final push up the large stones towards the top of Ben Nevis looked steep and would be slow going. As I reached the crest I saw a few people were already enjoying the Cairn. I’d already heard it was a popular mountain to climb but couldn’t believe the number of people that began to appear as I got closer.At a guess I would say 250-300 people. We found a relatively quite space to have our lunch and discussed why so many people walk up this particular hill.
We then left the summit by the Tourist route passing the hoards and shaking my head at the ridiculous footwear that people wear to walk to the highest point in the UK. Also saw that several people were walking with nothing more then a 500ml bottle of water. Not surprised that MRT gets called out so often. After approx 60mins on the track we cut off further North towards Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe. After passing the Lochan we could see the red gas bottles at the edge of the trees and made directly for them. Back to the car park for 5.15pm.
After a quick change we all headed off to The Nevis Inn for some much needed food and a swift pint of lager. Andy stated that he had burnt more then 5000 calories today, despite this I still didn’t have any dessert.
Distance Walked today: 17.9kms (1613m ascent).