June 2016 Adventures; Day 2

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.

Ben Nevis Crew

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.

 

Carn Mor Dearg summit.

Carn Mor Dearg summit.

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 sCMD arete from Carn Mor Dearg ummit 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.

Ben Nevis summit.

Ben Nevis summit.

 

Distance Walked today:   17.9kms (1613m ascent).

June 2016 Adventure; Day 1

Date: June 17th 2016                        Route: Meall a’Bhuiridh and Creise from Glencoe Mountain Centre.

I finished my night shift early and drove straight towards Scotland stopping just East of Crianlarich for a quick nap and cup of coffee. I then continued on the A85 and then North onto the A82 before I arrived at the Glencoe Mountain Centre about 12.15pm.

Packed my backpack and was on my way uphill straight away following under the Ski Lift along the Allt nan Giuthas. Just a few tourist types on the ski lift probably mystified as to why I was walking when there was a perfectly good ski lift.

After level ground for only few hundred metres the ascent continued up to Meall a’Bhuiridh. The weather until now had been clear but the cloud was down to about 850mts and I could see i’d be walking in it for the majority of the day. On reaching top bumped into (not literally) a couple enjoying their lunch. A quick chat and a bite to eat and I was on my way. the couple said they weren’t going onto Creise because of the poor visibility/wet and were concerned about the alleged steep ascent up onto the ridge. Down to the bealach at approx 920mts before more climbing. The steep ascent was easy going even on the damp conditions.

There was a small pile of stones at the top of the climb and I knew this would be helpful on the return route. The ridge carried on for 10 minutes with a decent path and little further ascent. Met two other walkers coming off the summit of Creise and quick hello’s were said.

On reaching the summit of Creise was happy to be back in amongst the hills was disappointed to miss out on any views. Made myself a promise to climb these mountains again on a better day. Summit photo was taken and walking back began. I got back to the van about 4.40pm only just over 4 hours after leaving.

Another quick cup of coffee and I’m on my way again driving to Fort William to meet up with Karen (walking buddy from the USA now living in Glasgow). Great to meet Karen again and talked about the coming week in Fort William, Knoydart and finally the Inn Pinn on Skye. Drove towards the Ben Nevis North face car park and arranged to pick up Karen the following morning at 8.15 before meeting with Evie at 8.30.

 

Distance walked today:       9.7 kms.