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Ben Nevis Summit Hike

Updated on September 3, 2017

The seed is sewn.

During the winter months of February 2016 whilst chatting nonsense with a couple of work colleagues during a rest period, the topic of conversation drifted to discussing the subject of which of the UK's three highest peaks we had each scaled.

To our amusement we discovered that the three of us had already peaked England's highest mountain which is Scafell Pike and Wales's highest mountain which is Mount Snowdon.

None of us had conquered the summit of Ben Nevis which is the highest mountain in Scotland and the UK. General consensus being the distance of travel to Fort William from Stoke on Trent and having to stay over for a couple of nights as to why not.

Further conversations unfolded resulting in annual leave being booked, transport hire and fuel being kindly donated by our employer and camping pitches reserved for two nights. We were thrilled our cash outlay was low thanks to the donation from our employer.

We trio being middle aged men enjoying a penchant for beer and nowadays only engage in fair weather enterprise set the date for high summer-mid July 2016.

Each of us knowing of someone afflicted by cancer or other terminal illness unanimously decided our local charity The Douglas Macmillan Hospice shall benefit from our adventure. A www,justgiving.com fundraising page was created so friends, family and work colleagues could easily donate to our cause.

And so the seed is sewn for our Ben Nevis experience.

Disclaimer.

This article is a true though tongue in cheek photo story of our experience in Scotland and Hiking the mountain track to the summit of Ben Nevis. It in no way intends to be an accurate guide, depict to, or influence any person how an event such as this should be undertaken. The methods which we used to carry out our experience may not be the correct way to undertake matters.

Approximately 100,000 visitors successfully peak the summit of Ben Nevis and safely return home each year, unfortunately some visitors do not.

A certain level of fitness and stamina is required, it is not a Sunday stroll in the park dressed in a tea-shirt and trainers. A basic understanding of navigation is essential; ie map reading and compass use. You should always inform someone of your intended whereabouts and when.

Maps of the mountain track route are readily available as is professionally qualified information and advice.

The summit of Ben Nevis is clear for approximately 60 days each year, bad weather can close in within minutes. Even in high summer mid July-mid August there is still a risk of foul weather and almost zero visibility.

Mobile phones may not receive a signal whilst on Ben Nevis.

The long drive North and Setting up base camp.

I was nominated as driver for the 368 mile drive up North to our campsite at Corpath near to Fort William. Given the fact that one colleague Steve could not drive and my other colleague Rob had not renewed his licence from the old green card version and it would not be accepted by the hire company left me with little say in the matter. I didn't mind, I enjoy driving.

We started our journey from Stoke on Trent at 06:30 in the morning, and had a couple of rest breaks along the route and arrived at the campsite at 14:00 in the afternoon. Fortunately we had a good run as there were no holdups on the motorway or side roads. I found it a little frustrating though, that the crew cab transit van was governed to 71mph, if I wished to overtake a vehicle travelling at 65mph I felt it took the best part of 10 miles to overtake it. The whiff of beer wafting from the back of the crew cab which them pair were already drinking didn't help matters either.

After base camp was set up we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, having a barbeque and a couple of beers. Rob was designated as the camps chef as he had brought the throw away barbeques, he relished the honour. I didn't fancy doing any cooking as I'd done all the driving. Steve seemed to avoid the issue of cooking altogether but enjoyed the eating of it, though he did manage to cut the bread baps in half.

The numbers of midges in these parts are rampant and they are prolific biters, the usual insect repellants don't seem to have any relieving effect. After tolerating their attacks for too long we holed up in the transit van for a little respite. We perused our mapping for one last time, checked the GPS and batteries. Rob and Steve sniggered as they informed me that drinking lot's of beer has a numbing effect on the midge bites knowing that I had to be fit to drive early in the morning. I was fairly tired at this point and was in deep slumber in my midge free sleeping bag for 21:00. I know this fact as I was kindly informed of my snoring


Setting up base camp in Corpach, Fort William, Scotland, UK.

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Arrival to our tent pitches at Linnhe Lochside campsite.The transit van that our employer kindly hired for our road trip from Stoke on Trent, England to Fort William, Scotland. I drove the whole 368 miles from stoke on Trent to the campsite. It took over 7 hours with a couple of stops.Pitching our tents which will be our base for the next two nights. After all that driving I still had to pitch my own tent.By popular demand, Rob has been designated camp chef.Steve is being harassed by midges and their bites. So has used a blanket to cover himself up. Midges are rampant at this time of year in Scotland.Steve is telling Rob to get a move on with the cooking. Such a cheeky so and so.We have plenty of food and beer on offer for our barbeque. Plenty of supplies of food and drink. We have to keep our energy levels up as we have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow.My bed for the next two nights.All our mapping for the mountain track up Ben Nevis is weather proofed.We have to be familiar with the route for our own safety. We also have a pocket GPS loaded with the route in case the weather closes in. Spare batteries and a compass too.
Arrival to our tent pitches at Linnhe Lochside campsite.
Arrival to our tent pitches at Linnhe Lochside campsite. | Source
The transit van that our employer kindly hired for our road trip from Stoke on Trent, England to Fort William, Scotland. I drove the whole 368 miles from stoke on Trent to the campsite. It took over 7 hours with a couple of stops.
The transit van that our employer kindly hired for our road trip from Stoke on Trent, England to Fort William, Scotland. I drove the whole 368 miles from stoke on Trent to the campsite. It took over 7 hours with a couple of stops. | Source
Pitching our tents which will be our base for the next two nights. After all that driving I still had to pitch my own tent.
Pitching our tents which will be our base for the next two nights. After all that driving I still had to pitch my own tent. | Source
By popular demand, Rob has been designated camp chef.
By popular demand, Rob has been designated camp chef. | Source
Steve is being harassed by midges and their bites. So has used a blanket to cover himself up. Midges are rampant at this time of year in Scotland.
Steve is being harassed by midges and their bites. So has used a blanket to cover himself up. Midges are rampant at this time of year in Scotland. | Source
Steve is telling Rob to get a move on with the cooking. Such a cheeky so and so.
Steve is telling Rob to get a move on with the cooking. Such a cheeky so and so. | Source
We have plenty of food and beer on offer for our barbeque.
We have plenty of food and beer on offer for our barbeque. | Source
Plenty of supplies of food and drink. We have to keep our energy levels up as we have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow.
Plenty of supplies of food and drink. We have to keep our energy levels up as we have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow. | Source
My bed for the next two nights.
My bed for the next two nights. | Source
All our mapping for the mountain track up Ben Nevis is weather proofed.We have to be familiar with the route for our own safety. We also have a pocket GPS loaded with the route in case the weather closes in. Spare batteries and a compass too.
All our mapping for the mountain track up Ben Nevis is weather proofed.We have to be familiar with the route for our own safety. We also have a pocket GPS loaded with the route in case the weather closes in. Spare batteries and a compass too. | Source

A good night's sleep then an early start to be at the Glen Nevis visitor centre by 08:30.

It looked like there had been a serious outbreak of chickenpox when I set eyes on Rob and Steve in the morning, they were covered in bites on their face, arms and legs and were busy scratching already raw skin. I got of lightly because I wore long sleeves and trousers, just the odd bite here and there. I felt fine and refreshed after having had a good night's sleep on my comfortable air mattress. I think Rob and Steve looked a little worse for wear.

A light breakfast was on the menu, we had pot noodles, coffee and a couple of sandwiches using leftover sausages from the previous night. Then the usual morning grooming rituals of washing and shaving in the shower block. We bought snacks and soft drinks from the site shop the previous evening, just enough to keep us going for a few hours. We planned to eat a proper meal in the afternoon at the Ben Nevis Inn after completing the hike.

It was only a short drive of a few miles from our base camp to the Glen Nevis visitor centre, we arrived before it had opened. The carpark at the visitor centre is pay and display and was very reasonably priced for a whole day's parking.

Imagine our dismay as we drove onto the car park and immediately noticed a very low cloud base surrounding Meall an t-Suidhe which is at the base of the mountain track. I wasn't particularly worried about navigating the track but was more concerned that it will turn out to be a footslog up a mountain with no views or magnificent vistas to take your breath away. I believe no one has the same determination or passion when hiking up just another rock, you need to be able to drink in the scenery, the scale of it all, the magnificence, in awe of your surroundings. I knew there was a daily weather report posted in the window of the visitor centre and after reading it my outlook for the day was somewhat uplifted. It stated that low level cloud would disperse but the summit may not clear of cloud for the whole day. This information was good enough to satisfy us.

We gathered our kit and booted up, then made headway to the footbridge spanning the River Nevis.


The Glen Nevis visitor centre. The most popular Ben Nevis mountain track starting location.

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After a short journey from our campsite at Corpach we arrive at the Glen Nevis visitor centre which is the starting point of our hike. The low level cloud partly obscuring the mountain Meall an t-Suidhe is somewhat worrying.Steve and Rob taking pictures of low based cloud partly obscuring mount Meall an t-Suidhe.The cloud base is very low and covers parts of the mountain track which cuts across mount Meall an t-Suidhe to Ben Nevis proper.Every day the Ben Nevis visitor centre posts a weather report in the window.  Fortunately for us today, it states that the cloud will lift and disperse in a couple of hours.
After a short journey from our campsite at Corpach we arrive at the Glen Nevis visitor centre which is the starting point of our hike. The low level cloud partly obscuring the mountain Meall an t-Suidhe is somewhat worrying.
After a short journey from our campsite at Corpach we arrive at the Glen Nevis visitor centre which is the starting point of our hike. The low level cloud partly obscuring the mountain Meall an t-Suidhe is somewhat worrying. | Source
Steve and Rob taking pictures of low based cloud partly obscuring mount Meall an t-Suidhe.
Steve and Rob taking pictures of low based cloud partly obscuring mount Meall an t-Suidhe. | Source
The cloud base is very low and covers parts of the mountain track which cuts across mount Meall an t-Suidhe to Ben Nevis proper.
The cloud base is very low and covers parts of the mountain track which cuts across mount Meall an t-Suidhe to Ben Nevis proper. | Source
Every day the Ben Nevis visitor centre posts a weather report in the window.  Fortunately for us today, it states that the cloud will lift and disperse in a couple of hours.
Every day the Ben Nevis visitor centre posts a weather report in the window. Fortunately for us today, it states that the cloud will lift and disperse in a couple of hours. | Source

A picture speaks a thousand words.

There will be little written word in these sections now that we're on the mountain track. I prefer to allow the photography to do the talking and each photograph is captioned.

Afterall, a picture indeed speaks a thousand words.

The lower section of the mountain track that traverses Meall an t-Suidhe

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A rearward view towards the Glen Nevis visitor centre where we have just come from. This is the start of the Ben Nevis Mountain Track. In the distance is the Ben Nevis Inn.The way is only up. The summit of Ben Nevis lies at 4,411ft above sea level. The Glen Nevis visitor centre sits at approximately 21ft above sea level. Therefore the actual ascent will be just under 4,400ft.Fearns, brackens and grasses are common at this level. As we climb higher the land will transform into a moonscape.In a few hundred feet there will be no ground cover of vegetation at all. The climate is harsh higher up for most of the year.In parts there are  large stones put in place to help prevent erosion of the track and bordering vegetation.The track is steep in places with rocks forming steps.Rob taking 5 and looking back to where we have just trod. Photography does not accurately represent the steepness of the track.The views are already impressive at this altitude when there is a cloud break to see through.We are gradually making progress upwards but there is no marked change in the vegetation as yet.Steve took this photograph of me. It was nice to stop for a couple of minutes to take in the scenery and to catch my breath.Yes indeed! It is as steep as it looks from this vantage point. Some of the steps are a foot high.However short, all flat walking sections are welcomed with reliefThe track is a series of zigzags that traverse the mountain side.Heading into more low cloud and this section of track continues to be steep.The friends of Ben Nevis are a volunteer group who maintain the track and upkeep of this and other footbridges. There are several streams to be crossed while hiking the mountain track.Almost all the streams to be crossed are encountered while traversing the mountain Meall an t-Suidhe.Rob and Steve taking in the view and pondering all the man hours that are required to build a footbridge in a remote and not so easy to reach location.More low clouds. We have our maps and GPS if visibility is severely impaired. Looking back to where we have just trod before reaching the bridge shows low cloud closing in.I have my GPS to hand in case of a cloud whiteout.Time for a break of ten minutes or so.Cooling my feet while we have a drink and a bite to eat.Rob taking pictures again as we approach another stream.Little ants is all we can see from this distance. The views are fantastic and it's now obvious we are increasing altitude.The terrain is still covered with lush vegetation, this will soon change dramatically.
A rearward view towards the Glen Nevis visitor centre where we have just come from. This is the start of the Ben Nevis Mountain Track. In the distance is the Ben Nevis Inn.
A rearward view towards the Glen Nevis visitor centre where we have just come from. This is the start of the Ben Nevis Mountain Track. In the distance is the Ben Nevis Inn. | Source
The way is only up. The summit of Ben Nevis lies at 4,411ft above sea level. The Glen Nevis visitor centre sits at approximately 21ft above sea level. Therefore the actual ascent will be just under 4,400ft.
The way is only up. The summit of Ben Nevis lies at 4,411ft above sea level. The Glen Nevis visitor centre sits at approximately 21ft above sea level. Therefore the actual ascent will be just under 4,400ft. | Source
Fearns, brackens and grasses are common at this level. As we climb higher the land will transform into a moonscape.
Fearns, brackens and grasses are common at this level. As we climb higher the land will transform into a moonscape. | Source
In a few hundred feet there will be no ground cover of vegetation at all. The climate is harsh higher up for most of the year.
In a few hundred feet there will be no ground cover of vegetation at all. The climate is harsh higher up for most of the year. | Source
In parts there are  large stones put in place to help prevent erosion of the track and bordering vegetation.
In parts there are large stones put in place to help prevent erosion of the track and bordering vegetation. | Source
The track is steep in places with rocks forming steps.
The track is steep in places with rocks forming steps. | Source
Rob taking 5 and looking back to where we have just trod. Photography does not accurately represent the steepness of the track.
Rob taking 5 and looking back to where we have just trod. Photography does not accurately represent the steepness of the track. | Source
The views are already impressive at this altitude when there is a cloud break to see through.
The views are already impressive at this altitude when there is a cloud break to see through. | Source
We are gradually making progress upwards but there is no marked change in the vegetation as yet.
We are gradually making progress upwards but there is no marked change in the vegetation as yet. | Source
Steve took this photograph of me. It was nice to stop for a couple of minutes to take in the scenery and to catch my breath.
Steve took this photograph of me. It was nice to stop for a couple of minutes to take in the scenery and to catch my breath. | Source
Yes indeed! It is as steep as it looks from this vantage point. Some of the steps are a foot high.
Yes indeed! It is as steep as it looks from this vantage point. Some of the steps are a foot high. | Source
However short, all flat walking sections are welcomed with relief
However short, all flat walking sections are welcomed with relief | Source
The track is a series of zigzags that traverse the mountain side.
The track is a series of zigzags that traverse the mountain side. | Source
Heading into more low cloud and this section of track continues to be steep.
Heading into more low cloud and this section of track continues to be steep. | Source
The friends of Ben Nevis are a volunteer group who maintain the track and upkeep of this and other footbridges. There are several streams to be crossed while hiking the mountain track.
The friends of Ben Nevis are a volunteer group who maintain the track and upkeep of this and other footbridges. There are several streams to be crossed while hiking the mountain track. | Source
Almost all the streams to be crossed are encountered while traversing the mountain Meall an t-Suidhe.
Almost all the streams to be crossed are encountered while traversing the mountain Meall an t-Suidhe. | Source
Rob and Steve taking in the view and pondering all the man hours that are required to build a footbridge in a remote and not so easy to reach location.
Rob and Steve taking in the view and pondering all the man hours that are required to build a footbridge in a remote and not so easy to reach location. | Source
More low clouds. We have our maps and GPS if visibility is severely impaired.
More low clouds. We have our maps and GPS if visibility is severely impaired. | Source
Looking back to where we have just trod before reaching the bridge shows low cloud closing in.
Looking back to where we have just trod before reaching the bridge shows low cloud closing in. | Source
I have my GPS to hand in case of a cloud whiteout.
I have my GPS to hand in case of a cloud whiteout. | Source
Time for a break of ten minutes or so.
Time for a break of ten minutes or so. | Source
Cooling my feet while we have a drink and a bite to eat.
Cooling my feet while we have a drink and a bite to eat. | Source
Rob taking pictures again as we approach another stream.
Rob taking pictures again as we approach another stream. | Source
Little ants is all we can see from this distance. The views are fantastic and it's now obvious we are increasing altitude.
Little ants is all we can see from this distance. The views are fantastic and it's now obvious we are increasing altitude. | Source
The terrain is still covered with lush vegetation, this will soon change dramatically.
The terrain is still covered with lush vegetation, this will soon change dramatically. | Source

The mid section of the Mountain Track which zigzag traverses past Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe and leads to the mountain Ben Nevis proper.

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The light is quite dull due to cloud cover as we approach Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe. It's cooled down somewhat too!Industrial sacks laden with rocks line the side of the mountain track, these have been brought in by helicopter. The friends of Ben Nevis volunteers will use them to reinforce the track against erosion.Some sections of the track are steeper than others and this section is quite steep.Approaching the stream named  Red Burn. The cloud is still low but not as cold now. It's warming up considerably. Time to take the top layer of clothing off.Red burn is a little faster flowing and wider than the other streams that we have crossed but it's not in a gulley so does not require a footbridge.Time to clean off the dust from my boots. The stones that we are treading on can be very slippery so care is needed.Red Burn follows quite a steep trajectory. I would imagine that after heavy rainfall it would dramatically morph into a raging torrent.Rob negotiates Red Burn without any slips, trips or falls. We are too isolated for making emergency calls to mountain rescue. The mobile phone signals are too sporadic to make a connection.My map carrier Steve, is safely across Red Burn too!The view before crossing Red Burn.The low cloud is still tailing us. The weather forecast at the Glen Nevis visitor centre says it will lift. I hope it's accurate.
The light is quite dull due to cloud cover as we approach Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe. It's cooled down somewhat too!
The light is quite dull due to cloud cover as we approach Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe. It's cooled down somewhat too! | Source
Industrial sacks laden with rocks line the side of the mountain track, these have been brought in by helicopter. The friends of Ben Nevis volunteers will use them to reinforce the track against erosion.
Industrial sacks laden with rocks line the side of the mountain track, these have been brought in by helicopter. The friends of Ben Nevis volunteers will use them to reinforce the track against erosion. | Source
Some sections of the track are steeper than others and this section is quite steep.
Some sections of the track are steeper than others and this section is quite steep. | Source
Approaching the stream named  Red Burn. The cloud is still low but not as cold now. It's warming up considerably. Time to take the top layer of clothing off.
Approaching the stream named Red Burn. The cloud is still low but not as cold now. It's warming up considerably. Time to take the top layer of clothing off. | Source
Red burn is a little faster flowing and wider than the other streams that we have crossed but it's not in a gulley so does not require a footbridge.
Red burn is a little faster flowing and wider than the other streams that we have crossed but it's not in a gulley so does not require a footbridge. | Source
Time to clean off the dust from my boots. The stones that we are treading on can be very slippery so care is needed.
Time to clean off the dust from my boots. The stones that we are treading on can be very slippery so care is needed. | Source
Red Burn follows quite a steep trajectory. I would imagine that after heavy rainfall it would dramatically morph into a raging torrent.
Red Burn follows quite a steep trajectory. I would imagine that after heavy rainfall it would dramatically morph into a raging torrent. | Source
Rob negotiates Red Burn without any slips, trips or falls. We are too isolated for making emergency calls to mountain rescue. The mobile phone signals are too sporadic to make a connection.
Rob negotiates Red Burn without any slips, trips or falls. We are too isolated for making emergency calls to mountain rescue. The mobile phone signals are too sporadic to make a connection. | Source
My map carrier Steve, is safely across Red Burn too!
My map carrier Steve, is safely across Red Burn too! | Source
The view before crossing Red Burn.The low cloud is still tailing us. The weather forecast at the Glen Nevis visitor centre says it will lift. I hope it's accurate.
The view before crossing Red Burn.The low cloud is still tailing us. The weather forecast at the Glen Nevis visitor centre says it will lift. I hope it's accurate. | Source

The Mountain Track ascending Ben Nevis proper.

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We are ascending the Ben Nevis mountain proper now and it looks as though the weather forecast from the Glen Nevis visitor centre was correct after all.Slowly but surely as we ascend the cloud is beginning to disperse to reveal a patchwork of fantastic views.We are on the same level as these clouds, it's almost as if you could reach out and touch them.For the first time on this hike we have a hint of blue sky, We hope even better is to come.Only a wisp of cloud remains to obscure the fantastic views.Now the cloud has dispersed we can really appreciate the steepness of some of the track sections. The vegetation is beginning to thin out too!That is a fantastic rearward view. In the backdrop lies Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe and Meall an t-Suidhe. You can make out the line of the mountain track that we have not so long ago trekked.The wonderful Glen Nevis in the distance.It is as steep as it looks. In some sections of the mountain track you elevate 1ft for every 5ft of track hiked. In several short sections it is as steep as 1 in 4.We have to stop and catch our breath every couple of hundred feet.  A certain level of fitness is required to successfully complete the mountain track, up and down. A view of where we have just a moment ago been treading. It is wonderful and exhilarating, even though our legs are beginning to hurt. It's nice to stop for a moment or two and just soak up the scenery and the environment and contemplate why this mountain can be a killer. We truly are in awe and have the utmost respect for Ben Nevis.Onwards and upwards. There is a marked difference in vegetation, the terrain is gradually transforming into a moonscape.The view of where we have just trodden. The mountain track is quite busy today, the fair weather report  has encouraged many to challenge Ben Nevis. Only in fine summer weather would we ever contemplate challenging Ben Nevis.The summit plateau should soon be within our sights.The first navigation cairn that we have encountered so far. This  means we are within reach of the summit.Looking back to where we have just come from, Fort William in the far distance. I want to touch the clouds.
We are ascending the Ben Nevis mountain proper now and it looks as though the weather forecast from the Glen Nevis visitor centre was correct after all.
We are ascending the Ben Nevis mountain proper now and it looks as though the weather forecast from the Glen Nevis visitor centre was correct after all. | Source
Slowly but surely as we ascend the cloud is beginning to disperse to reveal a patchwork of fantastic views.
Slowly but surely as we ascend the cloud is beginning to disperse to reveal a patchwork of fantastic views. | Source
We are on the same level as these clouds, it's almost as if you could reach out and touch them.
We are on the same level as these clouds, it's almost as if you could reach out and touch them. | Source
For the first time on this hike we have a hint of blue sky, We hope even better is to come.
For the first time on this hike we have a hint of blue sky, We hope even better is to come. | Source
Only a wisp of cloud remains to obscure the fantastic views.
Only a wisp of cloud remains to obscure the fantastic views. | Source
Now the cloud has dispersed we can really appreciate the steepness of some of the track sections. The vegetation is beginning to thin out too!
Now the cloud has dispersed we can really appreciate the steepness of some of the track sections. The vegetation is beginning to thin out too! | Source
That is a fantastic rearward view. In the backdrop lies Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe and Meall an t-Suidhe. You can make out the line of the mountain track that we have not so long ago trekked.
That is a fantastic rearward view. In the backdrop lies Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe and Meall an t-Suidhe. You can make out the line of the mountain track that we have not so long ago trekked. | Source
The wonderful Glen Nevis in the distance.
The wonderful Glen Nevis in the distance. | Source
It is as steep as it looks. In some sections of the mountain track you elevate 1ft for every 5ft of track hiked. In several short sections it is as steep as 1 in 4.
It is as steep as it looks. In some sections of the mountain track you elevate 1ft for every 5ft of track hiked. In several short sections it is as steep as 1 in 4. | Source
We have to stop and catch our breath every couple of hundred feet.  A certain level of fitness is required to successfully complete the mountain track, up and down.
We have to stop and catch our breath every couple of hundred feet. A certain level of fitness is required to successfully complete the mountain track, up and down. | Source
A view of where we have just a moment ago been treading. It is wonderful and exhilarating, even though our legs are beginning to hurt.
A view of where we have just a moment ago been treading. It is wonderful and exhilarating, even though our legs are beginning to hurt. | Source
It's nice to stop for a moment or two and just soak up the scenery and the environment and contemplate why this mountain can be a killer. We truly are in awe and have the utmost respect for Ben Nevis.
It's nice to stop for a moment or two and just soak up the scenery and the environment and contemplate why this mountain can be a killer. We truly are in awe and have the utmost respect for Ben Nevis. | Source
Onwards and upwards. There is a marked difference in vegetation, the terrain is gradually transforming into a moonscape.
Onwards and upwards. There is a marked difference in vegetation, the terrain is gradually transforming into a moonscape. | Source
The view of where we have just trodden. The mountain track is quite busy today, the fair weather report  has encouraged many to challenge Ben Nevis. Only in fine summer weather would we ever contemplate challenging Ben Nevis.
The view of where we have just trodden. The mountain track is quite busy today, the fair weather report has encouraged many to challenge Ben Nevis. Only in fine summer weather would we ever contemplate challenging Ben Nevis. | Source
The summit plateau should soon be within our sights.
The summit plateau should soon be within our sights. | Source
The first navigation cairn that we have encountered so far. This  means we are within reach of the summit.
The first navigation cairn that we have encountered so far. This means we are within reach of the summit. | Source
Looking back to where we have just come from, Fort William in the far distance. I want to touch the clouds.
Looking back to where we have just come from, Fort William in the far distance. I want to touch the clouds. | Source

Approaching the summit plateau of Ben Nevis via The Mountain Track.

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The summit plateau is within sight, though disappointingly it is under cloud cover. Hopefully it wont have dense cloud cover which will spoil our photo opportunities.There are still sporadic patches of lying snow which are sheltered from the thaw by rocky outcrops.Rob and Steve pondering why the snow might not have thawed. Generally the summit is only clear of foul weather in the high summer months.Rob's inner child gets the better of him and he can't resist temptation to snow angel. I bet it's still freezing cold on those bare legs.A look back to from where we came. A fantastic view indeed.Looking out to number two gully and The Comb.The terrain is now void of any vegetation and completely moonscape and somehow even the slightest track inclinations seem to be steeper than they actually are. I think tired legs play a part.Steve and Rob peering down Tower gully and realising what close proximity it has to the mountain track. In foul weather it would be just to easy to stray from it's relative safety.Tower Gully still disguised by a snow cap even in high summer. The spartan patch of grass growing there is sheltered from the savages of the weather during the summer months.Moving on into cloud cover, it doesn't appear to be dense coverage from this viewpoint.If there was no cloud cover then the summit of Ben Nevis would be in view from here. Only several hundred yards to trek.
The summit plateau is within sight, though disappointingly it is under cloud cover. Hopefully it wont have dense cloud cover which will spoil our photo opportunities.
The summit plateau is within sight, though disappointingly it is under cloud cover. Hopefully it wont have dense cloud cover which will spoil our photo opportunities. | Source
There are still sporadic patches of lying snow which are sheltered from the thaw by rocky outcrops.
There are still sporadic patches of lying snow which are sheltered from the thaw by rocky outcrops. | Source
Rob and Steve pondering why the snow might not have thawed. Generally the summit is only clear of foul weather in the high summer months.
Rob and Steve pondering why the snow might not have thawed. Generally the summit is only clear of foul weather in the high summer months. | Source
Rob's inner child gets the better of him and he can't resist temptation to snow angel. I bet it's still freezing cold on those bare legs.
Rob's inner child gets the better of him and he can't resist temptation to snow angel. I bet it's still freezing cold on those bare legs. | Source
A look back to from where we came. A fantastic view indeed.
A look back to from where we came. A fantastic view indeed. | Source
Looking out to number two gully and The Comb.
Looking out to number two gully and The Comb. | Source
The terrain is now void of any vegetation and completely moonscape and somehow even the slightest track inclinations seem to be steeper than they actually are. I think tired legs play a part.
The terrain is now void of any vegetation and completely moonscape and somehow even the slightest track inclinations seem to be steeper than they actually are. I think tired legs play a part. | Source
Steve and Rob peering down Tower gully and realising what close proximity it has to the mountain track. In foul weather it would be just to easy to stray from it's relative safety.
Steve and Rob peering down Tower gully and realising what close proximity it has to the mountain track. In foul weather it would be just to easy to stray from it's relative safety. | Source
Tower Gully still disguised by a snow cap even in high summer. The spartan patch of grass growing there is sheltered from the savages of the weather during the summer months.
Tower Gully still disguised by a snow cap even in high summer. The spartan patch of grass growing there is sheltered from the savages of the weather during the summer months. | Source
Moving on into cloud cover, it doesn't appear to be dense coverage from this viewpoint.
Moving on into cloud cover, it doesn't appear to be dense coverage from this viewpoint. | Source
If there was no cloud cover then the summit of Ben Nevis would be in view from here. Only several hundred yards to trek.
If there was no cloud cover then the summit of Ben Nevis would be in view from here. Only several hundred yards to trek. | Source

At the Summit of Ben Nevis via The Mountain Track.

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This is Gardyloo Gully, the most notorious of the summit gullies. Unfortunately we couldn't enjoy viewing the drop due to cloud cover. Gardyloo enjoys a closer proximity to the mountain track than it's neighbour Tower gully.Any mishap at this point and it would almost certainly be a one way ticket to oblivion.  Rob's deep in thought over this matter.Trekking the last hundred yards or so. The prize of conquering the summit is within our grasp.  We are finally at the summit.This is the UK's highest war memorial.The summit trig point in sight along with the raised and stone built storm shelter.The summit trig point within view. It's a shame there is cloud cover and the vistas are obscured but at least we can see where we are putting our feet. It is quite cold here now and we have all put on top layers.Out with the cameras. Remarkably our mobile phones enjoy quite a strong signal here at the summit.None of us expected it to be this busy up here today. I would estimate easily 50 or 60 people. It must be the fair weather.The ruins of the old weather station with the storm shelter behind it.There is literally a que for photos at the trig point.The emergency shelter. I wonder how many lives this has saved over the years.Rob's obligatory summit trig point photograph Another of Rob at the summit trig point.The obligatory photograph of me at the summit trig point.Another photo of me at the summit trig point.The obligatory photo of Steve at the summit trig point.Another photo of Steve at the summit trig point.Rob is now taking photo's for other conquerors at the summit trig point.Last looks around and few more photo's then time to descend the mountain track. It was well worth the effort.More summit conquerors arrive.
This is Gardyloo Gully, the most notorious of the summit gullies. Unfortunately we couldn't enjoy viewing the drop due to cloud cover. Gardyloo enjoys a closer proximity to the mountain track than it's neighbour Tower gully.
This is Gardyloo Gully, the most notorious of the summit gullies. Unfortunately we couldn't enjoy viewing the drop due to cloud cover. Gardyloo enjoys a closer proximity to the mountain track than it's neighbour Tower gully. | Source
Any mishap at this point and it would almost certainly be a one way ticket to oblivion.  Rob's deep in thought over this matter.
Any mishap at this point and it would almost certainly be a one way ticket to oblivion. Rob's deep in thought over this matter. | Source
Trekking the last hundred yards or so. The prize of conquering the summit is within our grasp.
Trekking the last hundred yards or so. The prize of conquering the summit is within our grasp. | Source
 We are finally at the summit.This is the UK's highest war memorial.
We are finally at the summit.This is the UK's highest war memorial. | Source
The summit trig point in sight along with the raised and stone built storm shelter.
The summit trig point in sight along with the raised and stone built storm shelter. | Source
The summit trig point within view. It's a shame there is cloud cover and the vistas are obscured but at least we can see where we are putting our feet. It is quite cold here now and we have all put on top layers.
The summit trig point within view. It's a shame there is cloud cover and the vistas are obscured but at least we can see where we are putting our feet. It is quite cold here now and we have all put on top layers. | Source
Out with the cameras. Remarkably our mobile phones enjoy quite a strong signal here at the summit.
Out with the cameras. Remarkably our mobile phones enjoy quite a strong signal here at the summit. | Source
None of us expected it to be this busy up here today. I would estimate easily 50 or 60 people. It must be the fair weather.
None of us expected it to be this busy up here today. I would estimate easily 50 or 60 people. It must be the fair weather. | Source
The ruins of the old weather station with the storm shelter behind it.
The ruins of the old weather station with the storm shelter behind it. | Source
There is literally a que for photos at the trig point.
There is literally a que for photos at the trig point. | Source
The emergency shelter. I wonder how many lives this has saved over the years.
The emergency shelter. I wonder how many lives this has saved over the years. | Source
Rob's obligatory summit trig point photograph
Rob's obligatory summit trig point photograph | Source
Another of Rob at the summit trig point.
Another of Rob at the summit trig point. | Source
The obligatory photograph of me at the summit trig point.
The obligatory photograph of me at the summit trig point. | Source
Another photo of me at the summit trig point.
Another photo of me at the summit trig point. | Source
The obligatory photo of Steve at the summit trig point.
The obligatory photo of Steve at the summit trig point. | Source
Another photo of Steve at the summit trig point.
Another photo of Steve at the summit trig point. | Source
Rob is now taking photo's for other conquerors at the summit trig point.
Rob is now taking photo's for other conquerors at the summit trig point. | Source
Last looks around and few more photo's then time to descend the mountain track. It was well worth the effort.
Last looks around and few more photo's then time to descend the mountain track. It was well worth the effort. | Source
More summit conquerors arrive.
More summit conquerors arrive. | Source

The descent of Ben Nevis via The Mountain Track and a very welcome beer or two and a steak dinner at The Ben Nevis Inn.

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Indeed Ben Nevis truly can be a very very lonely place.It may appear easier to descend the mountain track than ascend it. I found this not to be the case as my legs hurt more coming down than going up. I had tired legs but your weight is spread differently when descending. Rob and Steve agreedIt's so desolate up here. I find the aggressive ruggedness beautiful. We are tired but still marvel at this barren moonscape.The mountain track which enabled us trio of amateaur hikers to conquer the summit of Ben Nevis is under deep snow for much of the year. Only skilled mountaineers should contemplate a duel for the summit with Ben Nevis when snow lies deep. Not so long ago we trod here in the opposite direction. Though now with aching limbs and a whole sense of having fulfilled  a life achievement we fill our lungs with the freshest of mountain aromas during our glorious descent.We descended the lower half of Ben Nevis engulfed by the aroma of fresh poured beer. We all must have imagined it as such an aroma doesn't travel that far. Or does it? We are happy in the knowledge that we have earned our sponsorship pledges.A most deserved alcoholic refreshment at the Ben Nevis Inn. All in all, including rest breaks and half an hour for lunch at the summit it took us seven and three quarter hours for the ascent and descent of Ben Nevis via the mountain track.
Indeed Ben Nevis truly can be a very very lonely place.
Indeed Ben Nevis truly can be a very very lonely place. | Source
It may appear easier to descend the mountain track than ascend it. I found this not to be the case as my legs hurt more coming down than going up. I had tired legs but your weight is spread differently when descending. Rob and Steve agreed
It may appear easier to descend the mountain track than ascend it. I found this not to be the case as my legs hurt more coming down than going up. I had tired legs but your weight is spread differently when descending. Rob and Steve agreed | Source
It's so desolate up here. I find the aggressive ruggedness beautiful. We are tired but still marvel at this barren moonscape.
It's so desolate up here. I find the aggressive ruggedness beautiful. We are tired but still marvel at this barren moonscape. | Source
The mountain track which enabled us trio of amateaur hikers to conquer the summit of Ben Nevis is under deep snow for much of the year. Only skilled mountaineers should contemplate a duel for the summit with Ben Nevis when snow lies deep.
The mountain track which enabled us trio of amateaur hikers to conquer the summit of Ben Nevis is under deep snow for much of the year. Only skilled mountaineers should contemplate a duel for the summit with Ben Nevis when snow lies deep. | Source
Not so long ago we trod here in the opposite direction. Though now with aching limbs and a whole sense of having fulfilled  a life achievement we fill our lungs with the freshest of mountain aromas during our glorious descent.
Not so long ago we trod here in the opposite direction. Though now with aching limbs and a whole sense of having fulfilled a life achievement we fill our lungs with the freshest of mountain aromas during our glorious descent. | Source
We descended the lower half of Ben Nevis engulfed by the aroma of fresh poured beer. We all must have imagined it as such an aroma doesn't travel that far. Or does it? We are happy in the knowledge that we have earned our sponsorship pledges.
We descended the lower half of Ben Nevis engulfed by the aroma of fresh poured beer. We all must have imagined it as such an aroma doesn't travel that far. Or does it? We are happy in the knowledge that we have earned our sponsorship pledges. | Source
A most deserved alcoholic refreshment at the Ben Nevis Inn. All in all, including rest breaks and half an hour for lunch at the summit it took us seven and three quarter hours for the ascent and descent of Ben Nevis via the mountain track.
A most deserved alcoholic refreshment at the Ben Nevis Inn. All in all, including rest breaks and half an hour for lunch at the summit it took us seven and three quarter hours for the ascent and descent of Ben Nevis via the mountain track. | Source

A few Selfies whilst ascending The Mountain Track to Ben Nevis summit.

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With mount Meall an t-Suidhe in the background.With Glen Nevis in the background.The mountain track ascending Ben Nevis. Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe is in the background.With Glen Nevis in the background.Meall an t-Suidhe, Glen Nevis and Loch Linnhe in the background.In mid July there are still sporadic patches of snow present only a couple hundred yards below the summit. There was no snow present on the summit plateau.
With mount Meall an t-Suidhe in the background.
With mount Meall an t-Suidhe in the background. | Source
With Glen Nevis in the background.
With Glen Nevis in the background. | Source
The mountain track ascending Ben Nevis. Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe is in the background.
The mountain track ascending Ben Nevis. Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe is in the background. | Source
With Glen Nevis in the background.
With Glen Nevis in the background. | Source
Meall an t-Suidhe, Glen Nevis and Loch Linnhe in the background.
Meall an t-Suidhe, Glen Nevis and Loch Linnhe in the background. | Source
In mid July there are still sporadic patches of snow present only a couple hundred yards below the summit. There was no snow present on the summit plateau.
In mid July there are still sporadic patches of snow present only a couple hundred yards below the summit. There was no snow present on the summit plateau. | Source

Reap the harvest.

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We raised over 500 GBP for The Douglas Macmillan Hospice and had great fun during the process.I was designated leader of the group of fundraisers so I created this certificate. I didn't present myself with one though.I was designated leader of the group of fundraisers so I created this certificate. I didn't present myself with one though.This is the final result I had printed and framed for Rob.This is the final result I had printed and framed for Steve.
We raised over 500 GBP for The Douglas Macmillan Hospice and had great fun during the process.
We raised over 500 GBP for The Douglas Macmillan Hospice and had great fun during the process. | Source
I was designated leader of the group of fundraisers so I created this certificate. I didn't present myself with one though.
I was designated leader of the group of fundraisers so I created this certificate. I didn't present myself with one though. | Source
I was designated leader of the group of fundraisers so I created this certificate. I didn't present myself with one though.
I was designated leader of the group of fundraisers so I created this certificate. I didn't present myself with one though. | Source
This is the final result I had printed and framed for Rob.
This is the final result I had printed and framed for Rob. | Source
This is the final result I had printed and framed for Steve.
This is the final result I had printed and framed for Steve. | Source

Some useful information and links.

The links are external and will navigate you away from Hubpages.

Fort William, Scotland, UK.

Linnhe Lochside Holidays in Scotland. UK.

Ben Nevis summit in Scotland. UK.

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