Ben Nevis has been on my list of places to go for the last year, it would be the last of the three peaks in the UK to summit after going up Scafell Pike in February and Snowdon in 2014. I set a date to go up to Scotland at the end of October for 4 days. I set off from Herefordshire Monday night into a 9 hour drive to Fort William, stopping at Lancaster for the night and continuing the journey first thing in the morning. We made it to Fort William in the afternoon, a little later than expected due to a stop in Glasgow. Driving from Glasgow along Loch Lomond is just spectacular, striking a reminder of the Pyrenees as we drove deeper into the mountains. We arrived at our hotel, the Clan McDuff, just as the sun was setting across the Loch Eil, what a spectacular view.
Our plan was to head towards Ben Nevis first thing the day after we arrived, we got up around 6am to check our bags and drive a few miles to the North Face car park to head up the mountain via the Carn Mor Dearg Arete (CMD Arete) route. The weather was terrible from the moment we made it to the car park, it rained constantly but it was incredibly warm around 14°-15° centigrade all morning. After making a stupid error with our navigation we ended up walking 4 miles off track, by the time we corrected our path we decided it was going to leave us short on day light to carry on with the planned CMD Arete route so we headed to the Glen Nevis mountain path.
We made it to the summit around 3pm, later than expected but even with the set back it still gave us enough time to make it down before it got dark. The weather never really improved much and although at one point we were the highest people in the UK we couldn’t se a bloody thing.