Tuesday 20 October 2015

Scottish Highland trek - The Ben Nevis

Friday 5th of September 2008:
Woke up at 7:00 in the morning. My friend Surj arrived at my place at around 8:30AM, we then went to Enterprise cars in Elms Farms Bedford to pick our car. We booked a Zafira but luckily got a really nice Saab Estate Diesel (1.9L). By the time we left Bedford it was around 9:30AM, we decided to pick Alpesh first who lives in Milton Keynes. We got to his place just after 10:00AM and then went to Wellingborough to pick Ramnik. Once all four of us got into the car it was time to start our long drive towards Fort Williams in Scotland. We were not very lucky with the traffic as we lost quite a bit of time in queuing before we joined the M6. The overall journey to the hostel in Fort Williams was pretty tiring as we finally managed to reach there at about 11:30PM. The hostel is called The Smiddy Bunkhouse & Blacksmiths Backpackers Hostel. Here is the address:
Address - Snowgoose Mountain Centre, Station Road, Corpach, Fort William, Inverness-shire, PH33 7JH, Scotland
Two other friends Louise and Rakesh had already checked in. They got well before us. We managed to catch what ever sleep we could before beginning our journey early next day.

Saturday 6th of September 2008:
We were up and ready by 7:00 in the morning. The hostel we stayed in is very close to the Ben Nevis base, in-fact we could see the mountain from outside the hostel. We drove to the base which is about 4 miles away, parked our car, and took our backpacks with us to start our journey up to the top. It was really killing for the first hour or so. We finally made it to the top at around 1:00PM in just under 5 hours. It was really windy at the top, with lots of cloud cover making it really cold. We stayed there for about 30 minutes, and started descending back to the base. Every year on the 6th of September there is a race that takes place at Ben Nevis where people from all age groups run all the way to the top and come back down running. The fastest one so far is 1 hour 25 minutes. We reached the base at around 5:30PM. All together around 10 hours of trekking. We were absolutely shattered by the time we back to the base.

Sunday 7th of September 2008:
We got up at around 6:30AM, got ready and left the hostel at around 7:30AM. Considering what we had to go through on Friday we made sure that we left nice and early giving the rush hour traffic a miss. On the way we got off at few places to take some photos. We also had our breakfast at one of our stops near a beautiful lake. The journey back home was pleasant expect for another accident on the motor way which delayed us by couple of hours.

Another nice trip, another nice experience to cherish.

Clothing/Equipment Guide
Conditions on the mountains and on the summits are significantly colder than people expect. The equipment/clothing list is intended as a guide, to help ensure you enjoy your day out on mountains, whatever the weather conditions

Essential Clothing/Equipment

  • Water proof jacket
  • Waterproof over trousers (Tip; Ensure you can put the over trousers on whilst wearing your boots)
  • Hats
  • Gloves (Tip; If rain is forecast, take at least 2 pairs)
  • Walking Boots
  • Food for the day. You will be burning off twice the amount of energy you normally do, so bring enough food. Sugary snacks aren’t a good idea. Foods like bananas, dried fruit, flapjacks & sandwiches are good.
  • Water. On hot days you can drink up to 4 pints/2 litres of water.
  • Flask. On cold days a warm drink is nice to have.
  • Personal Medicines, First Aid Kit, Plasters etc.
  • Thick/Walking socks
  • Hiking trousers (Tip; Do not wear jeans or jogging bottoms)
  • Sun Cream (essential if it is a sunny day!)
  • Sun Glasses
  • Sun Hat (essential if it is a sunny day!)
  • Whistle
  • Rucksack (25-35 litres in size depending on how much stuff you want to carry)
    Rucksack liner (Rucksacks are not waterproof!)
  • Walking Poles


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