Author Topic: Ben Nevis in September  (Read 1048 times)

rural roamer

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Ben Nevis in September
« on: 13:14:10, 15/08/18 »
So we’ve just booked up a week in Scotland to hopefully complete our 3 peaks, having done Snowdon and Scafell Pike in May and July.  There didn’t seem to be a lot of self catering places left so we’ve got a lodge in Spean Bridge 8 Sept - in woods near a river so am hoping the midges will be gone but guessing probably not!  ;D  Otherwise it would have been mid October and I didn’t want to risk the possiblilty of snow.

Realistically I think we will have to go up the tourist track even though we did less popular paths on the other two peaks. Any other path will likely just be a bit too much scrambling, so not looking forward to the crowds! Not having been to Scotland for ages, if anyone has any suggestions for other walks in the area that would be great.  Especially an easier hill walk that we can use to acclimatise before tackling Ben Nevis (something like Haystacks, which was a good one before Scafell Pike).

sparnel

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Re: Ben Nevis in September
« Reply #1 on: 20:00:50, 15/08/18 »
Drive up to the head of Glen Nevis. Walk up the wide corrie to gain the ridge, turn right and head up Ben Bhan (the white mountain). Return the same way. Check out the route on a map.

richardh1905

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Re: Ben Nevis in September
« Reply #2 on: 09:01:07, 18/08/18 »
Drive up to the head of Glen Nevis. Walk up the wide corrie ...



Do you mean Coire Eoghainn?
Strenuousness is the path of immortality, sloth the path of death.

richardh1905

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Re: Ben Nevis in September
« Reply #3 on: 09:12:23, 18/08/18 »

 lodge in Spean Bridge 8 Sept - in woods near a river so am hoping the midges will be gone but guessing probably not!  ;D   


NOT A CHANCE !


Quote
Realistically I think we will have to go up the tourist track even though we did less popular paths on the other two peaks. Any other path will likely just be a bit too much scrambling, so not looking forward to the crowds! Not having been to Scotland for ages, if anyone has any suggestions for other walks in the area that would be great.  Especially an easier hill walk that we can use to acclimatise before tackling Ben Nevis (something like Haystacks, which was a good one before Scafell Pike).



I always hoped that I would avoid the tourist route when I climbed Ben Nevis, but the alternatives seem to be either scrambles or long, and as I had my 11 year old son (and dog) with me this July, we joined the hordes on the treadmill.


One possibility that I think I saw mentioned in the SMC 'Central Highlands' guide was to walk up the gorge to Steall (past the waterfall), then follow the valley north to gain the ridge between Aonach Mor and Carn Mor Dearg; climb Carn Mor Dearg and then along the ridge to Ben Nevis. You could return by the route mentioned by Sparnel (I think); the alternative is the tourist track and a walk up the glen. A big walk!


As for 'warm up' walks, the Mamores lie to the south of Glen Nevis; you could go part of the way up Mullach Nan Coirean (the westernmost peak) but it is a big hill in its own right! Or you could take a walk up into the valley to the north of Ben Nevis to get a good view of the massive north face cliffs and ridges.


PS - we camped at Glen Nevis - midges weren't too bad as the weather had been so dry. The beer in the Ben Nevis Inn at the foot of the tourist track is good!
« Last Edit: 09:16:17, 18/08/18 by richardh1905 »
Strenuousness is the path of immortality, sloth the path of death.

rural roamer

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Re: Ben Nevis in September
« Reply #4 on: 10:46:52, 05/09/18 »
Thanks for the suggestions.  Thinking we may walk up to the CIC hut from the car park near Torlundy as a warm up. We head off this weekend, forecast not looking too great for next week though, so I think it will definitely be the mountain path. Now busy downloading easy low level walks!


Someone’s lent us some midge nets though we may not need them now!

sparnel

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Re: Ben Nevis in September
« Reply #5 on: 20:03:10, 05/09/18 »
Midgies have been bad this last two mornings.........evenings and mornings are the worst time for them
at this time of the year. It does look as if it might be colder than of late so they might not be a problem.
Have a great time!


ps.  Book for dinner in Russell's restaurant in Spean Bridge - great food!

rural roamer

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Re: Ben Nevis in September
« Reply #6 on: 19:05:20, 18/09/18 »
So we made it up Ben Nevis last Wednesday  :) 
No views from the top and the weather was pretty grim all week though could have been a lot worse, in fact I think it is this week. We knew we were unlikely to see anything and it would probably rain every day so the deciding factor was the wind. Left the visitor centre at 7.45 and arrived back there just before 3. Still lots of people doing it even in the bad weather. Views were pretty good until well over halfway, so that was an unexpected bonus. We did have the summit cairn to ourselves for about a minute! Freezing cold though. The same day a man was rescuedby helicopter from Five Finger Gully, lots of news reports about it. Hope it wasn’t the man we passed who asked us “How long to the top?” This was around 2pm when we were about halfway between the loch and the bottom. He had trainers on, normalish clothes and not sure about waterproofs. Anything he had with him was in a carrier bag! We said 3-4 hours (who knows he didn’t look like a walker). He expressed surprise at this and my husband told him the conditions were brutal up there etc. He carried on.... i can’t believe he would have made it up as far as the summit plateau though. We’ll never know.


I’m glad I’ve done it, but will stick to less popular routes in future. Will try and do one trip report on all 3 Peaks. Will reveal my favourite, though you can already guess which one it isn’t!


We walked every day. The walk from the North Face car park to the CIC mountain hut and back was our training walk. Again very wet and windy, and on the way back just before the forest encountered two men heading up - in (very wet) jeans, trainers and their waterproofs were those ponchos you get given on a coach trip or football match.   >:(  And they were sleeveless, whatever is the point of them ever?! They did turn back though.

Other walks were Coire Ardaire, Steall Waterfalls, Dun Deardail and (the day after Ben Nevis) a few miles along the Caledonian canal.


No midges!


Sparnel - we didn’t go to Russells restaurant, too pricey for us! Had a couple of good meals at the Old Station restaurant though.

richardh1905

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Re: Ben Nevis in September
« Reply #7 on: 20:22:16, 18/09/18 »
Glad that you made it to the top, Roamer. We saw all manner of people on our trip up in July, but nobody quite as ill prepared as those you mention.
Strenuousness is the path of immortality, sloth the path of death.

rural roamer

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Re: Ben Nevis in September
« Reply #8 on: 22:27:48, 18/09/18 »
Actually other than those people, most seemed to be well prepared for the weather - maybe it kept most of the “tourists” away.

sparnel

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Re: Ben Nevis in September
« Reply #9 on: 22:13:07, 19/09/18 »
R Roamer  -   the guy rescued from five finger gully was Austrian. After his dramatic rescue he said he
climbed a lot in his own country but never had conditions like what he experienced on the Ben!
The helicopter had to reverse into the gully to winch him up. An amazing feat of flying by the crew......


rural roamer

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Re: Ben Nevis in September
« Reply #10 on: 08:08:14, 20/09/18 »
Sparnel - if he walked a lot in Austria it likely wasn’t him we spoke to then, he probably wouldn’t have had all his things in a carrier bag!

rambling minster

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Re: Ben Nevis in September
« Reply #11 on: 13:04:50, 02/10/18 »
Walked the tourist path up here in early September. I saw a lad just starting out as I was finishing (about 3pm), wearing only a very thin, unzipped raincoat over his upper-body with nothing underneath!