The Climb

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3 years ago (Last updated: 2 years ago)

I thought I would write this article to share with you my fond memories of climbing Ben Nevis in Scotland.

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK at a height of 4,413 ft (1345 m)

I had climbed Mount Snowdon (The highest mountain in England and Wales) and Scafell Pikes (The highest mountain in England) before, but had never attempted Ben Nevis before.

In 2018 I had a holiday, with my family in Scotland during the Summer. We stayed not too far from Ben Nevis in a beautiful place called Oban, on the west coast of Scotland.

Oban, Scotland

The weather in Scotland can often be rainy and I remember that it rained every single day of our holiday! I remember one day we could not do much at all except find a cosy cafe that we could go for a bite to eat, a coffee and to keep out of the rain!

We wondered after making the effort of travelling to Scotland if we would even get the chance to try climbing Ben Nevis.

Thankfully though that evening as we were sitting in our cosy hotel room we had the tv on and saw that the weather looked to be improving the following day, it was forecast sunshine and showers.

We got all our climbing clothes ready and decided that we would get up early and drive over to Ben Nevis, it would be our only opportunity that week.

We got up early and pulled back the curtains at sunrise, it was a bright, sunny morning and we were so happy that we had the chance to give climbing Ben Nevis a go.

The view from our hotel at sunrise

We arrived at the Glen Nevis visitor centre at 9am, parked the car and set off on our climb in the warm sunshine.

On the way up we had a few showers but generally fine weather, I remember that when we were about two thirds of the way up we stopped for lunch and had some amazing views! we were even looking down at a rainbow below us at one point.

Above the rainbow on Ben Nevis

It felt so amazing to be so high up and have such amazing views, we had such a sense or achievement, everything below us looked so tiny. I truly believe that somewhere between the bottom of the climb to the summit is the answer to the mystery, why we climb.

The views from Ben Nevis

On the next part of our climb the weather got a bit worse. It started to rain, then there was hail and even a brief thunderstorm. The temperature dropped and we were climbing up through a cloud. We could not see more than about 20ft ahead but managed to stay on the right pathway by following the markers, small piles of rocks had been built every 100 yards or so to guide climbers along the route.

I have read that at the summit there are only on average 14 clear days per year on Ben Nevis so to be able to climb on one days we would have to have been very fortunate with the weather.

It was quite an effort with the weather against us, I am by no means an experienced climber and not as fit as I once was either but we eventually made it all the way to the summit! we had done it! we were cold and worn out but so pleased that we had made it to the top of Ben Nevis.

We stayed there for a while to take it all in and enjoy the moment, it is something I will always remember.

We headed back down, which was easier than climbing up, we broke back through the cloud and the weather brightened up again and it got warmer again as we went back down.

We were worn out and aching but we had such a wonderful day, it was an amazing experience.

We drove back to our hotel, all had a nice warm shower and a nice cup of tea which felt so rewarding after our effort, and needless to say we slept very well that night.

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Lead image courtesy of pixabay all others are my own

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3 years ago (Last updated: 2 years ago)

Comments

Sounds like a a wonderful day mate, it is beautiful up there Such a sense of achievement 😍

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3 years ago

Was such a memorable day, I'd love to do it again!

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3 years ago

Wonderful article. What an achievement! Thank you

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3 years ago

How I wish I could get to have the same vacation with my family. Somewhere we can relax. This is such a nice article. 😊

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3 years ago

Thank you, climbing Ben Nevis was one of my most precious life experiences.

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3 years ago