Coventry – Ben Nevis, the journey that was ahead of me – 420 miles (675km) which might not sound that much, but when you are doing this road by coach it can take some time to get there. I believe it took 13 hours to get to Glasgow and from there another 2-3 hours to Fort William. Then from Fort William I walked to the camping site for about another hour. All together the journey from home to Ben Nevis was longer than my journey to Thailand.
Walking from Fort William to Ben Nevis was painful, because it was raining quite significantly. I had my massive backpack and a smaller one, so this 1 hour walk was tearing me apart. I did made it eventually, I arrived around 2-3pm, by the time I got to the base the rain stopped too, lucky enough to build up my tent and unpack.
Once I finished my tent, changed into some dry cloths and I had to make some coffee because I looked like a walking zombie. I needed something warm, a bit of an energy and a good rest for the following day.
Despite the bad weather on the first day, I did go out to look around, explore the local shops and pubs. I had a drink, something to eat and finished my day with a good sleep. You know it is very interesting that it gets dark really late in Scotland. I think It was 11:30 and there was still some light outside. Only after 12am got completely dark and as early as 3:30 am I was able to see the mountain in front of me. A lot of the mountaineers left the camping site about 4am, because by the time I started going up the mountain, many already came down.
I woke up about 7 am, had my coffe, packed my gear and dry cloths into a waterproof bag and about 8 am I started my ascend.
Every step I made towards the top I had to stop and I wasn’t because I was tired, but because of the beautiful landscapes. Every step up revealed something unique and amazing in the bottom.
Half way through and kept discovering more cool places. I arrived to this amazing waterfall where I took a quick break and had chocolate bar to keep me going. One thing I always get wrong is having enough water with me, this time I had only 1.5l of water with me for a 5h journey. I had no issues, but I did feel thirst a couple of times and didn’t have enough water. Luckily had some fruits with me too and it worked for the time being.
The last half an hour to the summit was the most difficult one. By this time I was soaked wet, cold and exhausted. I was keep going and going, but still couldn’t see the summit. The path wasn’t visible at all anymore, it was raining, snowing and my body was saying, I can cant do this anymore. Keep going, you have to do this. This is all I was telling to myself.
I met a few people on the way which encouraged me to keep going further and also to stay on the track. At 1345 m I was still able to see some patches of snow and from time to time a few snowflakes coming down with the rain.
After 2h30min probably a bit more, I would say 2h45min I arrived to the summit, cause I left camping site about quarter to 8 am. I was so happy I made it. Touched the summit and quickly changed into my dry cloths. This wasn’t too pleasant. I mean only getting my wet cloths off was a challenge on its own and then bear the cold until I changed.
The ruins on the summit are remaining from the Ben Nevis Observatory opened on the 17th October 1883, collecting meteorological data for 20 years on a continuous hourly basis. Now, there is an emergency shelter on top of the observatory making this the highest point on the mountain. In these 20 years the record they gathered are saying that there are only 20% chances of clear weather on top of Ben Nevis and 80% of the 20 years spent on the summit was raining and snowing. Consider yourself lucky if you had good weather on the summit.
Climbing Ben Nevis was difficult, but rewarding in the same time. I am happy I have done it. I hope I will be able to do Scaffle Pike too one day and than I will have the 3 peaks conquered from UK.
Here is the video from my Ben Nevis Hike – On the top of UK. Enjoy, and of course don’t forget to subscribe and like my video.