My confidence waivered by the navigational misstep in getting us to our morning destination. The first few boot steps were then filled with trepidation; sorted out by my
confident other half. He reminded me that there were no set expectations; just a day to enjoy the vista.Which we did to the max and what a vista it was.
For you see today we drove to the base of Ben Nevis; the tallest mountain in Great Britian. The weather finally turned around and we had blue skies and some warmth which is a first for our trip. I actually hiked in my shirt for a ways until the wind made me cold at lunch. Here is the vista overlooking Lochan Meall an T-suidhe and the lunch time photo with the sturdy boots.
This is approximately the half way point of the climb to the top. We had been a steady two hours to there with one drink and snack break. The calculations to the top and back meant about 7 hours with a finish around 6. That’s a serious commitment of time and muscles. Discussion over our lunch break and we chose the road less traveled and hiked a trail over to see the north face of Ben Nevis.
As per our usual activity we stopped so the stone mason could build an inukshuk. Of course we suspect most that hike by won’t have any idea of what it actually is.
Behind him is the top of the mountain. Most people hike Ben Nevis (which means they reached the summit) but we hiked on Ben Nevis.
Which was a great decision for us as it meant we still had time to explore down town Fort William, old castle ruins, a beautiful church and enjoy a pint (or two) over an early supper.
In keeping with the “steps and boots” theme is the last picture of this post. Ron’s app captured our elevation and time elements and my phone filled in with a few pictures. It was going to be a selfie but the couple we kept pace with going down (for a while till her knees gave out and he got wobbly legs) took it for us.
It was interesting to note the different demographics and goals on the hike today. We saw a handful of hikers our age; more male than female. We also saw the “runners” tearing down and up the hill! Apparently the best time is 90 mins which is totally insane given the distance and the elevation!! We saw the teams of the National Three Peaks Challenge. This is a crazy endurance event where participants hike the three tallest mountains; Ben Nevis (Scotland), Scafell Pike (England) and Snowdon (Wales) in 24 hours. It was extremely obvious which ones they were. We met most of them in the first hour of our ascent. The biggest demographics were the 20 to 30 year olds; maybe slightly weighted to guys but lots of girls as well. We saw a total of two families. We saw more than a handful of people talking on their cell phone while hiking; not the safest thing to do with uneven footing. Also a waste of such a beautiful vista.
Which we so relished and I’m happy to record here for others to enjoy.