BuzyG's Scottish Adventure.

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BuzyG's Scottish Adventure.

Post by buzyg » Tue May 24, 2016 8:48 pm

Well it started out as a Forum trip that never quite materialized. But having had the idea firmly planted in my head, (Cheers for that Spikey) and booked my leave, the decision was made to go it alone and do a spot of hill walking along the way.

The trip up was tedious. With a stop over in Liverpool, to see my old mum and mates. Then it was off, via a stop at the Real food Cafe, for some delicious Fish and Chips, to Spean Bridge near Fort William, where some modest accommodation awaited. This would be home for the next four days.

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The next Morning it was time to park up at the North Face car park, in the rain.

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Then set off up the Track towards one of life's little tick boxes, for me, the Top of Ben Nevis. Just at the top of the tree line the rain started in earnest, so it was bag open and on with the foul weather gear and a quick snap shot.

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As I walked up the valley towards the mighty mountain the view ahead looked foreboding rather than inviting and I considered heading around and up the less difficult track from Glen Nevis.

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A look back and the valley, where the Zed is parked, has completely different weather.

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No heading back today though and as I climbed further in to the heart of the Corrie at the foot of the Ben, the Weather showed brief glimpses that the route ahead was at least doable.

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At this point I had been heading up the left side of the Corrie to try and make my way around the head of the stream, that had been un-crossable at the usual crossing point of the CiC hut and then head up to the right towards the summit of the Ben. A look around the corner of the buff and it was clear there was no way up there today. A wall of dangerous damp melting snow blocked any path. Alas No pic.

So it was up the left side of the corrie at this point pretty steady if lung bursting stuff.

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However the 250m up the to the Arete it just got steeper and steeper with a spot of decent, if slightly intimidating free climbing at times on lose damp crumbling rock. (Never a chair lift when you need one) A few times I looked around and wanted a picture, but all points were needed to keep my feeble human frame pinned to the side of this king among British Mountains, which pleasantly changed the sleet and hail, into less painful snow, as I dragged my old limbs up on to the Arete bellow Carn Mor Dearg.

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And finally a magical view of out over the North side of the range. The photo really doesn't do it justice.

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For the benefit of AlfaScozzesi this was the route up. Photo taken later on a long zoom, from the other side of the Allt bellow the hut , weather had improved a lot by then too.

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From the Arete I climbed into the clouds and mist and have to say it was a slog up the last 350m. It was well worth it though, as the snow of the summit plateau made the going far easier, if difficult to navigate. I suddenly realized there were no other foot prints and immediately thought. This is the top of Ben Nevis there should be foot prints, I'm going the wrong way, there are 1500ft drops in several directions and I can only see 30 yards. An instant stop, quick map and Compass check and I adjusted my course by 90 degrees and the summit Cairn finally emerged from the white out. It had only been 60 or 70 yards away, but in these conditions it may as well have been 20 miles away. (Take care if your ever up there)

A very happy BuzyG. So much for hords, one young guy turned up after 5 minutes and took this photo.

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The top was quite a spooky spot, but with the wind dropping and the mist gradually thinning a little I sat and ate lunch, in the shelter of the old weather station, 7 1/2 hours after leaving the car park. Not another soul came up the whole time.

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Another quick compass check and it was time to head down. Within the first few 100m of the decent I dropped bellow the rising cloud base and was at last able to appriciate the truly stunning vista visible in all directions from Britains top.

The valley bellow is where I had walked up earlier in the day and would now return.

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The peak opposite is Carn Mor Dearg the 5th highest mountain in Britain, but just another hill from up here. LoL

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The route down the pony track may be a boring walk, but the views are epic as they emerged bellow the cloud.

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Halfway down now and off the tourist route again and heading back into the secluded splendour at the back of the mountain.

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Well not totally secluded, I'm happy to report. Did I mention the three wise deer.

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I had picked a spot on the way up where I could get back accross the Allt a Mhuilinn, this wasn't it. just a pic I thought I'd share.

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And finally as I headed back down the valley one last look back at the route that had looked very different in the morning sleet.

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Happy to See the Zed waiting for me in the car park, 12 hours after setting off.

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Then the hardest part of the day. Manoeuvring the Zed back down the forest track to the main road.. :wink:

More to come tomorrow or later if I get another hour and I promise lots more Zed pics. Sunny weather and the Isle of Skye anyone. :D

Edit Link to Part 2

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=87604
Last edited by buzyg on Wed May 25, 2016 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AlfaScozzesi
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Post by AlfaScozzesi » Tue May 24, 2016 9:30 pm

Great to see the pics and you went a long way left up the arrette from my usual route if I have the pictures right in my head. As I said before it was a good effort with the weather being what it was. ( that's the reason there was no one at the top, even from the path :D )

You get your reward of having the place to yourself when you do it in weather like that and even better if it clears later. I think it was the sixth or seventh time at the top before I saw more than 15ft in front of me!

Looking forward to the next instalment. :)

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Post by Number5 » Tue May 24, 2016 9:31 pm

Great story buzy, I enjoyed reading that and am slightly envious too.. However, part of me is wondering just how bonkers you are being up there alone !!

It looks like the North East boys picked the better week for the weather, but I've still sat at my desk this week, thinking..."I should be in Scotland now" and a fact that I've already reminded Spikey of too !!

Enjoy and keep the pictures coming :thumbsup:
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Post by mr wilks » Tue May 24, 2016 9:36 pm

That looks a hard but rewarding day on the hoof mr G , great pics :thumbsup:
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Post by buzyg » Tue May 24, 2016 10:16 pm

Number5 wrote:Great story buzy, I enjoyed reading that and am slightly envious too.. However, part of me is wondering just how bonkers you are being up there alone !!

It looks like the North East boys picked the better week for the weather, but I've still sat at my desk this week, thinking..."I should be in Scotland now" and a fact that I've already reminded Spikey of too !!

Enjoy and keep the pictures coming :thumbsup:
Don't worry too much about me Alan. You should try the middle of Dartmoor in February, a lot moor remote than the Ben just easier on the old lungs. Did three months training on the steepest Dartmoor valleys I know and spent a fair bit of time reading up on climbing in the Scottish Highlands. Thanks to AlfaScozzesi for route tips an safety tips too. Also did a spot of rock climbing in my youth. Just been a few years. The result of all that was I took a life times experience on the moor and a lot moor kit than I actually needed on the day. There is no doubt Ben Nevis could be a very dangerous place if you took the piss or even if you prepared well and things went wrong, but if your any thing like me, you calculate the ever changing risks and get on with the challenge. :D
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Post by paulgs1000 » Tue May 24, 2016 10:28 pm

That does not look easy! A great read and some fabulous photos - a great post :thumbsup:
If you're heading out from Spean Bridge on the A82 to Skye then you will love the A87 Invergarry route - what a road! :driving:
And from there to the Skye bridge is lovely on the A87.
If you're staying any longer do you have time to get to the Pass of the Cattle turn left off the A896 (via the A890) (if the weather is clear) well worth the run.
We've had some great drives up in that area - have you met our resident ///M Coupe rep up there yet?! :lol: :thumbsup: That'll be the 3rd week a forum member's visited Gary!
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Post by buzyg » Tue May 24, 2016 10:39 pm

paulgs1000 wrote:That does not look easy! A great read and some fabulous photos - a great post :thumbsup:
If you're heading out from Spean Bridge on the A82 to Skye then you will love the A87 Invergarry route - what a road! :driving:
And from there to the Skye bridge is lovely on the A87.
If you're staying any longer do you have time to get to the Pass of the Cattle turn left off the A896 (via the A890) (if the weather is clear) well worth the run.
We've had some great drives up in that area - have you met our resident ///M Coupe rep up there yet?! :lol: :thumbsup: That'll be the 3rd week a forum member's visited Gary!
Alas I'm back home tonight couldn't post pics from my camera to my tablet whilst I was up there. So had to wait until I got back to do the write up. Did drive up to Skye though, amazing roads. I'm Working on that instalment now. Will post tomorrow. :wink:
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Post by paulgs1000 » Tue May 24, 2016 10:43 pm

buzyg wrote:
paulgs1000 wrote:That does not look easy! A great read and some fabulous photos - a great post :thumbsup:
If you're heading out from Spean Bridge on the A82 to Skye then you will love the A87 Invergarry route - what a road! :driving:
And from there to the Skye bridge is lovely on the A87.
If you're staying any longer do you have time to get to the Pass of the Cattle turn left off the A896 (via the A890) (if the weather is clear) well worth the run.
We've had some great drives up in that area - have you met our resident ///M Coupe rep up there yet?! :lol: :thumbsup: That'll be the 3rd week a forum member's visited Gary!
Alas I'm back home tonight couldn't post pics from my camera to my tablet whilst I was up there. So had to wait until I got back to do the write up. Did drive up to Skye though, amazing roads. I'm Working on that instalment now. Will post tomorrow. :wink:
Thought I was reading a live report :lol: Looking forward to your next instalment :thumbsup:
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Post by TR4man » Wed May 25, 2016 6:49 am

Great write up and photos - and it takes a lot to distract me from Susannah whilst I'm having my breakfast :wink:
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Post by sars » Wed May 25, 2016 7:39 am

Just wow, great post and beautiful pictures of the vista's of Ben, well done you :thumbsup:
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Post by metal licker » Wed May 25, 2016 7:40 am

Fantastic pics ! Well done sir :thumbsup:
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Post by buzyg » Wed May 25, 2016 5:55 pm

Thanks for the thumbs up replys all. It's good to do something that you find a challenge and even better to share part of it with others. :D
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Post by enzed4 » Thu May 26, 2016 3:23 am

Loved reading your travels - thanks for sharing :thumbsup:
I think you should come over here and have a crack at these 'hills' :wink:
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Post by buzyg » Thu May 26, 2016 5:45 pm

enzed4 wrote:Loved reading your travels - thanks for sharing :thumbsup:
I think you should come over here and have a crack at these 'hills' :wink:
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Don't tempt me. What a view :thumbsup:
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Post by rhapsodicboom » Sat May 28, 2016 8:37 pm

Amazing trip and pictures! I recently bought my z from Scotland and drove around loch lomand.idlove to do a few days trip exploring the area soon

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