Monday, 13 June 2011

Goal 96: To stand on top of Ben Nevis

Bagged my first Munro yesterday - Beinn Bhuidhe - as part of preparation for Ben Nevis.

Things that went well:
  • I took plenty of food and snacks
  • I took sufficient warm clothes, waterproofs, hats and gloves
Things that didn't go so well:
  • Did not allow sufficient time for packing and other preparation
  • Forgot/ran out of time to make a thermos of tea/coffee
  • Forgot sunglasses and inhaler (I didn't need either in the end but that's beside the point)
  • Did not fully understand the route before setting off
This last one was demoralising. I had been told to expect an hour and a half cycle to the start of the climb and then an hour and a half climb. It ended up taking us just under an hour to cycle but three hours to climb to the top. Will have to be better prepared for Ben Nevis!

It was an incredible climb. Steep initially but alongside a fast flowing burn that was broken up with many waterfalls and clear pools. There is a high waterfall at the end of the initial valley and then we reached a gentler slope. After this there is a steep ridge. Don't look down... Having climbed this, we were able to see the peak rising up - yet again. Walking along the ridge I found it easier to look up than down even though the path is winding and uneven - looking down I kept feeling dizzy as the ground sloped sharply away and seemed to move at a different speed. Something to do with being able to see ground below the ridge and not being able to reconcile that sight with ground next to the path I guess.

But, we made it!

The walk down was hard and I ached in places I haven't ached for years. I really must buy a set of walking poles as my knees are still stiff one day on and I could hardly move them yesterday evening.

We had a perfect day for the climb, no rain and the wind was only a problem at the summit and the walk back along the ridge. 

I'm not really looking forward to Ben Nevis. I believe it is half as high again than Beinn Bhuidhe - 948 meters - but I've been told it is not as steep. Will have to do some proper research before I go!

1 comment:

  1. Sally, Laura and I did the Cobbler, not quite a Munro, last Thursday. 3 and half hours up and 2 and a half down. Plenty of short stops for a snack, drink and photo opportunity helped. some of the path wee took up was very steep and scrambly but much more fun than the man made steps path round the back which we came down on. Someone said if you can do the cobbler you can do Ben Nevis so I'm not worried now, just hoping for good weather. Lots of stretches when you get to the bottom helps your legs not to ache or be stiff the next day - worked for me.