The day after the Ben Nevis Hill Race, we'd organised a walk up Britain's highest mountain, taking an interesting route rather than the usual 'tourist route' that most people take. Weather looked promising as we headed out from the Youth Hostel and up the well maintained path. The fine weather had brought out many walkers, some fast pairs and other slower groups, some of who were tackling a '3 Peaks Challenge'. We left the crowds behind at the 'halfway lochan' and crossed over to Coire Leis, from where an enormous trudge over steep grassy hillside brought us out onto the summit of Carn Mor Dearg. Time to take in some views, and wow, what views ! The whole of Ben Nevis's north face was laid before us, massive and forboding. I talked Sam into packing her poles away and we crossed the arete quite quickly and with sure-footed progress. The arete is classed as a Grade 1 Scramble and is a fine introduction before trying your hand at the Aonach Eagach, An Teallach, Torridon or Skye. One last haul and we were on the summit of 'The Ben'. It was now 5pm and most of the hill walkers had headed back home. We had the summit virtually to ourselves as cloud flowed up from Coire Leis. Some of the views on the way down were quite spectacular and we could see all the way to Mull, Rum and Skye.
Some photos are on Flickr, and a 360 degree panorama from Carn Mor Dearg Arete is on Occipital . We'll be doing the route again on 17 September - details are here.