Al Ewen was leading a bespoke day up Ben Nevis, tackling it via the Carn Mor Dearg arete. Here's his story of the day with a few photos....
Saturday morning broke with a little frost, clear skies and no wind. My group of three guys had travelled all the way up from southern England so we were feeling pretty pleased with ourselves as we headed up the hill, getting fantastic views straight away. It would be a beautiful autumn day with great visibility and reddish hue to the hills.
After zipping up the new path from the north face car park we headed onto the open hill and towards Carn Mor Dearg. As we ascended we got great views of the dark cliffs of Ben Nevis and, off to the west, we could see Rhum and the Cuillin of Skye. A breeze picked up a little as we gained height - easterly winds, about 20mph. There was a bit of windchill and we certainly needed our hats, gloves and shell jackets. Eventually, by around 11am the sun rose from behind the Ben and we got some warmth.
From the top of Car Mor Dearg we headed south along the arete. There was a lot more cloud to the south which kept swirling around the summits and corries. The arete was pretty straighforward for us all. We made quick but careful progress along, reaching the col below the Ben's eastern face. We were in the cloud now. The summit of the Ben was shrouded in hill fog but from time to time it cleared and we found ourselves above the clouds, blue sky above.
We had our third food break of the day on the summit of the Ben then headed down the tourist path. Soon the cloud cleared and we enjoyed lovely late afternoon sunshine and great views down Loch Linnhe and towards Ardgour. Upon reading the half way loch we headed north and descended to the Allt a' Mhuiliinn, picked up the path and returned to the north face car park. A rare day of November sunshine and a great hill walk.
If you'd like to book a bespoke day with us, check out our Bespoke and Private Mountain guiding events page .