|First slopes of Ben Nevis|
|My climbing companions|
We Left after lunch in a convoy of 2 cars and took our time as we were not in any rush to get to our first hotel, we had booked the Travelodge at the Lancaster services on the M6, on arrival we had a quick cup of tea and headed off to Morcambe for a short walk and then dinner, then it was back to the Travelodge for a sleep. The next day we had breakfast and headed north on the M6 towards the mountains of Scotland. Driving through Scotland was amazing, we passed Glasgow and then across the Erskin bridge and then along the length of Loch Lommond for what seemed like hours.
|A short stop for food|
|Chris having a munch|
After Loch Lommond we continued further north and along some amazing roads surrounded by mountains, There came a moment where I got the urge to listen to some of the soundtrack from the James Bond movie Skyfall, it just seemed appropriate as it looked just like some of the locations used in the film, we later found out that this was the exact location they used in the film so it was quite a coincidence. After the Skyfall mountains and valleys we continued further north eventually arriving at Fort William and then the Glen Nevis campsite at the foot of Ben Nevis. After setting up camp Amy cooked us a lovely dinner and then we headed off to bed ready for our climb the next day.
|Glen Nevis getting smaller|
|Amy admiring the view|
|Red Burn Waterfall|
We started the day off with a lovely cooked breakfast which Chris cooked and then we got our bags ready, we left the campsite and walked the short distance to the Ben Nevis visitors centre where the path to the top started. the car park was bustling with climbers getting ready so we didn't hang about too long and crossed the bridge over the river Nevis to the start of the path up the mountain. The first part of the path was along a very short part of the river bank but it soon headed away from the river and up the first of the slopes. The path started to rise gradually and it was not too hard walking, it was quite a long path and it zig zagged a couple of times and then started to bend around to the left very slowly.
|The Shelter on the summit|
The walking was pretty slow going do to the very uneven path, it was a mixture of gravel, stones, rocks and steps with the odd occasional bridge crossing a few streams. After a while the path had slowly curved into a valley called the Red Burn, below us a small river was running with waterfalls dropping into it from the mountain slopes. For some time along this part of the path it was quite difficult climbing, the rocks were very uneven and there were some big steps, it was also along this part that the rain started to fall so we had to get the rain gear out.
|Nat and Chris enjoying the cable car|
|Here I am with Amy|
|Fort William and Loch Eil|
|The View from the top station.|
|The view from the seal sanctuary|
We were now reaching the final part of the walk to the top and we passed a few sudden drops not too far from the path, they didn't look too scary in the cloud but I can imagine the drops were huge. This part of the path was now on the very top of Ben Nevis and we followed the path to the very highest point and the summit of Ben Nevis, the highest point in the Highlands, the highest point in Scotland and the highest point in the UK at 1344 meters or 4409 feet above sea level, It had taken 5 hours to walk to the top. It was hard to see too much with the cloud cover but there were several features to look at, firstly there was the summit marker with the Ordnance survey marker on top and then there was a memorial to those who fought in WWII and then a small shelter for emergency's, finally there were the ruined walls of an old weather observatory.
|Chris and his 'normal' face|
|More 'normal' faces|
The next day we decided to have a bit of a more relaxing day as all of our legs were worn out from the climbing, Breakfast was delicious as we headed to a local cafe and then we headed off up another mountain, we cheated as we took the cable car this time which was much easier, this was the Nevis range mountain resort and it was a lovely trip to the restaurant (and cake) and amazing views at the top. After the cable car we headed to the Scottish sea life sanctuary for the afternoon which was a lovely little place with several seals and some cute otters, it also had a pretty good aquarium to look around.
|A couple of monsters on Loch Ness|
On our last full day in Scotland we travelled north to Drumnadrochit and the Lock Ness monster exhibition, this was a really nice little exhibition with a nice little shopping area too, after this we headed to the world famous Urquhart castle where we had a good look for Nessie and her family. in the afternoon Chris drove us to Glenfinnan to see the Glenfinnan viaduct, this wiaduct was the same one that had been used in several of the Harry Potter films so we were all pretty excited to see it. We finished off the day by heading to the Glen Nevis restaurant for a lovely meal with Nat, Chris and Amy (I had Haggis for starters, then Scottish salmon followed by Cranachan for dessert).
|Amazing views at the Skyfall valley|
To mark my 100th high point I have decided to start to score the high points on various aspects, these are
difficulty to climb (D),
how much of an adventure the walk was (A),
the views seen during the walk (V),
the height achieved during the climb (H)
a Rob rating to say how much I enjoyed the whole experience (R)
Here are my scores for Ben Nevis
D - 7/10
A - 9/10
V - 9/10
H - 10/10
R - 10/10
Total - 45/50