Fort William and Ben Nevis

The drive here was very long, 11 hours start to finish, and though
most if that was very boring (and frustrating and disappointing)
motorway driving, the last two hours on the A82 through the highlands
were amazing. Totally worth it just for that.

Without prior booking I find myself at the Glen Nevis campsite which
is at the base of Glen Nevis and just a short walk from the start if
the Ben Nevis route. As camp sites go, there is little wrong with it;
surrounded by mountains, quite, clean and today, spacious.

Fort William needs further exploring but looks lovely; it’s on the
coast, seems to have everything you need but also seems small. There
are plenty of activities to do in the area; hiking, cycling and all
water sports, not to mention quite a few pubs! It’s seems to have
something for pretty much everyone, and lots for me 🙂

It’s a Shame I only arrived at 5pm and will have only 1 day here doing
what I planned: Hiking Ben Nevis. I wish I could stay longer and
explore more.

But that’s my lot. I’ve BBQ’ed and prepared myself for tomorrow, and
now just have a couple of tinnies to keep me company before I head to
bed for a much needed early night.

I say one down side of Fort William – it’s further north and therefore
colder than down south!! The sun is just setting and the temperature
is falling fast. I’ll dig out the blankets from the car before
retiring.

The next day:

Cold was an understatement! Next time I camp in Scotland I’ll pack my
heaviest sleeping bag!

The morning was beautifully sunny and the sky was clear (something I
think configured to the cold cold night) but there was frost on the
ground.

I was away from the campsite around 9:15 and on the bridge at the
visitor centre for 09:30 – my start time.

I started off quite fast intentionally to test the comfort of my gear
and I soon realised I wa over dressed. After a quick strip and repack
I set off again. I hit the bottom of the zig-zag final approach at
11:00 and the summit at 12:35. I was surprised by the amount I’d snow
still at the top and glad I packed my walking sticks! After 15 minutes
of photos and a quick bite to each I set off back down, hoping to do
it in 2 hours. Alas although I made if on target time down through the
zig-zag the last half was stone paths and steps which always bother my
knees so I ended up back on the bridge for 15:10 – 5 hours and 40
minutes. And Knackered!!!

My (unjustified) target had been 5 hours. Maybe next time.


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