Ben Nevis (with a helicopter flying over) - Fiona C
23rd to 25th March 2007 - Aite Cruinnichidh
Those who travelled North in daylight had fantastic views of Scotland
in the sun, after dark it was Scotland by moonlight. So gorgeous, it
was all too easy to watch the scenery rather than the road. With the
promise of a very good day on Saturday, Friday evening was spent making
Saturday dawned sunny but cold with a bit of cloud on the high
summits. The climbers were all heading for the Ben, so the first party
(Kenny, Alison C and Ewan) left at 6.45 followed shortly by Martin and
Alan. The hillwalkers split into two parties (the A-team of Alison W,
Fraser and Ron) and the B-team (Bill C and myself) were all doing Anoch
Mor by the East Ridge (Stob an Cul Choire). The bunkhouse was empty by
Bill and I had a few difficulties with the initial route finding as
my map was in Edinburgh and Bill's didn't show the ski centre (but did show
all the underground water pipes!). However,
we eventually found our way through the forest and climbed gently along
the ridge in the sunshine. The top of Anoch Mor was in the cloud but as
we approached, the cloud lifted off. Perfect. The views were stunning
all around but of the Ben in particular. We met the A-team as we
approached Anoch Beg before they dropped down to climb Carn Mor Dearg
too. As we descended off Anoch Mor the route was plastered in signs
'Mountain bikes only - walkers use alternative route'. With only a
pre-historic map, Bill and I took our chances and came down the MTB
route with some difficulty. Surely it's impossible to cycle down that?.
Alan and Martin had a good day on the Ben and thankfully it remained
clear all day (they had no map!). Kenny, Alison and Ewan climbed number
3 gully buttress and were last back to the bunkhouse.
Sunday was beautiful again. The climbers all headed via Anoch Mor to
climb on the east ridge of Carn Mor Dearg, whilst Alison W and I did
Beinn a Chlachair. There was another map incident with Bill attempting
Creag Meagaidh (using only sheet 41) but ended up on Beinn a Chaorainn.
Bill C has supplied scanned maps of the main underground water pipe
systems which are available as a zip file.
A glorious weekend.