Thursday, March 02, 2006

Road Trip 2005 Scotland and Scarfell

Ben Nevis Summit

A few pics from the end of May/start of June last year of our road trip to Scotland. Gav, Dave, Rich and myself.

Friday was spent pitching our home, having driven up over Thursday night, we pitched 3 times due to 70mph gust blowing straight down the valley at the foot of Ben Nevis, nice. Then a further couple of hours up to Invernes near to where Gav's Dad used to work.

Saturday turned out rubbish weather wise, wind still howling and white out conditions forecast so we reccon'd the walk in for our Ben Nevis route, up the first 400m odd to the Lochan and the split between the donkey path that goes straight up and the descent back down to the stream and Photo 1 of Rich and Gav, that man has missed his calling as a catalogue model, seriously.

Sunday we were up at sparrows to pack the tent and car before retracing our reccy route from Saturday. Dropping down to the stream loses nearly all of the height you gain getting up to the Lochan, the result being you start from scratch up the foot of the Cairn Morg Dearg arrete with the North face of Ben Nevis looming occasionally over your right shoulder out of the clouds.

Far too many hundreds of meters later up constant, steep gradient scrub and rock scatter we reached Photo 2, the sharp contrast between the arrete and the snow clad North face to the right of the picture.

Photo 3 of Rich is after the arrete on the climb up to the summit plateau, I think this was the first of June we did this and there was no lack of snow! The summit plateau itself had coating of a foot or so of snow which made spotting the piking great gully, on the way back to the tourist path, impossible until we'd safely gone past it. Not a nav f&*k up you'd want to make in a hurry.

Sunday night was spent with Maddy and Laura in Glasgow which for a variety of reasons was most agreeable.

Monday saw another stretch of driving back down to the Lakes and several hours of fraught YHA searching.

Tuesday Scarfell Pike, it has to be said, in the sun was a walk in the park compared to Ben, so much so we ended up climbing up a route shown in Photos 4 & 5 to avoid the boring zig zag path and too many other people. Got buzzed by a Tornado which almost blew Gav of the side of the climb before Dave managed to bag a pic of a Jaguar using the peak as a Nav point to make a turn down the valley.

Finally made it home well after midnight on Tuesday.

Photos courtesy of Branfield as per usual, text by Chris.

No comments: