Monday, July 19, 1999

Ben Nevis

This was it. The point of the whole Scotland trip! We were about to hike to the top of Ben Nevis. We were up and at the Ben Nevis trail head by 9:00am. It is a rather popular hike and has an entire park dedicated to it. There was many people there today with the same idea we had to summit Ben Nevis. The sun was out and shinning and it was going to be a beautiful day. A condition not so common in Scotland as Scotland was foggy cloudy and cool most of the time.

Lacing up the hiking boots and putting on the packs we headed out down the trail with the line of other people at about 9:30. Still sore from yesterday's hike up the Three Sisters which turned into a larger endeavor than we planned we were asking around to find out how far this was to the top, and how long it would take. No one had a good answer, but with all the people, children, dogs and picnic baskets going up the trail how tuff could this be? We'll be down in a few hours we thought.

As it approached lunch time and we were only getting close to half way up the most desolate boring,, rocky lifeless trial we had ever climbed we knew this was not going to be a walk in the park. Yet the children and picnic baskets continued up the steep rock trail. How could we quit? Just because we did a mountain the yesterday? Let those children and picnic baskets beat us? NEVER! Looks like the small lake half way up is going to lunch. Then back to the GRIND!

From Hiking Ben Nevis

Here is a couple of smart people they camped by the lake half way up and did this trip in a couple of days instead of one grueling trip!

From Hiking Ben Nevis

Step, Step, Step, Just keep on going its a mind game. We will get there I can see the top... Whoops... that wasn't the top just another false summit. That top has to be there somewhere..The last 2 or 3 miles were all the same just broken rocks stretching on forever.

From Hiking Ben Nevis

There it is I can finally see the real top it has a weather station built of the broken rocks from decades ago. We Made It! Another break and a snack, rest for 1/2 and hour and we will start down.

From Hiking Ben Nevis

While we were sitting on the top resting a squadron of British Air force Jets flew over the summit and they were so close you almost could have thrown a rock and hit them. Time to go we have to get off the mountain before its dark, and its along way down. For some reason the trip down when you known how far you've already come is never as bad as the unknown trip up. But this was still a slog. Halfway back down we see the lake again with Margaret "the machine" leading the way.

From Hiking Ben Nevis

Well we did finally make it off the mountain. It was about 7:00 and it turned out to be about a 9 hour trip. Other than great memories, and pictures all we got was a $20 Tee shirt that says I climed Ben Nevis, and even sorer feet than the previous day.

Pictures of the Ben Nevis Summit

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