The Ben Nevis Chronicles : When Nature Calls

Luncheon was finished, and we had all wrapped up warm as we were feeling the chill after staying still for a while.

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We continued onwards and upwards towards the snowy ridge. When we finally got there, I was feeling pretty apprehensive. H went first, we held back to get a couple of pics.

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I decided to pluck up my courage and go across next. I was worried I would chicken out if I left it too long…Not going to lie, it was a bit scary going across. The worst part was the hole in the snow half way along. I could see the side of the mountain and the path… Which was 3 foot below me.

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This stick is Mr A’s. It was set for his giant 6″3 height, and went that far into the snow.

Queasy? You bet. I was very glad to get across and make my way to the non snowy part of the path and rest for a few mins. Phew. This must be the most extreme outdoorsy thing I have ever done. I will tell you now, I was wrong.

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The path continued along and up Ben, with intermittent snowy sections. Looking back across the valley was amazing. We were so high up now!  I remember thinking that it would look even more amazing from the peak.

Now, as the title of this post suggests, nature did in fact, make a call…While up a mountain there are very limited options to deal with a situation like this…so…that happened.

Moving swiftly on, we got to the end of a zig zag, and the path disappeared under snow. Everywhere. We knew really vaugly where the path should be, but not well enough to risk traversing the snow along the cliff edge. On our left there was a steep sheet of snow up to the upper part of Ben Nevis. I would say peak, but once you get up there you still have an hour or so walk to get to the actual peak…

By this point I had had enough. I was tired, uncomfortable in so many layers, and my body was screaming in protest at the notion of moving. Then came the million dollar suggestion that we go up the sheer snowy side of the mountain…um, what?! yepp. So that happened.

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The snow was slippy, icy, and scary as hell. Sliding down a mountain is not something I had ever planned to do in my life, and with every single step I struggled to stay balanced and stop myself from sliding down. I was exhausted, and collapsed half way up. Full on face plant in the snow, with ugly crying. Again. Andrew, bless him, was amazing. He stayed with me the whole time and got me to get up and carry on. I love this guy. When I finally made it to the rocky part where the others were already waiting, I sat and had a sob. And sobbed some more when I realised we would have to get back down.

Worst. Idea. Ever.

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Ben Nevis Itinerary. What do you take up a mountain?

I’ve never walked up a mountain before. Or hiked really long distances. I had to do a lot of research into what to bring, what to wear and how to stay safe on a mountain. It’s not exactly a subject I had ever given much thought to before… With my lack of experience in mind, I started writing copious lists of things I need to bring, and I decided to share this with you! You lucky devils…

My back pack contents:
Ben Nevis Backpack Itinerary
[x] Water pouch
[x] Exposure blanket
[x] Headtorch
[x] Kendle mint cake
[ ] Flapjacks
[ ] Nuts
[x] Camera
[ ] First aid kit
[x] She wee
[x] Hand sanitiser
[x] Tissues
[ ] Lunch
[x] Plastic food containers
[x] Utensils

My gear/clothing:
Ben Nevis
[x] Walking shoes
[x] Thermals
[x] Gaitors
[x] Waterproof jacket
[x] Hiking socks
[x] Walking trousers
[x] Sports bra
[x] Backpack
[x] Liner socks
[x] Blister stick
[x] Scarf
[x] Hat
[ ] Food
[x] Head tube
[x] Insoles

Shared from Google Keep
This is one of my favorite apps, endless to do lists!

As you can see not all of the items are ticked off yet, mainly the foods. I think the plan is to hit a supermarket the day before we go up to ready ourselves!
To put your minds at ease, the first aid kit was compiled the evening before going!

To generate these lists I Googled with a vengence, reading articles and guides on Ben Nevis. I also spoke to people who have experience in hiking (A being one of them) and most importantly, I used some common sense. All of these leave me feeling like I’ve covered all bases and am as prepared as I’ll ever be to go up BN.

Am I forgetting anything? Or is there anything else you would have brought that I haven’t listed? I’d love to hear some feedback 🙂

P.s. HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!