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Last updated: 11/08/11


CIC Hut (Ben Nevis) Weekend
8-9 July, 2011

On Friday evening all eight attending walked in to the CIC hut.  Cars were left in the North Face car park and the hut reached by following the new path which was well signposted for Allt A Mhuilinn. It heads up through the woods to the burn and this eventually leads to hut. The path is a big improvement as previously you had to thrash your way up through the trees. The path has now nearly reached the hut and work is ongoing. It was a beautiful evening and there were great views of the Ben, with the hut nestling below it.


The CIC Hut itself has improved hugely. It now has a bunkroom, kitchen and living room (both with gas stoves ), a lobby for rucksacks and gear, a drying room, two composting toilets and a porch.  This is a huge improvement on the shovel behind the door for toileting outside, as was used previously, and this must make a big difference to the area around the hut. There is also a couple of small wind turbines but there wasn't electricity, as they presumed the workmen had used it up and there wasn't wind to generate any more.


Heading up the path to the hut


The CIC hut in the evening sunshine


View from the hut on Fri evening


On Sat morning two parties left the hut, one to walk to the top of Ben Nevis via the Carn Mor Dearg arete, the the others to climb Tower Ridge.  


The Ben Nevis Group


Bill, Jim, Ian, Grace and Sue climbed up towards Carn Mor Dearg, which was in cloud. As height was gained and the ridge reached the cloud began to lift and they enjoyed views over to Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag.  Although a bit of cloud hung around the summit of Ben Nevis itself all day, the whole of the CMD arete eventually cleared and very impressive it looked.


Carn Mor Dearg


Sue climbing the slopes to the east of the CIC hut with the North East Buttress of Ben Nevis behind her.


The ridge leading up to the summit of Ben Nevis



As they made their way around the arete, there were also good views of the Ring of Steal.


The Ring of Steal from the CMD arete


The North East Buttress of Ben Nevis from the Carn Mor Dearg aręte.


When traversing the CMD aręte, and making their way up the boulder field to the summit of Ben Nevis, only the occasional person was encountered.  After the relative solitude of the CMD aręte it was a shock to be confronted by a throng of people at the summit – possibly 50 people.  There were at least 5 charity walks represented.  Descending the tourist route they were amazed by the never ending procession of people making their way up and down the Ben.  It was agreed that if all hills were mobbed like this then they would give up hillwalking. It is possible that there were as many as 1000 people on the Ben that day.  It was a relief to get to the half way lochan and turn right away from the masses.  Sanity was restored as they made their way back to the CIC hut on a path with very few people on it.


Ian, Jim, Grace & Bill on the summit of Ben Nevis


The Tower Ridge Group


The start of the climb was just outside the hut so no long walk-in was necessary for the climb of the ridge.

Here are some pictures of the climb as it happened.


CIC Hut and Douglas Boulder with the slab face on right


Heading off on Saturday morning to do Tower Ridge


They intended doing Douglas Boulder but as rain started and it was already wet so they decided to head for the Gap instead.


Vicky approaching Gap


Towards CMD from gap


Across Coire na Ciste from gap


Vicky leading chimney out of gap with Donna belaying


Looking up the ridge


Down the glen towards Torlundy


Looking down the ridge


CMD with Grey corries


Marj at end of Eastern Traverse


Tower Gully


Donna leading through tunnel


Across TR gap and no its not a tyrolean traverse.


On top of the Ben


This turned out to be a very enjoyable, but long, day, and a great weekend, in a great location in the heart of Britain’s highest mountain.

Authors - Sue Chalmers, Marj Ewan & Jim Bryce
Photos - Sue Chalmers, Vicky Herbert & Jim Bryce