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
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
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
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
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
Looking up the ridge
Down the glen towards Torlundy
Looking down the ridge
CMD with Grey corries
Marj at end of Eastern Traverse
Donna leading through tunnel
Across TR gap and no its not a tyrolean
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.