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Ben Nevis WS-001


Ben Nevis, GM/WS-001 - 1344m ASL - NN 166 713 - OS Explorer 392 - 10 SOTA points       Map & summit information from SOTAwatch      Click to return to summit index


One of the early signposts   Ben Nevis information board

Warning sign for pathworks    Weather forecasting stone!

After consultation with whatever weather forecasts we could get our hands on, together with Marianne and Liam's agreement, it was decided we would do our Ben Nevis expedition on Monday 4th August 2008.  We set our alarms for 5am, and breakfasted on Crunchy Nut Cornflakes and Rice Crispie cereal bars in the holiday flat, while also preparing (of course) a flask full of Heinz Lentil Soup. We then drove up the road to the Ben Nevis Inn, and started the walk from there.

First part of the "Tourist Path"    The answer to everything was "Yes"!

Early junction on the ascent    Tom climbing above the early morning mist

Mist filling the Glen Nevis valley    Jimmy on the first half of the ascent

We were soon into a series of steep stony sharp zigzags. Considering these, and looking at the likely line of any earlier "track", we wondered how they ever got a Model-T Ford up here! We pressed on over the rocks and came to a pleasant respite of a wide sweeping track with a good flat surface to walk along for a short while.

Tom & Jimmy    There seemed to be many diversions from the original route

Looking back down the path towards Glen Nevis    A waterfall as we pushed on towards the summit

Another sign about the footpath restoration, higher up this time    Increasingly spectacular views

We were then into the long zigzags that climb up the bulk of the mountain. At the corner of each, Jimmy informed me of the altitude. This was depressing news at 750m, but there was a spring in my stride when he said 1200m! We passed two footpath restoration contractors and had a chat with them. They were working their way down the mountain, and the path was notably easier going after we passed them.

We started to feel as if we were getting there at this cairn    Final approach to the summit

The ruined observatory hotel    Jimmy and Tom attain the summit

Jimmy in front of the old tower, now an emergency shelter    Jimmy goes inside the emergency shelter

There was a feeling of exhilaration as the path became flatter and the shapes of the trig point and ruined observatory/hotel loomed out of the mist. There were stunning views for most of the ascent, but the summit was in cloud.

Tom MM1EYP/P    40m dipole and mast    Jimmy MM3EYP/P

Jimmy in the hotel ruins    Edge of the summit plateau

Summit scene    Tom operating on 40m CW

We selected a vacant room of the "hotel" in which to set up, and 40m was the chosen band. Jimmy worked through a large pile-up of 23 stations on 7.118MHz SSB, and then it was my turn. After opening with a pleasing S2S into S5, I worked a further 28 stations on 7.031MHz CW (later on 7.032MHz). After packing away, Jimmy and I called on handhelds and got a couple on 2m FM, both from Fort William, one of whom was the famous Robin GM7PKT.

Jimmy MM3EYP/P    Jimmy operating on 2m FM just before commencing the descent    Approaching the waterfall on the descent

Jimmy at the Ben Nevis Inn    Tom eagerly anticipates this pint of ale!

The descent was tiring, but we eventually made it into the bar of the Ben Nevis Inn around 4pm, and enjoyed a well-earned pint!  Many thanks to the following stations, all worked using 5 watts:

GW0VMZ Merthyr Tydfil Alistair 40m SSB J
G4RQJ Walney Island Rob 40m SSB J
G3OHC Selby Graham 40m SSB J
EI2CL Dublin Michael 40m SSB J
GW1LDY Broughton Arthur 40m SSB J
DL8YR Aachen Peter 40m SSB J
M0JDK Swadlincote John 40m SSB J
G3CWI Macclesfield Richard 40m SSB J
ON4CAP Oostkamp Andre 40m SSB J
GW7AAV Connahs Quay Steve 40m SSB J
ON4ON Dadizelle Danny 40m SSB J
G0TRB Tamworth Roger 40m SSB J
G4JZF Willenhall Graham 40m SSB J
M0COP Church Stretton Pete 40m SSB J
GW0DSP Connahs Quay Mike 40m SSB J
G6WRW Kidderminster Carolyn 40m SSB J
EI7CC Dun Laoghaire Pete 40m SSB J
MW0IDX/P St Asaph Roger 40m SSB J
M3YHB Kidderminster Helen 40m SSB J
G4OWG Rawdon Roger 40m SSB J
G3VBS near Doncaster Tom 40m SSB J
G0OOD Chorley Tim 40m SSB J
S53X/P Korada TK-027 Milos 40m CW T
G4SSH Scarborough Roy 40m CW T
SF4J Kumla Lennart 40m CW T
SM5CBC/4 Sweden Einar 40m CW T
HB9BCZ JN46HX   40m CW T
SM6BSK Halmstad Nils 40m CW T
EI2CL Dublin Michael 40m CW T
OK1KT Hradec Kralove Vratislav 40m CW T
DF5WA Mainz Berthold 40m CW T
DL7RAG Tirschenreuth Heinz 40m CW T
SM7BUA Ljungby Mats 40m CW T
OK1ZE Hradec Kralove Vaclav 40m CW T
DL2EF Krefeld Frank 40m CW T
SM7NDX Tenhult Jan 40m CW T
SM6EQO Molndal Hakan 40m CW T
DJ5AV Heiligenberg Mike 40m CW T
HB9IAB Geneva Eric 40m CW T
DL1FU Biedenkopf Fred 40m CW T
GM0AXY Edinburgh Ken 40m CW T
DL8YR Aachen Peter 40m CW T
OK1AUP Ricany Vaclav 40m CW T
GW3LNR Pant Art 40m CW T
G4OWG Rawdon Roger 40m CW T
DL2KDW/P Eschweiler Robert 40m CW T
G4CMQ Ipswich David 40m CW T
OK1AOV JO70UD Jiri 40m CW T
SM5IMO Vingaaker Dan 40m CW T
DL9SXX Haar Hanno 40m CW T
GM8AOB Fort William Martin 2m FM J
GM7PKT/P 2m W of Fort William Robin 2m FM T, J