Cookies. This website uses cookies, which are small text files that the website puts on your computer to facilitate operation. Cookies help us provide a better service to you. They are used to track general user traffic information and to help the website function properly.

Click to hide this notice for 30 days.
Welcome to MountainViews
If you want to use the website often please enrol (quick and free) at top right.
Overview
Detail
Zoom: ??
For more map options click on any overview map area or any detail map feature.
Find Suggested Walks
Find hill, mountain, island, coastal feature.
Videos
(none available)
Recent Contributions
Get Notifications

Lettercallow: Easy stroll for some nice views

Lettercallow: Coastal Hill

Lettermore: Great Afternoon.

Lettermore: The only trig Pillar with a seat !

Knocknasilloge: A lesser visited hill.

Gortmore: Coastal Hill

Knocknasilloge: Knocknasilloge

Newtown Hill

Knocknasilloge: Where there is a trig .

Knocknalee: Fencing a way to the Top

Knocknalee: Quick hill from Oughterard.

Spinans Hill and Cloghnagaune

Conditions and Info
Use of MountainViews is governed by conditions and a privacy policy.
Read general information about the site.
Opinions in material here are not necessarily endorsed by MountainViews.
Hillwalking is a risk sport. Information in comments, walks, shared GPS tracks or about starting places may not be accurate for example as regards safety or access permission. You are responsible for your safety and your permission to walk.
See the credits and list definitions.
Video display
march-fixer: Track 4735 in area near Ben Nevis, Fort William to Loch Treig and Loch Leven (Britain)
Reaching for the Stars
Length: 17.4km, Creator time taken: 9h54m, Ascent: 1338m,
Descent: 1341m

Places: Start at NN12507 72334, Ben Nevis, end at Start
Logged as completed by 1

It has been one of those mountains that has held a mystical fascination since childhood. It was time to see it for myself while I still could. So, along with collogues who travelled all the way up from Wicklow, we headed up from deepest Norfolk. We took a chance that the begining of September could be our best option and the weather remained thankfully excellent with clear sunny days and hardly a midge in sight. We camped at the excellent Gen Nevis Camping and Caravaning site which is only a stones throw from the start of the Ben Nevis track.
From early morning we could look up at a steady string of people heading up the incline. Following a good breakfast we started out at 10am with reasonably light backpacks and a pair of walking sticks each. The weather forecast was good so we only needed wind-cheaters and some warm layers. There is no clean water available along the way, unless you can filter the water from a couple of streams along the way. Be aware that there are no toilet facilities either along the way, so you use the water coming down from above at your own risk!
Unlike the avearge weather expected here in September it was hot on the first half of the climb until the saddle between Meall an t-Suidhe and Carn Dearg. Even though there is an constant even gradient, it is not a gravel track but a stone path with regular stone steps. Luckily we were climbing on a Wednesday and the traffic on the track was pleasant. Looking later on at the traffic on the Bank Holiday Weekend it was hard to see how you could have an had enjoyable time considering the volume of traffic in both directions.
It was not until the final quarter of the track that the conditions started to change. Up until then I only had a base layer on top but now needed to add a layer and put on the wind-cheater. On the final kilometer the mist or low cloud swirled about and the gloves and a hat had to come out. The track is well trodden on the ground and marked by tall stone cairns on the higher reaches (providing you can see the next one!). In very poor weather conditions it would be difficult to follow either and extreme caution would be required as there are two vertiginous gullies quite close to the northern side of the track.
The summit is covered by rough boulders with no definite indication on the ground as to track direction other than the odd momentory glimpse of a cairn exposed in the swirling mist. There is limited shelter provided by the ruins of some old stone buildings. Given the hot conditions at the start it is still a revelation how quickly you cool down once you stop the exertion of climbing. The other revelation is how utterly discusting some climbers can be in leaving cans, sandwich wrappings and other detritis lying around the sheltered areas. Why is it so difficult to carry down your own garbage? Why come up here in the first place! It must be because it is a nice/challenging place to visit. So why are they such mean uncaring individuals that they leave the place in such a filthy slovenly condition for the next visitors that are hoping to enjoy the experience.
While I am on the subject - why are there so many white tissue papers deposited in little nooks about the wilderness? Yes, they may biodegrade in time but it is a most unsightly view. What is the problem with keeping your damp tissue on your person? Why is some urine contamination that abominable even when it is your very own? Why not bring a zip-lock bag with you to containg the offending matter? Go out prepared. Would you set out without food, water or proper clothes? Walkers and climbers should grow up!
In no time my temperature was dropping fast and exposed hands were getting stiff. We headed back against the steady stream of walkers still on the ascent. What was a surprise was the arduous job of heading back down the steps. In Ireland we are used to a normal stride on open ground. Here you are mincing your way down step by step. We decided to take the shortcut just as we reached the saddle. It is quite steep and rough and no quicker that the usual route but it gave us a chance to avoid the steps. Even though I would consider myself fit for this climb, I had quite an ache in my calf mussles by the end of the track. This is attributable to the constant stepping. Also, as soon as you emerged from the cloud cover the temperature rose once again and it was quite hot towards the finish. Therefore it is essential to have sufficient water to last the whole journey.
While there are some good car parks in the area, they fill up from early morning on the busier days and at weekends. There is a very nice restaurant (The Glen Nevis) just south along the road heading into the valley, but it is not really suitable for tired and scruffy walkers until cleaned up. However, the same fare is served in their Bar, at the same prices, but without the need to book in advance. Otherwise there are numerous eating places in Fort William, just 2 kilometeres into town.
A truly magical area - going on the excellent conditions we all enjoyed.

Uploaded on: Fri, 23 Sep 2022 (11:11:15)
Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/track/4735/  
To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.


COMMENTS
No comments uploaded yet.

NOTE: ALL information such as Ascent, Length and Creator time taken etc should be regarded as approximate. The creator's comments are opinions and may not be accurate or still correct.
Your time to complete will depend on your speed plus break time and your mode of transport. For walkers: Naismith's rule, an approximate though often inaccurate estimate, suggests a time of 5h 43m + time stopped for breaks
NOTE: It is up to you to ensure that your route is appropriate for you and your party to follow bearing in mind all factors such as safety, weather conditions, experience and access permission.

* Note: A GPS Height in the elevation profile is sourced from the device that recorded the track. An "SRTM" height is derived from a model of elevations for parts of the earth. More detail

OSi logo OSNI/LPS logo
Some mapping:
Open Street Map
(Various variations used.)
British summit data courtesy:
Database of British & Irish Hills
(Creative Commons Licence)
MountainViews.ie, a Hill-walking Website for the island of Ireland. 2100 Summiteers, 1400 Contributors, Monthly Newsletter since 2007