Conveniently the Rat Race Coast to Coast challenge finished in Fort William, a stone’s throw from the base of Ben Nevis, translated to “Venemous Mountain”.Obviously after running, cycling and kayaking the 105 miles (or in our case 91 miles) across Scotland we decided to climb the highest mountain in the British Isles standing at an impressive 1,346 metres ASL. As this mountain will be part of the Three Peak Challenge we will undertake next soon, climbing the highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland within 24 hours, we thought it a good idea to give it a test run.
After a humongous breakfast we assembled our picnic and headed out. The weather forecast wasn’t great so we packed full waterproofs, down jacket, hat, gloves etc. to ensure we didn’t get caught out. Typically we took enough food to feed a small army and some lovely sandwiches Adam had made.
Luckily it’s such a tourist route there was a well-defined path and no reason to consult a map and compass which was fortunate as we were all a little tired from all the travelling and early starts. The route saw a steady ascent along the “Pony Track”, firstly over large rocks and progressing to a shale path which zigzagged to ease the ascent. The views were breath-taking!
Once again the wind was in full force and on some occasions when we weren’t sheltered by the mountain we would literally be blown off our feet! Even the mountain bikers had to walk down with no reward after the gruelling climb carrying their bikes.
Three hours in at a very steady pace, being overtaken by many a fell runner and their dog we arrived at the summit for the obligatory picture.
It was very cold so we put every layer of clothing we had on and settled down for a picnic. In fact we wore pretty much the same kit we wore to summit Kilimanjaro it was that chilly! Never would a flask of hot tea have been more appreciated!
The decent was pretty slow navigating the rocks but we made good time and steadily removed layers as we warmed up. An absolutely stunning way to end our trip to Scotland marvelling at the most beautiful scenery. Had pretty achy legs the day afterwards that’s for sure!