The timing of our Three Peaks Challenge wasn’t perfect as the Commonwealth Games were underway in Glasgow ensuring that Scotland was as busy as it gets. We drove up to Fort William from the South West of England overnight to avoid any congestion. For us this worked out very well. Kathryn slept on the back seat and Ian and I shared the driving. Ian stopped the van and justifiably woke us up at 05:00 to view the magnificent morning sun over Loch Lomond.
We arrived at Fort William too early for breakfast so we drove up to Glen Nevis and put the tents up first and then at 07:30 returned to the Alexandra Hotel in Fort William for an excellent all you can eat buffet breakfast.
Suitably fortified we drove back to the campsite and by 0930 we were off on our walk up the highest mountain in the British Isles , Ben Nevis.
I have been up Ben Nevis several times but I have never walked up the Pony Track from Glen Nevis. The walk is straightforward, but long and strenuous. Friday 25th July was towards the end of a heat wave Scotland had enjoyed and it was a warm, sunny day with clear, blue skies. The walk was a total of 11 miles with 1352m of ascent and to be honest was quite a hard slog in the heat.
We were pleased to have our challenge underway and enjoyed being out in the mountains.
The beautiful day gave us fantastic far reaching views as we slowly gained altitude.
After 3 hours and 40 minutes we reached the summit. It was remarkably warm up there with no wind. On every other occasion I have been on the summit of Ben Nevis, winter or summer it has been snowing. This time there was no lying snow on the summit which is also very unusual.
There was a decent patch of snow on a shady North facing slope though which Archie cooled his hot paws on.
The weather remained magnificent throughout the day and we enjoyed the amazing mountain landscape with far reaching views as we made our steady descent.