Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Hiking Ben Nevis

This year we took a well deserved break based around Ben Nevis in Scotland. The weather was expectedly changeable, but that didn't prevent us taking advantage of the beautiful scenery.

Ben Nevis is the tallest mountain in the UK, and we had a view of the cloud covered peak from our holiday cottage. I'm not a regular hiker as much as I'd like to be, but I do have the dogged determination to get things done when I put my mind to it (which explains how I've finished a sub 5-hour marathon after getting injured 19 miles in). Ben Nevis is challenging, but much like long distance running, it isn't remotely impossible if you're reasonably fit and have the right mindset.

After checking the weather forecast, I thought I'd picked a good day to get to the top of Ben Nevis and get a clear view. Unfortunately, after hiking to the top with a carefully selected choice of camera gear and tripod, the weather didn't match up with the forecast, and so this was the view:

As you can see, the view from the triangulation pillar's platform was pretty bleak. The observation station was a bizarre sight. Full-on thick fog was the case for the top 250m of hiking.

If you're wondering, the pink fog is what you get when you've tried to de-haze the image to the extreme in Adobe Lightroom. This is actually much clearer than it really was, but I figured it was more important to show what is there than sheet fog!
So I'm glad I was fortunate enough to take a number of other photographs on the way up. These two images show the view looking down Glen Nevis valley:

The following image was a 5-shot panorama of Lochan Meall An T-suidhe, visible from about 600m up the trail.

On the way back down, this sheep was checking us out.
For anyone interested, the waterfalls in the area are quite impressive. Given that the general weather on Ben Nevis includes rain, it's not surprising how many waterfalls it has. The trail up the mountain requires hikers to walk through the bottom of a waterfall, so remember to bring waterproof boots!

July 2016