Carn Mor Dearg - 1220m
Friday 21st September 2012
Weather/Conditions: Generally nice benign conditions on ascent - snow covering on the last 100m or so. Views almost until on the very summit. Then cloud breaking off the top to give a sunny, snowy world without any surrounding views - just blue sky above and quite odd! We descended to Carn Mor Dearg - windy and snowing (rough!) across the arête - then more sanity on the long descent to the CIC. Stunning sunset on the walk back to Glen Nevis.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 16.4km / 1550m / 10h 40m
Accompanying: Stephen S.
We arrived at Glen Coe slightly too late to get into the Independent Hostel, so we called next door and got ourselves two beds in the Youth Hostel. The evening conversation around the table was brilliant, but it was a bit odd to go to bed in a room absolutely rammed with random people! I prefer a quiet hostel. :-)
The following morning was fresh and bright, and Stephen and I headed north to Fort William. We got breakfast in Morrison's then parked in Glen Nevis. It was a nice weather day, and we set off up the track from the Youth Hostel. The pace was consistent, a strong pace. We met up with a girl called Katarina who we ended up going to the summit with. The mist stayed off Ben Nevis until were were essentially at the top, where the last 100m was peppered with snow - a nice and unexpected novelty!
From the top, we had breaks down to Tower Ridge and cloud clearing to blue skies. It was quite a place. I wasn't quite through with the day yet, so we headed off the summit of Nevis and down to Carn Mor Dearg on a bearing. The boulderfields were covered in snow (slippery as hell) and then we got low enough to escape the white stuff.
The arête was enjoyable, and some wind came in making it a pretty wild crossing. At one point some snow showers moved through - I was freezing, but sanity was restored on the long descent to the CIC.
This is probably the most impressive angle I've ever had on the business side of the Ben. As you descend to the hut, the spiky bits get more and more pronounced, and it seems as though the closer you get to the face, the more it bares it's teeth. I can't believe I still haven't climbed on this face, something I must change. We arrived back to the CIC late-afternoon with just a long walk back to Glen Nevis. We traversed under Carn Dearg and the ensuing sunset was unexpected and really stunning.
This was the peaceful moment of the day - the day's work done and just a long winding descent to the car. Some folk were heading up to the summit as we descended - we got the unfortunate news the next morning that someone had been killed overnight at the summit.
Back to the car, just the long drive home remained. For sure, a very long and full day. Stunning.
Carn Mor Dearg
Descent to the CIC Hut
Descent to Glen Nevis
(0.00) 9.20am Glen Nevis YH
(3.40) 1.00pm Ben Nevis
(6.27) 3.47pm Carn Mor Dearg
(7.50) 5.10pm CIC Hut
(10.40) 8.00pm Glen Nevis YH