Over the Second May Bank Holiday our Ben Nevis weekend was based at the Glencoe Independent Hostel for an exciting weekend of hiking.
Our Ben Nevis long weekend started on Friday afternoon with a group pickup from Glasgow airport before being whisked up the A82 to our hostel for homemade chocolate brownies and snacks on arrival.
Yen and I prepared a dinner of local Scottish Salmon for Friday evening and we then briefed the group on what to expect from the packed program of hiking over the weekend ahead.
After a short transfer up to Glen Nevis to the start of the hike we set off in great weather with lots of sunshine.
The path up is a good one with some uneven and steep sections, but in a fairly short space of time we had reached the Lochan which is just below the half way point. Its a good place to take a break and enjoy the view and the progress made so far.
The next stage of the route up is the Zig Zags. A section which contains some of the steepest parts of the path and what feels like a very long slog backwards and forwards towards the top.
But still gives ever improving views of Loch Linnhe and the mountains to the North as we gain height.
At the end of the Zig Zag’s we reach the main summit plateau and the path levels out. There is still quite a way to go and we had increasing levels of snow to traverse across.
Until the summit itself finally comes into view across the corniced and dangerous North face.
We just about managed to cram our rather large group onto the summit cairn for the celebratory group photo.
The descent route is basically back down the same way, but with the added incentive of a quick pint in the Ben Nevis Inn before returning to the hostel in Glencoe.
Sunday was another fantastic day of sunshine and we offered a choice of two guided hikes today. A hike up Bidean Nam Bian for those feeling energetic still, which was led by Mark Warner from the Kinlochleven climbing centre. A second hike up two Glens was led by myself. Fortunately the group split roughly in half which worked well.
Bidean Nam Bian and Stob Corrie nan Lochan are two of the most prominent mountains as you enter Glencoe and make a fantastic day out. So these are just a few photos of a great day out on two of Scotlands most exciting mountains.
The alternative option was still no easy walk, but we were dropped further up the glen and started up Lairig Eilde, following the river all the way up. We then dropped down the other side into Glen Etive, before heading back up the quick steep track to Lairig Gartain. These were justa few pictures from our walk.
We all met up for an evening meal and celebration at the famous Clachaig Inn. One of the best pubs in Scotland and a favourite with walkers and climbers.
Monday we again offered two options. For those still feeling the need for challenge and great views we led a group up the Pap of Glencoe. The Pap is a famous feature overlooking the village and the loch and can be seen quite clearly as you approach the village.
The option was a more leisurely hike around the Lochan of Glencoe plus taking in some woodland walks and down to the Loch and village.
The Pap isn’t a Munro and doesn’t match many of the famous summits around Glencoe for height, but its still a steep ascent and the views down to the Loch and surrounding mountains are still spectacular. These are just a few pictures we took of the amazing views and summit.
An easy stroll around the woods and Lochan of Glencoe. But just what the doctor ordered after two hard days of hiking.
Overall a fantastic weekend of hiking in a glorious part of Scotland, plus a successful summit day on Ben Nevis.
Just some of the many wonderful comments after the weekend:
Thanks for a wonderful weekend all! Truly amazing walks, incredible weather, and fantastic company. I haven’t laughed so much in ages. Thanks Kevin and Yen for a super time. Jx
Fantastic weekend and opportunity to climb Ben Nevis in beautiful weather. Stunning views, fabulous company and warm hospitality as always from Kevin and Yen.
Ben Nevis was wonderful, not mentioning the other stunning hikes and nice people. I just loved the weekend, thank you both Kevin and Yen!
Another excellent weekend with Kevin and Yen. Many thanks!!