Climbing Ben Nevis was something that I wanted to do for a long time but I always felt that I wouldn’t be fit enough, or resilient enough to do it. For some reason I always thought it was beyond my capabilities, even though I have been climbing mountains (admittedly smaller ones) for years and years! However, when my boyfriend and I decided to book a holiday in Scotland last summer, we felt that if the weather was nice and the opportunity was there then it would be the perfect time to challenge ourselves and climb Ben Nevis. We ended up booking a holiday cottage just minutes drive from the foot of the mountain and after a few days of rain (typical for Scotland) the sun came out and we set off early in the morning. When I climb mountains I always start off thinking ‘why am I doing this?’ with my legs aching, my heart pumping and my throat sore from breathing so heavily. However, since there were a lot of people climbing the mountain that morning, we overtook many and soon we were halfway up. We even saw a man dressed as a storm trooper climbing up, although he looked like he was struggling with the big suit on! We were soon halfway up and the views were absolutely spectacular when the clouds lifted (although most of the way up we couldn’t see much because of the clouds). We stopped for about half an hour and had our lunch on a rock whilst chatting to people passing us on their way up, and then set off again. As we got nearer the top it started to get colder and colder so we put our coats and gloves and scarf’s on as it started to get more and more snowy around us.
This picture shows the sheer drop to the side as we were walking up the mountain. Scary!!
Getting to the top was a massive achievement and, although we were in complete cloud and fog so couldn’t see the view, it took my breath away knowing that we were the tallest people in the UK at that moment. Although it was absolutely freezing at the top in thick snow, we sat and refueled our bodies with food and water with a big grin on our face whilst watching as everyone around us were lively and taking photos. It was a lovely place to be. I am slightly disappointed that the clouds didn’t clear at the top so we never got to see the views around us, but I am willing to climb Ben Nevis again on a clearer day. The next day all of my muscles were sore and aching from the climb (and the journey back down the mountain) but I felt proud that we had managed to do it, and do it in good time (2 and a half hours up, 2 hours down). Walking up mountains gives me such a euphoric feeling and climbing Ben Nevis with the large number of people that walked it on the same day gave me a sense of belonging and freedom.