Ascent to Ben Nevis-On of the last switchbacks... on 2013-04-29
|Date:||Monday, April 29, 2013|
|Ascent Type:||Unsuccessful - Turned Back|
|Point Reached:||Ben Nevis - On of the last switchbacks...|
| Elevation:||3400 ft / 1036 m|
| Remaining Elevation:||1013 ft / 309 m (23% left to go)|
Ascent Trip ReportArrived in Edinburgh just after noontime on Sunday and drove rented car to Fort William and stayed in the Ben Nevis Inn & Bunkhouse for the night. Arose the next morning to start my climb. Beautiful climb, even if it was unsuccessful!
Took the Tourist Route up. Started out rather nice, if overcast. Then prior to reaching the plateau near the loch, there was a light rain. This diminished and disappeared by the time I got to the frozen waterfall. Snow underfoot shortly after the waterfall at ~2,000'. Started snowing as I continued to ascend and at ~3,200 determined I needed to put on more gear, including my crampons, or descend. As I was unfamiliar with the summit area, I decided to descend. I was also concerned with diminishing visibility and the fact that I appeared to be just about the only person on the mountain (I had twice seen someone about a mile ahead of me on the ascent).
During the descent I ran into close to two dozen hikers. Most in sneakers with no foul weather gear (or hardly no gear at all except maybe a bottle of water). The first were met at about the 2400' mark, which was about the start of the snow...
I considered approaching the north face just for a good view of the side of the mountain. The snow had tapered off and it was almost pleasant. Less than 100 yards down the path, it started to sleet. That's when I turned around and completed my descent.
It was a grand adventure. I feel confident that my next attempt will be successful. I'm going to put some good time in this coming winter in the White Mountains and build my winter skills. I had all the gear, but not enough confidence. Looking back, I think I could have made it without difficulty, but knew I could come back again because it will probably still be there...
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||3350 ft / 1021 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||3350 ft / 1021 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||7.9 mi / 12.7 km|
| Quality:||7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground|
| Weather:||Snowing, Cool, Windy, Low Clouds|
| Gain on way in:||3350 ft / 1021 m|
| Distance:||3.9 mi / 6.3 km|
| Route:||Tourist Route|
| Start Trailhead:||Ben Nevis Inn 50 ft / 15 m|
| Time:||2 Hours 11 Minutes|
| Loss on way out:||3350 ft / 1021 m|
| Distance:||4 mi / 6.4 km|
| Route:||Tourist Route|
| End Trailhead:||Ben Nevis Inn 50 ft / 15 m|
| Time:||1 Hours 45 Minutes|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
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Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Jim Robinson
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