Britain's highest urinal
Seems like a nice day…
The morning of the 12th heralds a sunny commencement to my night under the stars. Bright sunshine and marbling of white and blue. The guide book timed the ascent at four hours for most hikers and with dusk at 8.30pm, I had plenty of time to fuel up with a pre-walk lunch. Over a beer and chicken panini. Oh, and another beer, I check the route – again.
It’s 1pm as I reach the Glen Nevis visitor centre. With boots and sack pulled on, over the River Nevis footbridge I go. Mixed feelings of adventure, trepidation and the fact I’m 50 tomorrow slow my pace.
Things are on the way up
The sky had taken on the grey of an elephant’s hide as I slowly ascend the mountain path. There’s no rush. I mentally thank the Friends of Nevis (www.friendsofnevis.co.uk) for their marvellous path maintenance as I step my way higher. I just hope it doesn’t fool people into thinking it’s an easy day out.
It’s not cold as I climb but small flakes spiral down as I take in the wooded slopes of Glen Nevis. Stoats, weasels, pine martins and even a badger have been sighted on the Ben, but I have to make do with a crow and grubby, off-white lawn mowers.
A little history – constructed in 1883 by James MacLean for the princely sum of £793.6s.3d, the path’s original purpose was to transport provisions by pony to the summit weather observatory. The track, much wider and better than today, was good enough for an early Ford motor car to ‘bag’ the summit.