Despite our last blog post being all about winter, there are still enough peaks around under the snow line for our Summer Mountain Leader Assessment to go ahead this week. For our first day, and to give the four candidates a bit of a warm up, we stayed local to Glen Nevis and headed up to Bidhean Bad na h-lolaire for a bit of navigation and some emergency procedures. It's a really nice and easily accessible spot for navigation with plenty of features to go and find.
After lunch it was time for a selection of improvised carries and a chat about emergency procedures before heading down to the River Nevis for the stream crossing part of the assessment. It was a beautiful day to be out but very chilly in the wind and when the sun disappeared behind the clouds. And also a little strange to be surrounded by snowy peaks while running a Summer Mountain Leader course!
Today was most definitely the day to be out enjoying the Scottish mountains. The winds were light, the sun was shining and we have snow! Quite a considerable amount of snow to say we're still in October, and it all made for a stunning day out.
Sarah is over from Germany for a couple of weeks to see the best bits of Scotland, and Ben Nevis certainly did not disappoint today. After starting under a slight inversion we quickly reached the snow line at about half way. There is not a huge amount of snow, just a covering and some small drifted areas, but there is a lot of rime higher up, and it was all looking incredibly wintry. The views from the summit were spectacular in all directions, and it was great to see so many people out enjoying the day.
Nevis at Night raises funds for the Ben Nevis Fund, managed by the Nevis Partnership who work with a range of partners to manage, conserve and maintain Ben and Glen Nevis, the most iconic natural assets we have here in the Outdoor Capital of the UK.
On Saturday 22 September, 24 keen walkers set off to take on the UK’s highest mountain at night. The evening began around 4PM with three groups departing at different intervals to all arrive at the summit around 9PM. Nearing the summit, flood lights lit up the cairns, reflectors bounced light from head torches, and a tin whistle player filled the crisp air with music and poetry. Some of the first snowfall for the year on the summit and a dry evening with no rain made for a very successful event, enjoyed by all those involved, both participants and helpers from event organisers, Abacus Mountain Guides.
Not only did we raise funds that will go directly into the management of the Nevis area, we shone a light on Ben Nevis being a cause in its own right. It makes a fantastic venue for fundraising events and we want people to enjoy this natural resource, but we would also like to encourage organisers and participants of charity and fundraising events to act responsibly. These events should both promote and practice leave no trace messaging and contribute to the cost of maintenance of the mountain and surrounding area so that the Ben can be enjoyed for many years into the future.
The Light Up Ben Nevis walk is the first stage in the Nevis at Night programme which we will grow into a large annual festival, accessible to everyone, and all in support of the essential work carried out by Nevis Partnership. The expanding programme will include a Dun Deardail walk in 2019 and an Elements Experience along the All Abilities Riverside Path between the Visitors Centre and the Youth Hostel in 2020 in an interactive exhibition with dance, sound, visual art and theatre.
Fund raising for those who participated in Nevis at Night is still open so if you would like to donate please visit www.justgiving.com/nevispartnership Look out for Nevis at Night events next year and take part on 21st September 2019.
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.