Last week the Scottish government opened up travel for people living in the Republic of Ireland which meant that Laura and Ultan were able to come over on their honeymoon to explore the best of the Scottish Highlands. As part of their trip they wanted to summit Ben Nevis and they'd lucked out with a dry day on the forecast. It looked breezy though so we started from the top car park and headed up the grassy slopes to the half way lochan, keeping our options open for also doing CMD Arete. Laura and Ultan made easy work of the ascent and we were soon on the summit of Ben Nevis in much lighter winds than expected.
With plenty of time and energy and not much wind it made sense to head down to the arete. We dropped out of the cloud, the wind became a breeze and we enjoyed a very pleasant traverse of CMD Arete on nice snow and with fantastic views of the Aonachs, over the Mamores to Glen Coe and across to the North Face of Ben Nevis. There was only a handful of people on Ben Nevis and it is not often at all that you get to do CMD Arete with only a raven for company.
CMD is the best way for hill walkers who are looking for a little more challenge to experience Ben Nevis, and it was fantastic to be back out guiding on this stunning route once again. It's great that folk from the Republic of Ireland are able to visit our mountains again, and we cannot wait to welcome people from England, Wales and Northern Ireland back here soon!
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.