First, at 4,409 feet Ben Nevis is the U.K.’s highest mountain. Second, I’ve climbed it before. So as I hauled myself out of bed to catch the train to the north of Scotland I found myself asking, “Why was I doing this hike again?” Fair question! I didn’t know the answer myself until today.
While planning this trip to the U.K. I know the hike was a high priority for me. When deciding the day to hike I know the weather was a crucial factor. Only after discussing the hike with staff at the Visitors Center did I figure it out. I had hiked Ben Nevis before but on a day when the top third of the mountain was enshrouded in clouds. I hiked to the top but was never rewarded with the breathtaking views. I wanted that closure so the hike was a priority.
A word about logistics. This is the second time I have hiked a remote mountain from a major city and relied on mass transit to pull it off. It’s not advisable. Today I awoke at 4:30 AM to walk the 1.5 miles to catch a 4.5 hour long train ride to Fort William and then walked 2.2 miles just to reach the base of the mountain just to start my hike. Seventeen hours later I’ll be back in Glasgow. The hike itself was only five hours which means I spent 12 hours in transit. Again, travel by car is far preferable.
So today I hiked Ben Nevis anew. Was I rewarded with good weather? Were there great views? Did I make the right decision to return even with all the transportation hassles? Absolutely! See for yourself.
For the record, yes, I’m definitely tired. 🙂