Apr 102007
 

Four weeks ago, my flat mates and I decided to go on a hiking trip in Easter vacation.It was suppose to be a very sunny relaxing 4 days, the weather should have been hot, the hiking easy (according to my flatmate) and we do not need much preparation.And boy we were so wrong, Spring in Scotland is unpredictable as its winter, you see 4 or 5 different weathers in a day, so here is what happened with as much details as possible without boring the sh**t out of you.

Thursday April 5:

Last minute preparations: buying hiking pants, buying hiking shoes , withdraw cash, get ID papers, some food and water and light clothes (t-shirts and 1 fleece jacket..which was suppose to be enough).

We went out of Edinburgh at around 7 pm heading to Pitlochry(me, Julien,Shwang) and we arrived there at around 9 pm where we met the 4th member of our little expedition: Lucas.

A bit of info about the four of us:

Me: Lebanese, haven’t hiked for 7 years, on a strict diet to lose weight gained from all these years sitting 14 hours behind the computer.

Julien: French, dedicated athlete who trains 2 to 3 hours a day.

Lucas: Swiss, and like all swiss has to go training with the army every year for 3 months, so also fit.

Shwang: Chinese, he is better than me, he eats healthier, he runs and takes care of himself.

The guys when we arrived at the hostel of Pitlochry, started cooking the food we got the day before in preparation and since I am really bad at cooking, I cleaned everything after we finished eating.

Then we headed to our rooms and slept, well they slept… I didn’t sleep for 10 mins. Shwang and another guy snored like hell…

Friday April 6 2007:

They woke up, I got up of bed cursing and pissed off, we started preparing some food…I didn’t eat enough.We put everything in the car and went at the base of the valley ,took our stuff and started ascending…unfortunately I do not have any pictures of Pitlochry’s hike, the weather was pretty bad, I was without energy(didn’t eat enough nor slept), and my stupid t-shirt and fleece jacket were obviously not enough; in other words I didn’t enjoy it at all…

When we get back, we went to to the city center and I bought some proper windproof, water proof, warm breathable jacket.

We drove to our next stop Aviemore where we got some food and headed to our next destination Cairngorm where we cooked, drank and stayed the night.(I slept better there from exhaustion

Saturday April 7 2007:

This time I ate better, I was better equipped, I had more food in my bag, and my new jacket worked pretty good, it was a short walk around 3 hours, where me and Shwang got separated from Julien and Lucas because they went on a harder climb and we were suppose to meet them but they never showed up.

We waited for like 45 mins, until we decided to go back to the car, get lighter and go and try to search for them and if necessary get rescue because we feared that something bad happened to them, anyway when we reached there and we were preparing coming back we saw them coming.

Here are some pictures. How it looks...

and here is the way that Julien and Lucas decided to go.can you see them?

We drove to Fort Wiliam where we did the usual cooking, drinking and sleeping in preparation to the next day…

Sunday April 8 2007:

The hardest hike that we are supposed to do is this one, in Fort William on the Mountain called Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK and one of the hardest to hike.

Just a quick previews to tell you what was awaiting us written on some boards at the beginning of the trail but we missed because of the excitement we felt…

scary…

what we didn’t have…

we saw this pamphlet when we returned…

It was targeted for the climb in summer… add to those crampers and walking sticks then you would be equipped…

Anyway what we saw from below is this and only this…

notice that the top of the mountain is not visible due to heavy heavy fog.

We started the climb, it was one of the steepest path that I have ever been on, I had no energy , I was overheating because I wore too much clothes too soon (bought a thermal too in Aviemore just for this day), My finger was hurting (did I mention that I cut it badly with the new swiss knife that I bought in Aviemore with the thermal?), and apparently I was getting sick (I am sick while writing this).

The guys started going farther and farther away from me, so instead of trying to catch up I instead went on a very slow pace keeping company of the other hikers and talking to them for a while before they pass me ( I knew half of the people around the mountain)…

Here are some pics around half way up…notice how far it was from the road below.

The top from around 3/5 of the way…

The Dangerous Path full of rocks starting 2/5 of the way…

Anyway when I reached around 4/5 of the way, I saw my flatmates going down and they told me going up with our equipments is out of the question, visibility is almost none, the snow was very deep, and it was way below freezing point so we got back slowly feeling defeated…hearing The Ben laughing at us in the background…(fucker…)

We went to another hostel, we ate, and slept this time more than usual…

Monday April 9 2007:

We took a different route while going back, passing thru Glencoe and Sterling here are some pics of the road.

A pic in Sterling…

Tuesday April 10 2007…

Writing this, with a snotty nose, headache, overheating (fever playing), dead tired and I should start studying soon because my finals are getting near…

To see all the pictures in proper format and bigger resolution click here

Ben… See you in June Fucker…