Ben Circular

By way of celebration of moving to Scotland, and since I was there for a meeting anyway, I decided to go back into Glen Nevis the following day.  The plan was to line myself up near Steall in the afternoon, then to walk JMT land the next day - Aonach Beag and Mor, the CMD arete and then onto the Ben.  The weather however, was filthy.  So I went round.



Into the Glen, pasture and grazing, farmland.  A place of many torrents, trees, fine rain and sunlight dancing on the flanks.  A place of water and rock, also poaching.


The Ben under clag, matt grey powder, effortlessly sullen.


The river is high and moving swiftly, the sun doesn't stay long.


The glen roars forever, wet things grow here.


Rain all night on the meadow.  A broken lighter, getting better with a firesteel by necessity.  In the morning, water risen by near a foot.


Strike camp, then across the wire bridge to the hut for a hot cuppa.  Bracing as the cables move in the wind.  Not back that way!  Knee deep across the rivers under the falls.  Wind up and steady driech, making for Coire Guibsachan, no tops today.


So much water.  Fording knee deep bogs and rivers.  To a watershed at 830ms, scree sided, po faced, often pathless, sodden but heading straight north.


Open country on the other side, a wide river basin with a inflatable orange boat left abandoned in the torrent at 430ms, proclaiming 'we're out here'.  Just me here though not quite alone.  Nevis stands watch with furrowed brow portside, the slippery ruptured scales of Aonach Mor flank me on the starboard.  Torrents.


Later, a flat plain, an old dam and a wide track to forestry land.  A walk along a path turned into mountain bike track through conifer.


North of the Ben and as plantation stops, the path turns left towards the Fort, a long straight line next to a golf course.


Past industry, making use of hill water to power a smelter.  Rio Tinto Alcan have been here for a long time.


Expanding the energy capacity at this site.


So much water.