~ by John Tomnay
Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles, located in Scotland, United Kingdom. Standing at 1,345 meters (4,411 ft) above sea level, it is located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands, close to the town of Fort William.
Kev Timmons and I climbed Ben Nevis last week and found the summit was clear of snow which is the first time this has happened in 11 years.
This was the third ascent for me and I had never seen the buildings on the summit before as they had always been buried under what can be 5 meters of snow. An observatory was built on the summit in 1883 using ponies to bring in the building supplies and the first path was formed.
The stone remains of this observatory are now in ruins but can be clearly seen now the snow is gone.
It is Britain’s highest mountain at 4,411 ft and its top is covered in clouds for over 330 days of the year.
Every year there is a race to the summit and back down and the record is about one hour 30 minutes. This seems hard to take in, when the average walker will do the journey in 9 hours. Kev and I took an athletic 4.5 hours spurred on by the pubs opening hours.
In 1980 a university student carried a piano to the summit for charity, but when he returned a few days later to bring it back down it was gone.
He assumed someone had buried it under the thousands of stones and boulders on the summit. (Nowadays there would be conspiracy theory about it). Workers on the summit found it in 2006, as predicted, under some stones.
It has over 100,000 walkers every year and then there’s the 30,000 people who do the 3 peaks challenge, a race that involves climbing the highest mountains of Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours.
Kev, you and Floor interested to try this race?
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