Ascent of Ben Nevis on 2004-05-30

Climber: Scott Cockrell

Date:Sunday, May 30, 2004
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Ben Nevis
    Elevation:1343 m / 4409 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Got dropped off very early in the morning and was the first one to start up in the light. The trail goes through a sheep pasture, that gets a little rockier and more open as you go up. The higher I went, the more clouds I encountered. As I approached the summit, the ground was covered with several inches of snow, and the fog was very thick. There were so many footprints it was difficult to see exactly which way to go -- and suddenly catching sight of the other side of one of the gullies on the north, with the steep, snow-covered slope plunging out of sight, made things feel a little more interesting! Just then, a couple of guys came out of the fog -- I asked them where the summit was, and they pointed and said "right over there". So I found all the little cairns and huts and markers, all by myself in the fog, took a few pictures, and started back. I followed the compass course on my map from the marker -- at the other end of the course I found a large cairn with a metal stake in it, so I knew it was time to change course. Before long I found the top of the trail again, and started down. Of course, when I was not far down the mountain, the fog lifted entirely! I mostly ran down the mountain, and encountered what must have been 500 people on their way up.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Cool, White-out

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