Sorry, your browser is not supported
To have the best experience using Skillshare, we recommend that you use one of these supported browsers.

Lessons 1 & 2

Lesson 1

Here is a list of where I have been. I am from the UK and surprised at the limited number of places I have actually visited in my home country. I definitely have lots more exploring to do!

UK (this is where I live)

London

Brighton

Bath

Dorset

Somerset

Cotswolds

Edinburgh

Scottish Highlands

Isle of Wight

Europe

France (multiple locations as I went every year growing up)

Amsterdam

Bruges

Ghent

Brussels

Stockholm

Copenhagen

Hamburg

Berlin

Munich

Interlaken

Prague

Cesky Krumlov

Bucharest

Budapest

Venice

Florence

Rome

Barcelona

Madrid

Porto

USA

New York

LA

Chicago

Denver

San Fransisco

Port Angeles

Bozeman

Yellowstone

Columbus, OH

Asia

India

Thailand

Laos

Cambodia

Vietnam

Bali

Australasia

Sydney

Gold Coast

Melbourne

Cairns

Auckland

Hamilton

Africa

Mombasa

Nairobi

Maasai Mara

Marrakech

Fez

Casablanca

Rabat

Central America

Costa Rica

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lesson 2

Hiking Ben Nevis – Tips for a First-Time Mountaineer

I climbed Ben Nevis with my boyfriend. He, having spent the last eight years running around the Bridger’s in Montana, would be considered an experienced hiker. I on the other hand, having never actually summited a mountain before, consider myself a first-time mountaineer. That being said, if you have a certain level of fitness, hiking Ben Nevis is achievable for all. I even had children overtake me on the mountain… multiple times. Ben Nevis, known to the locals as the Ben, is the highest mountain in the UK standing at 1,344 metres above sea level.

The best route (and the most advised route) is to follow the Mountain Track. Although it is still steep, rocky and passes along some very high, mountainous cliff edges, it is by far the safest route and is the route that the majority of walkers will take. You still get a decent work out with amazing views however best to leave the more advanced routes to the pros.

 

de61eb9f

Start Early

We got to the start of the trail at about 9:45am, yet many people had already begun their hike. Clever people I say! Especially if you are a beginner like myself. Remember you will be slower than more experienced hikers. You will probably want to take multiple breaks to re-fuel and enjoy the wondrous scenery so give yourself time.

The recommended time to climb up the Ben is up to five hours and approximately three hours to descend. That is a total of eight hours. If it does take you this long, the last thing you want is to start at midday and still be on your way down at 7pm or 8pm. We did it in five hours thanks to my boyfriends somewhat encouraging fast pace but we actually passed people walking up as we were descending at about 2pm; who knows if they ever made it to the top!

11aaf9e6

Go prepared

Obvious right? You would be surprised. Having witnessed a couple dressed in jeans with only the girls tiny handbag to hold whatever (if any) food and refreshments they had with them, I feel it still needs a mention. This is still a mountain we are climbing people – not a stroll in the park!

We climbed Ben Nevis in early October and were lucky that it was clear and still fairly mild for that time of year. Spring and summer would be the most obvious seasons for beginner mountaineers but remember that Scotland’s weather is unpredictable and can change any second so always check the forecast before heading off.

We wore suitable footwear and layers, as it got quite warm on the ascent when the sun was shining, however as soon as we reached the summit it felt like the temperature plummeted to below zero. Even when we donned our hats and gloves my fingers still felt like ice. We also packed plenty of water, energy drinks and food to re-energize during the hike and when we reached the top. How many people can say they picnicked on top of Ben Nevis?

57a92255

Be still, breath, and take it all in

These were probably my most prominent memories of that day. Every now and then we would stop and marvel in silence at the endless beauty before us. The autumn hues changing in the sun and an unbroken layer of peaks, forests and lochs. There was not a sound in the air from the busyness down in the valley and we truly felt energized.

30eacb26

What I took away with me that day were not the memories of blisters and achy muscles, although they certainly haunted me for a good few days. No, it was the sense of achievement and pure exhilaration that I experienced. Climbing Ben Nevis has spurred me on to explore more of the world’s breath-taking mountains and peaks. Maybe one day I can call myself a true mountaineer.

Comments

Please sign in or sign up to comment.