Ben Nevis Midnight Challenge Completed

Have been meaning to blog about this for a while now, finally getting around to it.

As I blogged about way back in December 2013 : https://thatkitchendrawer.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/ben-nevis-midnight-challenge/. Myself, Kat and our friend Rachel had planned to climb Ben Nevis at night for Alzheimer’s society. On the night of the 21st/22nd we completed that challenge! 

Through sponsorship from friends, family and a couple of supermarket bag packs we had managed to raise our total of £1200 a few weeks before the event. We have even managed to go over that and today are currently sitting at £1255 which is fantastic. Donations for this event are accepted until the beginning of September so if you would like to donate please visit www.justgiving.com/fkr.

The event started at Glen Nevis Visitor Centre car park on the evening of the 21st of June, we were the first lot of people there, partly because we drove ourselves rather than catching the bus. Keen beans!

beginning of BNMC DSCF0535

The whole adventure I would have to say was extremely well organised from the checking in procedures to the food being served and to the guides up on the hills with us. The company they used to organise the event; Discover Adventure was excellent and very professional.

We started walking at 10pm and had to reach the half way mark by 1am or else would need to turn back, we made it there by midnight. We weren’t all of the same fitness so were going at the pace of the slowest member which was fine, it wasn’t a race so slow and steady was going to get us to the top.

DSCF0569

Most of the walk we didn’t need our head torches for apart from maybe 2-3 hours. Was the first time I have ever used a head torch so found that quite exciting. Interesting site of not being able to see the hill at all but seeing all these lights working there way up it.

DSCF0565

We reached the top in about 6 hours, along with a couple of other people we were right at the back but that didn’t matter.

 

DSCF0582

 

On the way back down we managed to get in some bum sliding on the snow which was great fun. Makes a hill walk to be able to do some bum shuffling/sliding.

DSCF0587

 

The views got better as we descended and the daylight came back:

DSCF0591 DSCF0595 DSCF0596

 

There was one lady who was really struggling especially on the way back down, it ended up that Kat and a guide came down with her and Rachel and I got separated from them as we were further ahead with another guide. Wasn’t the end of the world, a shame not to descend as a team but really proud of Kat for being such a big help to the lady. Rachel and I got back down in 5 hours, arriving at 9am  so a total of 11 hours on the hill and Kat with the other lady did it in 7 hours so a total of 13 hours on the hill. Reaching the bottom was a very happy moment as was taking off our walking boots.

DSCF0603

Thankfully Kat’s parents drove up to meet us afterwards and we went back to their house for a couple of days with one of them driving our car back down. Was knackered as to be expected and the rest of that day was really about staying awake until a reasonable time to go to bed. I slept for 14 hours straight that night which is something I never do, was an amazing night sleep.

The next evening we had a BBQ which was just the most perfect way to celebrate completing the challenge.

DSCF0605 DSCF0606 DSCF0613 DSCF0616 DSCF0620

Don’t think any of us would rush back to do Ben Nevis, was a very long long walk but great to do it plus to do it at night and of course to do it for such a great cause!

Boot Camp

For the first bank holiday in May I went down to Clachan, Kintyre to spend the weekend with Morag ( Kat’s Mum and my future mother in law) to have an active weekend. It was training for Tough Mudder and Ben Nevis; we had jokingly called it Boot Camp!

The weather forecast wasn’t great for the whole weekend but the best bit looked like saturday morning so we were up nice and early on saturday to do Ben Vane. We started walking at 8.30am so did well with our early start. You start at the same place as you do for Ben Vorlich, Invergulas car park, the weather this time was a lot better. We could even see over the road and further!

DSCF0471

Ben Vane is the smallest of the munros but very steep, didn’t take long to be sweating! We were well rewarded with the views though every time we stopped.

DSCF0477 DSCF0480 DSCF0482 DSCF0484

Since we did Ben Vorlich I have done a lot more training with having a PT and I noticed the difference. It was still hard work don’t get me wrong but doing squats and lunges has made my legs a lot stronger for going up hills and also just felt generally fitter. Made the experience a lot more enjoyable.

DSCF0488

Being a typical Munro there was many false summits and being typical Scotland it was misty at the top so we couldn’t see anything but did eventually get there.

DSCF0490 DSCF0491 DSCF0492

We picked the best day to do the hill as once we started to descend the mist went and we even saw the sun at the end. None of the bad weather that was forecasted which was great! Up and back again in 7 hours and I have discovered that need to make sweet sandwiches as once start eating savoury ones takes a big effect to finish them.

DSCF0498 DSCF0499

So it may be the smallest but Ben Vane is very much not the easiest however well worth the climb. Ironically the next one I climb will be Ben Nevis which is the biggest munro.

Sunday to give our legs a bit of a rest we went with kayaking. Kayaked from Kennacraig to Ronachain which took us 3 hours. Would have been quick in sea kayaks but still a great paddle. Again couldn’t see a huge amount and this time did get rain but can’t have everything!

DSCF0500 DSCF0501 DSCF0503 DSCF0504 DSCF0508 DSCF0510 DSCF0512 DSCF0519 DSCF0520 DSCF0522 DSCF0526

Monday with legs recovered was a run: up Dunskeig, down the other side, onto the beach, run in the water, quick dip in the sea, back up along side the river and home. Was about a 50min run however no photos from this one since didn’t take the camera.

Photos taken on Monday were of all our foot wear from the weekend and the most amazing post run sandwich ever!

photo-21 photo-20

All in all boot camp was a huge success and I am sure good training.

Ben Vorlich (Loch Lomond)

Beginning of April myself, Kat, our friend Rachel and Kat’s Mum Morag climbed Ben Vorlich, the one at the north end of Loch Lomond. Not very nice weather wise but still great fun. First time have climbed a hill with a group of people and very much enjoyed it, looking forward to climbing more hills with people. I had walked around the area when younger and up to Loch Sloy but never done either of the two Munros so was looking forward to changing that.

Having to set off from Clachan meant that we have an early start, I was up at 5.30am with everyone else up at 6am. I am very much a morning person so was full of energy, I think to everyone’s annoyance,was singing along to music as I made my lunch for the day. Took just under 2 hours to get across to the Invergulas car park, got our waterproofs on as were going to need them ( Kat forgot her waterproof trousers, luckily had leggings and walking trousers ) and off we went.

DSCF0421 DSCF0422

We walked up the hydro path towards to the dam, we came off that path a bit before the path up the hill that the guide books all talked about but it didn’t really matter. It then became varying degrees of very steep. Unfortunately it was very foggy so we could see very little; slightly worked in our favour in the fact that we couldn’t see how steep it was but would have been to see the glorious views that the area has to offer.

DSCF0429 DSCF0431 DSCF0433 DSCF0446

As got we got higher we started to come across more and more snow. Was amazing how thick it was in some areas.

DSCF0443 DSCF0445 DSCF0450 DSCF0451 DSCF0452 DSCF0453 DSCF0462

 

With not being able to see anything at all was difficult to see how far we had to go or where the top was but we did eventually make it. Took us 5 hours not that it felt like it.

DSCF0458 DSCF0459

 

 

Coming back down the weather cleared a bit and stopped raining, though we couldn’t see a huge amount more it was better that on the way up. We then all had great fun bum sliding a lot of the way back down. Meant we were a lot quicker and was easier on the legs with it being so steep. At the bottom we had all pretty much given up trying to stay dry or clean and were sliding through water and mud. Great fun! My trousers were a bit worse to wear afterwards but good bit of duck tape and all is now fine.

DSCF0463 DSCF0464 DSCF0465 DSCF0467

 

photo-17

The weather could have been a lot of better but thoroughly enjoyed the day. Would climb the hill again but would have to be good weather so could actually see the good views. Next Munro planned is Ben Vane which is right beside Ben Vorlich so hopefully will get good weather for that one.

The day was good training for Ben Nevis Midnight Challenge and also for the Tough Mudder.

DSCF0469