Ben Nevis adventure

Ever since he first climbed Snowdon three years ago, my eldest has been determined to climb more mountains. He’s climbed it six times, three times with just my husband and three times with his siblings. Once, I even went along (never again!).

In recent months, mountains have become an obsession. He has plans to do the Three Peaks next year – properly, in 24 hours. He hopes to climb Everest one day, plus an awful lot of other mountains I haven’t heard of in between. He thought he’d be able to fly to Russia on his own at the age of 16 to climb a mountain. Er – no way. I don’t wish to dampen his spirit, but when the history on your computer shows up things like ‘death statistics on Everest 2016’, it is all a bit of a worry. Apparently, ‘only’ four people have died on Everest this year and there’s no way that would happen to my son. Let’s  hope so, eh? The whole idea terrifies me.

Back in the present day, he’d managed to negotiate/ con my husband into taking him to Ben Nevis in half-term. Rather than pay him for all the work he did on the garden, my husband offered to make his Ben Nevis dream come true. For weeks now, there has been much talk of crampons, temperatures below zero and snow. New base layers have been purchased and a down-lined coat was packed. Apparently it would be -2 degrees at the summit and there would definitely be snow.

Getting to Ben Nevis wasn’t easy. It involved a three day trip away, a 4am start for a 7am flight to Glasgow and a last-minute hire car booking because the trains and buses to Fort Williams were rubbish. Then they climbed 1,345 metres to the top of Ben Nevis the following day.

While we were freezing on a remarkably un-June-like day down south, the sun was shining in Fort William and it was 21 degrees in the town. Apparently it would take them six hours to cover the 12 or so miles to the summit of Britain’s highest mountain and back.

Ben Nevis, Mountain, Son, Climbing

They set off at 8.30am, beating the crowds (although it wasn’t as crowded as Snowdon). They made good time, drank lots of water, at a lot of biscuits (going up and down burns 3,000 calories), took lots of photos and were at the summit before they knew it. The views were stunning, the sky was blue, it was still very warm (no need for the down coat and my husband was even wearing shorts), but there was still plenty of snow on the ground. They got to use the crampons my son had insisted were essential for the trip and he even got his ice axe out. To be honest, I’m not sure whether he actually needed it or whether he just liked the idea of using it like a ‘proper’ climber.

They hung around the top for a while, then headed back down, as the crowds started to climb. Apparently, they were all shapes and sizes and some were already looking very tired halfway up the mountain. I must admit, I was a bit worried about them climbing, but I know they both have a decent level of fitness, so I was more concerned about them falling and breaking an ankle than collapsing from exhaustion.

They were back at the bottom of the mountain five and a half hours after they started climbing. It was apparently a lot less tiring than the long bike rides my husband has been doing to train for Ride London (100 mile bike ride).

Ben Nevis, Mountain, Son, Hiking, Climbing

Needless to say, my son absolutely loved his experience. I’m pleased to say my husband enjoyed it almost as much as he did. It was a big thing to do, especially with all the travelling, but they both agreed it was worth it.

I’m happy for my son that he has now got Ben Nevis out of his system. I’m hoping he can get Everest out of his system before he actually climbs it.

Oh, and my husband’s calves ached a lot more than he expected (I did tell them to train, but they don’t listen to me!). So he’s learned he will definitely need to train for the Three Peaks. Er – no sh*t, Sherlock. Surely anyone would realise that?

“MumofThree

Author: Sarah Mummy

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21 Comments

  1. Massive well done to your son! What a week to do it, the views must have been stunning. My eldest loves climbing, I’m encouraging him at this stage but may live to regret it!

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    • Thanks very much. They were so lucky with the weather! I will never stop my son from doing it, but the word ‘Everest’ terrifies me! Hopefully your son can just remain sensible with it!

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  2. Well done your son! It sounds like a great experience!
    Eek! I would be worried to about him wanting to climb Everest! He’s definitely aiming high!

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    • He’s aiming very high! I reassure myself that he’ll never be able to afford it – and I certainly won’t be putting any money towards it for him!

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  3. Well done. It does take a lot of disciple and fitness to climb a mountain and at that age, very impressive!

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    • Thanks very much! My son seems to have endless stamina for mountains and long walks!

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  4. Oh I’m so glad there was snow at the time! What an amazing achievement and well done to your husband for being adventurous and encouraging him to fulfil one of his ambitions. Brilliant.

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    • Thanks very much. He’s lucky he’s got my husband, as I would never have braved it! I wouldn’t have even braved the travelling, let alone the climbing!

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  5. Wow and I did chuckle at the Everest comment. I hope he has many adventures (maybe less that leave you with your heart in your mouth though). Stunning pics #loudnproud

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    • Thanks very much! I’m terrified of his Everest plans. I’m hoping he grows out of them before he can actually afford to do it!

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  6. Wow wow what an absolute adventure and it looks just stunning at that top. Your hubby did really well without training to just get away with achey calves. My friend has done the 3 peaks and loved it. Everest does sound amazing but I hope it’s about 15 years yet eh? 😉

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    • Three peaks is definitely next on the agenda! Everest terrifies me, but I reassure myself that it’s very expensive and he’ll probably never be able to afford it!

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    • Thanks very much, they did so well and had a great time 🙂

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  7. Oh that’s brilliant, well done to him! I’ve never been to Ben Nevis, I would love to climb it though. And we were also in Scotland over half term, basking in the glorious sunshine!
    Nat.x

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    • You were all so lucky with the weather! I have no ambitions whatsoever to climb Ben Nevis myself, but would love to visit the area 🙂 x

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  8. Wow what an inspiration! I can barely get my son down to the local park for half an hour. Sounds like you have a great explorer in the making! I’m ashamed that what really stood out for me was the 3,000 calories you burn off both ways – was thinking how many blow outs i could have afterwards.
    Glad they were blessed with good weather too – nothing like being in glorious sunshine on a mountaintop. x

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  9. Oh looks amazing! I am SUPER unfit but you know what I hope I have sorted myself out by the time my two are old enough for adventures like this as it must be magical to spend time with them up in the clouds x

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  10. Wow, well done to your son. It looks stunning! I’m ashamed to say that I have not even managed to get up Snowden and, being Welsh, I should be totally ashamed of that! I had to laugh about your husband – when will they learn to take advice!? xx

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  11. Massive well done to you son! Knowing some friend who have recently done the 3 peaks and trained for it Ben Nevis is no easy feat! He must feel so proud of himself.
    It’s good that he has future goals, even if they are scary ones!

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  12. Wow huge well done to him for achieving climbing Ben Nevis, and also to your husband too. It sounds like he is very driven, especially thinking he can fly to Russia to climb a mountain at 16. I am sure the 3 peaks would be a huge challenge, but after reading this I am sure he would be up for it. Well done x

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