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My ascent of Ben Venue

UNITED KINGDOM | Wednesday, 16 January 2008 | Views [366]

Hey all,

Had a fantastic day recently when I went up the nearest mountian to me (right behind the hotel actually) called Ben Venue.

Woke up unsure about what the weather was going to do and saw nothing but thick fog out the window but was so keen to stretch my legs that I thought I'd just head out anyway and see how far I got.

Within about 15mins of heading out and starting up the hill into the forest I was rewarded with breaking out of the fog into an absolutely gloriuos day, not a breath of wind or cloud in sight and snow-covered peaks calling from the head of the valley. After about an hour I was out of the bush and heading into open, heading up an icy track that soon dissapeared under about a foot of snow, although a kind person had left intermittent tracks which kept me pretty much on course.

About another 40mins saw me rounding a corner in the valley and making my way up to a pass where I needed to skip over and onto the ridge which leads to the summit. It was also about this time I started wondering if a ice axe would've been a wise idea, as the -2 overnight temperature had left some very firm snow in the shade which covered most of my side of the mountain. It also didn't help meeting a guy kitted out with one heading back down having turned back!

But he pointed me in the direction of better route up then he'd taken so I set off loving the view and fresh air. I managed to crest the ridge heading to the top and emerged out of the shade into brilliant sunshine and knee deep powder, and began slugging it out towards the top. It was about here that I realised I left my sunnies back in my room and started to wonder exactly how long you needed to stare at bright snow before you got snow blindness. After a quick debate between the be cautious and she'll be right sides of my brain the she'll be right side won out with the theory that it'll just make me get up and down quicker therefore avoiding to long in the sun.

So off I headed, out of the powder on the steeper upper sections of the ridge and into some sketchy scrambling on very firm snow where I had to be wary of my run out if I slipped, although most sections where fine.

I arrived on the summit just in time for an early lunch enjoying the 360 degrees of clear sky's and snow covered peaks, as well as views right back out into the lowlands and up towards Ben Nevis.

All too soon it was home time, so I reluctantly headed back down, only to meet what seemed like half of Glasgow plodding their way up my nicely plugged steps! After a yarn to a few of them (one was even wearing a kilt!) and debating heading back up after seeing some nice shoes, I headed back towards the hotel wet, muddy and absolutley loving it!

The fog of the morning had barely moved on the loch, which only made me feel better having got up and made something of the day. A nice long hot shower later and I was fired up for a couple of hours at work! All in all a pretty darn good day!

A stunner on the summit!

A stunner on the summit!

Tags: Mountains

 

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About addictedtoadventure

Me on the pass. Behing me is the ridge leading to the top.

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