Another month, and another memorable MMC weekend meet. Whilst you might think from the UK’s highest mountaineering hut, great mountaineering feats would be achieved, of course the CIC lived up to it’s usual rainy reputation. Fortunately, with the rest of the UK battling yellow weather warnings, Ben Nevis was surprisingly unscathed. Still, wet rock meant sensible route choices were made this weekend.
With warnings on parking in force due to the mountain biking event at Fort William, Olly and David arrived early on the Friday and headed up to the CIC on the Friday arriving just after 6pm. Unfortunately, there was no toilet roll so a cry for help was sent out! No one received the urgent message.
Given the pleasant weather at this time, there was serious consideration as to whether to head up The Ben, but they both agreed tea was in order. The rest of the group arrived in dribs and drabs. There was worry over the arrival of Grace, Iona and Vicky, it turns out despite the route in to the hut being signposted they managed to get geographically embarrassed within sight of the car.
Dan, Olly and David debated Castle Ridge or Observatory ridge, but instead agreed on a pleasant climb up ledge route, along CMD and back to the hut. Nuts were used for protection. Following David’s voice increased in pitch for a while. On the Ben plateau, they came across a roaming ecologist Ellie hunting for the UK’s highest tree. They all grouped together and found “Rob’s Birch” at 1205m, named after one of Ellie’s climbing friends who unfortunately lost their life last year.
Grace Iona and Vicky agreed on Carn Mor Dearg, then onto Ben Nevis itself, or as Iona and Vicky liked to call it, NevNevs. After a direct ascent up 400m to the first peak, they then completed the classic ridge walk of the Arete onto NevNevs. A classic scramble, Grace even said it was in her top three best hill walks she has done to date! They were not so enamoured with the tourist track back to the CIC hut.
The highlight of the weekend followed, which was not the annual MMC Jschmala competition (Iona was the official loser for 2023, who took over Dan’s title), but in fact Justin arriving with toilet roll!
The Sunday had most returning home, however Grace was seen hanging off Polldubh crags, whilst Iona and Vicky had a great time up Beinn a’ Chaorainn and Beinn Teallach.
As always, a fantastic meet despite the weather. Fingers crossed for better weather next year!