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Topping Out on Nevis

September 27, 2012

The next morning from Airth, we drove to Sterling Castle. We had both been to Glasgow and Edinburgh on our previous trips, so we thought Stirling would be interesting this trip. After paying an exorbitant entrance fee (as was the case everywhere in the UK), we visited the castle. It was great to see the Wallace Monument from the castle walls, near both the battle sites of Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn. The Castle itself played a big role in the Scottish Wars of Independence.

Wallace Monument from Stirling Castle

Chapel where James VI was baptized.

The Wallace Monument

After visiting the castle my dad and I drove North to Fort William, the town near Ben Nevis. Originally we planned to climb on Friday, but the weather was predicted to be better on Thursday, so we decided to climb Thursday. In the afternoon we scouted out the trailhead.

One of the most iconic Scottish mountains, Buachaille Etive Mòr in Glen Coe, which my dad and I climbed in 2009.

The next morning we woke up early, to avoid a crowded parking lot and ascent. We began our ascent in the sun on an empty trail, but as we gained elevation fog rolled in. The fog may have helped hide how far we had to go, for at each massive cairn I expected the next one to be the emergency shelter at the summit, which has a similar form.

But, when we did reach the summit the fog had not burned off. After a few pictures on the summit we began the descent. About 5 minutes after we left the summit, a break in the clouds allowed us to see the views we had been missing out on on the ascent. After snapping a few pictures of the North Face of Nevis, and the Carn Mor Dearg Arête (which I climbed on a rare cloudless day in 2010), we finished up the hike. On the way down we passed a lot of people in a “traffic jam” to ascend the peak. They’d ask how much farther to go, although they were not a third of the way up. An Indian lady who was having a tough time asked me how much farther to go, so I looked at my altimeter and saw we were at 179 m (1,165 m to go!). She asked if she was half way there, and I was thinking… try a twelfth, but explained to her that it was quite a way in lighter terms.

Summit of Ben Nevis in fog

Leaving our parking ticket for the next guy.

The next morning we drove to Inverness, passing by Loch Ness to take a bit of an easier day. Inverness is probably the furthest North I have been, other than airplanes obviously. It is a nice city with a cool waterfront along the canal that connects Loch Ness to the sea and a nice little downtown.
The next morning we drove to Manchester to catch a early flight the next morning. We stopped at Lancaster on the way back.

Inverness

Loch Ness

Lancaster

A prison with cells fit for a king.

From Manchester we flew to Brussels, spending the night in Waterloo before my dad and I parted ways, him to Singapore and me to Seattle. It was an excellent 8 or so weeks in Europe.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. kibbled permalink
    September 28, 2012 01:54

    Nice pictures. Shame things seemed so expensive, at least the views are free, as are many museums.

    For info the place is Stirling not Sterling. Sterling is UK currency and the name of a shop!

    • September 28, 2012 15:38

      Thanks for catching that error… I had it correctly elsewhere in the post. I have gotten too used to visiting castles in the Czech Republic, where entrance would be 125 CZK max for Prague Castle($6.25 USD). Compared to just about anywhere I have ever visited, except for Geneva, prices for restaurant meals in the UK were incredibly high. I would have to think it was tax and service?

      • kibbled permalink
        September 29, 2012 05:13

        Surprised that meals were so expensive, but you do have to shop around I suppose, but there are bargains to be had.
        Service charges aren’t compulsory in restaurants in the UK and the tax is included in the price you see quoted so that certainly helps give you an indication of the cost.

      • September 29, 2012 09:22

        True, and we did eat a lot of sandwiches at Tesco over the course of that week! Plus we did find takeaway Indian food and such. But in the US for example, you can eat at a sit-down restaurant for $10.00 USD quite often.

      • kibbled permalink
        September 29, 2012 11:22

        Including tax that is cheap.. There are various places, pubs/cafes usually, where you can eat in the UK for that sort of price.

  2. Chaotiqual permalink
    October 2, 2012 04:34

    Reblogged this on chaotiqual.

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