Ben Nevis (Munro No. 1 - 1343 m/4409 ft) - Coire na Ciste (~ 700 m) - Early Aug. 2011 (no summit attempt made)

Present:
Trevor

Route:

Photos:
Setting off from the North Face car park.
Image: Start of the walk


Shortly, the track forks right for the Atl a' Mhuilinn route to the North Face.
Image: Track forks for Atl a' Mhuilinn


Up through the trees - the path ahead is clearly sign posted.
Image: Through the trees


Up a bit more.
Through more trees


... and up a bit farther through more trees.
Image: Higher up the Brown Tongue route


Into the mist - a flat(ish) portion of the woodland approach.
Image: Into the mist


A break ahead in the trees and another bench.
Bench at end of incline through the trees


Not sure what this is - stood watching it moving for a while.
Image: A machine


The above 'machine' may have something to do with the 'water feature' which lies a few metres to its left (and may part of the Hydro-electric installation).
Image: A water feature


Clearing the trees - first view of Meall an t-Suidhe. I didn't have a watch on, but it felt about 30 - 40 mins. into the walk.
Image: Clearing the trees - view of Meall an t-Suidhe


Turning towards The Ben. Mist/cloud ahead.
Image: Turning towards The Ben


The North Face of Ben Nevis (from afar) comes briefly into view.
Image: Ben North Face


Looking towards the Carn Mor Dearg arête, sadly in cloud.
Image: CMD arete - in cloud
Image: CMD arete - in cloud


Beginning to walk along-side the North Face.
Image: Start of North Face


The CIC hut lies just ahead.
Image: CIC hut ahead


The CIC hut and the adjacent North Face - with Tower Ridge just visible.
Image: CIC hut and North Face


That which I went to see in particular: the Coire na Ciste (complete with snow).
Image: Coire na Ciste


The Douglas Boulder at the foot of Tower Ridge.
Image: Douglas Boulder


View back down the Alt a' Mhuilinn [route] at approx. 700 m.
View back down the Alt a' Mhuilinn


Carn Dearg buttress on the right-hand side of Coire na Ciste.
Image: Carn Dearg buttress


View back to the North Face while 'coming off'.
Image: A North Face buttress


View forward while 'coming off'.
Image: A North Face buttress

Notes: Should have been on Skye, but found myself with some walking time on my hands. A North Face visit had been something I'd wanted to do for a while, with no intention of striking for the summit - a reconnoitre of No. 3 and No. 4 gully (with a view to a possible future [winter] climb) and to have a peek at the end of Coire Leis to see how the summit climb looks up the headwall on the Ben side of the CMD arête (not done).

Set off around 7.45 am. The section of the walk through Chapman's wood is steeper, in places, than it looks from the photos, but is not prolonged. Thereafter, it's an easy walk up to the CIC hut on a gentle gradient (a total round trip distance of approx. 8 miles [estimated off the OS map]). Got back to the car park at 12.25 pm (with approx 20 mins. spent around the CIC hut).

Glad I turned for the car park when I did as it was getting pretty hot and the day turned out to be a complete scorcher. Sat back in the camp site (under a 'burning' sun for a while) and watched walkers on the Tourist Track wondering how many might 'pass-out' in the heat. Saw a group coming off the Ben around 1 am with head torches. For another day.

Photos copyright © 2011, Trev.