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



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.