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As we (we being myself, husband Jim, and our children Callum eleven and Angus eight) arrived in Fort William, the largest town in the highlands which nestles in the shadow of Ben Nevis,

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Introduction

Jayne Stupple Wet Yet Wonderful As we (we being myself, husband Jim, and our children Callum eleven and Angus eight) arrived in Fort William, the largest town in the highlands which nestles in the shadow of Ben Nevis, I was wondering if we had made a big mistake in coming. It was pelting down with rain and visibility was atrocious. And the main purpose of our trip to this lovely part of Scotland was to climb Ben Nevis. Fort William is quite a small town but has an abundance of bed and breakfast accommodation. As you skirt the shores of Loch Linnhe, you are greeted with an array of beautiful old Edwardian houses. This is just as I had pictured it: staying in a stunning old house enjoying the breathtaking views of Loch Linnhe and the Ardgour mountains; perfect. However, we had obviously not thought this through properly as we were here in the middle of August and at the height of the holiday season. Actually procuring an idyllic B&B overlooking the loch was proving a lot harder than we imagined. Sign after sign displaying "No Vacancies" greeted us. The weather (still teeming down) and no luck in obtaining a bed for the night were really dampening our spirits. ...read more.

Middle

Heavy rain forecast for the next two days. We should have known better, Scotland being renowned for its inclement weather. We had not come well equipped. Fort William's town centre has a superb selection of shops to choose from. Probably the best outdoor clothing shops in Scotland. So, returning to our accommodation armed with bags full of our new purchases, we were ready for our climb. 3 Jayne Stupple To our delight we awoke the next morning to glorious sunshine. We headed down to breakfast, took full advantage of the great selection of on offer including 'the full English' as we didn't know when we would get our next meal once we started our climb. We checked out and headed out to the base of Ben Nevis, which was only a 5-minute drive away. As we approached the Visitors' Centre, which is nestled in the shadow of Ben Nevis you could see the mountain in all its glory. We made a quick visit to the centre to pick up useful information needed for the 'novice climber'. We had been advised to be careful as conditions on the Ben are very changeable, even in the summer months and to make sure we were well equipped, so backpack and waterproofs at the ready, we embarked on our adventure. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both the children wanted to continue but with at least two to three hour trek back down the mountain we persuaded them it was time to turn around. What a good decision that was: we had been descending for about an hour, when dark clouds started to cover the mountaintop like a blanket. Within minutes, the rain started. There was a mad panic to get our waterproofs on and we were off on our merry way. It was amazing how quickly the weather conditions changed and we were thankful we had decided to make our way down when we did. The paths became quite treacherous as it became very wet and slippery. As the rain came down harder our very basic waterproof clothing could not cope with the downpour and we were soon drenched through to the skin. After another hour or so we finally arrived at the base of the mountain. The sight of our car and the thought of dry clothes and shelter 5 Jayne Stupple from the rain was heavenly. With the rain lashing down we desperately ran for the car and changed out of our sodden clothes into something a little more comfortable. The amazing experience of climbing Ben Nevis gave us all a great sense of achievement and left us with wonderful memories we will always treasure. ...read more.

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