It is now 2 years since I completed the Three Peaks Challenge and one thing I wanted to do after that was to re-visit Ben Nevis, but this time take it easy ! This meant the obvious trip to do would be one that included Ben Nevis and the West Highland Way. One of the first things that I look at is how I can get there and back when I have finished. I’m a great fan of train travel, it is a very relaxing way to get to your destination, so I started investigating routes.
Looking at The Trainline website I couldn’t seem to find a cheap or easy method of getting up to Fort William so I did a bit more searching. I eventually found that you can get an overnight sleeper train from Euston to Fort William and if you just book one of their reclining chairs it is only £50 and if you have a Two Together Railcard the price comes down to £33 !! This made the whole trip look affordable and possible so the next task was to plot each days walking 🙂
- Friday – Travel to London and catch the overnight sleeper train to Fort William
- Saturday – Arrive in Fort William, buy any last minute supplies and walk to the Glen Nevis Campsite
- Sunday – Ben Nevis !! Camp overnight at the Glen Nevis Campsite
- Monday – Walk to Kinlochleven. Camp overnight at the Macdonald Hotel campsite
- Tuesday – Walk to Glencoe Mountain resort – camp overnight
- Wednesday – Walk to Bridge of Orchy – Wild camp overnight
- Thursday – Walk to Tyndrum – Catch the overnight sleeper back to London
- Friday – Arrive in London and catch the train home
Mapping the route
When I map out the route I start by using the Ordnance Survey online maps. I’ve found these a great way of planning for both the walking and running that I do. The advantage is that you can download the maps on to your mobile, along with the routes that you have created and use it while you are out and about 🙂 I can also then load these routes on to my Garmin Fenix 5s watch. This will then track exactly where I am and will let me know if I’m off course. The Garmin is normally on my wrist all day every day and has been one of the best bits of “tech” that I’ve bought. I will say that I have found that you need to allow an additional 10% distance between the mapped route and the actual distance walked….
The West Highland Way is one of the National Trails and is apparently quite well signposted but I will still have maps to cover the route, and the route up Ben Nevis, as well as a compass with me. One thing life has taught me is that electronics will fail on you just when you need it the most !
West Highland Way Kit List
|Osprey Eja 48 Backpack||Backpack||1200||1||1200|
|Osprey Stuffpack backpack||Backpack||107||1||107|
|Brooks long sleeve top||Clothing||207||1||207|
|Merino wool socks||Clothing||48||1||48|
|Thermarest seat pad||Comfort||57||1||57|
|Midge Head Net||Comfort||31||1||31|
|Avon Skin so Soft (anti-midge) spray||Comfort||151||1||151|
|Spare Jet Boil Gas||Cooking||203||1||203|
|Katadyn Befree filter bottle||Essential||59||1||59|
|Petzl Head torch||Essential||75||1||75|
|First Aid Kit||Safety||342||1||342|
|Sea to Summit Pillow||Sleeping||60||1||60|
|Rab Neutrino 400 Sleeping Bag||Sleeping||861||1||861|
|Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Mat||Sleeping||230||1||230|
|MSR Hubba NX & footprint||Tent||1223||1||1223|
|Antibac Hand gel||Wash Kit||20||1||20|
Yes, I really do weigh everything !! The total weight comes in at just over 9kg excluding food and water.
Ben Nevis Kit
For the trip up Ben Nevis I will just be using the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack back pack. I’ll take my Down Jacket, waterproofs, first aid kit, survival bag and lunch. I’ll also have emergency whistle, map & compass with me 🙂 One thing I’ve learnt is that the weather at the top of a mountain can be VERY different to the weather at the bottom and whilst you may start out in a t-shirt at the top you may need all your warm kit on….
So, the plan is in place, the date has been set and I’ll let you know how it all goes on the West Highland Way !