/ Ben Nevis Top Car Park Road

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scottie390 - on 24 Mar 2013
Hi guys,

Does anyone know for sure if the forestry road between the North Face Car Park at Torlundy and the top car park is clear or not? I am aware there were trees down, Im just wondering if it has now been cleared?

Cheers
Davie Scott
Tim Chappell - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to scottie390:

Ask Alan Kimber. He never posts on here, but he's awis using that road.
Milesy - on 24 Mar 2013
If it wasn't would that stop you going like?
AlH - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy: Maybe not but it might save wasted time on the drive to the blockage.
It was still blocked this morning.
Dave Kerr - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to AlH:
> > It was still blocked this morning.

Did you have to walk up from the bottom with the common folks?

scottie390 - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to AlH: Cheers Al, much appreciated, an No Milesy, not a cancellation, only a consideration.
Milesy - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to AlH:
> (In reply to Milesy) Maybe not but it might save wasted time on the drive to the blockage.

I call that karma :p
Jamie B - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:

Karma for what? Has Davie done something bad? I find this hard to believe...
Milesy - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

No im referring to the top car park folk needing to walk up. There is absolutely no denying the smug faces and grins you get off people coming out their vehicles in the top car park. The Adventure Peaks van seems to be permenantly parked there and the smugness has started killing off the flora within a 20m radius!
AlH - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy: 'Top car park folk'? Get over yourself. Most of this year when I've got out of a vehicle there the grins have been about a great day's climbing ahead. If anything people feel a little lucky/guilty/sympathy with those who've flogged from the bottom (and bear in mind that I frequently cycle from home and start the walk in from Torlundy when alone) if they think of them at all. We're all just climbers on the Ben.
The key is available to anyone willing to pay the annual fee. Many of those with a key are working and the key gives them more time to teach rather than just saving their students effort- they still get a full day on the hill. But equally there are many clubs/MR Teams/private individuals with keys to. Add to that I know of lots of Instructors who have given lifts to the footsore, weary and injured if they've spare space in their vehicles. The suggestion that those who have access to a key are 'smug' or superior feeling in anyway is more in your mind than in reality.
Simon Yearsley - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to AlH: "Like". A lot.
mrchewy - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to AlH: Yep, been offered a lift back down when one of us was limping badly and it was gratefully appreciated even when declined.
jimjimjim on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy: Aww ...diddums. Nasty smiley people.
Jeez...
Milesy - on 24 Mar 2013
I said smug, not smiling. Coming through the forest 2 years ago sweating and limping under my weight. A couple of folk with a jet boil at their car door said "bugger of a walk that isnt it" with sniggers.
Nath93 - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy: Sounds to me like you encountered a single bad case and wrote off anyone else who uses that car park. I can use it as I go to WHC and they have a key which is easy enough to get hold of and last time i was on the Ben, we stopped and gave a lad a lift who was in a hurry to catch the rest of his party who were ahead of him on the way back down. Like Alan said, we're all just climber at the end of the day.
Camm on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to scottie390:
I enjoy the walk in some ways, though I know if I had a key I'd always skip it, always seem longer on the way back down after a long day, especially in the dark.
neil the weak - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy: Poor you. How did you cope?
Pete.T - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to scottie390: Out of interest Alan, how much does a key cost and where do you apply for it ? Cheers.
AlH - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Pete.T: 250 per year. Forestry Commission at Torlundy.
Tim Chappell - on 24 Mar 2013
<Boycott voice> These young climbers don't know they're born. The walk up to the dam from the NF car park is a doddle, compared to the old walk sideways along the tramway, then up and up and up through the squelchy birchwood.

I gather there was an incarnation of the Allt a'Mhuillin approach before that which was even worse. But falling in and out of bogs and ruts and banging your shins on birch trees in the pouring rain and the dark when you're utterly shattered and have all the climbing gear on your back--that was quite hard enough for me. The new path is a golf-course by comparison.
AlH - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell: Aaah. The good old days. Some days I debated on waders for the section up to the dam.... :-)
jimjimjim on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy: You go out climbing in the mountains and moan about the walk in and that some people who chose to pay can get a bit closer....is it me?
Why don't you try tennis or something?
Milesy - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to jimjimjim:

I don't care about the walk in. I actually refuse to stay at my clubs CIC bookings.
Lew13 - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:

Why?
Jamie B - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:

> I don't care about the walk in. I actually refuse to stay at my clubs CIC bookings.

That sounds slightly self-defeating...

James Dunn - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to scottie390: any more news about the access?

Surely the forestry are making clearing this a prioroity given the top car park guys will be complaining soon if they don't get enough time to laugh at the inferior lower car park guys...
Andy Nisbet - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to AlH:
> (In reply to Milesy) 'Top car park folk'? Get over yourself. Most of this year when I've got out of a vehicle there the grins have been about a great day's climbing ahead. If anything people feel a little lucky/guilty/sympathy with those who've flogged from the bottom (and bear in mind that I frequently cycle from home and start the walk in from Torlundy when alone) if they think of them at all. We're all just climbers on the Ben.

You may think it's nothing but I no longer go to the Ben because I don't like walking up when others drive. Which is a shame because it's an OK crag.
Gwilymstarks on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

I have no issue with the walk up but a number of times I wish I could get a lift down. Maybe I should stash a bike somewhere.
Paul035 - on 25 Mar 2013
I don't go along with the comments about smugness etc. Have been offered lifts down from the top car park and always found folk to be mostly friendly as you pass on the walk up/ down.

I do, however, think there is something inherently wrong with the fact that if you pay money you get superior access to a hill in Scotland. If a private estate introduced similair there would be a big outcry
Alan Breck on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet: Which is a shame because it's an OK crag....Like it!!

On my first walk in to the CIC:
1) It was dark
2) I didn't have a clue where the path was
3) The golf course was under water
SO
I ended up on the wrong side of the Allt a Mhuilinn. It all looked the same. I.e. WET.

Brought back to life by the cry of.....What the **** are you doing over there. I think that my mate was alerted by the splashing & cursing. Might be worth the 250.
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Robert Durran - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet:
> (In reply to AlH)
>
> You may think it's nothing but I no longer go to the Ben because I don't like walking up when others drive. Which is a shame because it's an OK crag.

I hold no personal anomosity against those who drive (and I've done so myself) and I don't mind walking, but I'm not sure I like the principal of the idea of commercial interests and others buying easy access. Anyway, I hardly ever go to Ben Nevis because there are too many people already.

skarabrae - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: donkeys are the answer, hire one at torlundy, what would you all be willing to pay? ;-)
Milesy - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
>
> That sounds slightly self-defeating...

If you don't have your principals, what do you have? I'm with Alex MacIntyre on it.
rossn - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell: Your right that old path was a disaster. Especially on the way back with a thousand tree root trip hazards. Oh what a laugh it was.
scottie390 - on 25 Mar 2013
I think Alex MaIntyre's principals may have been better founded.
Ron Walker - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet:
> (In reply to AlH)
> [...]
>
> You may think it's nothing but I no longer go to the Ben because I don't like walking up when others drive. Which is a shame because it's an OK crag.

I wish there was a 'like button' for this...
Maybe the classic routes could be re-graded down for use of the upper carpark... ;-)

BruceM - on 25 Mar 2013
Wow. I didn't realise it was just a matter of paying (250) and you could get access to that gate. I wonder what that is all about? How is it rationed, or could we all get one if we all paid. Some days this winter it has been crammed up there.

But yeah, the walk in from the bottom is a doddle, and enjoyable. Nothing in Scotland is that hard to get to compared to real mountains. If anybody from the bottom feels they are being duped by the higher drivers, you could just comfort yourself in the thought that they aren't getting the big mountaineering buzz that you have just had as you stroll past. Some people take cable cars up in the alps too, but it is soo much more pleasurable to walk.
Roberttaylor - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to scottie390: Has anyone got a key I could borrow for a week?
scottie390 - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Roberttaylor: I'd be very surprised if you find anyone who'd loan you a key for a week to be honest.
scottie390 - on 25 Mar 2013
...we're all rather smug dont you know.
Richard Baynes - on 25 Mar 2013
So how much time does the car-park save - 1hr 20/1hr30 on a day? I know I would really appreciate it because the slog up through the forest is dull and steep, and at the end of the day my knees don't like it going down. Between your average climbing club, 250 doesn't sound a lot compared to the CIC overnight costs.

Tim Chappell - on 25 Mar 2013
Though I don't intend to give up going to the Ben, I'm basically with Andy Nisbet on this issue. With all respect to the FW guides' community, I think it's a shame that there's car access for anyone up to the dam. For once such access is there, it's pretty well irreversible.

There will now follow a series of posts laying into me for saying this, and thereby illustrating exactly what I mean by calling it irreversible :-)
CurlyStevo - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Richard Baynes:
if you are going well you can get to the CIC in 1 hr 30 from N Face car park, 2 hrs is very easy time to achieve, so to the upper car park it will be nothing like 1hr 30.

The top car park is 1.5k and 210 metres in height from the n face car park, all of about 40 mins walking tops! I don't know what the fuss is all about myself!
smithaldo - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to BruceM: completely agree. All these people who take the cable cars in the alps, like up to the midi and top of grand montets then ski down to do routes in winter obviously don't have as much pleasure as those who walk (wade/swim) up from the bottom..........
Doghouse - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Paul035:
> I do, however, think there is something inherently wrong with the fact that if you pay money you get superior access to a hill in Scotland. If a private estate introduced similair there would be a big outcry

Completely agree with this. I don't mind the walk up, much much better than it ever was!! but the walk down's a killer on my knees though :-) but paying for easier acess.. hmmmm not sure about that at all.

Out of interest, has anyone ever stashed a bike at the top car park for a free wheel descent?
Tim Chappell - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Doghouse:

I've often thought of it, never done it. And for the same reason that others have mentioned--my knackered old knees.
Solaris - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Richard Baynes:

I reckon an unhurried 25 minutes up from the bottom car park to the top one, so the total additional time, up and down, for a day on the Ben is probably about 40 minutes.

I don't mind guides and others who make a living from taking others onto the hills having the use of the road.
abcdefg - on 25 Mar 2013

In reply to CurlyStevo:

> The top car park is ... all of about 40 mins walking tops!

In principle I can get access to a key, but I never bother precisely because of this. Also, I guess, because I am stubborn - and I also disagree in principle with favoured access for some just because they pay for it.

Clearly there must be some limit on the total number of keys the Forestry will dish out at any one time, but I've never investigated.
Richard Baynes - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Richard Baynes)
> if you are going well you can get to the CIC in 1 hr 30 from N Face car park, 2 hrs is very easy time to achieve, so to the upper car park it will be nothing like 1hr 30.
>
> The top car park is 1.5k and 210 metres in height from the n face car park, all of about 40 mins walking tops! I don't know what the fuss is all about myself!
Which is why I said maybe 1hr 20/30 FOR THE DAY, that's there and back. Most mortals such as myself take a bit longer than 1.5 hours fully laden to CIC I would guess. It's the nastiest part of the day at both ends, so I for one would happily part with say a tenner or 20 a year to be in a group which can get access. It would actually make me want to climb there more, which would be good for me but whether it's good for the mountain I don't know.
CurlyStevo - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Richard Baynes:
OK fair enough I didn't realise you meant that...

However I don't think it takes anything like 40 mins to walk down from the upper car park, 20 more like it, if you account for driving up the track and un / locking the gate I recon you are probably saving less than 45 min on the day.
jon on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Aren't you maybe not taking into account getting behind the slowest party in the world on your chosen route (who had of course parked at the high car park)? You could probably add hours for that.
GerM - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Doghouse:
Done the bike thing. Works really well.

I cycled in on tracks from near the aluminium works in Fort William to top car park, can't remember how long it took up, it was hard work and did involve some pushing (though I did have a not insignificant hangover), but very doable.

The way back down was heaven, I reckon 15 minutes from top car park to the centre of town. Definitely faster, and more fun, than even driving down from the top car park.
Jim Hamilton - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to BruceM:
> Wow. I didn't realise it was just a matter of paying (250) and you could get access to that gate. I wonder what that is all about? How is it rationed, or could we all get one if we all paid.

I understand that there are something like 35 keys available, and there is a waiting list.

> But yeah, the walk in from the bottom is a doddle, and enjoyable. Nothing in Scotland is that hard to get to compared to real mountains. If anybody from the bottom feels they are being duped by the higher drivers, you could just comfort yourself in the thought that they aren't getting the big mountaineering buzz that you have just had as you stroll past. Some people take cable cars up in the alps too, but it is soo much more pleasurable to walk.

Who are you kidding ! the walk in from the top car-park is great, you ease into the CIC hut walk-in rather than getting into a lather from the outset. I wouldn't have thought top car park users feel they are missing out on any "mountaineering buzz" - just a half hour uphill flog.
Andy Nisbet - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

You're missing out a lot when you're not young and want to go out the next day too!
Mike Pescod - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Jim Hamilton: Are you sure about there only being 35 keys and there being a waiting list? Have you been in touch with FC at Torlundy recently?

That's not my understanding of it.

Mike
petestack - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Paul035:
> I do, however, think there is something inherently wrong with the fact that if you pay money you get superior access to a hill in Scotland.

What, like gondolas, chairlifts and paying car parks?

> If a private estate introduced similair there would be a big outcry

When it's their track that's not maintained through your road tax?

Jim Hamilton - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Mike Pescod:

actually on checking that was 2010 - tempus fugit !
3leggeddog on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to

Isn't this all a bit John Cleese and the two Ronnies

I walk in from Torlundy

I have a track key and so look down on him

I am staying in the CIC and look down on both of them

I have been in all 3 positions, have been offered and taken many lifts either up or down and have given many lifts up and/or down.

There is perception that access to the cic is difficult, it is not you just have to be organised and commit. It is a similar thing with the track key, there are ways to access one, it just involves a bit of effort. If you climb on the ben regularly it is worth the effort, for the occasional visitor, probably not.

So far as feeling smug goes, if I am climbing on Ben Nevis, I feel smug.
Jim Hamilton - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet:
> (In reply to Jim Hamilton)
>
> You're missing out a lot when you're not young and want to go out the next day too!

as a climbing "celeb" can't you just requisition a key from one of the key-holders ?!
Tim Chappell - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to 3leggeddog:


Torlundy?? Ee, you were looky lad. We would uv dreamed of walkin' in from Torlundy. Ah used ter walk in t't Ben from Heckmondwike. In clogs and shorts. Wi't CIC Hoot on me back. In February...
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Hardonicus - on 25 Mar 2013
What was the saying from the Golden Age of mountaineering? All men are equal above 4000 m.

Not at 4000 ft and certainly not at the Upper Car Park.

Plebs.
Jim C - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Paul035:
> I don't go along with the comments about smugness etc. Have been offered lifts down from the top car park and always found folk to be mostly friendly as you pass on the walk up/ down.
>
> I do, however, think there is something inherently wrong with the fact that if you pay money you get superior access to a hill in Scotland. If a private estate introduced similair there would be a big outcry

You have GOT to pay now at Ben Lomond now that the FC charge, for the car park.

The hotel has a little strip of land along the front which is free, but anytime I'm there, there are usually designer 4x4 's there taking up most of the little free space there is by nature of the width of the vehicles and their owners tendency to leave more space between vehicles than say a typical LR Defender driver would leave - I guess in case they get a wee scratch!
( and by the way the FC do enforce it,I got a ticket !)


Andy Nisbet - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Jim Hamilton:
> as a climbing "celeb" can't you just requisition a key from one of the key-holders ?!

Not easily, or at the sort of short notice when you decide to go.

Andy Nisbet - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> You have GOT to pay now at Ben Lomond now that the FC charge, for the car park.
>
> ( and by the way the FC do enforce it,I got a ticket !)

There quite a lot of free space if you arrive early enough. I don't think the FC can enforce their ticket.

Roberttaylor - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to scottie390: Or, camp in the NF car park, wake up at 3.45, first one on the route.

I didn't choose the smug life, the smug life chose me.
Milesy - on 25 Mar 2013
I binned my Ben Aan ticket.
Jim C - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet:
> (In reply to Jim C)
> [...]
>
> There quite a lot of free space if you arrive early enough. I don't think the FC can enforce their ticket.

I did recently get a 50 quid parking ticket rescinded outside mothercare( no jokes- first grandchild)
Have you had a ticket up there and successfully avoided paying? I must admit I did not look into challenging the FC ticket.

From the above post Andy do we infer that you both drive a 4x4 , and also ignore FC parking tickets?
threepeaks - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Doghouse:
> (In reply to Paul035)

> Out of interest, has anyone ever stashed a bike at the top car park for a free wheel descent?

I've seen Robin ride all the way back from the hut on bike! Now can we have a definitive answer on the OP's original request. I'm for the week all next week, my poor knees might not be able to take a week of trogging the whole path ;-)

AlH - on 25 Mar 2013
I go up the Ben to the top car park some times. I go up from Torlundy some times. I didn't used to have a key. I live locally and am up there enough now that its better for my knees and worthwhile me having one now. I've never been able to get in a lather about the principal of paying to use the track (at least not as much of a lather as the extra walk in).
I've no idea how many keys are available. I'm happy when I see the FC improving the track with the money we all pay.
And today (as often before and often in the future I'm sure) I went up from Torlundy. It added about an hour to our day and we went all the way to the summit and back- no biggie. I'll be out again tomorrow and if not then I'll be up Ben Nevis again this week. If I've got a key I'll use it. If I can't access the top car park I won't.
I'm sorry if that is a big deal for some but there it is and (IMHO) life is too short to really get worked up about this as an issue.
Ben Sharp - on 25 Mar 2013
What a load of old cobblers gets spouted on here. If tales be told right the walk in to the Ben used to be a nightmare, no paths, negotiating the golf course, wading up the river/bog. There's now a nice path which for moderately fit people takes 1hr20 from the bottom car park, 1hr30 at a stroll, 2hrs is impossible unless you're carrying camping stuff or stop for 15-20 mins on the way up. For some reason, despite the lovely path, the myth has stuck that it's a hard walk in. There are much, much worse out there and given the amount of light weight equipment we have these days it's unbelievable that people still complain about it. I've suffered more from walk ins in the Galloway hills in summer.

The walk from the bottom car park to the top takes 20-25 mins at a steady pace, the drive must take 5-10 mins. So you're saving 30 mins from the day, to me that's not worth 250 but I certainly have zero problem with someone else paying that, whether it's for work or pleasure. And I happily encourage those who turn down a lift "on principle" as there's more space for me if someone fails to recognise the false limp as I bravely soldier my way past.

When did we all become communists? There's only a limited number of spaces available at the top car park so why not charge for it, the people who get most use out of it will rent a key. It seems that this is morally corrupt to some people, buying something, my god, imagine that. Buying a service to help improve your customers experience. Morally bankrupt more like, how do they sleep at night? It's the principle of the thing, that someone should be able to pay for something and then reap a small benefit from it. Horrendous!

Last time I walked down from the Ben it was a Monday night and I counted 6 of the grey haired brigade carrying gigantic packs up to the hut for a week. If they can get up with those packs I really don't think that extra 20 mins with 15 kilos on my back is going to do me any harm. I mean, the pioneers walked in from the Fort, before the bottom car park and with their antiquated gear FFS. Maybe people should glance back to how things were in past and man the f*ck up.
Robert Durran - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:
> What a load of old cobblers gets spouted on here. If tales be told right the walk in to the Ben used to be a nightmare, no paths, negotiating the golf course, wading up the river/bog. There's now a nice path which for moderately fit people takes 1hr20 from the bottom car park, 1hr30 at a stroll.

But that's only to the CIC. By the time you get to the bottom of most routes, the walk in is harder than to most of the popular winter venues and there is no doubt that driving to the dam does take the edge off it.
Note: I am not moaning, just pointing oput a fact.
Doghouse - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:
> There's now a nice path which for moderately fit people takes 1hr20 from the bottom car park, 1hr30 at a stroll, 2hrs is impossible unless you're carrying camping stuff or stop for 15-20 mins on the way up.

Ooooeeerr get you!
Ben Sharp - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Ben Sharp)
> [...]
>
> But that's only to the CIC. By the time you get to the bottom of most routes, the walk in is harder than to most of the popular winter venues and there is no doubt that driving to the dam does take the edge off it.
> Note: I am not moaning, just pointing oput a fact.

I'd say the opposite to be honest, the hardest part is once you're past the CIC. The walk up to the top car park is the easy bit and doesn't really make a difference to the day apart from a small time benefit. Depending on where you're going of course, big difference between indicator wall and the douglas boulder.
Simon Caldwell - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:
> for moderately fit people takes 1hr20 from the bottom car park, 1hr30 at a stroll, 2hrs is impossible unless you're carrying camping stuff or stop for 15-20 mins on the way up ... The walk from the bottom car park to the top takes 20-25 mins at a steady pace

Do you do any fell running? If not, I suggest you start - you'll be winning races!
machars on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp: Next time you complain you have a sore knee you can still carry your own bloody gear back down. Won't be falling for that one again....
Rob Parsons on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:

> When did we all become communists?

Become?? I've always been one.

> Buying a service to help improve your customers experience.

You have (inadvertently) put your finger on why the whole 'top car park' thing gets my back up: climbing 'customers', and their guides. I would happily wish that entire edifice away.

Just my opinion of course; I know that many will disagree, and I am sure that we can all continue to get on fine.
Ben Sharp - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to machars:
> (In reply to Ben Sharp) Next time you complain you have a sore knee you can still carry your own bloody gear back down. Won't be falling for that one again....

Ah sh*t, gonna have to go back to quietly clipping it to your bag on the way down.

Seriously though, 4 days in a row, with a gammy knee and it still only took 1hr30. You did it in 1hr15!
Andy Nisbet - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Jim C:

> I did recently get a 50 quid parking ticket rescinded outside mothercare( no jokes- first grandchild)
> Have you had a ticket up there and successfully avoided paying? I must admit I did not look into challenging the FC ticket.
>
> From the above post Andy do we infer that you both drive a 4x4 , and also ignore FC parking tickets?

I try hard not to get parking tickets but have had tickets in the last few years from overstaying at Glasgow Southern Hospital car park (private company, but I was a patient!) and overstaying at motorway services (private company). I've ignored them and after a while they gave up. I think the same applies to FC but I wouldn't deliberately park there - I'd find somewhere else. As far as I know, only the Council or police can enforce parking tickets. Hence why private companies clamp, except it's illegal in Scotland. And I don't drive a 4x4.

Robert Durran - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> I'd say the opposite to be honest, the hardest part is once you're past the CIC.

Yes, and I was talking about the whole approach.

> The walk up to the top car park is the easy bit.

No, the easy bit is from the top carpark to the CIC.

> And doesn't really make a difference to the day apart from a small time benefit.

I disagree. It really feels like an easier day using the top carpark.

> Depending on where you're going of course, big difference between indicator wall and the douglas boulder.

Obviously

Mike Pescod - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Rob Parsons:
climbing 'customers', and their guides. I would happily wish that entire edifice away.

May I ask why?

Mike

Rob Parsons on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Mike Pescod:

> May I ask why?

Yes of course. It is because I object to the commoditisation and commercialisation of an activity which I love; and because I think that guided activities have nothing to do with the philosophy of risk and complete personal responsibility which underpins climbing as I understand it.

That's all just my opinion; I don't try to force it down anybody's throat. Nor would I try to put anybody (including you!) out of a job. I also realise that you can point to the long history of guided climbing. But me, personally?: I just don't buy it.
machars on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:
> (In reply to machars)
> [...]
>
> Ah sh*t, gonna have to go back to quietly clipping it to your bag on the way down.
>
> Seriously though, 4 days in a row, with a gammy knee and it still only took 1hr30. You did it in 1hr15!

Yep the yoof of today....
Still if anyone wants to lend me their key i'll happily use it!
peebles boy - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Doghouse:

Biking in - don't do it if you've got a full winter pack, it'll break your arse.

DO do it if you're going lightweight - take normal track up, but where it crosses old railway track (?) not too far into the walk in, turn left rather than cross track. Follow this to forestry road. Turn right. Follow this to top car park.

Either:

1) stash bike (use a lock....my mate had his bike "borrowed" from a long bike in once by someone. They left it at the end car park mind you, so better than stealing I guess, but he was a bit pissed at someone having stolen his easy ride out).
2) get over the stile and bike as far as you can due to snow/fitness/can't be arsed pushing any forther then stash bike.

The descent from CIC hut to top car park is, in my opinion, one of the best singletracks in the country. The descent from top to bottom car park via walkers track is quicker on a bike than the forestry roads in a car. I've vowed never to go up the Ben path on foot again.

Enjoy!!
Milesy - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> No, the easy bit is from the top carpark to the CIC.

Except the summer when it is reversed! I mind coming out a cool forest into the boiler room walk up to the hut and it got warmer and more oven like as I went!

I made the CIC hut a few weeks ago in 45 mins with light winter sack (no rope or rack) which I was chuffed with. I was out the forest in about 15 minutes. Charged up it.

Always get winter fit just in time for winter finishing! hmm
mccarti - on 25 Mar 2013
Sorry about this, I don't mean to go off topic but does anyone know if the track clear yet?
Solaris - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:

> When did we all become communists?

We didn't - that's exactly the problem...

Still, it's nice to be offered a lift down: "from each according to their ability, to each..." and all that...
AlH - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to mccarti: Not today and given the amount of work the Forestry commission has to do locally with trees down after the storm I expect it may be a we while yet.
Alex Slipchuk on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
>
> Except the summer when it is reversed! I mind coming out a cool forest into the boiler room walk up to the hut and it got warmer and more oven like as I went!
>
> I made the CIC hut a few weeks ago in 45 mins with light winter sack (no rope or rack) which I was chuffed with. I was out the forest in about 15 minutes. Charged up it.
>
> Always get winter fit just in time for winter finishing! hmm


That's like saying I could climb E5 if it wasn't for the lack of jugs and scarcity of gear ;)
twm.bwen - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to The Big Man: I miss read that for a second and thought you meant it was threfact you have man boobs was holding your climbing grade. back ck!
Robert Durran - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> I made the CIC hut a few weeks ago in 45 mins with light winter sack (no rope or rack) which I was chuffed with.

That is almost beyond belief if from the lower car park in boots. In fact forget the "almost".
ads.ukclimbing.com
CurlyStevo - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
its approximately 4 miles and 700 metres of ascent - even forgetting the height gain that would work out at 6 miles an hour. But with naismiths the 700 metres height gain would take an extra 1 hr 10 alone!
Milesy - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> That is almost beyond belief if from the lower car park in boots. In fact forget the "almost".

As I said. I charged up to the hut and had quite a lather going and I was pretty much jogging in my B3s after the stile and it did take me 30 minutes to recover before I went up the ciste. I could never do that time with a rack and rope obviously. That is why I made sure to mention it.
MG - on 26 Mar 2013
I normally take over 2hr to the CIC hut. Obviously feel free to report me here if you find this too incredible for words.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=543601
Robert Durran - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> its approximately 4 miles and 700 metres of ascent - even forgetting the height gain that would work out at 6 miles an hour. But with naismiths the 700 metres height gain would take an extra 1 hr 10 alone!

700m height gain is equivalent to 3.5 miles by Naismith, giving a total equivalent of 7.5 miles in 45 minutes. This is equivalent to a 36 minute 10k pace over a longer distance in Heavy boots and with a sack. As I said, beyond belief. Certainly a world class athletic achievement if true.

Tim Chappell - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesey:


I made the CIC hut a few weeks ago in 45 mins with light winter sack (no rope or rack) which I was chuffed with. I was out the forest in about 15 minutes. Charged up it.


My personal best to the CIC hut is 50 minutes. That's before the new path, mind.

jon on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Pah! We used to leave Locheil, run up to the Ben, solo Orion, and back in time for... blah blah...

But seriously when the well known South African climber Andy de Klerk spent a winter working at Locheil OB, he would go up to the Ben, solo a big route - I remember him doing Slav Route - and being back in time to hand out gear in the morning. I reckon he must have either had wings or climbed through the night... or both.
Milesy - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> As I said, beyond belief. Certainly a world class athletic achievement if true.

Nonsense. Even if someone unfit, fat, old with a full winter sack can make it in 1.5 hours I can certainly half that, with a good winter fitness built up (I give up drinking and partying through the winter season) and an almost empty sack! The boots were not laced up the ankles which make them pretty easy to walk in actually. Don't really care if you belive me mind you so not going to bother defending myself. Good luck.
Robert Durran - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Don't really care if you belive me mind you so not going to bother defending myself.

Well I'd be interested to know whether anyone else believes you!
Robert Durran - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
>
> Someone unfit, fat, old with a full winter sack can make it in 1.5 hours.

They couldn't!
MG - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Milesy)
> [...]
>
> They couldn't!

Anything under 2hrs is clearly really pushing things from simple application of 600m/hr and 5km/hr being brisk walking. 1hr or less is twice that rate and into the realm of fell running.

Milesy - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:

It is a pavement all the way from the top car park, and there was also absolutely no snow or ice on the path either until I hit the hut. You don't need to be a fell runner to move quickly along a flat well paved path. The incline is gentle after the forest.
MG - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy: If you are claiming you ran there in 45min, fine, just. If you are claiming you walked there in 45min, I don't believe you.
CurlyStevo - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:
2 hrs is very doable with a heavy pack without being uber fit, pretty standard time to the CIC - works out at about 2 mph average. The thing about the walking to the CIC is most of it bar a couple of shortish sections after the dam is quite gently sloping and you can walk it at a very fast pace (pretty much the same as walking on the flat) in favourable conditions.
MG - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to MG)
> 2 hrs is very doable with a heavy pack without being uber fit, pretty standard time to the CIC - works out at about 2 mph average.

That's what I was saying, 2mph plus the height gives 2hrs at a brisk walk.
MG - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> It is a pavement all the way from the top car park,

Are talking top car park to CIC? Rather different to everyone else if so who are assuming bottom carpark to CIC.
CurlyStevo - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:
well it would imply an 11 minute mile on average, which clearly is faster than normal walking even on the flat and there are sections you couldn't go this fast up so the easier bits you'd have to be averaging quite a bit less than a 10 minute mile which isn't walking in my books, still doable for some people though.
CurlyStevo - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:
"It is a pavement all the way from the top car park"

Hmmm isn't here a rocky crag in the path about 1.5 miles from the CIC and after that the path tends to deteriorate and isn't nearly as easy going. (well that was the case last time I used it anyways)
mike123 - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to scottie390:
eeee you dont know your born. path. pah .when i were a lad.....
reading all the above with a big smile on my face as its made me remember a long forgotten tale of a particular long day on the ben 25 ish years ago. after the usual f ups of early days winter climbing me and my mate "rob" were stumbling back down to the golf course in the middle of the night , cold wet and knackered but happy to be alive, with one fading petzl zoom between us. stumbling on the last steep bit talking about food , suddenly he disappears , along with the torch. silence. then quiet moans and groans. then "help . help. HELP .gurggle . gurggle. i m f ing drowning. HEEEELLLLLLLPPPPPP ". i stagger down to him to find him head first jammed in a bog covered in mud and peat and now completely soaked, and most importantly no head torch . he never really forgave me for laughing so long and loud. the rest walk to the car, now without any light, was fun indeed.
I reckon most people are of the same opinon , if you dont want to walk up the now easy path, then, er , dont. If you want to drive then put a bit of effort in and get access to a key.
Robert Durran - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Milesy) If you are claiming you ran there in 45min, fine, just. If you are claiming you walked there in 45min, I don't believe you.

Yes. At my fittest, I'm not sure I could ever have run 4 miles with 700m of uphill in my fell shoes with no weight on my back in 45 minutes. My local uphill run is 450m in about 2.5 miles(about the same average gradient as the CIC walk) and I have to be at my fittest (which is pretty fit) to do it in under 30 min, which is about the same pace as Milesy is claiming for about 1.6 times the distance and height in heavy boots and a moderate sack. It would be a phenomenal achievement requiring a genuinely superb level of fitness. No, I don't believe it.


Salamander - on 26 Mar 2013
The Nose El Cap - 2 hours 23 minutes
Skye Ridge - 3 hours 17 minutes
Eiger North face - 2 hours 47 minutes

All unbelievable, but true
Milesy - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Hmm well my average 10K run time is 40 mins by the way, and my 1.5 mile time from the Army was about 8 mins.
Robert Durran - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Hmm well my average 10K run time is 40 mins by the way, and my 1.5 mile time from the Army was about 8 mins.

Which are both respectable and believable times.

Robert Durran - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Hmm well my average 10K run time is 40 mins by the way, and my 1.5 mile time from the Army was about 8 mins.

Which are both respectable and believable times.
Mike Pescod - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to scottie390: Back to the OP, I have just been told by Forestry Commission that they intent to start work clearing the track tomorrow (Wednesday).

Mike
Sankey - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: One thing, I am almost 100 % sure the distance isn't 4 miles. I measured the round trip distance, N face car park CIC hut Ledge route, Ben, Corie Leis and it was almost 9 miles, North face to CIC is about 3 miles I think.
Simon Caldwell - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Sankey:
UKH maps tell us that main car park to top car park is 1.07 miles, from there to CIC is another 2.3 miles.
Total ascent is 661m.
Though it doesn't mention that the last half mile to the hut is almost vertical. Or is that just me?
dek - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Toreador:
It's just you! Feels like a Doddle if you come up via the halfway lochan approach from the glen. :-)
Milesy - on 26 Mar 2013
Plotting the path on:

http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm

The calculated details (Using Naismiths) 5.11km, 3.17mi, 2:06

Last plot mark which I put on the CIC says:

5.11km, 3.17mi, 2:06
Total Ascent 636m
Total Descent 1m
Surface Distance 5.18km, 3.22mi
Robert Durran - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Toreador:
> (In reply to Sankey)
> UKH maps tell us that main car park to top car park is 1.07 miles, from there to CIC is another 2.3 miles.
> Total ascent is 661m.


Ok, so it is a bit shorter. My belief is still suspended though. I wonder if anyone else would claim a comnparable time in heavy boots.
Simon Caldwell - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
Last time I went it took my just over 2 hours. Though that was carrying climbing kit plus enough food and gear for 3 nights at the CIC :-)
Gwilymstarks on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to scottie390:

Personally I think Naismith was very unfit.

I frequently find my times are approx half that of the calculations. This is with a light bag/trail shoes but still definately walking and not running.

Full winter bag and boots puts me about 3/4 of Naismiths calculations but does speed up after a few weeks of it.
BruceM - on 26 Mar 2013
Hilarious!!! :) but yes it is a piece of piss to walk from the bottom to the CIC in 1.5 hours :0 My old girl does that. In winter. In summer with light kit you can do it much faster. People here dawdle along on city footpaths too. Hilarious :)
Alex Slipchuk on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to twm.bwen:
> (In reply to The Big Man) I miss read that for a second and thought you meant it was threfact you have man boobs was holding your climbing grade. back ck!

me, man boobs, na
AlH - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Mike Pescod: Hoorah.
Nigel Thomson - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> Yes. At my fittest, I'm not sure I could ever have run 4 miles with 700m of uphill in my fell shoes with no weight on my back in 45 minutes. My local uphill run is 450m in about 2.5 miles(about the same average gradient as the CIC walk) and I have to be at my fittest (which is pretty fit) to do it in under 30 min, which is about the same pace as Milesy is claiming for about 1.6 times the distance and height in heavy boots and a moderate sack. It would be a phenomenal achievement requiring a genuinely superb level of fitness. No, I don't believe it.

Ha ha, I don't either. Apparently the guy can't get out his bed in the mornings ever mind a four minute mile!!

Milesy - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to the weegy:

"The guy" ??? You know me so why refer to me as "the guy", and I dont hide that I cant get out of bed in the morning these days! Having a 4 month baby does that do you.
Nigel Thomson - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy: FFS, stop telling people I know you!!
Milesy - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to the weegy:

Already had the discussion where I admit that the early mornings hold me back in my winter climbing. The morning I done my impossible march up to the CIC I didnt Airdrie till 8am and didn't leave the car park till 11am by the way so was full of beans.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=540375
Eric9Points - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to scottie390:

<mental note to self> must suggest a "UKC willy waver of the year" award next Christmas.

Robert, if you check out John Gay's splits for his winter Ramsay round he got to the summit of the Ben from the YoHO in 1' 15"...and he didn't then lie down for 30 minutes gasping for breath.
Milesy - on 26 Mar 2013
No willy waving here! I just said I made a good time and was chuffed with myself and it turned into an all out flaming on me for f*ck all.
Doghouse - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Gwilymstarks:
> (In reply to scottie390)
>
> Personally I think Naismith was very unfit.
>
> I frequently find my times are approx half that of the calculations. This is with a light bag/trail shoes but still definately walking and not running.

Really? so you walk at 6mph and ascend 2000ft in 30 minutes? Impressive! :-)

scottie390 - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Mike Pescod: Thanks Mike, much appreciated.
scottie390 - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy: AWW are they being mean again?
Gwilymstarks on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Doghouse:

Ah. You are trying to hoodwink me with all your imperial talk.

I reckon it is the height calculations that are out as the greater the height gain the proportionally quicker it is. So as more time is added for the height then the closer I can get the route down to nearer the half time

Gwilymstarks on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Gwilymstarks:

Infact, if I can refer you to Tranter's corrections this information is readily available and shows that very fit people take half the time of Naismith on journeys upto and including 4 hrs.
awwritetroops on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:

nah, it's cos yer a pure nugget, please do carry on though as it's very entertaining.
Milesy - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to awwritetroops:

Alias hardman. Worst kind. At least have the convictions to lift your skirt and pull yer baws oot. Just saying eh.
Denni on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Hmm well my average 10K run time is 40 mins by the way, and my 1.5 mile time from the Army was about 8 mins.


A BFT/PFT in 8 minutes? God you must have been going slow!

Only joking mate, my fastest was when I first joined up in (cough) 1985, boots and lightweights, 7.36. My last one just before I left in Nov 2009, 10.02.

Now, I can probably manage about 12 mins, mr gravity hasn't been kind to my middle aged belly!

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