Melvyn Higson at the summit
At about ten o'clock on Saturday morning we started our ascent to the summit of Ben Nevis. It was a good walking day. Dry with a bit of sun but not too hot. The manmade pavement was in excellent condition and we made good progress. At just over 1000 feet the pavement ceased but the path was still maintained in excellent condition. Although quite steep in places the path was good and easy to follow nearly all the way to the summit. At 2000 feet the weather started to change. Over the next 1000 feet we put on more and more layers of clothing. At about 3500 feet there was a sprinkling of snow on the ground, which got deeper and deeper the higher we went. At 4000 feet we could not see very much because of the snow clouds. At this point we could not see the path due to six inches of snow so we followed the footsteps. Luckily they led to a large post, which indicated we were on course. A few more steps and we could see the ruins of what was once a hotel and observation laboratory. We had made it. The summit cairn was just beyond.

We tried to eat our sandwiches but it was too cold. The snow was about eight inches deep and the cloud made the 'view from the top' very poor. Just as we were about to start our decent the cloud lifted for about two minutes. We had a brilliant view of Fort William 4406 feet below. On the way down the cloud lifted again to show us a 3000ft drop about ten feet away from were we had lost the path. Apart from that the entire climb was safe and completed in about six and a half hours. On the rest of the journey back down we passed many ascending climbers. Some were dressed in just shorts and tee shirts.

That night the sponsored climbers, who we only saw once on the way up, had a party. Chris and I could only watch as these 'bundles of energy' danced the night away. At about eleven o'clock we went to bed completely shattered.