The Roaches


Memories from the Scotland walking trip - 2013

A good group gathered for the 2013 trip with Ratboy, Jon, Geraint, Rich, Jim, Terry, Mark, Macca and myself making the trip to Fort William where the Ben Nevis Hotel would yet again be our home for three nights.

Unfortunately a niggling ankle injury meant that I couldn't risk walking so Macca would provide valuable company throughout the weekend.

The weather was simply stunning! So stunning in fact that the main group decided to take on Ben Nevis via the ridge. Terry decided to walk a stretch of the West Highland Way from Fort William whilst Macca and I would take the Aonach Mor gondola.



The night before the big walk. What could possibly go wrong?

DAY 1 - SATURDAY

We awoke to another fantastic morning. Hardly a cloud in the sky and the perfect temperature for walking.



Mark, Jon and Rich toil up the slopes of Carn Beag Dearg. Mark has that morning after the night before look.

By all accounts the Rat and Geraint were maintaining a pretty good pace but they weren't as fast as mine and Macca's ascent up to Aonach Mor.



Geraint poses on Carn Mor Dearg. No idea who the other bloke is.

The view of the arete didn't do a great deal for Jim who considered his next move. The amount of ale consumed by Mark didn't do a great for him either so he decided to call it a day and retreat where, at some point duing the long, painful descent, he was forced to destroy an area of protected mountainside with the contents of his hammered bowels.

Jim made his mind up and decided to skirt around the Ben to descend via the tourist route. From what we believe Jim had no issues with his downstairs regions.

What a waste of a great day - Will Jim and Mark ever see weather like this on the Ben again?



Meanwhile, Macca studies the view off Aonach an Nid.

Geraint, Ratboy, Jon and Rich made it over the arete as planned.



The Rat named Nidge on the ridge takes a photo of Rich taking a photo of Rat called Nidge on the ridge - a great tongue twister.



They've spotted Mark.

Macca and I had descended from Aonach Mor and decided to drive to Mallaig for some proper fish and chips with the upgraded road and the weather resulting in a glorious drive through the wilds of Ardgour - brilliant!



Eigg and Rum from Mallaig.



Skye from the same viewpoint.



'It's not the same without my Jim' - Rich on his own on Ben Nevis.

On the return from Mallaig Macca and I decided to stop off at Glenfinnan to admire the classic scene along Loch Shiel. Time for a camera shot or twelve....



Bond Tours does it again!

As we drove back to Fort William the lads were descending the Ben - via various routes. Terry was on his way back from his circular West Highland Way route - all was good.

We came across Mark on driving onto the hotel car park and were surprised to hear that he'd aborted the Ben and that Jim had aborted before the ridge. The Ben was Terry's idea and he'd ruined the weekend for everyone!

Anyway, quickly on....

The successful Ben boys descended without a hitch and enjoyed copious amounts of ale as did the boys that'd done fuck all! Where to tomorrow?

DAY 2 - SUNDAY

Glorious - yet again. The plan was for Mark, Terry, Rich and I to drive down to Oban and do a spot of island hopping on Mull whereas Jim, Jon, Rat and Geraint would enjoy the Munros of Mullach nan Coirean and Stob Ban. Macca went off on the hunt for 'stuff' in Fort William.



Rich, Terry and Mark on the ferry to Mull - something for all of us.

The views off the ferry were fantastic in all directions - perfect!



Looking north up Loch Linnhe. The twin peaks in the centre are on Beinn a Bheithir with Bidean nam Bian, Sgor na h Ulaidfh,  Beinn Fhionnlaidh and Beinn Sgulaird also in view.

Meanwhile, in the Mamores....



Stob Ban with the Devil's Ridge in the distance.



Geraint having a clothes phaff on the ridge to Stob Ban. Mullach nan Coirean in the distance.



Looking back to Stob Ban from the descent path.



A colourful Tobermory.

Another excellent day was enjoyed by all. The Mamore boys had thoughly enjoyed their day with Jim getting another couple of Munros under his belt. The Mull trip was excellent and Macca enjoyed a fantastic Thai massage in Fort William.

Hopefully my ankle operation will result in a frenzied return to action next year and we'll enjoy the same stunning weather as 2013.

We're always on the lookout for new Pighole members so if you're an extremely attractive female aged between 20-30 and enjoy walking then drop me a line. PS: Mark and Geraint have reminded me that you don't have to be interested in walking. Mark has also reminded me that he'll go up to 45 agewise.

Where shall we go next time?

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