Ben Nevis July 2019
Saturday 13 July 2019
Walkers from Oldham successfully gained the summit of Ben Nevis, guided by UProjects Mountain Leaders
At 1,345 metres The Ben is the highest mountain in the UK.
The project began in January 2019 as part of a health initiative to improve participants health and wellbeing utilising our great outdoor environment
A group of walkers committed to setting their goal and gradually improving their physical fitness over a period of six months by accessing a programmed series of gradually challenging walks.
A core group of walkers began by accessing Oldham’s local Lets Go For A Walk scheme that is coordinated by Oldham Council’s Environmental Services and a contribution to the National Walking For Health Initiative
After months of training around the hilly Saddleworth area of Oldham, the Peak District, the mountains of North Wales and The Lake District, walkers arrived fit, confident and well equipped at Glen Nevis, Fort William, the foot of Ben Nevis.
The objective set by UProjects was to safely achieve the summit as a team via the Mountain Track, moving together and supporting every member of the party.
Initially with some fantastic views of the Glen and beyond the group eventually reached the halfway point of the Red Burn waterfall in good weather conditions for a very short rest and lunch.
Onwards and upwards into the mist and the dreaded zigzag’s, regular regrouping at every turn kept our handsome party together and in ‘high’ spirits through this arduous section. Gaynor led from the front keeping a steady pace and controlling our more excited members from straying too far 😉.
Volunteer Mick Brooks brought up the rear with Alan moving through the party not having a difficult job keeping this fantastic group’s spirits up.
Now onto the summit plateau, and after a short re group and safety briefing, a stroll to the summit of the highest mountain in the United Kingdom.
Total time 4 hours 45 minutes.
The top is only half way !
Walking down steep slopes on very rough terrain can be extremely difficult on tired legs so adopting the same plan of regular re grouping we took our bearings and set off in high spirits on our journey back down the same route to the valley bellow, we were rewarded with fantastic views as we left the summit covering The Mamores and much of the Scottish Highlands.
Not without drama, we watched an injured walker from another party rescued by The Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team involving an airlift by Inverness based search and rescue helicopter, it is comforting to know these volunteer led emergency services exist in the moorlands, hills and mountain areas of the UK, very worthy of contributions and fund raising support
Later after all walkers have safely returned to the Glen Nevis Inn for celebration drinks and an evening meal together we can relax and consider the achievements the Oldham walkers have made, for most it has been a tough journey together to achieve the fitness required for this day, not just to complete it, but to enjoy it safely with new friends, learning new skills and gaining confidence to enjoy the outdoors, well done all, see you on the hill!