On Top of Ben Nevis

High above Glasgow and Fort William

The eastern slopeThe youth hostel of Loch Ossian is one many scottish hostels that have a special flair. It can be reached by Land Rover, train and/or walking for a mile and more. Remotely situated on a loch in the midth of the mountains there is no use for luxury. You have to get the water for washing out of the lake and you are far off civilization. Nevertheless (or for that reason) the hostel is mentioned in many alternative traveller's guides so that there is an international atmosphere, especially the train brings in all those who got these international student tickets. This ist 1980 - I wonder, whether it is still like that today?
After a night in the hostel I leave for Ben Nevis. I follow the railway towards Fort William until it turns sharply to the north at Loch Treig. The weather is very cloudy with a little rain in the early afternoon. This is dangerous as the meadows become slippy - and the way I intend to climb uphill does not follow any trail.
Ben Nevis*
Today is the hardest day of my walk. 50 british pounds on the back, about twenty miles and 4000 feet of climbing ahead, I walk slowly towards the west. In a little hut I have something to eat before I turn to the slopes of Ben Nevis. I lower the Fjäll Räven pack to optimize the center of mass. Climbing the eastern slope means walking pieces of rock like going upstairs. Every step makes upto half a meter in height.
After three hours I'm on top of the hill. The weather is sunny now and the light of the setting sun is rewarding for all that hard work.