If in doubt, climb a mountain – A midnight walk on Ben Nevis

If in doubt, climb a mountain – A midnight walk on Ben Nevis

A massive well done to Lloyd Nunn and Claire-Anne Lytton, who successfully completed a midnight walk up Ben Nevis on Saturday, in aid of Alzheimers and Love Hope Trust. Read Lloyd’s experience…

“Why are you doing that? Was the most common question asked, usually followed by a series of invisible exclamation marks. It’s a fair question. Get up at 5am Saturday morning, run the gauntlet of 4 trains and the inevitable delays, strikes, and cancelations, to get to Glasgow by 5pm that evening. If that wasn’t enough, you then have a 3 hour coach transfer on a bus designed more for the school run than people with long legs and big rucksacks. The next great mental challenge is knowing you have to do the same journey in reverse the next day having first trekked up and down Ben Nevis in the dark.

The published advertising blurb was of course enticing. “Watch the sun come up over the Scottish highlands as you climb to the top of Britain’s highest mountain. This 8hr trek will give you the best seat in the house to star gaze from the top of Ben Nevis.” And that’s why Claire-Anne Lytton and I joined the other 163 other people in support Alzheimers and the Love Hope Trust.

Ok, so the lets get the negatives out the way first. It’s Scotland. It rained. Not all night, but on and off the whole time. When it didn’t rain there was fog, the only time the fog went away was because the wind picked up to the point where it took your breath away….or it rained.

But here is the overwhelming positive. Yes it was a battle and a physical and mental challenge, but the big win did come on the summit plateau. As you hauled your aching body around the last of the zig zags, a surprise awaited you. Ahead of you, a trail of lights set out the path. Every 500 metres or so were a line of glow stick markers. Green to the right, red to the left. It felt like runway marker lights guiding you through the dark to the summit cairn. The higher we scrambled, the more surreal it became as the swirling mist, the shadowy shapes of the walkers, and the low level lights made for a strangely calming experience.

It wasn’t the view of a blanket of stars that we were hoping for, but you definitely felt you had climbed up to a very unique place. It left you with that feeling of having been part of something that made the journey down so much easier. That’s why I’m not disappointed that I couldn’t see the Big Dipper, or Orion’s Belt – not that I could spot them anyway. I left with my mental batteries re charged, and reflecting on the fact that I have been trudging up and down Britain’s highest points for more than 20 years and they never disappoint, whatever the weather. It just re enforces the mantra, “if in doubt, climb a mountain.”

Thank you to all for the support given and for those who would still like to donate, you can here: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/018C97

Lloyd Nunn,
Group Development Director, Charles Derby

Claire-Anne Lytton,
Financial Planning Consultant, Charles Derby