We've decided to climb Ben Nevis! After bagging our first munro, we got the hillwalking bug and started planning our next one pretty much straight away. But we don't do things by halves around here. Oh no, we decided we'd head for the biggest mountain in the whole UK! Our B&B is booked - twin beds as we couldn't find a double anywhere nearby! June is clearly a popular month to head to Fort William and the Nevis range.
With only three months to go, we thought we'd better get some uphill training in. Bennachie is the most well known hill in the Aberdeenshire area, but having tackled it a few times now, we thought we'd find somewhere new to venture to. Clachnaben is a 1932ft hill near Glen Dye, just south of Banchory. We parked at the forest car park near the Bridge of Dye to begin our ascent.
Look out for Kirsty's Brae Dooks and Chooks honesty box on the way! We stopped at the roadside and got the last box of 6 huge freshly laid ducks eggs for £2. Breakfast was delicious the next day!
We decided to take Harley along for the hike too - he loved it! I'm very wary that our pup is starting to get older now (he'll be 8 next month) and we try not to take him anywhere too strenuous. He managed Clachnaben just fine though. His little grey beard might be getting greyer but his legs aren't slowing down yet!
We followed this route from Walk Highlands starting through the trees, down a short but steep hill and through the glen. For a while I thought we must have gone to the wrong place but eventually the granite tor atop the hill comes back into view. The route twists round towards the summit, and the climb gets steeper as you reach the stone steps.
The granite tor can be seen from miles away so you kind of expect that once you've reached that, you've reached the top! Don't make the same mistake we did and start scrambling the rocks straight away - follow the path a little longer to the trig point first!
We took shelter in a little nook in the tor and tucked into our picnic of green tea and Grenade bars before beginning our descent. The walk took us around three hours in total, the weather was unusually kind for Scotland in March and it was a relatively easy climb, ideal for beginners!
We plan to take on harder, longer walks in the months leading up to our Ben Nevis hike. Who knows, we might even bag a couple of munros as part of our training! Take a peek at my vlog for a better insight into climbing Clachnaben :)
I'm planning to upload to my YouTube channel more - what kind of videos would you like to see?!