Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles, with a healthy height of 1345 metres. It is located close to Fort William, but isn’t visible from the town because a much lower hill called Cow Hill (about 455 metres high) blocks the view. When we were planning our Highland trip with my friends Nina and Ida, we were toying around with the idea of climbing the mountain, but decided against it because apparently it’s quite dangerous for amateurs whenever there’s snow on the top – and that was still the case in April.
Even though we weren’t going to climb Ben Nevis on this trip, we were very keen on catching a glimpse of it since we were in the area for five whole days. So, on our last day in the Highlands, we decided to do a little hike up and around Cow Hill, recommended by walkhighlands. The Cow Hill circuit boasts great views of Ben Nevis, which the three of us can now happily confirm!
The top of Ben Nevis is covered in clouds most of the time – according to some sources, the top is completely visible only about 10 days a year. Other sources say 30, others 65, but whatever the number, the fact remains you’re lucky to catch the mountain on a clear day. We weren’t among those lucky ones, since the top was covered in thick clouds that day. The clouds were moving around quickly, though, since every time we looked up at the mountain it seemed to look different!
Despite the angry blisters I had in my feet after five days’ worth of walking, as we boarded our train back to Edinburgh on the evening of day 5, I couldn’t have been happier. I’d got to see some of Scotland’s most iconic scenery with two new lifelong friends, and I still had about a month left to enjoy this country I’d fallen in love with. The train journey from Fort William is a splendid one, by the way – it runs through the vast emptiness of Rannoch Moor, with lots and lots of deer to spot!