Our Scottish Summer Camp – Lily & Megan report on their hike up Ben Nevis

The hike was long. My legs hurt. The end.

Megan says “No” so I will write some more as she is very scary and has a knife. Also, she gave me ice cream.

We dragged ourselves out of bed, PLs at 6:30, the others at 7:00. Breakfast was made. The bacon was black. Yum yum. We were then given the group equipment which was, like, totes not fitting in my bag.

Marlon was scary 

After Lily’s several unsuccessful attempts at an accurate account of our hike up Ben Nevis, it is my turn. We woke up in a hostel room, which was the height of luxury after spending 4 nights in soggy tents. None of us particularly wanted to rise that morning, as we were all still exhausted from canyoning the previous day. Breakfast was a full English: cooked by the patrol leaders, enjoyed by everyone. We were issued with yet more kit, which we tried in vain to squeeze into our bags. In the following breifing, Marlon managed to make everyone think they were going to die, or break at least one limb if they were very lucky.

Megan mean. We looked at a map. Compass fell apart. We walked miles and miles. Was not miles and miles, it was 0.85km. Lots of stairs. Found Where’s Wally. Saw a pirate. Was not hallucinating. Mountains are very steep. Top of mountain is very far away. Legs hurt more. Sleep please 

They say that the first mile is always the hardest. They are lying. Its all the hardest. After barely a kilometer, we stopped for a break, the first of many. We were overtaken by Marlon’s group. Appropriate slow clapping ensued. After consuming gallons of water and hiking miles up 30 degree ascents, conversation was either deep and meaningful or deeply nerdy, with Marc and Ellie discussing whether hijabs should be worn by nurses, and Ruairi and David arguing over Wolverine. Mark amazed us all with his tastes in music and his bizarre choice of superpower; ‘if I was a superhero, my power would be to summon a crème egg whenever I wanted’. Appropriate mocking ensued. Eventually, the bickering ceased and the grumbling began.. ‘are we there yet?’ and ‘are you sure there’s no escalator?’ were common mutterings.

We were just about to reach the cloud layer when the sole of my hiking boot decided to expel itself from the rest of my shoe. We patched it up with duct tape and pressed on.

Legs super duper painful. Stop every 500m. Drink lots of water. Need to pee. “Annieeee” “Yes Lily.” “Cable car?” “No Lily”

Zig zag paths are horrible. See the other team. Megan needs new walking boots. Sorry, Megan’s mum.

No rain. Yay. After 4ish hours we reach the summit. No loos. No café. Not Snowden. Dammit. Eat lunch. Really cold. Brrrrr. For the first time in my life, am taller than anyone else in the UK. Arguably. Patrick is being pedantic while I write this. “Better to be pedantic than incorrect”. Crisps still taste nice soggy. See other other team. They take a shortcut. Clouds aren’t fluffy. Dammit. We get a nice view when we start to walk down. Lochs and mountains and trees. Purty. Ari breaks up with Lucy. Lucy breaks up with Ari. They get back together. Ari breaks up with Lucy “For real this time”. They get back together. Yay. Arrive last at youth hostel.

After several hours of getting mocked for my broken hiking boots, we finally reach the summit. After causing a pile up behind us because we were taking too long to take photos, we witness David almost killing himself trying to get a good shot of the scenery (there was none to be seen, we were in a freezing cloud). After having lunch and getting mocked still more for having broken hiking boots, we set of down the mountain, near killing ourselves on the pile of rocks the previously well paved path had become, we met members of both the other teams, A hair-raising race to the bottom ensued. Our team lost, as Marc and Rachel managed to get lost on a single path. But overall, we were the first to reach the summit and are generally more awesome than everyone else, especially Marlon, as he is currently in the process of making terrible puns about hay and seems to know the words to every Abba song in existence. Ben and

Matthew are singing along like two eight year old girls, and appear to be having a great time. Patrick is looking up strange phobias on his phone (mycophobia- the fear of mushrooms), and lily is amazing us all with her impressive knowledge of long words (floccinaucinihilipilification- the act of thinking something is unimportant or useless) whilst attempting to type, spell check and sleep at the same time. All of us are certainly looking forward to bed, but not the midges. Marlon is now singing along to Barbie girl, including the voices. We may need to borrow a blonde wig for a certain someone’s karaoke rendition…

Sitting in minibus. Typing. Abba. Sleep. Swiss roll.” Pedantic hungry person and meanie ginger. #YOLO #gohardorgoyard #wwesu #justclimbedamountain #justmadeupahashtag #floccinaucinihilipilification  

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