In her second blog, 12-year-old supporter Reagan tells us all about her Ben Nevis adventure.

Wednesday 12 August 2015      Challenge events blog
Reagan climbs Ben Nevis

Breast Cancer Now supporter Reagan climbs up a snowy Ben Nevis to support our life-saving research

Some of you may remember a blog from 12-year-old Reagan, who planned to climb Ben Nevis with her stepdad, Jim, to raise money for Breast Cancer Now. Here she tells us how the challenge went and reveals whether she came across any yetis... 

Here we go...

We arrived at the car park at the bottom on Ben Nevis and waved goodbye to my mum, Ciaran and Keldi. Jim and I went for a look around the gift shop and went to the toilet before we set off. Jim had previously climbed Nevis and told me that there were no toilets on the way up so we would have to do our business out in the open. This didn’t come as a huge shock to me as I wouldn’t expect a random toilet sitting on the path towards the top!

We finally set off on our journey and once we had climbed for 20 minutes, I looked down and saw some caravans which, from my perspective, looked like white ants.

Endless zigzags

It seemed like an endless row of zigzags for the first half an hour, until we reached a straight path which led on for about ten minutes, and then the rain came. We had to make a small stop to change into our waterproofs and used the time to have a small nibble on a chocolate bar. We also had some water and then set back off.

We climbed further up and Jim showed me a waterfall where we could fill up our water bottles. The water was the nicest water I had ever tasted! It was as clear as tap water but much tastier. After about another hour and a half, we were on a point where we could see the tops of some other mountains which looked about eye level with us. When we looked down at a lower part of the mountain, we could see the giant zigzag path which we had walked – it looked like a giant letter Z!

The view was beautiful, with all of the mountains covering the sky. At this time, the rain had disappeared and we had taken off our waterproofs and had another sip of water. 

We kept on climbing until we had a small stop to rest our legs and met a young woman who was climbing up with her parents. She told us it was her birthday! I wished her a happy birthday and then she told me that she had climbed other mountains although this was her first time up Ben Nevis. And what really surprised me was that when I told her I was climbing for Breast Cancer Now, she sponsored me!

I thanked her – she was a very kind lady – and Jim, the lady, her parents and I continued the rest of the way together. We then started to feel the cold and the further we got up the more patches of snow there were. They stopped for a bit and told us that they would meet us further on, so Jim and I continued and then stopped to put on hats and gloves, because the cold was really starting to kick in now!

Frozen

When we were just getting ready to continue, the lady and her parents caught up with us and we continued up with us. Now, it wasn’t even snowing, it was just windy and there was snow everywhere, and I mean everywhere! I’m not exaggerating when I say that you would think it was the middle of winter in a cold country. The snow was frozen, and for a long time we had to dig our hiking sticks into the snow to steady us because it was very slippery, and the wind was extremely cold and was blowing in our eyes.

Jim told me not to stray and said if we looked to our left we would see some snow which looked exactly like the snow we were walking on. But if you stood on that snow, there was nothing under it, it was just a sheer drop!

We asked a man who was heading back down if we were close to the top and he said that it was practically right in front of us, but we couldn’t see it because it was snowing and the snow in the air was blocking our line of vision. At this point, we couldn’t see more than two metres in front of us.

Two minutes later we reached an old ruin which was the top, and everybody was climbing onto a cairn, which was the highest point in Britain. The kind lady asked us to take her picture and they took our picture for us too. The lady and her parents had something to eat and then headed back down. We said goodbye and me and Jim sat down to eat our lunch and go for a pee break.

The best food ever

We took some photos on our own phones and then ate some more of the food my mum had made us – I’ve never enjoyed food so much in my entire life! Reluctantly, we headed back down the mountain. We took photos on the way down because we knew that we would slow down if we took them on the way up.

We headed down and filled back up at the waterfall where we met the lady again, who continued back down with another goodbye. After we had filled up, we had a small snack and continued back down all of the zigzags.

About 20 minutes from the bottom, we met my mum, Keldi and Ciaran! They had climbed up to meet us on our way back down! We all went down to the bottom and completed the journey and went straight to the Ben Nevis Inn, a small pub/restaurant where we had a soft drink and then met the lady again! She told me her name was Tessa. We spoke for a while before we parted and said ‘well done’ to each other and I wished her a happy birthday.

I could tell that I was really tired because whenever I stopped walking the nerves in my leg were shaking and it was hurting my muscles.

I wanted to buy a medal and certificate from the gift shop but it was closed so we came back the next day.

Ben Nevis was a really big challenge! That night, I lay down on my bed and was asleep in no time at all!

Oh yeah, and by the way I DIDN’T SEE ANY YETIS ….

 

* Reagan's efforts raised £315 for Breast Cancer Now *

More information

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