NN1672 : CIC Hut and Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis

taken 47 years ago, 5 km from Achriabhach, Highland, Great Britain

CIC Hut and Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis
CIC Hut and Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis
The Hut is well placed for the multitude of climbs on the NE face of Ben Nevis. Tower Ridge rises beyond, with the sunlit face of the Douglas Boulder at its base: some 'boulder'!
Tower Ridge

Besides being a wonderful mountaineering route, Tower Ridge has two great distinctions: it was the first rock climb on Ben Nevis, and it was first ‘climbed’ in its entirety as a descent. Two of the 5 Hopkinson brothers from Manchester, John and Edward, with John’s son Bertram, climbed as far as the Great Tower on 3rd September 1892, before retreating. Two days later, joined by Charles Hopkinson, they walked to the summit and found a route down to the Tower and continued the descent to the Allt a’ Mhuillin.

The first ascent was made in winter conditions by Norman Collie, Godfrey Solly and Joseph Collier on 30th March 1894, following on from the SMC Easter Meet at Inveroran. Collie wrote an unusual and imaginatively styled account of this expedition under the title ‘Divine Mysteries of the Oromaniacal Quest’ (SMC Journal vol. 3, 151-157, 1895). The article appeared under the pseudonym ‘Orlamon Linecus’ and is a gentle spoof on alchemical and magical writings. On reaching the summit the climbers were admitted into a ‘Temple’ which was the weather Observatory.

Tower Ridge is not technically a hard climb in summer conditions, but is a much more serious proposition in winter.

See ‘Ben Nevis – Britain’s Highest Mountain’ by Ken Crocket, SMC Trust 1986 and the chapter by W H Murray in ‘Classic Rock’, Ken Wilson, Granada 1978.

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Jim Barton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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NN1672, 47 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Saturday, 2 August, 1975   (more nearby)
Thursday, 16 December, 2010
Mountain scene   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NN 167 721 [100m precision]
WGS84: 56:48.3013N 5:0.1978W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NN 167 722
View Direction
SOUTH (about 180 degrees)
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