How to climb Ben Nevis via the challenging route (not the “tourist track”):
1. Convince a few friends to join you.
2. Start up the path.
3. Do your best to downplay the warnings from a random Scottish hillwalker who warns your friends that the route you’ve chosen for the group is “highly inadvisable” because of strong winds and cold temperatures. Although you will fail, try to explain that he was mistaken. Resign to the fact that the group has chosen the tourist route.
4. Break off from the main route to walk around the North face of Ben Nevis. Despite the strong, cold wind, convince your reluctant friends to just walk a while this way, so as to at least see the North face before returning to the safe “tourist track”.
5. Stumble across some deer after rounding the corner. The drop in wind and the deer will give your friends more motivation to let you press the group “just a bit further” up into the valley before turning around.
6. Press on up the valley until the call of adventure, disappearance of wind, and warm sun all work together to persuade your friends that your originally planned route seems quite cool and the “tourist track” seems a bit lame. Point out the awe-inspiring ridge path (ahead) that you will be walking.
8. Reach the top of Carn Mor Dearg, enjoy the view of Ben Nevis (background, below). 9. Scope out the ridgewalk that lies before you, while enjoying some of the most spectacular views you’ve ever seen. Feel slightly vindicated by the warm sun and almost nonexistent wind. Besmear the “tourist track” some more; thank your now enthusiastic friends for their (eventual) willingness to come this far superior route.
10. Carefully climb along the ridge. This will take longer than you think.