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Thread: Ben Nevis Observatory - Scotland - Oct 2010 -

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    Arrow Ben Nevis Observatory - Scotland - Oct 2010 -


    info taken from http://www.ambaile.org.uk/en/

    In 1877 the President of the Royal Meteorological Society proposed that 'mountain observatories on isolated peaks' should be established. The Ben Nevis Observatory was opened on the 17th October 1883 with data collection starting on 28 November of that year. The project was funded mostly by private donors, including Queen Victoria, and was run by the Scottish Meteorological Society and the Royal Societies of Edinburgh and London.

    The building was manned by a superintendent and two assistants who were responsible for taking hourly readings of the office barometer, the outdoor thermometers, rainfall, cloud and wind notes. They also made observations about the depth of snow, atmospheric dust, ozone, rainband, earth currents, duration of sunshine and earthquakes or tremors when appropriate. The results were telegraphed to the town below, where they were used to warn shipping of storms and gales in the Atlantic.

    Insufficient funds and conflicting scientific evidence regarding the importance of the Observatory led to its closure in 1904


    i know its not exactly urbex as such but thought this place may interest some people ,standing at 4,409 ft above sea level and the highest point in the british isles its the highest ruin there is to see

    other things include britains highest war memorial for the dead of world war 2

    also a storm shelter on top of the observatory tower which makes it britains highest man made structure


    info taken from wikipedia

    The summit of Ben Nevis comprises a large stony plateau of about 40 hectares (100 acres).The highest point is marked with a large, solidly built cairn atop which sits an Ordnance Survey trig point.

    The ruined walls of the observatory are a prominent feature on the summit. An emergency shelter has been built on top of the observatory tower for the benefit of those caught out by bad weather, and, although the base of the tower is slightly lower than the true summit of the mountain, the roof of the shelter overtops the trig point by several feet, making it the highest man-made structure in the UK. A war memorial to the dead of World War II is located

    after a wet night camping bleak ascent and cold,wet and pissed off 9 of us made it to the top after walking in cloud for hours


    mods feel free to delete this if it doesnt meet the exploring criteria


    pic and info taken from ben nevis.com taken 1910

    Around 1894, probably in response to the arrival of the West Highland Railway in Fort William and the subsequent rush of tourists to the area, an enterprising local hotelier decided to open a small hotel on the summit of Ben Nevis. The Temperance Hotel as it would generally come to be called, was annexed to the main observatory building and was run on behalf of the hotelier by two sisters who kept it open throughout the summer months.



    pic and info taken from museumvictoria.com

    a look inside the observatory



    pic taken from ben nevis.com

    The Pony Track was built in 1883 as an access route for the Observatory. The main contractor for the project was James McLean of Fort William and the last rise on to the summit on the path is named McLean's Steep in his honour.

    Commonly referred to these days as the Tourist Route or the Tourist Path (although actually called the Mountain Path), this route up Ben Nevis is testament to it's construction as it has survived with very little maintenance, until recently, when conservation work was done on the path.



    the way up just inside the clouds





    off the beaten track it gets worse



    after hours of walking this was the first glimpse of the observatory




















    inside the storm shelter






    heres the war memorial



  2. Thanks given by: Captain-Slow, chizyramone, djrich, muppet, Neosea, night crawler, Nightowl194, risingdamp, tommo, Urban-Warrior
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  4. #2
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    Two of my favorite subjects - derelict buildings and mountain tops. To have the two together - nice one. I see the summit had its head in the clouds as is fairly usual. When I went up there it was clear which is something that happens on only about 60 days a year.

    Someone once drove a car up Ben Nevis if you can believe that

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    Quote Originally Posted by hydealfred View Post
    Two of my favorite subjects - derelict buildings and mountain tops. :
    Couldn't agree more fella, back out to Cortina next year

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    There is a tale (possibly apocryphal) that the most junior meteorologist was sent down to Fort Bill every morning to get the milk :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BenCooper View Post
    There is a tale (possibly apocryphal) that the most junior meteorologist was sent down to Fort Bill every morning to get the milk :)
    8 hours to get some milk?

    Take it they only had 1 cup of coffee a day then....

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    8 hours? An hour down, 3-4 hours back up - you'd be back for lunch...

    Edit: I dug out a book I have about the observatory, and there's no mention of this story - there is, however, a mention of a Mr Wragge who, as a proof-of-concept before the observatory was built, climbed the mountain every day for 5 months to take readings!
    Last edited by BenCooper; 5th Oct 10 at 16:59.

  13. Thanks given by: georgie
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    I think it is urbex! I have walked up Ben Nevis twice (I don't know why twice; with so many other gorgeous peaks surrounding that I could have scaled) and had know idea there had once been an observatory there.
    Great history love the old shots,but what is all the mist about? I go fishing; not climbing when it's misty.

    I remember climbing Helvellyn/striding edge in the mist replete with horizontal rain with my sister when we were kids.We got to the top only to find these two idiot tourists with no waterproofs and wearing 'sandles' stuck on the top in a state of bewildered stupification.I was only about seventeen,but I remember giving them a boll....g for being so stupid.I had to leave my sister on the summit till I could navigate to a path that I knew would take them down safely to a road which lead to a pub.I climbed back up to my sister and we carried on with a cliff on one side and gentle slope on the other,to (if memory serves me correctly Grisdale tarn) there we bivvied for the night,I was loving it all the wildness the danger,nobody for miles hell! I was in my element as I thought was my sister.
    Years later talking over those few wild days up the lake district,my sister told me she had been absolutely terrified the whole time.She hid it well.
    Anyhow! great report that brings back a lot of great memories.Cheers.:)

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    Now that's a serious Urbexer! LOL! Is Ben Nevis the highest mountain in the UK? That's a serious climb I can imagine. Great report, well done!

  17. Thanks given by: georgie
  18. #9
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    Yes it is the highest point in British Isles, ....and true urbex spirit too match.

  19. Thanks given by: georgie
  20. #10
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    Now that really is dedication. I tip my hat to you for putting the legwork in to shooting those pics.

    Did you leave any kind of 'we've been here' marker up there?

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