“Destiny is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice.” – William Jennings Bryant
Why This Mountain?
I wanted a good excuse to show my mom England and I wanted to see my friend Emma again, so I decided to do a couple of peaks in England. I picked Ben Nevis because it is the highest mountain in the UK and because I wanted to see Scotland.
Mountain & Route Facts
Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles, located in Scotland. Standing at 1,345 metres (4,411 ft) above sea level, it is located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands, close to the town of Fort William.
The mountain is a popular destination, attracting an estimated 100,000 ascents a year, around three-quarters of which use the Pony Track from Glen Nevis. The 700-metre (2,300 ft) cliffs of the north face are among the highest in Scotland, providing classic scrambles and rock climbs of all difficulties for climbers and mountaineers. They are also the principal locations in Scotland for ice climbing.
The summit, which is the collapsed dome of an ancient volcano, features the ruins of an observatory which was continuously staffed between 1883 and 1904. The meteorological data collected during this period are still important for understanding Scottish mountain weather. C. T. R. Wilson was inspired to invent the cloud chamber after a period spent working at the observatory.
The first recorded ascent of Ben Nevis was made on 17 August 1771 by James Robertson, an Edinburgh botanist, who was in the region to collect botanical specimens. John Keats climbed the mountain in 1818, comparing the ascent to “mounting ten St. Pauls without the convenience of a staircase.” It was not until 1847 that Ben Nevis was confirmed by the Ordnance Survey as the highest mountain in Britain and Ireland, ahead of its rival Ben Macdhui.
Historical and Cultural Information
The history of the United Kingdom is long, colorful, and one of the most popular to study.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England to the south, and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the south-west. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides. Languages are English, Scots, and Scottish Gaelic. The capital is Edinburgh.
The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. (The Treaty of Union was agreed in 1706 and enacted by the twin Acts of Union 1707, passed by the Parliaments of both kingdoms, despite popular opposition and anti-union riots in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and elsewhere.) The union also created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. (In 1801, Great Britain itself entered into a political union with the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; the Parliament of Ireland merging with that of Great Britain to form the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Since the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922, the United Kingdom has comprised Great Britain and Northern Ireland).
Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, titles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland. The legal system within Scotland has also remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland; Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in both public and private law. The continued existence of legal, educational, religious and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England.