The CIC hut ,Ben Nevis

The CIC hut has an iconic place in Scottish mountain history . Built in 1929 by Dr Clark and his wife in memory of their son who died in the First World War, its seen all the famous names who have shaped climbing on the Ben pass through its doors . Now expanded to a 2 room hut with drying room and 2 composting toilets it sleeps 26 at a push. It’ll see the continental luminaries come and test their metal on the massive and multi faceted cliffs of the Ben as well as the local young guns pushing the grade on new desperate mixed lines.  If you’re staying at the hut for a few days you’ve got a shoulder crunching carry of gear and food in to the hut. Add to that 2 full frame camera bodies , a 17-40, 70-200 , 50 lenses, radio triggers, flash and a tripod and it was one of the heaviest loads I’ve carried. The conditions on the mountain were serious, gale force winds ,fresh snow, spindrift and a high avalanche risk meant the Orion face, point five and many of the ridges were no go. I was shooting for Glenmore Lodge as they were running their ice climbing course based at the hut for 5 days as well as images for ‘Extreme Scotland’. Conditions couldn’t have been worse for trying to set up shots , the camera lens being blasted with spindrift as soon as its taken out of the bag , and snow getting into the case even when its zipped. I was carrying 2 bodies with a 17-40 on one and the 70-200 on the other . In the conditions we had there was no way I was going to risk changing lenses . The flexibility of being able to shoot either wide or zoomed was good but has a big weight penalty . Not something I would normally do when climbing but for this particular shoot it worked . Luckily we were heading down on the day that the winds picked up to over 100mph, people were being blown over like skittles down the  wind balsted and icy track . Here are some shots of the hut that may give a feel for the place if you’ve never been there.