The off-road, battery driven wheel-chair struggled in the boggy ground ascending towards the ‘Halfway-Lochan’ from the North Face Car Park approach. Once the good path system around the lochan was reached the going became much better, but we had run out of spare batteries by that stage!
Sally is one of very few people (maybe the only one) in a wheelchair to reach the 2,000ft mark on Ben Nevis, largely under her own steam, although she did have a few folk pushing and pulling on the steeper sections. Once (if) the Nevis Partnership completes the link path into the Allt a’Mhuillin from the lochan it will be much more accessible to wheel-chair users in off road chairs. Sally thoroughly enjoyed being able to visit this scenic side of Ben Nevis.
We started from the North Face car park, although in future it will be better to take the longer route coming in from Nevis Range, as the gradient is far less drain on the batteries. The Allt a’Mhuillin was low so it did not present any problems for the chair. It was the terrible boggy ground from the burn to the halfway point which caused so much trouble, as it does to hillwalkers and climbers. The sooner this section has a path the better in my view. It seems such a shame that a good mid-level walk is spoiled by a short section of extremely wet ground.
Well done Sally and the group from Canine Partners you are all very inspirational and hard working folk.
If you wish to see how other countries approach this issue see for disabilty trails in the USA. By the way disability is all in the mind.