Nestled in the shadow of Ben Nevis lies a playground fit for climbers and campers alike.
Buttress after buttress of mica schist crags rise from the forest, each speckled with climbers clambering towards the peak. The single track road through Glen Nevis is lined with camper vans, tents and groups gathering gear and supplies. As we rolled into the carpark, I met the landscape for the first time. I peered out the window of our 80s VW camper, already eyeing up features and working out lines on the cliffs we were here to play on.
We set up camp and spent the evening around the barbecue, fuelling up for the following day with a few drinks amongst old friends. When the time came, I wriggled into my hammock and lay back to gaze up at the clear sky above. It doesn't really get dark in Scotland at this time of year and although it was late, I could still make out the silhouette of trees and a glow on the horizon.
We woke with the sun and after a good breakfast, coffee and some stretches on the grass, our minds focused on the day ahead. We racked up and disappeared into the trees to find the base of our climb. A few pitches later, and my friend, fresh to the world of climbing, declares this is how he'll spend every weekend from now on.
Like many a trip before, time goes by too fast and Glasgow beckons us home. Before leaving we cool our tired feet in the River Nevis and reflect on the day, making plans for our inevitable return.