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Reminiscing on one Hope of a Century!

Reminiscing on one Hope of a Century!

Postby andrewdoggett » Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:48 pm

Route description: Ben Hope

Munros included on this walk: Ben Hope

Date walked: 28/04/2011

Time taken: 2.75 hours

Distance: 7.44 km

Ascent: 930m

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So it came to pass that I'd notch my century up on Scotlands' most northerly munro; Ben Hope. It was nearly Liathach... But the weather gods dictated that would not happen as the clouds came in; darned if I'm doing Liathach on anything other than a day with a perfect forecast; I want the views!! And I'm scared of it...

Before we get to the walk I thought I'd share some memories and thoughts on my first 100 munros... That's why we do the hills no; to create memories; fine we may all count the numbers, and tick the hills off the list but deep down we're there because we love the outdoors...

So, forgive me while I present some awards that make up my memories of a century in the hills...

First up; favourite walking companion goes to my late chocolate labrador, Whiskey who accompanied me on 47 of the 100... She was a gorgeous dog; friendly; excitable (as chocolate labradors are - I hope to meet Lucy on the hills one day so if a certain user of this forum I've never met is reading this; I'm watching out for her :) ), and in her element in the mountains... Neither a day, nor a mountain never passes without me thinking of her; it's like I've lost my shadow... But the memories are happy ones; some of my happiest for my whole life... Rest in Peace.

20090610 - 2026 - Whiskey - 3x2 - B.jpg

Second up; we have the most relentless climb; an award that goes to Ben Starav; three times I've climbed this hill now; twice in the name of photography; and once in the name of a longer walk encompassing three munros. It's a beast of an ascent; seemingly never-ending; rising over a 1,000 metres from the base of Loch Etive... But photographically; near the summit; at around 900 masl it comes into it's own; with perfect side-lighting nearly all year round... Ben Starav; I salute you... But never again... ;)

20090328 - 1857 - Ben Starav 3x1 - B.jpg

My favourite gadget; definitely Satmap; it's fantastic... And I don't think those costly 1:25k electronic maps are needed; the device is so accurate and I carry a back up paper map anyway which can have the added detail if ever needed. I've not needed it so far. Battery life is superb, the buttons are big and easy to use, even with gloves on when it's cold. It's waterproof; survives being dropped; and in a whiteout when your eyes are inventing coloured dots; it's reassuring. I love it!!

My favourite piece of gear - my new lightweight Hilleberg Nallo 3 Tent but I'll cover that in more detail on a walk report (I'm behind; weathers' been too good) on a trip into Culra from Dalwhinnie...

My favourite photography mountain... The Buch! I'm sure it changes colour through the seasons; countless times I've found myself photographing her, and it is a her (in my view); she's graceful... My favourite picture came on a day when I set out to capture an image of Rannoch Moor; but she refused to yield her secrets that morning; remaining shrouded in mist; so it was a short trip down the road... A fine ridge walk too...

20100402 - 0652 - Glencoe - 3x2 - B.jpg

My favourite mountain; I'll not say much about; it was the subject of a recent report; in fact my 98th and 99th munro climbed the day before... And besides; you all know An Teallach...

20110427 - 0647 - An Teallach - 15x8 - B.jpg

Finally; we have my favourite walk... An award that goes to The Ring of Steall in the Mamores. All of it was breathtaking; the scenery in all directions was absolutely stunning, and one I had to return to, indulging in my other passion of photography; and thanks to Whiskey for keeping warm while we waited for the sun to set transforming the scene...

20100829 - 1953 - Mamores - 5x1 - B.jpg

Apologies for distracting you with that wee journey; but hey you don't have to read it right...

Ben Hope; not much to say about it; I climbed it non stop and whilst not technically difficult anywhere; it is a leg burner! For a minute, at the beginning with a nice signpost I thought I could drive up; but no...

Ben Hope 1.jpg

After a relentless hour or so you'll find yourself on the final approach to the summit; possibly the most pleasant bit of the walk; the gradient eases and the mountain becomes craggier... And would you believe it the lady in the right of this picture was also celebrating her 100th munro - how random - congratulations to her...

Ben Hope 2.jpg

And here's me on the summit of my 100th munro... :)

Ben Hope 3.jpg

The views are good; it's a fairly remote mountain; to the north you'll see the Kyle of Tongue and in all other directions; just remoteness...

Ben Hope 4.jpg

My route...

2011 - 04 - 28 - Ben Hope.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

And the stats...

Ben Hope 5.jpg

And that's it; just a measly 183 to go!!
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Munro compleatist
Posts: 283
Munros:282   Corbetts:10
Grahams:2   Donalds:5
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:17
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Location: Bridge of Allan, Scotland

Re: Reminiscing on one Hope of a Century!

Postby PeteR » Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:32 pm

Conratulations on the 100. In one sense it is just a list, but as you say the memories are so much more important. Here's to the next 183 :D :D
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Re: Reminiscing on one Hope of a Century!

Postby victoriajarrett » Sun May 15, 2011 8:10 pm

Many congratulations on making your century... quite a decent attempt i'd say :D I would have loved to have been with you on your 100th, but given my perfomance on my 8th Munro i may not have made it!!! Note to self; exercise on the wee legs needed.

May i suggest some of the smaller munros when we take the kids up, although they did a good job in Snowdon and are pretty tough snappers... must take plenty of sweets :)

Whiskey; what a woofer... still sadly missed!
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Re: Reminiscing on one Hope of a Century!

Postby Holly » Sun May 15, 2011 9:10 pm

Good grief, that photo of your dog, your description and love of your dog brought a lump to my throat. I have two dogs and my oldest mutt is struggling now but still managing some of them.
Your photos are stunning. No other way to put it!
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Munros:204   Corbetts:5
Grahams:4   Donalds:8
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Re: Reminiscing on one Hope of a Century!

Postby ChrisW » Sun May 15, 2011 9:24 pm

Great report as always Andrew and stunning photos throughout. Thanks for sharing your memories and congratulations on the ton :D
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Re: Reminiscing on one Hope of a Century!

Postby iainwatson » Mon May 16, 2011 10:12 am

congrats on your 100th :D

totally agree with your comments on why we are on the hills

and i agree with holly,nearly in tears when you were speaking of Whiskey,just before i started walking the munro's my dog was diagnosed with arthritis and with her being in her latter years she has never managed to get out on a hill with me :( which is sad as she would love it
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