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Ben Hope

Ben Hope


Postby munrowalker » Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:29 pm

Route description: Ben Hope

Munros included on this walk: Ben Hope

Date walked: 26/07/2009

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Ben Hope: Saturday 25th July.

Decided to do Ben Hope this weekend as parents were staying up at Grannie's Heilan Hame so thought might be a sneaky way of seeing them and bagging a hill as well! Welll actually was hoping to bag Ben Klibreck on the sunday if I could persuade me wife to let me.

Stayed at Highland House guest house in Lairg which was closet B&B we could get to the hill, I know its a long way away but we only booked two days before! Arrived there at 10pm as I'd forgotten just how long it took to get up north from Edinburgh! Still got us a good nights sleep in preparation for the walk.

Now this was going to be first walk for my wife this year as its no really her thing, so lots of encouragement that it was going to be a nice easy hill, not too long, I'm sure others have been there as well. Well day before rained like anything so was fully expecting weather to be pea soup but thankfully had brightened up nicely overnight so conditions were just perfect.

Cracking drive up to base, was amazed that road was single track for at least twenty miles, that was a strange experience, forgot just how empty the highlands can be (and we stayed in Dingwall for 6 years).

Just before starting had a nightmare getting parked as two horses were happily trotting along road, no caring at all about cars. Started to think has these horses seen any cars before? But ah no no so stupid these two instant were stopped they are over sniffing round us, looking to see if we've any treats for them!

Met a couple of fishermen who had spoken to two walkers day before and cloud cover was so low it was down to sign marking way up ben hope. Not today, was beautiful.

Anyways onto the hill, start at the sign just mentioned and follow path up through grass and with stream on your left hand side, pretty good path wee bit wet. And no wonder after all the rain this last week!

Ascent of about 400m in short order which with it being on path wasn't too hard at all. Kept pace nice and easy for Anna as was first hill of the year for her, we both wanted to enjoy the day rather than rush at it.

And follow the path was pretty much the order of reaching the summit of Ben Hope, its up through the first section, on a stony path, flatter bit which was a lot wetter. Up through crags and bobs your uncle.

Then up through a stony section, but again path is well defined so no hassle at all. No plain view of summit all the way up but its pretty obvious which way to head.

Hit a point where I was thinking would have been nice to go straight ahead but instead heads off to right and then up. Could see why further up as path skirts the cliffs alongside Ben Hope, and boy this is where the views kick in, see for miles today.

Start to think hmmmm how far are we going to be able to see when we hit the top? Will we be able to see till the coast? Orkney maybe?

Well keep on bashing on following the path and come to summit marker. Now this was best bit of the day as we'd set up nice and early we got summit to ourselves entirely for a good 10 minutes. No wind so was perfectly still and just magnicifent taking in the views sitting in the summit stone circle. And yes the views were magnificent all the was across to Orkney! Best bit of the day.

Had our lunch,which was a bit early seeing as how was only 11.45 but hey ho! Then turn round and back down the path it is.

I must admit if I'd been on my own I wouldn't have followed path back down I'd have had a good wee wander about just finding a different route back, but Anna was more comfortable sticking to that so no problem, I was happier she was being confident. But for anyone who hasn't done this one yet, definetely worth not sticking to path on way back!

Now for some weird reason, was 10 times muddier on way back down, we were slurping about in mud from the crags all the way down, me I was quite enjoying this, but knocked Anna's confidence a wee bit so pace slowed down a bit.

Still beautiful view looking back with Ben Klibreck staring at me inviting me in the background!

Stream was running nice and fast with some good waterfalls as well, if hadn't been in a hurry would have been cool to stop and have a wee dip under them. Back down to bottom and wash boots in stream at bottom before jumping in car for trip back to Embo.

And on trip drove past side of Ben Klibreck, had spoken to a few people who had been up that who had said was very muddy just now. But no, my powers of persuasion weren't working today, couldn't persuade Anna to let me to do it today or tomorrow I'd have to save this for another trip, ah well!

May sound like this trip hasn't mentioned Ben Hope that much, guess thats because its a pretty straightforward hill, follow the path, up and back and you can't go wrong. But the views were gorgeous and well worth the 10 hours of driving it took me to get there and back!
User avatar
munrowalker
 
Posts: 259
Munros:163   Corbetts:7
Grahams:1   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:1
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Jun 4, 2009
Location: Bathgate

Re: Ben Hope

Postby mountain coward » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:19 am

Any piccies in the offing? Or was it a choice of wife or camera? :D
mountain coward
 

Re: Ben Hope

Postby munrowalker » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:03 pm

didnae take a camera, until I get a waterproof bag for my SLR I'm nae risking it getting soakit up the hills!
User avatar
munrowalker
 
Posts: 259
Munros:163   Corbetts:7
Grahams:1   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:1
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Jun 4, 2009
Location: Bathgate

Re: Ben Hope

Postby mountain coward » Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:10 am

I don't have a totally waterproof bag for my SLR and it's always been perfectly happy when it's got a bit wet - it's never been soaked mind. Still, mine doesn't have batteries or anything like that so that's possibly why it doesn't mind. The only thing which minded getting wet once was my mobile - it kept switching itself on and off constantly for 2 days and so I had to just remove the battery!
mountain coward
 

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