I managed to make an earlier start encouraged by a brighter morning and headed up towards Altnaharra again in pursuit of Ben Klibreck. There had been a light dusting of snow along the ridge in the night although the summit was not in view from the road. After crossing the bridge a narrow, boggy track winds across rather desolate country to reach the outflow of Loch Bad an Loch which can be crossed easily on stepping stones. More bog has to be crossed until you can see Loch nan Uan to the left. The path leads to a reasonable way up, initially alongside a burn. I was making for the ridge but before I reached it I came across a narrow path below the ridge line which contoured along to the plateau at the base of the summit cone. There was quite a strong wind from the north carrying some stinging hail with it on occasions. Of course, the wind increased and the hail grew more persistent as I clambered over the rocks and up the steep snowy slope to the cairn. Conditions, in fact, became quite difficult but although there were some large icy patches these could be avoided. I was glad to finally slump behind the rocks at the top and get my breath back before battling the wind again to descend to the plateau. The sun then came out, the sky turned a bright blue and the wind dropped. Retracing my steps I met a guy who was determined to reach the top as he had to turn back because of the wind on a previous occasion.
I didn’t bother with the boggy path on the way back: I just made for the outflow of Loch Bad an Loch across heathery slopes which were reasonably dry.
As I drove down past Dornoch in the bright sunshine I could just pick out Ben Klibreck in the distance: strange to think that a few hours previously I had been battling the elements up there.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.