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Smoke Me A Klibrecker I'll Be Up Before Breakfast!

Smoke Me A Klibrecker I'll Be Up Before Breakfast!


Postby ScottishLeaf » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:20 pm

Route description: Ben Klibreck

Munros included on this walk: Ben Klibreck

Date walked: 08/06/2013

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 755m

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Hillwalking is a disease, it infects you, it claims your life. Spare days are consumed with the desire to climb ever higher, to see sights more spectacular than the last. It greedily gobbles all your spare cash, as you seek better equipment or more comfortable boots. It makes you do mad things, like get up at 10pm, when you should be going to bed. I makes you drive for 4 and half hours to places you have no business going to. No need whatsoever to go there, except to go up.... and up ... and up... and up. Until a summit is reached, drink in a view, then come all the way back down again. It makes you push yourself to the limit of endurance, just because you can and to see things that only a fraction of the population will ever see. Saturday past was one such mad day, here is part one of that story.


On Friday night myself, Quoman, Fiona and Jim all packed Wullie's Mitsubishi to the gunnels with camping and walking gear. The expedition had been arranged for the other three to knock off their remaining Sutherland Munro, Ben Klibreck. Their group had ran out of time to complete all 4 and were left with one awkward hill to bag. We looked at the map and decided that Ben Wyvis wasn't too far off the road back home, so the plans were made to make this into a more productive journey and grab two single hills on the one trip, in one day. A big ask, but it would be worth it. It would at least give my new Mountain King walking poles a good work out! (Purchased after reading a positive review about them on WH :D :lol: :clap: )

After seeing Robert Snodgrass score the best toe poke in Scottish history, since David Narey's famous tattie bash against Brazil, we left Falkirk with less sleep than we should've and but with more adrenellin pumping throught the veins. Four and bit hours later, we arrived at the oversized passing place that masquerades as a car park, a hundred or so yards before Vagastie Bridge on the singe track A836.

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We warmed up with a cup of coffee and a stretch of the muscles, before heading out at almost exactly 4am. I still hadn't had my supper, never mind my breakfast!

The start of the route is right by the Passing Place pole and it appears nothing more than a boggy slither of green grass heading up through the heather and in the early morning pre-dawn light, it wasn't exactly the most inviting of starts for a walk.

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Thankfully the recent dry weather had taken much of the sting out of the this section and quickly made our way onto the fairly steep pull up onto Cnoc Sgriodain, with the clag down there was little in the way of views to be had.

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However, there was already a warmth in the air, we sensed the mist wouldn't be hanging around for too long as made it up to the big cairn on the summit of Ben Klibreck's lowest outlying hill.

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After the brief section of dry ground it was back down to beleach between Cnocn Sgriodain and the next bump along the ridge, Carn an Fheidh. The path heads a bit lower down the bealach than the waypoints from Walkhighlands suggest, but it the reason was soon made clear. Peat hags, great big ones running like dark gouges across the hillside, the path neatly skirted round the bottom of them before climbing up moderate slopes towards Carn an Fheidh.

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Another big cairn marks an innoccuous summit and another brief spell of dry ground is reached, before you guessed it more peat hags. This time the path has to twist and turn through the hags, but once again the dry weather had taken it's toll on the gooeyness and they were easily past by. This second area of hags, looked as if it could be particularly nasty in wet weather.

As we made our way further up the damp grassy path toward Carn an Fheidh, a whale back shape began to appear through the mists, the outline of Creag an Lochain.

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This peak can be climbed if you wish, bu we chose to follow the by now clear path that cuts along the side of it, heading for the ridge of A'Choich. The dirt path is easy to follow, but in some places it's becoming a little eroded and in places the drop to the left feels like a long way down to Loch nan Uan.

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Until this point there hadn't been much photo opportunities and Ben Klibreck was feeling like a long way for not very much, then the cloud began to sink and sun began to rise and all of a sudden, Klibreck held Hope for it's views.

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As we looked around, the very tips of the moutains to the north, west and south began to appear just above the clouds.

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I'm not quite sure if the cloud sunk low enough to call it an inversion, there probably wasn't enough high ground to make it really dramatic, but each mountain top looked like a tiny island floating in the sky.

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Soon the ridge up ahead was bathed in early morning sunshine and the sight of it pushed us on, out of the still, muggy mists and into the glorious light.

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Around this time the fine, conical summit peak of Meall nan Con came into view, just as the sun was rising over it.

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The view back behind over Creag an Lochain was fine too, sunshine illuminating it, while the low lying cloud lapped at it's sides, threatening to reclaim it into the gloom.

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The first section of the climb up Meall nan Con is over some small rocky crags, with some very mild scrambling in places, before crossing a small boulder field, then up onto rocky a zig-zag path for the remainder of the climb to the summit of Meall nan Con and Ben Klibreck.

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It's a fairly steep climb, but for once the climb looked less than it actually was! From A'Chioch it's still over 200m to the top, but we just kept plugging away in the sunshine and just a tad after 7am we were all at the top.

The summit trig is is guarded by a wind shelter, and inside the shelter lies the remains on the previous trig point. I don't think I had seen a restored trig point before, as they're barely used any more.

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We spent the best part of an hour at the top, enjoying a breakfast and the feeling of being above the clouds, almost like being on an aeroplane.

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As we sat and ate, the clouds threatened to rise and re-claim the summit and wind piped up, the first we had noticed any real breeze all morning. So we packed our things back up and headed back to down the way we came up.

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Even as we walked, we could see the powerful June sunshine burn off the cloud and slowly, but surely more and more views opened up to us as we descended.

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The faltering mists and the bright sunshine was just about creating the opportunity for Brocken Spectres and Glory Rings, but I only managed to half capture one of them. :?

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What had been covered in cloud on the way down, now revealed the collection of wee lochs the dot the countryside down below the A'Chioch ridge, including Loch nan Uan and Loch Bad an Loch

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It was then back round the peat hags and past the two big cairns, now clear of the fog, with views to Loch Shin now opening up.

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As we descened down onto Cnoc Sgriodain to view over the wee lochs towards Bens Hope and Loyal was quite impressive, even although those mountains were still decapitated by cloud.

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Looking back up from the roadside, we could now see almost the whole mountain massive and we were able to trace our route along it's sides. A view hidden from us before dawn.

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Ben Klibreck had proven to be a good walk and this had been Jim and Fiona's first munro in many months. They had done brilliantly to get up and down in 6 hours, so it wasn't long before we were back in the car and preparing for the journey to Garbat and meeting with the Moutain of Terror!! :shock: :evil:

(ACE RIMMER WHAT A GUY!)
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ScottishLeaf
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Re: Smoke Me A Klibrecker I'll Be Up Before Breakfast!

Postby Fife Flyer » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:50 pm

Great report & some cracking photo's especially the ones in/on top of the clouds :clap:
Your day was a bit like mine yesterday, cloud lifted/burnt off just in time to appreciate the views :lol: :lol:
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Re: Smoke Me A Klibrecker I'll Be Up Before Breakfast!

Postby gammy leg walker » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:17 pm

Well worth the effort SL,stonking day.
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Re: Smoke Me A Klibrecker I'll Be Up Before Breakfast!

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:29 pm

Hey SL - we must just have missed you - we got to Klibreck from Orkney on saturday at around 1.00pm and had a really hot sunny climb. There was a similar cloud inveresion type situation the following day when we did Am Faochagach - i'll put some pics up of both hills soon.
Don't know about the setting off at 4am - that does sound a bit mental, even for a guy fae falkirk!
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Re: Smoke Me A Klibrecker I'll Be Up Before Breakfast!

Postby Collaciotach » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:44 pm

Aye tis an inversion
Aye tis a disease
Aye im riddled with it :lol:

Grand stuff and great photos :clap:
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Re: Smoke Me A Klibrecker I'll Be Up Before Breakfast!

Postby Tomsie » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:50 pm

Thats an early start :crazy: , think I would have had a few hrs kip first :lol:
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Re: Smoke Me A Klibrecker I'll Be Up Before Breakfast!

Postby jonny616 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:00 pm

Stunning eventually, Great photos :clap:
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Re: Smoke Me A Klibrecker I'll Be Up Before Breakfast!

Postby ScottishLeaf » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:59 pm

weaselmaster wrote:Hey SL - we must just have missed you - we got to Klibreck from Orkney on saturday at around 1.00pm and had a really hot sunny climb. There was a similar cloud inveresion type situation the following day when we did Am Faochagach - i'll put some pics up of both hills soon.
Don't know about the setting off at 4am - that does sound a bit mental, even for a guy fae falkirk!


We were getting ready to climb Ben Wyvis about then!
4am was the start of the walk, we left Falkirk at half 10 the night before!

Tomsie, we had Wyvis to do after Klibreck, no chance for a sleep.

Cheers for the comments everyone :)
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Re: Smoke Me A Klibrecker I'll Be Up Before Breakfast!

Postby meangarry » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:09 am

Like you say dude, not many folk know what its like to walk up through the clouds and pop out into glorious sunshine. It's a great bug! Good effort with the travelling and dual walk. What a toe poke, unofficially 4th in the world now. :D
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Re: Smoke Me A Klibrecker I'll Be Up Before Breakfast!

Postby wilkiemurray » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:04 pm

Fantastic report - one Ace Rimmer would be proud of;)
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Re: Smoke Me A Klibrecker I'll Be Up Before Breakfast!

Postby rockhopper » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:12 pm

hard to beat a good inversion for making you forget the lack of sleep and food :lol: :wink: sounded hard going but worth it in the end - cheers :)
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Re: Smoke Me A Klibrecker I'll Be Up Before Breakfast!

Postby ScottishLeaf » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:30 pm

Cheers for the replies :)

It was a cracking day, just glad I managed to get round the two of them. No sleep in near on 42 hours was tough going!.... until the beer got cracked open! :lol:
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