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Ben Klibreck - A long way to drive for clag!!

Ben Klibreck - A long way to drive for clag!!


Postby Gordie12 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:58 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Klibreck

Date walked: 31/08/2013

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 15.7 km

Ascent: 1024m

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I was looking at my Munro map the other night, I've done the most southerly & the most easterly but west and north still to be done. The forecast on Thursday night suggested that north was better than west so Ben Hope and Ben Klibreck was the goal.

The drive up from Forfar took just under 4 hours with low cloud at Drummochter (what's new?) and rain on and off and then suddenly at the Kessock bridge the sun came out, the clouds lifted and all was well with the world as I looked forward to my day.

The drive from Inverness north was beautiful that is until I got about 10 miles from the Crask Inn when low cloud returned and spirits were dampened.

I was ready to start (100 metres before the bridge at Vagastie where there is room for 3 cars) at 10.15am but the view didn't look promising.

1.jpg
Looking towards the lower slopes of Cnoc Sgriodain


There is an obvious track starting from the Passing Place sign and it doesn't take long to realise this will be a boggy walk (the first for a long time). The track heads straight up into the gloom of Cnoc Sgriodain and once into the clag the rain was on and getting heavier as I gained height.

3.jpg
Heading in to the clag


I hate wearing waterproofs, I will always delay the inevitable (unless really cold) as long as possible, and by the time I give in it's usually too late anyway as I'm soaked to the skin. This was another example as I decided the rain would pass over so what's the point, by the time I got to the summit of Cnoc Sgriodain I conceded defeat and put the waterproof trousers on but I'm not sure what purpose they were serving.

I met a couple on the summit of CS, they were staying at the Crask Inn so their car journey was 2 minutes compared to my 4 hours.

From CS I dropped down to the bealach and headed over to the east to try and avoid the bogs, once I thought I was past them (I couldn't see enough to be sure) I then headed west contouring the hill to pick up the track that bypassed Carn anFheidh on it's western slopes.

Once on this track it was just a case of following it to A'Chioch. There was a bit of a drop off to my left but at this point I had no idea to what as nothing could be seen, I also couldn't see much ahead, no sign of Ben Klibreck. As usual in the clag I started to doubt myself (especially when the track dropped down slightly) so the Garmin was brought out just to double check where I was.

Surprisingly, as I approached the final climb the clouds lifted and for the first time I could see where I was and where I had come from.

4.jpg
The final climb - summit still in clag


5.jpg
So this is what I by-passed


The final climb is quite steep with one small boulder section but doesn't take long before the summit is reached.

6.jpg
Clag bound summit - damn it!


A bit frustrating after such a long walk, I was hoping to spend a few minutes on the top taking in the views but not to be so with the cloud lifting to just below the summit I headed straight back down the track to have a better look at my surroundings.

7.jpg
the route back


8.jpg
Cnoc Sgriodain


After a quick sandwich and bag of crisps I was off back down the track and enjoying myself in the better conditions (I really didn't enjoy the first half of this walk :( ).

10.jpg
AAaarrrrgggghhh - looking back, the summit is now clear!


11.jpg
I can now see what's below me - Lochan Nan Uan I think


13.jpg


12.jpg
the track back


15.jpg
Ben Klibreck


Back at the peat hags I didn't bother contouring round to take the same route as I took in, instead I followed the faint track that headed straight towards Cnoc Sgriodain. It was pretty wet but not too bad with a bit of bog hopping here and there. Once through I climbed Cnoc Sgriodain for the second time to see what the view from the summit was like (it's pretty good).

16.jpg
Ben Klibreck with the summit back in cloud


17.jpg
Ben Klibreck from Cnoc Sgriodain


All that was left now was the walk back to the car. Leaving the summit of Cnoc Sgriodain the first couple of hundred downhill yards are on trackless solid ground before picking up the grassy track back to the car. I managed three falls on the downhill grassy bit which was really slippy and I was walking fairly fast rather than being sensible and slowing down to stay on my feet. If your going to have a fall I really recommend these slopes, soft and spongy for good landings with no pain involved, only embarrassment (if spotted which I don't think I was).

18.jpg
Nearly back at the car


19.jpg
Ben Klibreck from the roadside


At four and a half hours this hill took longer than I expected probably due to the slower climb in the clag with checking and double checking my position far more often than I normally would. Back at the car I had a decision to take, I had enough time to head for Ben Hope or alternatively I could get home in time for Scotland v Belgium. Opted for the football ( :( :( :( ) as I'd rather come back to this area (hopefully in the next couple of weeks) and climb Ben Hope on a day when I can take in the views from the summit.
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Gordie12
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Re: Ben Klibreck - A long way to drive for clag!!

Postby simon-b » Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:53 pm

A nice walk, that one, Gordie. I'm glad you got the views on the way down.
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Re: Ben Klibreck - A long way to drive for clag!!

Postby Gordie12 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:26 pm

Hi simon-b

It would have been really frustrating not to have had a clag free view at some point after a 4 hour drive. Lovely part of the world that previously I'd only driven through.
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Re: Ben Klibreck - A long way to drive for clag!!

Postby Fife Flyer » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:04 pm

Nice report, it's always a shame when you put the effort in only for the weather not to read the script :(

Hopefully next year I will head back up that way, probably an overnight stay though :wink:
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Re: Ben Klibreck - A long way to drive for clag!!

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:54 pm

Fife Flyer wrote:Nice report, it's always a shame when you put the effort in only for the weather not to read the script :(

Hopefully next year I will head back up that way, probably an overnight stay though :wink:


An overnighter makes a lot more sense rather than a round trip of about 430 miles for 1 hill - especially if the weather turns out to be rubbish :(
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Re: Ben Klibreck - A long way to drive for clag!!

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:49 pm

Aaah, brings back memories :D BK was Kevin's 100th Munro. We did it in March when the higher ground was covered in snow, it was windy and cold, luckily we got decent views from the summit. Followed the same route as you did. The lower slopes look just as boggy as I remember them :lol: :lol:

Ben Hope is a superb viewpoint and really worth saving for a good day, and so is the neighbouring Corbett Ben Loyal.

As for footie, Scotland's out of the World Cup, but so is my team :( I guess I'm going to support Ukraine - if they qualify.
Cheers :D
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Re: Ben Klibreck - A long way to drive for clag!!

Postby rockhopper » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:52 pm

Glad you got some views of this area - especially after such a long drive. I try and work to a rule of planning walks which are longer than the drive there and back which means that the further away hills do need a night or two - cheers :)
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Re: Ben Klibreck - A long way to drive for clag!!

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:18 pm

BlackPanther wrote:Aaah, brings back memories :D BK was Kevin's 100th Munro. We did it in March when the higher ground was covered in snow, it was windy and cold, luckily we got decent views from the summit. Followed the same route as you did. The lower slopes look just as boggy as I remember them :lol: :lol:

Ben Hope is a superb viewpoint and really worth saving for a good day, and so is the neighbouring Corbett Ben Loyal.

As for footie, Scotland's out of the World Cup, but so is my team :( I guess I'm going to support Ukraine - if they qualify.
Cheers :D


Hi BP - I read 3 or 4 reports before I headed off for BK and yours was one of them. I'm having a look at a Ben Hope/Ben Loyal trip next if I can get a good day with a decent chance of clear tops.

I'm a Ukraine supporter as well now, especially this week :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ben Klibreck - A long way to drive for clag!!

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:20 pm

rockhopper wrote:Glad you got some views of this area - especially after such a long drive. I try and work to a rule of planning walks which are longer than the drive there and back which means that the further away hills do need a night or two - cheers :)


Hi rockhopper

With the current cost of diesel it makes sense to maximise the days if heading off that far. Maybe next year I'll do a couple of overnights and start hitting a very red flag part of the country for me.
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