walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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.

Sneaky Friday skive on Ben Loyal and Ben Hope

Sneaky Friday skive on Ben Loyal and Ben Hope


Postby malky_c » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:30 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Hope

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Loyal

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Ben Hiel

Date walked: 11/10/2013

Time taken: 8.4 hours

Distance: 22.5 km

Ascent: 2155m

10 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

First bit:
Corbetts: Ben Loyal.
Sub 2000 Marilyns: Ben Hiel.
Date: 11/10/2013.
Distance: 14.5km.
Ascent: 1215m.
Time taken: 5 hours 30 minutes.
Weather: Calm and cool, turning to strong sunshine later on

After a few hectic weeks at work, I fancied a few days off. The weather forecast looked perfect on Friday, so the only decision was whether to go north-west or south-west. I had been saving Ben Loyal for a day like this, so that decided it in the end. I thought I'd aim for a Doogz/Soulminer style early start for a change, so I was parked up near Loch Loyal for just after 6:30am.

Loyal.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


I started walking in the dark, with the headtorch out for the first few steps through some particularly thick undergrowth. Before long, it was light enough to see and I was halfway up Ben Hiel. My camera wasn't up to much but the eastern light was impressive.

Ben Griam Mor and Beag from Ben Hiel:
Image

Good views from the sumit, but I left too fast. By the time I was halfway down, an attractive red glow had hit the east-facing slopes. Would've looked better from the summit!

Loch Craggie. Orkney just visible in the distance:
Image

Sgor Chaonasaid in the first sunlight:
Image

South through Bealach Clais nan Cip:
Image

Ben Klibreck:
Image

The ascent to Sgor Chaonasaid was accompanied by lots of stag bellowing, and before long I was exploring the tors at the summit. The rock was rather greasy, so I avoided anything too difficult.

Cnoc nan Cuilean:
Image

Kyle of Tongue from Sgor Chaonasaid:
Image

Main summit from Sgor Chaonasaid:
Image

The walk onto the main summit was easy and on a pretty decent path. I was eating my (second) breakfast there by 9am.

NE from the summit:
Image

Summit tor:
Image

More easy walking took me onto Beinn Bheag, then a steeper descent towards Sgor a' Chleirich. I strolled out to the summit to look at the view. It was a long, steep drop down to Loch Fhionnaich.

Calbhach Coire and Kyle of Tongue:
Image

Summit of Sgor a Chleirich:
Image

Sgor Fhionnaich:
Image

A quick retrace of steps took me to a steep grassy descent. I spent most of the way down trying to decide whether to include Sgor Fhionnaich in the route or not. I didn't in the end, and enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the side of Loch Fhionnach. Sgor a' Chleirich was even more impressive than I expected, reminding me of Sgorr an Fhidhleir in Coigach.

Loch Fhionnaich and Sgor a Chleirich:
Image

Image

Ben Hee and Meallan Liath Choire Mhic Dhughaill:
Image

Sgor Fhionnaich:
Image

The views from the lip of the corrie were worth another break. Then I dropped down a steep grassy gully to the woodland below. A descending traverse led me across a couple of burns and onto a faint path towards Curnside.

Tongue from the lip of Coire Fhionnaich:
Image

Ben Hope:
Image

Image

There were tantalizing glimpses up to the four main western spurs of Ben Loyal - part of the hill that looks well worth exploring in the future.

Looking up at Sgor a’ Bhatain:
Image

Sgor a’Bhatain and Sgor a’ Chleirich:
Image

Before reaching the ruin, I traversed off east back to Loch Loyal, covering some rough ground. I was back at the car shortly after midday.

The main summit and Sgor Chaonasaid:
Image

Achnanclach bothy across Loch Loyal:
Image

Loch Craggie Loch Loyal and Beinn Stumanadh:
Image

Most extensive parking spot in the area:
Image
_______________________________________________________________

Aborted second bit:

The next part of the plan was to drive back through Altnaharra, then onto the Hope road. I wanted to cycle in to Sabhal Beag from here - my last unclimbed Graham in the area. Passing Gobernuisgach Lodge, I decided to call in and see if there was any stalking in the area. There was - in Glen Golly and the glen I wanted to go up, so I decided to retreat and do something else instead. Shame there was 100m of reascent on the bike to get back to the car! Nice glen though - being a long drive for a short hill, I'll probably end up including it in a longer traverse at some point.

Meallan Liath Choire Mhic Dhughaill from Strath More:
Image

Down Strath More to Ben Hope:
Image

Gobernuisgach Lodge:
Image

I scratched my head for a bit - none of the Marilyns that were close to my route home really appealed today. Then it hit me - a quick ascent of Ben Hope!
_____________________________________________________________________

Second bit (plan B):
Munros: Ben Hope.
Date: 11/10/2013.
Distance: 8km.
Ascent: 940m.
Time taken: 2 hours 55 minutes.
Weather: Warm and sunny; slight haze

I had planned a more rambling approach to my next ascent of Ben Hope, starting from the Kyle of Tongue and taking in some lochans and the scrambly north ridge. However there was now not any time for that, so it was just a quick up and down from near Cashel Dhu. There are some lovely waterfalls on the first part of the ascent which offset the bog tedium a bit. I had decided this was a good route to introduce Gill to hillwalking about 10 years ago - she hated almost every minute of it and we didn't get beyond the boggy first section. Fortunately she didn't leave me (we had only been going out a few months at the time).

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


Waterfall on the Allt a’ Mhuiseal:
Image

The views opened up as I got above the initial section, and I decided to stick to the edge of the cliffs rather than follow the path up the back of the hill. This was more interesting, with the occasional scrambly move to keep things interesting. As the path came back towards the edge, I passed a couple on their way down.

Foinaven:
Image

Image

Top of the western crags of Ben Hope:
Image

A brisk 90 minutes saw me on the summit, where I decided to go and look down the north ridge. The top of this is quite narrow and mossy, but well worth the look over the edge - the cliffs are massive at this point. Back in 2006, 3 of us had come up this way, although we skipped out the exposed pitch just below the summit by heading up a dirty gully/chimney to the left. A route I want to do again.

South down Strath More to Ben Hee:
Image

Loch Hope:
Image

…and across towards Cape Wrath:
Image

Loch a’ Gobha-duibh and Sail Romascaig:
Image

Across the lochs to Ben Loyal:
Image

Looking down the north ridge of Ben Hope:
Image

Down to Loch Hope:
Image

Image

Looking towards Ben Klibreck:
Image

All in all I spent 20 minutes or so on the summit poking around and admiring the views - something I had missed out on my previous visit. Then it was option time. Back down he same way or explore a little more. I decided to descend towards Sail Romascaig in the end, which was a pleasant, easy angled way down with more views over the eastern corries.

Ben Loyal again:
Image

806m summit on the SE ridge:
Image

Back to the summit of Ben Hope:
Image

I soon rejoined the main ascent route for the boggy bit, and arrived at the bottom at roughly the same time as the couple I passed on the way up. They were up from Manchester for a couple of nights, and I chatted to them for a bit before heading off - supposedly to get home in time to pick Gill up from the station in Inverness. However, she was wise to my bad timekeeping and lied about the time her train was due in. The train was also late, so I actually got back to Inverness about 2 hours earlier than I could have done. Slightly annoying, but a brilliant day out with an unplanned trip up Ben Hope in perfect weather :D
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5939
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:267   Hewitts:256
Wainwrights:104   Islands:34
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Sneaky Friday skive on Ben Loyal and Ben Hope

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:42 pm

Gasda gasda :clap: :clap:
User avatar
Collaciotach
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1776
Munros:282   Corbetts:133
Grahams:31   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:21   
Islands:28
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Gaidhealtachd an Iar

Re: Sneaky Friday skive on Ben Loyal and Ben Hope

Postby kev_russ » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:11 pm

Braw, just braw :clap:
User avatar
kev_russ
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 388
Munros:154   Corbetts:53
Grahams:25   Donalds:26
Sub 2000:13   Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Mar 17, 2009
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Sneaky Friday skive on Ben Loyal and Ben Hope

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:50 am

Aaah, the gems of far north, always a pleasure to see them again :D

I remember spending an awful lot of time scrambling and lurking over the tors of Ben Loyal. And hundreds of photos of the rocks from every possible angle :lol: I wonder, did you meet the Witch of Loyal, Malky? She is right there, turned to stone...
Image
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3411
Munros:260   Corbetts:164
Grahams:112   
Sub 2000:48   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Sneaky Friday skive on Ben Loyal and Ben Hope

Postby kevsbald » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:21 pm

Some exquisite shots there Malky.
User avatar
kevsbald
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2168
Munros:260   Corbetts:117
Grahams:76   Donalds:51
Sub 2000:13   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Sneaky Friday skive on Ben Loyal and Ben Hope

Postby malky_c » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:51 pm

Cheers everyone 8)

BlackPanther wrote: I wonder, did you meet the Witch of Loyal, Malky? She is right there, turned to stone...
Image

I didn't spot it at the time, but it might just be on the right hand side of the summit tor?
Image

EDIT: On second thoughts, maybe not, now I see both photos together.
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5939
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:267   Hewitts:256
Wainwrights:104   Islands:34
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Sneaky Friday skive on Ben Loyal and Ben Hope

Postby BlackPanther » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:53 am

No, she's a part of Sgor Chaonasaid, the northern top, as you look at it from S side:

Image

Funny, how we look for familiar shapes in rocks. I've already seen almost everything, from sleeping sea monsters to giant bums :lol: :lol: :lol:
Cheers.
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3411
Munros:260   Corbetts:164
Grahams:112   
Sub 2000:48   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Sneaky Friday skive on Ben Loyal and Ben Hope

Postby dogplodder » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:09 am

Love this area and these are the best pics I've seen of these hills - so thanks! :D
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3630
Munros:227   Corbetts:55
Grahams:16   
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Sneaky Friday skive on Ben Loyal and Ben Hope

Postby litljortindan » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:03 pm

Your report brings back great memories of when we climbed these hills in 2004, the year before we got married and will surely inspire a return visit.
User avatar
litljortindan
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1851
Munros:114   Corbetts:57
Grahams:27   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: Sneaky Friday skive on Ben Loyal and Ben Hope

Postby jimdonaldson » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:12 pm

Hey Malcolm

Just released when i saw the pic this was you :o)

Jim
jimdonaldson
Stravaiging
 
Posts: 6
Joined: May 6, 2012
Location: Caithness and Tayside

Re: Sneaky Friday skive on Ben Loyal and Ben Hope

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:08 am

Superb sequence of pix :clap: :clap: :clap: . I just can't wait to get up there. It will be this year....
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 2915
Munros:167   Corbetts:29
Hewitts:227
Wainwrights:90   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

10 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bonusred, Bregjevv, cnwood32, Cricket, deryksmith, djm92373, gregkain, jyeats, Richard Fyfe, tomdavy and 55 guests