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A wee bit windy on the Wyvis
by PeteR » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:11 am
Route description: Ben Wyvis, near Garve
Munros included on this walk: Ben Wyvis
Date walked: 26/10/20133 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).
In the weeks leading up to this I’d hatched plans to try and get maximum Munro out of my four days, but of course I hadn’t banked on the great British weather Well, more accurately the great British weather forecast It seemed to suggest my plans might not work. And Friday ended up as a washout, with the walking down to start on the Saturday.
In the end I chose to follow the better forecast and the first port of call for my weekend was Ben Wyvis
It was actually a bit of a later start than planned and arriving at the parking area just before 9 a.m. I was surprised to see I was the only one there. It was looking like I’d have the hill to myself then.
Initially the conditions were overcast, with the day’s target hiding behind a shroud of clag. Not too windy by the looks of it at this stage. It’s an excellent approach path and as I walked along it a goodly number of chinks started to appear in the clag leading to an increase in the amount of blue sky. Actually, I was surprised and also pleased by just how good the weather was turning out to be given the forecast and Met office app suggesting more cloud than I was actually getting.
The wind as I made my way remained pretty benign and remained so for the toil up An Cabar. Thankfully the compensation for the slog up this slope was some great views to An Teallach, the Fannaichs, Strathfarrar and more. Views that just got better as height was gained and cloud cover receded
Arriving at the cairn on An Cabar and I was thinking my luck was really in. Blue sky, great view to the summit and it was as calm as you like Warm even, with the sun on my back The reputation for Wyvis to be a windy hill seemed simply untrue to me at this point. That would soon change, as I was to find out
I thought I had a gentle stroll to the summit and then to enjoy cloud free views. Unfortunately as I ambled along, doing my best to comply with the request to walk in the centre of the path so as to restrict further erosion, a great clump of clag rolled in and stole my views from the summit. And by now the Wyvis wind had kicked in No longer was there a warm sun on my back either. It was f….f….f….f….freeeeeezzzzzing,
With little (as in no) prospect of any views I decided to head back the way I had come. An interesting exercise, as the wind, which had really picked up by now, tried its best to blow me into the Atlantic I’m afraid any attempt to comply with the request to walk in the middle of the path went by the wayside as it was all I could do at times to walk in any direction Arriving back at the An Cabar cairn and things then got really interesting If I thought it was windy walking back along the summit ridge I was about to be given a lesson in what windy really meant The initial drop down was made more challenging in the wind with the slope being open with no place to take cover, so exposed in the relentless wind. Leaning back into the wind it took all my effort to remain upright as I got buffeted about. And it wasn’t just gusting. It was constant. Slow progress was made as I edged my way down that initial descent. I was feeling something like the winds play-thing as it whipped around me and I stumbled down the slope.
After this initial section I was at the top of the zigzag section of the path. Arriving at the top of the zigzags I spied a woolly hat, which on closer inspection having been retrieved clearly hadn’t been parted from its owners head that long ago. Turning into the zigzags the owner and their companion were clearly struggling to turn themselves round and head back down, rather than battle the gale to the summit.
At the zigzags it was a constant battle – walking into the zig and my head wanted to be detached from my shoulders as I walked into the wind barely able to breath, then turning into the zag and I was being blown forward stumbling as I tried to head down the slope
This section of the descent was part exhilarating, part "ess ach eye tee" Thankfully “Frankenstein’s Bolt” did what it was designed to do and ensured my head remained firmly attached to my shoulders, despite the winds best efforts. Eventually I was also able to reacquaint hat with owner as we expressed our enjoyment at what we had just endured
We did pass a few fellow walkers heading up as we continued down, warning about the strength of the wind. One particular couple of lads gave me a look that pretty much said “Yeah, yeah, whatever………old man”
As height was lost the wind finally abated and it was a straightforward walk back to the car.
I had thought about adding on Little Wyvis on the return, but had been put off by the strength of the wind on the big Wyvis. Even so all in all it was a great day out in the hills
by scooby0511 » Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:15 pm
by pigeon » Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:19 pm
by AnnieMacD » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:06 pm
by scottishkennyg » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:41 pm
by Collaciotach » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:51 pm
On here few weeks back saw hee haw
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