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Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Half way there on Ben Klibreck


Postby Huff_n_Puff » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:30 pm

Route description: Ben Klibreck

Munros included on this walk: Ben Klibreck

Date walked: 12/03/2014

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 750m

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With an MWIS forecast of above 90% chance of cloud free Munros what could we do but head for the hills? Just to make it better, we could head for an area we'd never been to before, to climb a hill that would mark our progress half way round the Munros.

Even before we set off the day was promising to be a cracker – as you can see from scene of the early morning dog walk (yes, even when they will be spending most of the day on the hills the dogs still want a quickie before they leave home :roll: :roll: )

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Dawn porn? :?

A couple of hours after setting off we were pulling into the parking space just south of the Vagastie Bridge. We'd had our first glimpse of Ben Klibreck as we were leaving Lairg, just before we ran into some early morning mist, but by the time we stopped the mist had vanished and our goal stood clear across the road.

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We followed the WH route up the all terrain vehicle track wondering if we'd suddenly got transported back onto the bog fest we'd encounter 10 days earlier on the Shenavall circuit, but as we got higher the overnight frost still held and the going got firmer. We soon reached the first cairn on Cnoc Sgriodain – a signal to stop, get out the map for a bit of mountain identification and a photo opportunity.

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Ben Mor Assynt

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Ben Loyal

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The dogs loved the terrain, they quartered it enthusiastically, but we met very little wildlife on this trip (must have heard us coming :D ). There were several pairs of ptarmigan, mainly going about their own business and ignoring us, although the dogs did flush out a couple! The humans were awed by the scenery – we get used to mountain ranges in Scotland, but in Sutherland it is as if some minimalist designer has placed individual mountains well apart to best show off their features. It certainly worked for me – I could easily get hooked on Sutherland. (Roger reckoned the landscape was like the landscapes he designed playing Sim City – with mountains strategically placed for wind farms! :lol: )

The weather was brilliant – sunny, clear and with just enough of a breeze to prevent over heating, although in the afternoon it became increasingly hazy.

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Ben Klibreck

But back to the route – from Cnoc Sgriodain there is a section of peat hags, which look worse than they are – it was easy to thread our way through them then off along the flank of Creag an Lochain.

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The second cairn on Cnoc Sgriodain, with peat hags - and then the route to the top.

Most of the snow had melted with the spring heatwave of the previous few days, but where it hadn't the melt refreeze, melt refreeze cycle had made for some icy patches. Even the footprints on this section were icy!

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The final pull up to Meall nan Con from Chioch looks benign but close too the ice covered boulders made for slow progress.

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Good views across to Creag an Lochain nursing Loch an Fhuaran.

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The snow on the final 20 meters was so icy I decided to don crampons – Roger was happy just with the ice axe. By the time we reach the summit the wind had got stronger and colder – giving both Biggles and me bad hair days. Even so we stayed to take photos then headed off for a more sheltered spot and lunch.

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(The devoted looks form the dogs are due to the biccies we were holding to keep them in one place!)

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From Ben Klibreck to the sea!!

We followed the same route back, spotting some muir burn on the way, that hadn't been visible when we set off.
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The frozen sections of snow were thawing again – making the going easier. Back at the cairn I snapped a lovely (well to me) silhouette of three of the males in my life.
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As we dropped down from Cnoc Sgriodain to the road the going got wetter and slippier and boggier – the morning frost had thawed and the bog fest was unkind to tired legs. Added to which we were walking straight into the sun. I put my food on what I thought was some flat ground only to sink knee deep into a hidden burn. A quick throw forward and roll out, and with Roger's help I got back to my my feet – somewhat damp and niggled!!

But a great day out on the hills is a great day out – damp clothes dry – eventually.

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:lol: :lol:
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Re: Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Postby dogplodder » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:04 am

Another cracker there on another fabulous day. Think these are the best photos I've seen of this hill. :D
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Re: Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Postby davedanson28 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:40 am

Looks like you experienced 'one of them days', ACE! Love the photo's. Great report! :D
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Re: Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:49 am

dogplodder wrote:Another cracker there on another fabulous day. Think these are the best photos I've seen of this hill. :D

Thanks DP, the weather made the photos though, it was stunning. (But at the top of the hill I finally remembered what I was supposed to have done before heading for the hills :shock:, apologetic email sent when I got home :o )
This was a glorious introduction to Sutherland though.
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Re: Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:51 am

davedanson28 wrote:Looks like you experienced 'one of them days', ACE! Love the photo's. Great report! :D

Thanks, you are right, the day was magic, roll on the next one :D :D
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Re: Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Postby The Rodmiester » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:07 am

Hi there Huff n Puff, so this is what you were up to when I was attempting a wee Corbett in the Cairngorms! Wonderful day, the type you live for on the hill, and fabulous photographs, looks like the time of year to miss all the early boggy bits as well. Bring on more of the same! :D

Just got it, your title that is! Congratulations on the HALF WAY!
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Re: Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Postby kev_russ » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:17 pm

stunning pics :clap:
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Re: Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:50 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:Hi there Huff n Puff, so this is what you were up to when I was attempting a wee Corbett in the Cairngorms! Wonderful day, the type you live for on the hill, and fabulous photographs, looks like the time of year to miss all the early boggy bits as well. Bring on more of the same! :D

Just got it, your title that is! Congratulations on the HALF WAY!


Thanks - and to think I thought it was obvious :shock: :lol:

The boggy bits weren't that good heading down, but on a day like that who cares!! :D
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Re: Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:37 am

Congrats on the halfway point! And what a superb set of views to celebrate :D I wish we had more days like this, blue sky, sunshine, light winds, white mountains...

Funny, BK was my husband's 100th Munro and we did it in similar conditions...
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Re: Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:15 pm

BlackPanther wrote:Congrats on the halfway point! And what a superb set of views to celebrate :D I wish we had more days like this, blue sky, sunshine, light winds, white mountains...

Funny, BK was my husband's 100th Munro and we did it in similar conditions...


Thanks BP, I read your report and was thinking about it on the way up, because it was another early Spring trip, and your reports are always really informative :D
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Re: Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Postby dawnfoth » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:41 pm

Some stunning pictures!! Very jealous of the weather!! Great report! :D
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Re: Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Postby riverlodge » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:38 pm

great pics and report, and congrats on the half way achievement. half way seems a way off for me right now, even though it shouldnt be really!
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Re: Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Postby rockhopper » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:00 pm

Cracking stuff - hard to beat when you get conditions like this ! Was up here last year and really enjoyed it - cheers :)
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Re: Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Postby Scotjamie » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:14 pm

Superb report and picsHnP.
Did this from the Crask, in the days when cameras were an afterthought for me. So it is good to see some excellent pics of the place.
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Re: Half way there on Ben Klibreck

Postby Graeme D » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:20 pm

Lovely pics. Looks pristine. Please God let me have a day like that some time soon! Did you pop into the pub that time forgot on the way home?????
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