Thursday 29th May 2014. OS Map 16. Started 0910, summit 1125, back to car 1320. Time taken 4 hours 10 minutes.
Following on from yesterdayâ€™s stroll to the top of Ben Hope, today it was the turn of Ben Klibreck to be visited by my good self.
There are several different routes you can take to ascend Ben Klibreck but I chose what I believed to be the most direct, the approach, from the West, straight across the moor from the A836.
I was parked up in the lay-by at 537289, at the side of the A 836, and ready to go by 0910. Thatâ€™s the lay-by close to the waterfalls marked on the OS map, about 1km north of Vagastie Bridge and 1km west of the southern end of Loch Bad an Loch.
Plan was to cross the footbridge over the Vagastie then head East, passing to the south of Loch Bad an Loch and on across the moor towards the southern end of Loch nan Uan. From there, I would scramble up the escarpment and head to the summit of Ben Klibreck via Aâ€™ Chioch.
Once across the footbridge there was a faint path running on the right hand side (south side) of the river that empties out of Loch Bad an Loch.
I followed that path, such as it was, east towards the southern end of Loch Bad an Loch. The path soon disappeared and it was a straightforward matter of striding out across the moor.
It only took about 20 minutes to get from the road to the southern end of Loch Bad an Loch.
Easy going across the moor but in large sections it was boggy and damp underfoot. Ho hum. From the southern end of Loch Bad an Loch, I continued heading east towards the escarpment that runs down the western edge of Aâ€™Chioch. Visibility was good â€“ early morning mist had disappeared â€“ so crossing the pathless moor was no problem.
By 1005 I arrived at the southern end of Loch nan Uan. From here the escarpment looked very steep but some obvious routes up it were visible.
I scrambled up one of the green â€˜avenuesâ€™ that ran vertically up in between the Heather.
It eventually flattened out a little, at which point I headed diagonally up to the left before heading vertically up again, close to some rocks. Only went up a short distance here before I came across a faint path that led to a more obvious path that took me up to Aâ€™Chioch.
The escarpment was steep but if an old Chap like me can scramble up it, anyone can.
Views from Aâ€™Chioch were tremendous, wonderful views back across the moor towards the road.
Simple task from Aâ€™Chioch of following the path before beginning to ascend Ben Klibreck.
Again, this was quite a steep ascent but the path was good and easy to follow and I was at the summit at 1125.
The reward for all the hard work involved in getting to the summit was to be treated to some spectacular 360 degree views . To the NW, I could make out Ben Loyal and Ben Hope.
To the SW, I could see Loch Shin along with Conival and Ben More Assynt.
This part of Sutherland has a lot of moor, mountain and water; some trees and next to nothing involving people. In human terms, it is empty.
I chose a different route down from the route I took going up.
Given how steep the escarpment was I thought it safer to take the obvious path that leads towards Cnoc Sgriodain.
I assume this is the path that those who come up from Vagastie Bridge use?
I followed this path as far as the cairn that lies below Cnoc Sgriodain on its northern slopes.
From here, I headed down and across the moor towards the river running out of Loch Bad an Loch that I had followed on my ascent.
Despite being a tad damp underfoot, this was easy going and I was back at the car at 1320.
Wet boots and damp socks were a small price to pay for the privilege of making it to the summit of Klibreck on a day of such good visibility. A very enjoyable outing.
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