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Across the moor to Ben Klibreck

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:02 pm
by Alba Bhoy
Thursday 29th May 2014. OS Map 16. Started 0910, summit 1125, back to car 1320. Time taken 4 hours 10 minutes.
Following on from yesterday’s stroll to the top of Ben Hope, today it was the turn of Ben Klibreck to be visited by my good self.
copy Morning view of Ben Klibreck from car park 29th May 2014 - Copy.JPG
Morning view of Ben Klibreck from the car park

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. That’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.
copy River crossing 29th May 2014 - Copy.JPG
Footbridge to get you over the Vagastie

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 A’ 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.
copy Faint path heading across the moor 29th May 2014 - Copy.JPG
Faint path to start with but it soon disappears

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.
copy Loch Bad an Loch 29th May 2014 - Copy.JPG
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 A’Chioch. Visibility was good – early morning mist had disappeared – 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.
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Escarpment viewed from southern end of Loch nan Uan

I scrambled up one of the green ‘avenues’ that ran vertically up in between the Heather.
copy View down - Loch Nan Uan is the big Loch, Loch Ban an Loch is in the distance on the left.jpg
Loch nan Uan (the Big Loch) and Loch Bad an Loch in the left distance from the escarpment

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 A’Chioch.
copy Faint path that led to the ridge on A' Chioch 29th May 2014 - Copy.JPG
Faint 'path' that leads you from the escarpment to A'Chioch

The escarpment was steep but if an old Chap like me can scramble up it, anyone can. :clap:
copy Path to A'Chioch 29th May 2014 - Copy.JPG
Path to A'Chioch

Views from A’Chioch were tremendous, wonderful views back across the moor towards the road.
Simple task from A’Chioch of following the path before beginning to ascend Ben Klibreck.
copy View up to the summit of Ben Klibreck from A'Choich 29th May 20145 - Copy.JPG
View to summit of Ben Klibreck from A'Chioch

Again, this was quite a steep ascent but the path was good and easy to follow and I was at the summit at 1125.
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Summit of Ben Klibreck

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.
copy View North over Loch Naver and Altnaharra (bottom left of Loch Naver) from summit of Ben Klibreck 29th May 2014 - Copy.JPG
View NW over Loch Naver and Altnaharra from the summit

To the SW, I could see Loch Shin along with Conival and Ben More Assynt.
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View to SW from summit. Loch Shin just visible in top left.

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.
copy Moor to cross to get back to the car.jpg
My exit went from left to right along the ridge towards Loch Bad an loch

I assume this is the path that those who come up from Vagastie Bridge use?
cpy Ben Klibreck as viewed from my exit path.jpg
Klibreck viewed from my exit path

I followed this path as far as the cairn that lies below Cnoc Sgriodain on its northern slopes.
Ben Klibreck from the cairn below and slightly to the north east of Cnoc Sgriodain.jpg
Klibreck from the cairn below Cnoc Sgriodain

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.
copy Descending slopes to north of Cnoc Sgriodain and above Loch Ban an Loch on way back to the car.jpg
Moor to cross when heading back to the road

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.