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Four Northern Lights-In the country of MacKay and MacLeod

Four Northern Lights-In the country of MacKay and MacLeod


Postby Collaciotach » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:50 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Hope, Ben Klibreck, Ben More Assynt, Conival

Date walked: 10/04/2015

Time taken: 17 hours

Distance: 40 km

Ascent: 3150m

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Bha mi a smaoin mu dheidhinn an Tuath ...... Been thinking about the North for a while now and with a week off at Easter that's where we headed on Tuesday night via my daughters in Inverness , where I deposited Mrs C and youngest to go shopping then we headed up to the foot of Ben Hope :wink:

Weather was dry but forecast for cloud next day and looked to be accurate as we pulled up beside the Dun with the ceo down low . Had a rake around the Dún , disturbed the copious amount of Deer in the Glen ,then headed for an early night in the car .

Set of at 7am and the forecast appeared accurate ... saw hee haw in an uneventful but swift ascent to the summit of 1hr 20mins.

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An Cárn


We hung around on top as there seemed to be a chance of the cloud breaking but eventually gave up and headed down and right on cue the weather started to lift !

Up and down in 3 hours i'll be back to this one on a good day !

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Gleann Mor


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Dun


Ach uill tha sin beatha :D ... no to worry we were heading for Ben Klibreac and would deffo have better luck on that with cloud disappearing rapidly .

Parked up at the Bridge and ascended over Cnoc Sgriodain found the underfoot conditions fine and dry and the promise of a grand day

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Klibreac


Easy gait in Heather and dry ground made this hill a pleasure with the early morning bag now looking mighty proud to the North :wink:

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Ben Hope


A fair haul to the summit though and a steep final climb we were glad to reach the top , grand views all round now and we got ourselves comfy in the creagan keeping out of a keen Southerly wind .

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Loch Naibhair


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Air Ciuil


An open landscape and one which reminds me of the tragedy of our past and the emptying of the fertile Strath Naver and surrounding areas during Am Fuadach .

Some interesting ruins on the hillside which I presume are watchers pens from days past ,we made use of these for shelter and dozed off in the sun for half an hour , surprised a blonde lassie who was squatting no far above us as I poked my sleepy head over the wall when standing up to put the rucksack on :D

We dandered back down the same route taking a break again at Cnoc Sgriodain where I decide it was going to be Conibhal and Beinn Mhor Assaint the next day .... back to the car for 4.30pm .

Arrived in Inchnadamph to a bonnie evening parked the car near Ardbhreac Castle and were treated to a nice wee sunset over Loch Assaint.

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Dol fodha nan greine


Another early night , mild and clammy so slept with the car door open , up and away by 6am with heavy cloud again settled on the tops . An easy route up Gleann Bhann struck by the evidence of past use and the now abandoned sheep fank and township remains scattered around this limestone land .

We summited Conbhal on a bearing in the ceo , small patches of snow but no need for winter iron works ,just as well I did not pack after Ben Hope. We took an East bearing from the cárn and descended into the bealach below BMA and as I suspected the cloud began to dissipate in a fierce wind .

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BMA


Views opening up and atmosphere was wild the wind would near pick you off the feet at times and blowing the cloud against the peaks making it look like waves rolling up the shore .

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A ribhist


Some lengthy snow fields here but good underfoot and with care easily passable and if necessary dodged by using exposed quartzite boulder fields. We were soon on the two summits of the peak and rewarded with stunning scenery .

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Mullach


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Ceoach


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Spent half an hour on here and by the time I retraced my steps Conibhal was clear so we had another half hour on the druim there taking in the views which although hazy were good enough for me

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Conibhal


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Sios


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Druim a Deas BMA


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Loch Assaint , Cuinag


A cold and fierce wind again on the summit but you can hide from it in this terrain which is what we did for a while before finally dragging ourselves swiftly back down into the Gleann. One bonus of being an early bird is no seeing folk on the hill ,you get the places all too yourself :D , we passed two groups ascending as we left but that apart we had seen no one all day .

We were soon back at the start amongst the ruins of Clann Leoid's people at the foot of the glen. The stark contrast to these poignant reminders of the past custodians of this place is with the carpetbagger mansion ,hidden away on the hillside overlooking the destitute pasture. It made me think of what is lost and the shabby ,greed driven ruination that has taken its place in an appropriated country.

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Cuinag


That said ..bith sinn a tuilleadh :wink:


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An Cu



Cheerie a nis
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Collaciotach
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Re: Four Northern Lights-In the country of MacKay and MacLeo

Postby Beaner001 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:23 pm

Getting there Colla, seems a barren landscape up North :?
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Beaner001
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Re: Four Northern Lights-In the country of MacKay and MacLeo

Postby dooterbang » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:31 pm

Great report Colla.

My first trip way up North was similar and I seen nothing doing Ben Hope, same for Klibreck which was very wet and boggy. Next day we also did BMA & Con and again seen nothing as it rained relentlessly. I do remember stopping at a great wee take away at Bonar Bridge on route back to Glasgow :)

Looks like your going to compleat this summer. I better get my skates on, which I can now that my knee is better :wink:
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dooterbang
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Re: Four Northern Lights-In the country of MacKay and MacLeo

Postby Collaciotach » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:20 pm

dooterbang wrote:Great report Colla.

My first trip way up North was similar and I seen nothing doing Ben Hope, same for Klibreck which was very wet and boggy. Next day we also did BMA & Con and again seen nothing as it rained relentlessly. I do remember stopping at a great wee take away at Bonar Bridge on route back to Glasgow :)

Looks like your going to compleat this summer. I better get my skates on, which I can now that my knee is better :wink:


Taing dhuit a bhalaich :D ..... Got a decent closing schedule plan to finish in October (ish) then on to the Corbett's , I 'll see you there :D
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Collaciotach
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Re: Four Northern Lights-In the country of MacKay and MacLeo

Postby Collaciotach » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:21 pm

Beaner001 wrote:Getting there Colla, seems a barren landscape up North :?


Its quite fertile in places Matt and one of the most interesting parts of the Gaidhealtachd for me , great history , great hills :clap:
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Collaciotach
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Re: Four Northern Lights-In the country of MacKay and MacLeo

Postby rockhopper » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:07 am

Snap ! Did a very similar trip for these four a couple of years ago though started with Ben Klibreck. Great area in which to spend some time, real feeling of remoteness. Enjoyed reading your WR - must get back some time - cheers :)
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Re: Four Northern Lights-In the country of MacKay and MacLeo

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:04 am

Enjoyed reading this, I really like the feeling of place and history you bring to your reports it adds to the appreciation of the landscape, aided by some very atmospheric photos :clap: :clap:
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