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Taking the cloud Wyvis...

Taking the cloud Wyvis...

Postby denfinella » Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:30 pm

Route description: Ben Wyvis, near Garve

Munros included on this walk: Ben Wyvis

Date walked: 25/05/2015

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 940m

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The cloud hadn't lifted off the summit of Wyvis yet, but it seemed to be getting closer. Small areas of blue sky hovered promisingly in the vicinity as we set off from the car park shortly before midday, a red kite (?) hovering overhead.


The path up Ben Wyvis is excellent and requires no navigation, at least until An Cabar at 946m. Instead we had lots of time to admire the scenery... and later on, pay careful attention to the cloud height...




...which seemed to be hovering tantalisingly just below summit level:



After leaving the forested lower slopes and briefly stopping for some lunch, the excellent path starts zig-zagging steeply up An Cabar. Lots of people on their way down, including a lady who reported atrocious conditions on the summit plateau... and no views before she turned back. Nearly windless conditions at 400m translated to pretty strong winds below An Cabar, although large rocks and general terrain give shelter in places. The views west towards Loch Glascarnoch and the (cloud-free!) Fannichs were pretty good, and also gave clues about the approaching weather.



On the other side of a steep drop to Bealach Mor, bulky Little Wyvis looked anything but little, still with several snow patches despite a top height well under 800m.



The top of the pass between Little Wyvis and Ben Wyvis forms a large boggy flat area...


All these photos were just putting off ascending into the cloud, which we entered at about 900m. It was looking like we were still too early as we headed across the plateau, which in 40mph+ winds seemed to go on for a while. Between the intermediate top at Carn a Chaiptein and the trig point, a southeast facing corrie rim comes close to the path, with seriously impressive, sagging cornices, snow plunging into the mists below. Both the snow and the eroded path soon led to the summit shelter and trig point, a bleak place today:


It was relatively calm in the shelter, but the late-May mist was freezing on to my gloves and waterproof (lovely...), so we didn't wait around for long. In fact, the weather deteriorated slightly heading back across the plateau - probably light drizzle at sea level, but light 40mph ice crystals at 1000m aren't so pleasant. A couple of pairs of ptarmigan shared in the fun.



Descending again from An Cabar, we started to meet other walkers again, several enquiring about summit views, only for us to disappoint them. This is a popular hill!

Munro number 25, but our first with no views then. Back down on the flat ground by the stream, a rapidly-clearing Ben Wyvis taunted us... never mind!



Inverness 2015
Morning: Silverbridge Riverside: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=53405
Following day: Fyrish Monument: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=53474
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