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Ben Hope

Ben Hope


Postby mountain coward » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:56 am

Route description: Ben Hope

Munros included on this walk: Ben Hope

Date walked: 12/06/2010

Time taken: 3.5 hours

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Stats: 4 miles, 3036 feet of ascent, 3.5 hours exactly :D Me and Richard and a very low cloud :(

I always say the sign of a great hill is when you do it in awful weather but still enjoy it... this was one of those hills... Unfortunately, I can't write one of my long, rambling reports on it as there wasn't really much to say. Due to the aforementioned weather, I also only have 3 photos - two before we went into the cloud and one when we came out...

We were much amused on driving to the parking spot just after the end of Loch Hope to see this sign :lol:
What it Says.jpg


If only there were more helpful sets of directions in the Munros like that - we could stop having to take a map! :lol: There were 2 other cars parked up (not many for a Sunday but it was afternoon when we got there) and we could see 2 people heading up the hill... at least one (a guy in orange) was heading up the hill steeply - the other was coming back down... no, they were going back up again... must have dropped something?
Ben Hope ascent.jpg


We booted up and set off eagerly up the well-defined track (if only all the Munros had them - I know they're not to everyone's taste though)... We soon caught up with Mrs. Going-up, coming-down, going-up - she was a bit older than us and didn't look quite used to Munroing. She looked quite hot and bothered so we commented what a sticky day it was - she readily agreed. Shortly after we passed her she gave up and went back down... the guy in orange above was setting us quite a target to catch though as he was going pretty fast. Richard swore the 2 of them were together but I didn't think so - turned out later he was right - she was waiting back at the car for him when we all came back down...

The path soon climbs the initial steep bit and levels out along the ridge... into the cloud. We could see it was a splendid escarpment edge though and so just imagined what the magnificent views would be like for the rest of the climb... We were starting to gain on Mr. Orange when we met a couple descending and we ended up chatting to them for quite a while - we noticed they hadn't been chatting with Mr. Orange at all though - we were later to find out why. I was in my customary cotton t-shirt and the couple had originally stopped to ask how come I wasn't freezing but I never am when climbing...

After our natter we resumed in our separate directions and we continued up the easy path into the cloud. I'd assumed when we went into the cloud where the path levelled off a bit that we were nearly up but not so - there was quite a lot more climbing to do. Eventually though, we met Mr. Orange coming back down - we were just going to speak to him but he took avoiding tactics and went round us - he didn't look a very cheerful chappie to us!

We didn't stay long at the summit cairn as it was pretty cold - just long enough for me to put some clothes on really. I commented to Richard about the superb view we should be having of the Orkneys from the superb northern crags and told him that, had it been clear, I'd been going to send him down that way so he could have some fun (he likes craggy stuff). But I said that unfortunately, we'd have to both descend the way we came. He agreed and we set off... him for the northern crags in completely the opposite direction! I asked him where he thought he might be going? He said "Back down the way we came" :lol: Now you can see why I don't generally let him wander off up Munros on his own! I informed him he was heading towards a big drop near the northern crags and asked him to follow me please...

We descended back down through the cloud, again admiring the lovely escarpment edge until we came across Mr. Orange having a break near the path. We said hello but met no response so we shrugged and continued on down. When he passed us having a break further down he took care not to look in our direction again.
Ben Hope descent.jpg


I had half a mind (sometimes I have even less than that! :lol: ) to go along the ridge above the steep bit to the path further along the ridge which goes down to Alltnacaillich and the broch but Richard didn't seem all that keen and I changed my mind at the last minute so we descended the same way. If it had been a sparkling day, I'd definitely have gone along the ridge to Alltnacaillich though... We drove there after we'd descended and had a look at the broch and saw it was a beautiful track down which would have been really nice so I was a bit miffed then. Oh well...

So - Ben Hope - definitely a hill we'd do again - preferably on a nice day though to see the views and the northern crags! Oh yeah - I took 2 more photos from the Tongue Road on different days - still had his head in the clouds though...
Ben Hope from Tongue road.jpg
Ben Hope Northern Crags.jpg
From the top of a wobbly deer fence stile!
Last edited by mountain coward on Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby walk aboot » Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:38 am

Great report MC, another one on my 'want to do' list :D .


Looks like Mr and Mrs Orange had a very public tiff then - public because you've just written all about it in your trip report :lol: :lol: :lol: (hope they made up soon after and re-did the hill together).
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby monty » Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:44 am

Hi MC,
Ben Hope looks spectacular form the long range pictures you have there. :D I done this last year, dare I say it, in the pouring rain and mist and the only thing I saw was the sign at the bottom :lol: The path up was like a river all the way. I could have canoed back down :lol: Strange chap Mr Orange??
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby skuk007 » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:48 pm

Like those last two pics showing how remote Ben Hope is.
Still to do this one so looking forward to it now. Doesn't sound too technical which is how I like them.

I'm sure I've met Mr Orange on a few walks I've done too - not always a tiff that puts people in that mood, some are just miserable. :lol:
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby mountain coward » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:42 pm

I'm sure they didn't have a tiff - just she was obviously less fit than him (he seemed pretty fit and he was older than us even :lol: ) and she just got left behind and went back down. He obviously wasn't one to be held up by the wife!
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby malky_c » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:40 am

Quite amusing this -your report strikes a chord with me. My first attempt at Ben Hope (in 2003) was also my way of introducing my wife (then girlfriend) to the joys of hillwalking. The weather was very similar, and she had had enough within about 5 minutes of leaving the carpark. I told her there was no way she could decide she didn't like it after that amount of time, so proceeded to argue my way up the hill. We only got about halfway up in the end, and she was not a happy bunny!

We did manage a couple of more successful walks after that, but this is the day she always associates with hillwalking, and probably the reason she has never caught the bug. I don't try and persuade her out onto the hills any more!

Brief note about the N ridge of Ben Hope - great route, but I wouldn't advise descending it without prior knowledge. The ridge proper has a very exposed step of V. Diff climbing in it, and the usual way to avoid this is to move leftwards (facing up the hill) into a gully/chimney. This is fairly easy, but I don't know how obvious it is from the ridge above.
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby mountain coward » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:49 am

:lol: yeah, probably not a good start to her hill-walking 'career' - I think that first walk is probably crucial...

thanks for the info about the northern crags - I was going to tell him to look for a gully but didn't know much else about it... I'd definitely have a look at it for a way up but probably wouldn't descend that way.
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby kevsbald » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:15 am

Ah, this also resonates with me, MC. To be fair, my other half (deaf) did 13 Munros so gave it a good stab before deciding it wasn't for her. And she was even more miffed when I told her that one of the Munros was demoted (Ceannaichean). can't wait to do this hill but hopefully on a better day.
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby mountain coward » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:22 am

You think they'd have demoted Moruisg rather than Ceannachain wouldn't you, looking at them both side by side!
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby magicdin » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:25 am

mountain coward wrote:You think they'd have demoted Moruisg rather than Ceannachain wouldn't you, looking at them both side by side!


well it is all to do with size !
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby mountain coward » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:26 am

Ah - I was always told it was technique that counted! Ah yeah - sorry - you're talking about height! :lol:
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby magicdin » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:27 am

mountain coward wrote:Ah - I was always told it was technique that counted! Ah yeah - sorry - you're talking about height! :lol:


of course I was
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby mountain coward » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:37 am

Well anyway, I can understand Munro Tops... but what about these Corbett Tops - I can't understand those at all... some of them don't even have a Corbett anywhere near them! How on earth can you have a 'top' but no main summit??!
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby magicdin » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:38 am

good report MC - Ben Hope is a great hill - I still plan to go up the north ridge sometime
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby mountain coward » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:42 am

Can you take Richard up with you? I'm worried about his sense of direction (and sometimes, even his sense walking with a Mountain Coward!) :lol:
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