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Ben Hope - In the Clouds

Ben Hope - In the Clouds


Postby Jokester » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:13 pm

Route description: Ben Hope

Munros included on this walk: Ben Hope

Date walked: 19/09/2015

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 8 km

Ascent: 926m

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Had been looking for a good day to head off somewhere different, and the Mountain Weather Service for this Saturday was saying the NW Highlands were going to give the best change of cloud free summits - 90%!

It's a long drive from Aberdeenshire, a little over 4 hours once the detour via Tongue is factored in. The direct route is seemingly closed. The road from the North also states the road is closed past Ben Hope.

Ben Hope itself stands towering over the area and on my approach the summit was almost cloud free so hopefully things would clear up by the time I got there.

ImageIMG_0303 by matthew_chalmers, on Flickr

The access road winds itself down through the trees at the side of the loch, completely overgrown, passing places now little more than grassy bits at the side of the road, itself little more than 2 tarmac stripes with a grassy/mossy centre.

It became apparent when I reached the first washed out bridge just why the road may have been closed from the South, the gap little more than filled with hardcore to drive over. Eventually you reach a large shed with a couple of areas off the side of the road for parking. Again here was another bridge that had been washed away, but work was well under way to replace it with a new one. immediately upstream again, hardcore had been used to allow cars to cross over to the otherside.

ImageIMG_0304 by matthew_chalmers, on Flickr

The start of the path up is marked with a sign, the only other sign of a path at this point being the trampled grass in places.

ImageIMG_0305 by matthew_chalmers, on Flickr

Following the path up, it becomes very steep immediately. In places it looked heavily eroded presumably by last years flooding, following the to the right side of the stream as you head up.

ImageIMG_0306 by matthew_chalmers, on Flickr

The path rises quickly from the roadside.

ImageIMG_0307 by matthew_chalmers, on Flickr

The rise is relentless and though it gets less steep for a while as it picks it's way up through a couple of breaks in the crags, it returns to a steep slog up on the edge of the cliffs. From here, it's a direct route to the top,

ImageIMG_0308 by matthew_chalmers, on Flickr

The path eases off in steepness, but still upwards.

ImageIMG_0309 by matthew_chalmers, on Flickr

Continuing on, though the clouds had come down and getting to the summit none of the views were on offer.

ImageIMG_0313 by matthew_chalmers, on Flickr

The return to the car was via the same route and thankfully was swift, though I was still completely soaked with sweat after the exertion!
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Jokester
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Re: Ben Hope - In the Clouds

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:48 pm

That's a long drive for clag - I was down Loch Lomond side trying to take advantage of the 90% day myself, with the same result as you.
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Re: Ben Hope - In the Clouds

Postby Silverhill » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:49 pm

Gordie12 wrote:That's a long drive for clag - I was down Loch Lomond side trying to take advantage of the 90% day myself, with the same result as you.

Hmm, makes you wonder which part of the country the 90% chance of cloud free munros referred to. Or does it mean that 90% of a given hill is cloud free, just not the top. :wink: In that case the forecast was quite correct. Or that the hill is cloud free for 90% of the time on that day. :wink: You were very unlucky in that case.
Still the view you had, down to the loch, is great. 8)

Aha, apparently the sun was in Glen Almond!
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=56436
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Re: Ben Hope - In the Clouds

Postby Guinessman » Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:16 pm

Was up there early August in a motor home intending to do Ben hope but turned back at both road closed signs. Looks like a long drive return is in order
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