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Perfect day on Ben Hope

Perfect day on Ben Hope


Postby Yorjick » Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:05 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Hope

Date walked: 29/09/2015

Time taken: 4.75 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1012m

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I had considered walking up a local Graham, Meall Mor but with a good weather forecast, I headed for Ben Hope. My last ascent was 1 August 1994 so I was due a return visit.

I really took my time driving to the start as it was such a beautiful morning and I stopped numerous times to take photographs:

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On turning off at Altnaharra into Mudale, I saw a "ROAD AHEAD CLOSED" sign. There was no indication as to why or how far down the road you could travel so I cautiously continued, still taking photographs along the way.

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Eventually, I reached Alltnacaillich and saw that the problem was that a new bridge was under construction over the Allt na Caillich.

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I was intending including Leitir Mhuisel in my route, so this was fine.


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I ran the two miles up to the "Ben Hope" car park before heading up the "Tourist Route". There was a car at the car park and machinery for the construction of another bridge.

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ten to fifteen minutes up the hill and a minibus arrived - looked like it could be a busy hill in spite of the road closure. On reaching 400m, I left the path and kept to the left, close to the cliff edge for the best views and photo opportunities. I also encountered a rather tame ptarmigan.

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A group of senior gentlemen were just heading back down the hill as I approached the summit. I asked one of them to walk back a short distance to the summit to take my photograph. I spent three-quarters of an hour on the summit, eating a self heating meal (curried lamb) and taking numerous photographs. It really doesn't get much better than this!

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Looking beyond the north ridge towards the Atlantic


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West towards Arkle and Foinaven


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East towards Ben Loyal


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South towards Ben Klibreck


I started my descent down Ben Hope's south-east shoulder just as the minibus group were arriving. This diversion towards Sail Romascaig gave better views of Ben Loyal, as well as Ben Klibreck and back to the summit of Ben Hope. ​I had not charged my camera battery so I had to fall back on using the camera on my phone.

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Looking back to the summit of Ben Hope


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Ben Klibreck from a point at approximately 790m on the south east shoulder


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Ben Loyal from Sail Romascaig


I headed down to join the path over the top of the crags of Leitir Mhuiseil. This was a well worth doing extension to the walk, especially on such a perfect day as this.

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Looking down Strath More


The route leads to a spectacular waterfall.

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Allt na Caillich waterfall


I continued to take photographs on the way home, including this buzzard which flew from fence post to fence post and occasionally dropping to the ground. It seemed very curious about me until it eventually flew away.

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Buteo buteo
Last edited by Yorjick on Sat Dec 26, 2015 7:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
Yorjick
Stravaiging
 
Posts: 199
Munros:282   Corbetts:208
Grahams:55   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:20   Hewitts:159
Wainwrights:173   Islands:19
Joined: Sep 17, 2008
Location: Dornoch

Re: Perfect day on Ben Hope

Postby Yorjick » Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:11 pm

I'm not sure why "Ben Loyal from Sail Romascaig" is duplicated at the bottom of the walk report. This is my first attempt at a report and I guess I did something wrong? I have entered the edit mode but cannot see how to remove it. Edit: This is now fixed! This walk report mirrors that on my website mountainmann.co.uk.
Last edited by Yorjick on Sat Dec 26, 2015 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Yorjick
Stravaiging
 
Posts: 199
Munros:282   Corbetts:208
Grahams:55   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:20   Hewitts:159
Wainwrights:173   Islands:19
Joined: Sep 17, 2008
Location: Dornoch

Re: Perfect day on Ben Hope

Postby Mal Grey » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:46 am

Some great photos there, love the two birds.

Its a lovely hill, and nice to do a more circular route instead of just up and down. I also recommend the north ridge.
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Mal Grey
Wanderer
 
Posts: 3335
Munros:110   Corbetts:20
Grahams:9   
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   Islands:5
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Perfect day on Ben Hope

Postby Yorjick » Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:37 pm

Mal Grey wrote:Some great photos there, love the two birds.

Its a lovely hill, and nice to do a more circular route instead of just up and down. I also recommend the north ridge.


I went up by the north ridge in '94. It seems to be referred to as a "difficult" climb. In the late 80's and early 90's, I climbed a lot and while I found the exposure exhilarating, it did not pose much of a difficulty. Now that I am older with family responsibilities, I'm not sure that I would find it so straightforward. Perhaps next time?

What I remember most of all about my previous ascent was the number of clegs as I walked from Muiseal and on past Dubh-loch na Beine to join the north ridge. I was continually hitting myself with my mapcase. I must have looked totally demented. Glad to say there were no clegs this time, just a few midges at Alltnacaillich.
User avatar
Yorjick
Stravaiging
 
Posts: 199
Munros:282   Corbetts:208
Grahams:55   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:20   Hewitts:159
Wainwrights:173   Islands:19
Joined: Sep 17, 2008
Location: Dornoch

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