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Stunning inversion on Wyvis and season 2017 open!

Stunning inversion on Wyvis and season 2017 open!


Postby BlackPanther » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:51 pm

Route description: Ben Wyvis, near Garve

Munros included on this walk: Ben Wyvis

Date walked: 07/01/2017

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 956m

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It's hard to believe that in the first half of January, Scottish mountains were almost snow bare. In my decade of hillwalking here I have never seen such a view this time of the year. There was always some whiteness about, even if only on the higher ground. Sadly, our first Munro walk in 2017 didn't look like crampons-ice axe kind of adventure :(

Still, we simply couldn't resist hauling our heavy post-Xmass bums up to high level, and good, old brother Wyvis, our local mountain, was a logical choice. We used to call it "just as well" hill, one to visit if we couldn't be bother to pick anything more ambitious :lol: We had experienced BW in all kind of conditions, from a scorching summer day to a proper wintry adventure... And usually, in January it looks like this:
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But this year, the bigger Wyvis brother looked more like that:
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Our route was the standard up-and-down from Garve. I'm planning to visit all outlying tops of this Munro some day, but it will be on a nice, long summer day and we will climb from Loch Glass side. So far, it was business as usual, up An Cabar:

Track_BEN WYVIS 07-01-16.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


I don't think there's much point in detailed description of the route, the path is more than obvious and well made. We met quite a few people ascending/descending the Munro, as it was Saturday and we were not the only ones working off Christmas calories.
Panther ready for the workout:
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Just one wee reflection about fellow hillwalkers. As we were descending from An Cabar, I counted half a dozen of people going up this steep path in light trainers. OK, maybe conditions were good, next to no snow and the day was dry, but still, soft trainers in winter on a Munro? Again, one of the easiest Munros, I must admit, but it's still one line I would not cross. Maybe I'm paranoid after my nasty knee-splitting fall (I was wearing proper winter boots and it didn't save me).
I was actually testing my new Karimor boots, stiff ones for winter climbs. As usual, I had to buy men's as they fit me better. They turned out to be a good purchase, comfortable. And for only £60, which was a bargain. Hopefully they last a few winter seasons.
Boot testing on a path? :lol: :lol:
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Let's be honest, most folks regard Ben Wyvis as boring. I don't. There is something majestic about it's heavy, bulky shape. Weird, the first time I saw it, I thought about... a coffin lid :? Today, as we trudged up the well worn path, we were treated to a delightful cloud inversion, with mountains on the horizon slowly emerging from the sea of mist...
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Yes, the good, old brother Wyvis had a special gift for his regular visitors and we stopped every 10 minutes or so, to take more photos and enjoy the spectacle :D
A few snaps of Fannichs in the sea of mist:
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A wider angle, Beinn Dearg group to the right:
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Beinn Dearg family and AnTeallach:
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An Teallach, zoom:
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Strathconnon Corbetts:
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The cloud was thinning, but we enjoyed the inversion spectacle for most of the steep ascent. I'm not usually keen on windfarms, but today even the turbines looked interesting, surrounded by the cloud. Pictures below slightly post processed :wink:
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To the east, there was cloud inversion as well, or what I'd describe as a "mist duvet" over low ground and the sea:
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Almost there, on the path up An Cabar:
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The western pano:
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View south:
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Little Wyvis:
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We stopped on An Cabar to dress up as it was quite blowy on the summit plateau. We noticed that cloud was coming in towards the very summit of Ben Wyvis, so Kevin snapped photo after photo, as long as we could still see the views. Nothing extraordinary about Wyvis panos, but today, with the inversion, the landscape looked amazing:
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All the hard work was now done, and only the pleasant 2km walk along the wide ridge to the summit left to do:
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Cloud thinning:
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It didn't take us long to reach the highest point, where we stopped for our well deserved hot tea :D Lucy bagged her 34th Munro as it was her first visit to our local hill :D
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As we sat on the summit drinking tea, the cloud started thickening around us, but we didn't care now. We have seen the best of the views already :D
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We were back down in 5 hours and that including all the lengthy photo sessions :lol: Wyvis is really a half-day hill and technically, one can add the wee brother if bagging Corbetts as well. I would suggest leaving Little Wyvis for a proper winter day - it tastes better white!

So it goes to show that even a boring slog up a well known hill can be a great adventure and in this case, what a treat we had with the cloud inversion! Thank you, brother Wyvis, for a superb start to the new year. Season 2017 officially... open! :clap: :clap: :clap:

PS. It has snowed heavily over Northern Scotland over the last couple of days, so the bare views are gone, at least for a few days, the hills are white again and I bet we won't stay home the coming weekend!
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BlackPanther
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Re: Stunning inversion on Wyvis and season 2017 open!

Postby Mal Grey » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:50 pm

I long for conditions like that. As you say, even the wind turbines look good!

Hopefully you guys will have a great 2017 season!
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Re: Stunning inversion on Wyvis and season 2017 open!

Postby BobMcBob » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:42 pm

"Mist Duvet" :D :D :D

Cracking photos, I am so envious of you living up there with that on your doorstep, even if it is a "boring slog up a well known hill" :)
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Re: Stunning inversion on Wyvis and season 2017 open!

Postby JEfoundmybootsagain » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:31 am

Stunning pics as per usual BP. I didn't think it was a boring mountain either. Done it nearly 30 years ago on a warm sunny day wearing a t-shirt and shorts (before I found out the nasty way about ticks and clegs). :( Not a shorts man now, was hazy so never got the really clear views or the cracking inversions. Stretched the walk a bit by walking round to north top 955m along the crags with views down to Loch a Choire Mhor. Looking forward to next weeks foties.

John
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Re: Stunning inversion on Wyvis and season 2017 open!

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:54 pm

Superb pictures BP and you make Ben Wyvis look and sound anything but boring.
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Re: Stunning inversion on Wyvis and season 2017 open!

Postby dogplodder » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:46 pm

Envious of you being out while I've been busy with grandparenting duties further south.... Love your inversion shots. :mrgreen:
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Re: Stunning inversion on Wyvis and season 2017 open!

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:01 pm

A truly breathtaking set of panos there - you must almost have run out of oxygen altogether seeing the real thing! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Wyvis has never featured on my "to do" lists, but it's obvious that with the right weather it is well worth the ascent for views like these!
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Re: Stunning inversion on Wyvis and season 2017 open!

Postby katyhills » Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:08 pm

Cracking set of photos and a lovely report :D
I think inversions are terrific no matter what the hill is like. It's always a slightly surreal experience.
What a shame the snow came a bit too late! Hope it's still there for you this weekend, but a lot of it had already vanished from the more southerly hills by Sunday night.

I was fortunate enough to be holidaying in Beauly in September 2015, during one of the best weeks of that year. I did Wyvis ( well it's only polite :wink: - ) and had a thoroughly enjoyable day with some great views. You live in a really beautiful part of the country Panther :)

It's easy to be a bit complacent about our 'local' hills, but how lucky we are if we have something great to visit on our doorstep. I have The Arrochar/Luss hills within easy reach of home, and I've walked many of them frequently. It's always a great outing. No better feeling than some clean fresh air on top of a hill!
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Re: Stunning inversion on Wyvis and season 2017 open!

Postby BlackPanther » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:16 am

Many thanks for all comments :D

It was great to be on high ground again, after wet and windy Christmas. Looking forward to the next weekend, even if all the white stuff has melted away again...

I agree that one may view local hills as a boring routine, after the umpteenth ascent on the same path. We were lucky this time, good inversion is not a common occurrence. Hopefully this is a good omen for the whole year, may we all have a great 2017 :D Off to write my pending report now...
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