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Little Wyvis - Overshadowed by Big Wyvis

Little Wyvis - Overshadowed by Big Wyvis


Postby mountain coward » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:18 am

Corbetts included on this walk: Little Wyvis

Date walked: 23/03/2010

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More photos to follow on this one…

Little Wyvis.jpg


Poor old Little Wyvis – totally overshadowed by Big Wyvis – probably hardly ever sees a pair of boots, other than forester’s ones! No-one’s written a report on it yet either. Anyway, feeling sorry for it one day, I diverted from Big Wyvis and summitted his little brother instead… NOT!

Actually, what really happened was something which really annoyed me at the time! I’d set out for Big Wyvis (aka Ben) around 11 one lovely morning. It was sunny and warm, Big Wyvis was totally plastered in beautiful crisp, set, snow and looked magnificent… oh, and it was a bit windy too.

I set off up the path through the forest which the SMC guide (my version) had led me to believe was horribly boggy and nasty, however, the path had been fixed and was a superb firm, stony surface now. Wonderful! I made rapid progress up it reaching the end of the forest in around 20 minutes, admiring the gleaming flanks of Big Wyvis with anticipation all the way.

Then I noticed 2 things… a chappie sat on a rock by the river and also 2 folks coming back down the steep slopes of An Cabar… already! At only 1100 I was a bit surprised people were already coming back down and commented to the chap sat on the rock – he informed me that he’d come back down from An Cabar without summitting as it was dangerously windy up there. I wondered if the other 2 were doing the same?

I looked up and studied the sky to try to assess how fast the clouds were going overhead – it looked quite windy but not unduly so. Still, I knew I wasn’t good in high winds and easily get blown over so stood there debating whether I should go for it or not. In the end I decided discretion was the better part of valour (not that I have much valour) so I changed my plan to Little Wyvis – at least that way I would bag a Corbett and not completely waste my day.

I went a little further along the burn until I could find an easy crossing place, crossed and set off up the very boggy hillside beside the forest edge. There were bits of squelchy path here and there but nothing continuous. It became quite a steep pull and fairly monotonous really…

Near the top of the slope, I walked through an extremely green and slimy section of soggy ground. Wondering what kind of new bog plant this was I peered closely at it as I walked through it. Suddenly I noticed a deer’s leg bone – I’d been walking through the very rotten remains of a dead deer thinking it was just bog – ugh!

After a short and very steep and slippery section of bog the ground flattened out briefly and in between there and the next rise was one of the estate tracks. I decided to follow that as it was heading uphill and I thought it may well go to the summit. The track continued to just below the summit and then I just had to ascend a very steep bank – by now on snow. Then the summit was in sight and quickly reached.

I noticed it was fairly windy on top but the only problem was the fairly high wind-chill – other than that, it was by no means dangerously strong. Even with another few hundred feet I wouldn’t have thought it would have been much worse really. I looked across at Big Wyvis gleaming in the sun and got pretty grumpy – that was where I should have been! I could also have done with the added winter walking experience on something nice and simple like Ben Wyvis, especially in such perfect condition. I was fuming with the guy for telling me it was dangerously windy and also fuming with myself for listening and not making my own judgement!

An Cabar fm Little Wyvis.jpg
Should have been up there!


Oh well, I was on Little Wyvis so thought I’d best make some kind of walk out of it. I decided to descend into the scenic corrie at the back and walk out on the vague track I’d seen continuing along the burn when I left it. I couldn’t see a track round the back of Little Wyvis but knew it must start not far round the corner.

It was quite a rough descent down the back but I managed to stay clear of any bogs until I was rounding the corner between the Wyvises where I had to recross the burn. I soon picked up a faint, wet track the other side of it and squelched down it. It was pleasant enough and the views either side were good. In less than an hour I was back down the outward track and at the car.

Snow bridge nr Ben Wyvis.jpg
Snow bridge across the burn on the way back...
Last edited by mountain coward on Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Little Wyvis - Overshadowed by Big Wyvis

Postby mountain coward » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:37 am

Found some photos on my PC from that day - but hoping to have got some better ones to come from last week (although obviously ones without any snow!)
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Re: Little Wyvis - Overshadowed by Big Wyvis

Postby Red Peak » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:20 pm

MC, were you not tempted to go up Ben Wyvis once you'd got down off Little Wyvis and were back on the main path, thus doing both in the same day? I'm not sure how long the ascent of Ben Wyvis took me, but it wasn't a difficult walk if memory serves me right. Like you say, other people's warnings aren't necessarily correct and the wind up there might not have been that strong.

I did Little Wyvis last Novemeber and really enjoyed it. It was such a short walk, I was able to get back to the B&B, get cleaned up, and drive to Forres to watch Forres Mechanics beat Rothes 7-0. A climb and a football match in the same day. Perfect ... :D
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Re: Little Wyvis - Overshadowed by Big Wyvis

Postby mountain coward » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:07 am

No, for 2 reasons... it was traditionally late when I started out for Little Wyvis and it must have taken me a couple of hours. The second reason is that I only intended to do Big Wyvis with at least the full ridge, i.e. An Cabar, Glas Leathad Mor and Tom a' Choinnich as a minimum - that would have made it a very long day - and ideally I wanted to add on the top a few miles out the back - Glas Leathad Beag. I've now completed Big Wyvis the way I wanted to do it, i.e. the whole thing and have written a report which is just waiting for the photos to come back and be scanned etc. I also hadn't sorted out that night's accommodation either so still had to find somewhere to stay and so didn't want to be late for that reason either.
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