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Ben Hope

Ben Hope

Postby nathan79 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:53 pm

Route description: Ben Hope

Munros included on this walk: Ben Hope

Date walked: 12/09/2010

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 7 km

Ascent: 946m

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The last full day of my 6 day northern expcursion i had always set aside for Ben Hope. Durness youth hostel proved quite a handy base, and also allowed me to visit Cocoa Mountain. I was just buying a couple of gifts, but i'd advise any of you with a sweet tooth to pop in there if you're in the area.

The day got off to a bad start when i awoke to hear rain battering off the windows of the hostel but the weather report did say it'd be rainy in the morning, clearing towards the afternoon with a cloud base of 950m.
It had already started to clear by the time i'd swung by COcoa Mountain and stopped to check out the beach by Durness visitors centre.
Transitioning from grey sky to blue.

Looks totally tropical, didn't feel it though.

I must say i was sick of single track roads and the minor road along to Strathmore was very very close to breaking me (and my suspension-particularly one MASSIVE pot-hole). I arrived in the car park about 11:30. There were a few cars there but still plenty of space. Cup of coffee, light snack then time to get the boots on and go. The midgies were biting, but not too plentiful.

The burn running down the hillside has some lovely waterfalls and i was a tad distracted from my objective on the way up. the place was also hopping with toads and frogs.
My gigantic left hand supports a common toad.

my Kenny Everrett-sized left hand again and a frog.


Ben Hope waterfall stitch.jpg

Eventually had to force myself to bag the camera and press on up. Quite boggy in places, as expected though so i had my gaiters on. I could see closer to my goal in the distance.

It was good to get up on the plateau and know i was well on my way. Met a few people heading downwards on the slog up to the summit, including a Californian guy i'd met in the hostel at Ullapool. He was wildcamping down on the valley floor and said it'd been a hellish night between the rain and the midgies.
I was glad to make it to the summit and sit down for a much needed coffee and feed. The wind had picked up alot the higher i got so i headed straight for the shelter for some respite.
Savouring the views

view east of the summit

Fed and watered it was time to head down to the car. The cloud came in shortly after i started to descend, visibility was relatively okay and the path was never out of view. I made my way down with an old chap and his cracking collie. I'd spoken briefly to him at the bottom, he set off shortly before me. No rush to get down whatsoever, just pottering along chatting. Possibly the easiest descent i've done, perhaps due to the fact i was in no hurry, my legs had not even a hint of soreness. (even the lingering pain from Conival and Ben More Assynt was gone).

Very glad to get below the cloud level again, you know you're getting nearer teh car park when you can hear the waterfalls again. Of course the midgies showed face again, but no biggie. Rinsed the mud off my boots in one of the waterfalls then bid my descent companion farewell and got on my way back to Durness.

A thouroughly enjoyable day.
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby mountain coward » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:41 pm

Ah - so that's what it looks like up (and from) there - you were fairly lucky with the weather - we never saw a thing!
mountain coward

Re: Ben Hope

Postby Alastair S » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:00 pm

Nice report Nathan - looks like you had a great day.

mountain coward wrote:you were fairly lucky with the weather - we never saw a thing!

How many times have we heard that :lol:
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