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It's grand up north - part 2, high camp on Ben Hope.

It's grand up north - part 2, high camp on Ben Hope.


Postby mrssanta » Sat May 05, 2018 12:30 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Hope

Date walked: 30/04/2018

Time taken: 20 hours

Distance: 8.5 km

Ascent: 930m

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Some people climb Ben Hope and Ben Klibreck in one day. We are not those people.
We had a lovely day on Ben Klibreck, (link here viewtopic.php?f=9&t=80231 ) and our plan was to make a start on Ben Hope and camp somewhere on the mountain. We love camping high up on hills, especially in clear weather and certainly later in the year there are big advantages in avoiding midges by any possible means.
Our original intention was to camp at about 250m in the hanging valley of Allt a'Mhuiseil, but I am getting ahead of myself a bit here.
We drove from Vagastie Bridge via Altnaharra and the unclassified road going over to Strath More, which could be described as Single Track Without Passing Places. Well it did have some, but there were some quite long stretches without, vegetation giving the car a wee clean underneath and beautiful open views of water and hills. We only met one vehicle going the other way. A handy sign at Alltnacaillich advised us that the parking area was a little further on. It was hard to miss, and we were serenaded by a cuckoo, and visited by a pied wagtail and a chaffinch who seemed keen to get to know us, perhaps hoping that we might drop some picnic crumbs.
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view up Strath More from the car park

We sorted out our food and gear for a night out and set off up the obvious path alongside Allt a'Mhuiseil. This looked like it was going to be really tough and steep but actually it was a lovely path with a few little hands on bits, some eroded parts and most beautiful clear pools and waterfalls.
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Looking northwestish down Strath More from

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South up strath More to Ben Hee

We decided we were going well and we would continue on and camp at the top of the steep bit at about 430 metres. It was a good decision and we found an excellent camp spot which was flat and smooth. Last night's campsite had been rather tussocky so this was great. We set up camp, made ourselves a blow-up chicken curry for tea and enjoyed the sunset before turning in. It was a very cold night with clear sky and a full moon and I was a bit chilly even in my super dooper sleeping bag. We woke to an absolutely beautiful morning.
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view over Leitir Mheuseil from the camp

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sunset treats

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Shall we go up there?

We left the tent letting the sleeping bags air and set off up the steep slope. I really liked this hill. Particularly I liked that this steep slope gradually got less and less steep until we reached the summit! And what a view it was! We could see all across the north of Scotland. I'd never seen the north coast before and this was fantastic! We could see all the way to Orkney and the colours were fabulous. There's an excellent shelter at the summit so we stayed on the top for an hour or so having a brew and some food and soaking it all up. There was even enough phone signal to send a picture to our friends to inspire their envy!!
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Foinaven draws the eye, interesting shape with sunshine on it

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Ben Klibreck comes into view

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Looking south, Ben More Assynt and Conival appearing in the distance

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Good going on this lovely day

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Kyles of Tongue and Orkney in the distance

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Ben Loyal, a bonkers looking mountain, must go there some time

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Looking southeast towards Ben Klibreck

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BMA and Conival looking distinctly snowy

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Foinaven

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Proof it was really me in case I forget and think it was a dream!

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and Rudolph

Eventually we had to tear ourselves away and decided to vary the route back. Instead of retracing our steps we took a curved route down the plateau back to our tent, stopping to chat to several people who passed as we were packing up.
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setting off down with broad view to Ben Klibreck

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oops! nearly forgot the Happy Mugs picture!

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a beautiful clear pool in the burn. On a warmer day we might have put our feet in this pool.

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approaching the camp spot

We did consider taking the longer route downhill via Leitir Mhuseil but decided that our next adventure was waiting so we came back to the car park by the direct route.
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Pool that looks infinitely deep. Perhaps it takes you to another world?

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Looking straight downhill to the car park and the roofs of the cars. Fortunately the path does zigzag so it is not as bad as it looks from here. And I can't understand why this pic has gone on "squinty-ways" !

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One of many bonny waterfalls



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The next adventure was the drive around the North Coast via Durness to Inchnadamph for Conival and Ben More Assynt, but that's for another report. - which is here viewtopic.php?f=9&t=80244
Last edited by mrssanta on Mon May 07, 2018 7:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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mrssanta
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Re: It's grand up north - part 2, high camp on Ben Hope.

Postby gammy leg walker » Sat May 05, 2018 5:32 pm

Some of us climb Ben More Assynt, Conival & Ben Hope in the one day, not really one of the better ideas tbh.
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Re: It's grand up north - part 2, high camp on Ben Hope.

Postby mrssanta » Mon May 07, 2018 9:38 pm

gammy leg walker wrote:Some of us climb Ben More Assynt, Conival & Ben Hope in the one day, not really one of the better ideas tbh.

That's bonkers gammy I hope your legs worked the next day! I'm impressed! :D
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mrssanta
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Re: It's grand up north - part 2, high camp on Ben Hope.

Postby malky_c » Tue May 08, 2018 10:04 pm

Ben Hope on a good day is always worth the time. Glad you got some decent weather in the far north :D
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Re: It's grand up north - part 2, high camp on Ben Hope.

Postby Alteknacker » Thu May 10, 2018 4:58 pm

You certainly drew a very long straw with the weather - as ever, when it's fine this part of the world looks magnificent!

Reading this report made me realise that I've got some problem with my right eye... ... no smile on the green mug :D .
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Re: It's grand up north - part 2, high camp on Ben Hope.

Postby mrssanta » Mon May 14, 2018 10:24 pm

malky_c wrote:Ben Hope on a good day is always worth the time. Glad you got some decent weather in the far north :D

oh yes, was brilliant, and well worth the long drive!
Alteknacker wrote:You certainly drew a very long straw with the weather - as ever, when it's fine this part of the world looks magnificent!

Reading this report made me realise that I've got some problem with my right eye... ... no smile on the green mug :D .

you are quite right of course, it did have a smile but it seems to have rubbed off the green mug faster than the yellow. Perhaps because Rudolph is an old grumpy drawers?? We tried drawing it back on with marker pen but it didn't stay
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mrssanta
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Re: It's grand up north - part 2, high camp on Ben Hope.

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Tue May 15, 2018 4:13 pm

Lovely pics - I'm glad you got such a good day. Ben Hope is high on our list for this year - along with several other hills that are swirling round my confused brain :lol: :lol:

You're right the north is braw :D
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Re: It's grand up north - part 2, high camp on Ben Hope.

Postby mrssanta » Tue May 15, 2018 10:59 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Lovely pics - I'm glad you got such a good day. Ben Hope is high on our list for this year - along with several other hills that are swirling round my confused brain :lol: :lol:

You're right the north is braw :D

I hope you get as good a day as we did!
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Location: north yorkshire moors

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