The far North again
Friday, late departure plus faffing about, finds me passing Lairg just as the darkness falls. Further up Strath Tirry I find a nice spot in the forestry to stop and rest up for the night. My game plan had been to do then tick the three Grahams left at the top of my map. Wake at 0430, wash an eat, looks like a good day. Passing Crask shows the rising bulk of Klibreck and thinking this would give a decent warm up, parked @nc454303 where I'd last stopped when climbing this in May1995. Gear up. Cross the river Vagastie, thread two lochans, to a larger one, then a steep 330m pull through grass, heather and rock to reach the 688m point of the ridge. A break here, then along a path and up 220m on Meall nan Con for the cairn and trig of Ben Klibreck. Yes. Feed my body as I look around. Awesome place, this is the highest of the four northern Munros, gives the viewpoint of a bleak and empty land. East, the Armine Grahams, North the Bens of Loyal and Hope. Westward hiding my Grahams lies the mass of Ben Hee with the Assynt Munros beyond. Gather my gear for a swift return to the car then on past Altnaharra.
Ben Klibreck 10km. 830m. 4.30h 20/04/19
The B871 single track to Goberuisgach lodge, I park at the drive way and contemplate. Then unlikely I`ll ever be this way again, decide to climb Ben Hope as well. First another look at the Dun Dornaigil Broch, before I park @nc462477, light gear on then stride off easy going follows the path and burn, a steeper pull reaches a lip at 250m. Another pull finds a long broad ridge. Follow the path, past a steeper section, then eases to a gentle uphill walk. My quads are aching should have quit at the broch, but I'm here now and telling myself I've dun good. The stony ground flattens as I reach cairn and trig point. Sit down and eat. Great views of Loyal from here. Bin there in the mist with Kenny years ago. The same bleak areas, odd forestry bits spread around as the sun glints on the many lochans below. There's cloud coming in from the west. Not a good sign, would hate to do my hills in clag. My legs are feeling it now so a cautious return down and back to the car. Wash up in the burn and gear change, then back to Altnaharra hotel for a decent meal and pint.
Ben Hope 6.40km. 905m. 4.15h. 20/04/19
Park up at driveway and kip down for the night hearing the patter of rain on the car. Weather forecast not good, rain and gales. Should have got here a day earlier or done my grahams first.
White mist about me as I walk down past the lodge. My planned walk up the NE spur of Tionail to climb
Direach return to the col climb Tonail then drop into coire loch to reach Sabhal Beag are shelved so cut ur loses. The most awkward hill being Sabhal; I walk thro rain mist and wind on a westerly track from the lodge to reach the col of Bealach na Faithe. A compass bearing due N here finds after a 280m punt the flat table area and small cairn of Sabhal Beag. A hurried break in the rain then a hasty retreat finds my inward track with a long trek back to the car.
Sling the wet gear into the back and head for Inverness and hopefully dryer climes.
Sabhal Beag 21km 740m 7.20h 21/04/19
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