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Munros One Hundred and Eighty Four to Eighty Five

Munros One Hundred and Eighty Four to Eighty Five

Postby Chris Henshall » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:42 pm

Route description: Ben Hope

Munros included on this walk: Ben Hope, Ben Klibreck

Date walked: 29/05/2019

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Wednesday, 29th. May, 2019:
This was the final day for Steve Chalk, Chris Powell, my son Tommy and me before we were obliged to head back south so, having had a good evening in Ullapool, we woke early and headed for the hills of the north. A three hour drive up the wonderful west coast to Durness and then around Loch Eriboll brought us, at last, to Loch Hope and the foot of the northernmost Munro. I've written before that stopping in a car park at the foot of a hill and then going up and down it by the easiest route isn't ideal - but sometimes circumstances dictate that there is little alternative... so that's what we (or, at least, Chris, Tommy and I) did; Steve and his dog had climbed this hill at an earlier date.
Day 5a (Wednesday) - Me on Ben Hope.jpg
Me, heading up steadily
Day 5c (Wednesday) - Chris on the summit of Ben Hope.jpg
Chris on the summit with the north coast spread out below him like a map
The highlight, really was the wonderful view that opened up as we hit the summit; Ben Loyal stood out to the east while, beyond its serrated top, the north coast and Hoy shimmered in the sun under piled-up fair weather cumulus clouds. Before we headed on down, I made a respectful nod to the north west side of the hill where Andy Nisbet (and Steve Perry) had died in February; Andy had been my group instructor for the Winter Mountain Leader Award at Glenmore Lodge back in the mid 1980s and you couldn't hope to meet a kinder, more patient, more sensible gentleman. Rest in peace.
A return to the car park saw Chalky greet us with an unexpected hot drink and, before long, we were heading south to Altnaharra and Ben Klibreck - a brilliant journey of far horizons over this desolate south western end of the Flow Country. We checked out the isolated Crask Inn (not serving food even for pre-booked tables that evening) before parking the car by the Vagastie Bridge and, again, climbing the hill by, pretty much, its easiest route. It was, in truth, a grassy plod but, even though the clag closed in on the summit, the sunny views on the way up were certainly worth the admission price!
Day 5d (Wednesday) - Me and Steve heading for the top of Klibreck.jpg
Chalky and me heading for the summit
Day 5e (Wednesday) - Me and Steve heading over Cnoc Scriodain.jpg
Chalky and me heading over Cnoc Scriodain
Day 5f (Wednesday) - Chris and Steve traversing below a subsiuary top of Klibreck.JPG
Chris and Steve on the traverse path below Creag an Lochain
Once off the hill, it was time to head south and we managed to get to Inverness for a late curry and then over the Drumochtar Pass to camp (in the drizzle again) near Dunkeld a few minutes after midnight. It had been a good few days.

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Chris Henshall
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Joined: May 30, 2014

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