Ben Klibreck

This was a novelty: Climbing two Munros in one day but using a car to travel from the first to the second hill. We climbed Ben Hope from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Ben Klibreck from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Frank and I parked the car in a layby on the A836 a kilometre north of Vagastie. From there we crossed the River Vagastie by a footbridge and followed the sometimes dry but mostly squishy path through high grass to Loch Bad an Loch. The surroundings of the Loch were very wet. From the flat land by the Loch we climbed to 150 metres to reach the south end of Loch nan Uan which nestles between Meall nan Uan and A’Chioch. Once at Loch an Uan we checked out the way ahead but could not make out any path from the loch leading up to A’Chioch. So we finally decided to climb the steep (!) grassy and heathery western slope of A’Chioch to reach the ridge at point 688m. This was a real slog! But we made it and stood on the defined ridge which we followed in a northerly direction. The wind had picked up quite considerably and was coming from a west-north-westerly direction. We were glad to walk in the lee of the crest of A’Chioch’s ridge! Soon we got to the flat area dotted with outcrops of rock, where the path veers east and the final 200m climb to the summit of Ben Klibreck begins.

The strong wind virtually blew us up the hill, bombarding Frank and me with a mixture of rain, sleet and snow. We stumbled on pushed and tossed around by the force of the wind. Then, after a seemingly endless climb the small summit plateau view its trig point and stone shelter came into view. The […]

2017-09-19T14:17:06+00:00May 4th, 2009|2009, 2009 - 2000, Coigach to Cape Wrath|

Ben Hope

I repeat myself: May 2009 in Scotland was not an extremely dry hillwalking holiday. The day on which Frank and I climbed Ben Hope and Ben Klibreck was a particularly stormy and wet one. But let’s start at the beginning. After about two hours of driving through nice parts of Northern Scotland with many miles on single-track roads ( 🙂 ) we reached the parking a mile north of Alltnacaillich farm on the east bank of the Strathmore River.

We climbed the path by the stream coming down the steep western face of Ben Hope. This was fun since the going was quite good, though boggy in places. After 200m we reached a slightly more level section on top of the first tier of crags. From there we still followed the well-trodden path through the distinct second tier of crags. At an altitude of about 500m we reached the steepish but broad southern slopes (or developing ridge) of the hill and trodded up this first grassy, then gravely and sandy stretch of the climb. The gradient became less steep higher up but the very strong north-westerly wind started to become a real impediment to walking. Battling our way upwards we met several other walkers with whom we exchanged a few shouted words: The loudness of our words was not a sign of any bad feelings much rather it was impossible to understand normal speech because of the raging wind. Then, less than two hours after we set out we reached the summit cairn and trigonometry point. A short break in the lee of the stones, no views of anything, no barren plains stretching out to the Atlantic Ocean, no Foinaven, no Ben Loyal, no sunshine reflected from lochs. Nothing, just plain Scottish rain, storm and clouds engulfing us and the hill. Ahhhh!

The way […]

2018-09-03T10:50:19+00:00May 4th, 2009|2009, 2009 - 2000, Coigach to Cape Wrath|

Ben More Assynt

Ben More Assynt and Coigach are really special mountains and the highest in the wild country of Assynt. I already tried to tackle them in 1992, but due to severe weather conditions – heavy winds and very poor visibility – i did not suceed. So this time, it was 1995, i was eager – maybe to eager – not to fail again. Birgit was with me, as in 1992, and maybe my eagerness was making her too quiet. “Nothing’s gonna stop me”. Yeah, you bet it does.

The Inchnadamph approach is really nice, the climbing steep, but nothing too difficult. Except the fact, that i chose the ascent through a very steep chimney and snowy showers on the ridge, business as usual. The walking though over quartzite stones and scree was hard. But we reached Conival in time and continued to Ben More Assynt. We descended east along a stony ridge and soon arrived at the flat summit. Since i intended to do the traverse over to Carn nan Conbhairean we stayed on the ridge.

And here the troubles began. While we had views of Dubh Loch Beag in the beginning, it was now completely out of sight. Due to this poor visibility, poor navigational skills of myself and lack of a compass we descended the wrong ridge. But i was too selfish and unexperienced to admit that i had choosen wrong. It was late in the afternoon, we had just a half litre of water and litte food left and i was not able to locate our position on the map. We started to panic a little, we hugged ourself and thought about our situation. We decided to follow the waterstreams down to the river in the distance and follow that river … there were signs of hilltracks, too. Finally we arrived at the […]

2017-09-19T14:19:29+00:00September 1st, 1995|1995, 1999 - 1991, Coigach to Cape Wrath|

Conival

Ben More Assynt and Coigach are really special mountains and the highest in the wild country of Assynt. I already tried to tackle them in 1992, but due to severe weather conditions – heavy winds and very poor visibility – i did not suceed. So this time, it was 1995, i was eager – maybe to eager – not to fail again. Birgit was with me, as in 1992, and maybe my eagerness was making her too quiet. “Nothing’s gonna stop me”. Yeah, you bet it does.

The Inchnadamph approach is really nice, the climbing steep, but nothing too difficult. Except the fact, that i chose the ascent through a very steep chimney and snowy showers on the ridge, business as usual. The walking though over quartzite stones and scree was hard. But we reached Conival in time and continued to Ben More Assynt. We descended east along a stony ridge and soon arrived at the flat summit. Since i intended to do the traverse over to Carn nan Conbhairean we stayed on the ridge.

And here the troubles began. While we had views of Dubh Loch Beag in the beginning, it was now completely out of sight. Due to this poor visibility, poor navigational skills of myself and lack of a compass we descended the wrong ridge. But i was too selfish and unexperienced to admit that i had choosen wrong. It was late in the afternoon, we had just a half litre of water and litte food left and i was not able to locate our position on the map. We started to panic a little, we hugged ourself and thought about our situation. We decided to follow the waterstreams down to the river in the distance and follow that river … there were signs of hilltracks, too. Finally we arrived at the […]

2017-09-19T14:19:29+00:00September 1st, 1992|1992, 1995, 1999 - 1991, Coigach to Cape Wrath|