Munro Adventure 2015
Day 98 ( 6th August )
“And Then There Was One.”
This is the penultimate day of the great “Munro Adventure” by Graeme and (Penny his dog) it has been a fun adventure in a wild summer for weather enjoy and share only one day left to go)
Ben Hope – (927m, Munro 256 “Hill of the inlet/bay’”
Ben Klibreck – (962m, Munro 194) hill of the speckled cliff’
I had a couple of days off while waiting for half decent weather to climb these last 2 hills before our final one on Saturday. I had Donnie for company today and set off on the long drive north at 6am this morning, it isn’t much further than to get to Fort William really and better roads as well. I was told that a bridge on the narrow road to Ben Hope was washed out and road closed signs up but could drive as far as the old broch and park beside it. We arrived at 8.40 and it was raining so we just sat for good while and set off when it had brightened up , we walked down the road and crossed over the stream where the bridge was (no signs of a new one getting built) and down to the normal starting point for Ben Hope.
Needless to say the path up was very wet and also washed out in lots of places but once on the ridge things became better as was the weather and the cloud was lifting also. We arrived at the summit had something to eat and drink and started to get views now and again as the cloud came and went. On the descent we continued along the ridge avoiding the upward path route and went down another way which took as past a little dam for electric generation and back to the van.
We then drove back up the road and parked in Strath Vagastie beside a small plantation. Donnie had done Ben Kilbreck with me a few years ago so I was on my own with TWD on this one although he did walk the first 15 minutes with me before going back.
Again it was very wet underfoot across the open moor and didn’t improve till I got to the steeper slopes and onto the final ridge, the sun was out and quite warm for a change, I got to the summit where I met two ladies and had a good chat with them , they mentioned being in a walk highlands group and I asked if they knew Andy Lawson which they did , it’s a small world out there.
Took a few photos and headed back the same way
Where Donnie was waiting patiently for my safe return. Spot on timing again the rain started 5 minutes after getting back . A nice day out today and hit the weather window spot on . Today’s totals: 15.37mls:1833m ascent.6hrs 36mins.
281 Munros to date. I will see whoever turns up for Ben Wyvis on Saturday at 9am. – One to go see you Saturday.
Heavy notes: Ben Hope this is a great hill the most Northerly Munro and the views of the sea and lochs are unique, this is a place to savour. You can see the neighboring Ben Loyal and even the Orkneys on a good day There is a more complex, longer route up Ben Hope from the north that takes in some exposed scrambling This ridge that few do has a famous bad step. The big problem with the so called Bad Step is not so technical difficulty, it is an short climb, may be 20 foot in height. The difficulty is dealing with the exposure, head ways the lower part is overhanging and you are forced to move right onto a very big wall, with a lot of space of free air under your feet in winter with a rope it was an interesting place to be. There is a sneaky gully that the “fear ties” take. There are also a few grand climbs on the face and in summer and winter few visit but you will get a great reward. Take plenty of time on this hill it is magic!
Ben Kilbreck – 1955 March – Royal Naval aircraft crash Vampire Crash.
In the past I have extended a day on Ben Kilbreck it by going to an aircraft crash site on the South East Spur of Meall Ailein and to a monument to the crew of a Vampire Trainer aircraft from Royal Naval Station Lossiemouth that crashed in 17 March 1955 sadly killing both crew.
The RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue team were involved in the recovery and located the crash in a wild March day all those years ago. The weather was wild and after a 6 hours search the aircraft was located. It is a remote site and a very impressive memorial set on the ridge with great views this wild part of Scotland. It is worth extending the day and going out to visit this site that few see.
The monument is marked on the map and pieces of the aircraft can be found a grid reference Sheet 16/6182316 and NC 619305
Lest We Forget