Ben Tee is a prominent Corbett, visible from many points along the Great Glen and Glen Garry, and makes a fine, wide ranging viewpoint. That is the guide book description of this hill. I was out with the Moray Mountaineering Club on their monthly bus meet. Sadly there was only 18 on the bus on what was to be a stunning day. I left a foggy Burghead to get the bus in Forres and we stopped at Nairn and Inverness picking up folk. The weather brightened as we went down Loch Ness and soon we could see the hill above Loch Lochy. They were still snow covered but most of us had planned to climb either the two prominent Munros Meall Na Teanga and Stron a’ Choire Ghair or Ben Tee a Corbet. One had been dropped of for a long glen walk to Fort Augustus via the High route. On the bus there were many ages and it was great to see everyone was out for a good day. As the bus left we all started of on our varying routes.
The time we have from about 1000 – 1730 means that the day has to be planned as it all depends on the Bus Drivers hours. We arrived at the Canal Laggan Locks in the sun, it was still a bit cold but stunning with all the yachts in the wee marina. It was along the road now lots of holiday accommodation and then steeply up the hill, the legs feeling it after a long lay off. We did not have time to visit the Killfinnian Falls and followed a rough path to the wild open moors. These can be hard going and were today as the snow is not long gone but the views were magic. This is the hills of great views. The big Munros Meall Na Teanga and Stron a’ Choire Ghairb still had big cornices and most grab them by the beleach but the ridges on to each area day on there own and few get the joy of these places and the wildness of untrod-den ridges?
We had a hard slog across the rough ground no path in places but it was fairly dry and in the footprint of deer yet I never saw one all day. As you lose the sight of Loch Lochy the area becomes vast and the windfarms above the Invergarry road come into view. There are over 80 of them now and it is a big area of industrialisation but is it a good or bad idea? I will leave it with you to comments. The hill is now in view and it has a lovely summit ridge and as Hamish Brown says it has a symmetrical summit and from here the views though hazy are worth the effort.
There was a keen wind jackets gloves and hats were on for the final ridge. It was now a good path and I was stopping and marveling at the views. It was hazy but what a wonder was about of big hills in all directions and the wildness and trees lower down and hill after hill after hill.
We all went our own pace and the last ridge was good as there was a path and rocks, we could see a few of our group ahead they would be cold in the wind but we were soon on top.
It was so good to get a summit in at 901 metres a big wee hill but a day out and the weather made the day.
The lassies on top well done. All wrapped up on the top still cold on the summits and then down to the sun.
I wandered away and looked down. On the side of the Munro opposite was a huge old Avalanche of over 1000 feet and that drew my attention to the hanging cornices and steep snowfields that were on the bigger hills. There was plenty of snow about and what a view, it has been a big winter.
I looked down at the drop between the Munros and my hill and could not beleive that over 40 years ago we did that day from Kintail over the 2 Munros and then the Corbett. Then we headed to Spean Bridge all on foot, nowadays ????? We had some food on the summit and then I headed off I using the snowfields that we avoided on the way up to move a bit faster.
We had some great discussions on the way down as you do of the senseless bombing in Syria. How I was in the military so long and all the time the sun was warm and we crossed of the ridge onto the moors a lot easier than on the way up. It was then hit the path and head off I slipped bumped my arm and got covered in mud but we were soon on the steep, sheep shorn slopes and back at the loch, sun burnt. It was then head for the Laggan Locks get a drink on the barge and then a laze on the sun and wait for the rest. The all got there hills done in superb weather and there were a few sun burnt folk on the bus.
The rest all got back having a great day and we even met Andy and his dog from up on Ben Hope the day before ticking Munros with some of the club a big drive down with his puppy. It was then to Fort Augustus for a break, the usual beer. I had chips and sausage then home after a fun day out. The body hurt and maybe the arm needs a check, also got blisters!!!! by wearing the wrong socks.
Thanks to all for a great day for organising the bus Gordon and the girls who left me as they raced up the hill, enough said.
Todays tip – Sunscreen and beware of sheep ticks?