Ben Wyvis / hill of Terror

One of my local Munro’s is Ben Wyvis is a mountain located in Easter Ross, north-west of Dingwall in northern Scotland. It lies in the council area of Highland, and the county of Ross and Cromarty. The mountain is prominent in views of the area, presenting a whale-back shape above the farmland of Strathconon. I used it often to take folk especially from my work on the hill. To many in the area it is their first big hill.

Ben Wyvis from the SMC app.

Ben Wyvis is a vast and sprawling mountain whose isolated position makes it the dominating feature of a wide area of the Highlands. The ascent to its spacious plateau is a reasonably straightforward ascent in good summer conditions by Munro standards and there are very extensive views from the summit. In winter it can be interesting with a long open ridge to the far summit that gets the wind and can bring huge Cornices. In a wild day it can be tricky navigation and Martin Moran tells a great tale in his book the Winter Munros of a wild day on Wyvis.

Ben Wyvis is one of my local Munro for those in Inverness and Dingwall it is a dominating hill located in Easter Ross, Ross and Cromarty, Highland, in northern Scotland.  It forms an undulating ridge running roughly north-south for about 5 km, the highest summit of which is Glas Leathad Mòr and is a very popular mountain for the locals. The route up the hill is well marked from the car park just of the the main road the Garve – Ullapool A835. There is a car park but its busy and the footpath is now well maintained unlike the bog it was. It takes you through the forestry where the views open up and you climb onto the steep slopes of An Cabar with great views of the many wonderful peaks like the Fannichs, Beinn Deargs and An Teallach. From the summit its a broad ridge ridge easy and eroded in summer but needing great care in a full on winter day. The summit of Glas Leathad Mor. There are 3 Munro tops on this hill that few will visit but well worth the effort. Some combine the day with the Little Wyvis the nearby Corbett a strenuous day.

On the summit Plateau

I have been battered many times on the summit ridge and it is a good place to teach navigation on a wild day with poor visibility.

Ben Wyvis is a vast and sprawling mountain whose isolated position makes it the dominating feature of a wide area of the Highlands. The ascent to its spacious plateau is a reasonably straightforward ascent in good summer conditions by Munro standards and there are very extensive views from the summit. In winter it can be interesting with a long open ridge to the far summit that gets the wind and can bring huge Cornices.

A great book.

In a wild day it can be tricky navigation and Martin Moran tells a great tale in his book the Winter Munros of a wild day on Wyvis when he was avalanched with his wife. In his bool Chapter 8 he talks about that day. Two months later there was a bad accident on Ben Wyvis. “Danger stalks the winter hills however competent or cautious the climber. Even the easiest hills should be accorded a proper respect” Martin Moran states later:

31 March 1985 – Solo cross country skier buried under 1,8ms wet snow avalanche in An Cabar area. Found by a SARDA Police dogs after helicopter search on 1st April. If you have any information on this accident,please contact me. The Dundonnell MRT where involved and SARDA.

Martins Avalanche.

There was a plan in 1980 for a Ben Wyvis railway all the way to the summit from Dingwall as part of a Ski resort for the mountain!  It is worth reading about but never got approved, there has been a few other ideas but all have collapsed. The Wyvis ridge is now a fairly eroded plateau and shows how popular this hill is with easy access from Inverness and Dingwall.

A few ski and snowboard on this mountain in winter and the huge corries hold the snow well. There is a tale by John MacKenzie a local mountaineer and the Earl Of Cromarty that land was rented by his ancestors from the Crown on condition that they could gather a snowball at any time of the year!

Lots of information here.

These huge Corries on the Eastern side of the mountain also hold some great winter climbs many years ago I climbed here after a helicopter drop off. There was very little knowledge of these Corries and winter climbing before the updated Guide book.

Its a great mountain and just now I can see it from across the Moray Firth it is plastered with snow.

Wyvis a great hill to explore.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Avalanche info, Corbetts and other hills, Mountain rescue, Mountaineering, Recomended books and Guides, Scottish winter climbing., SMC/SMT, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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