Thursday, September 07, 2017

186. Ben Klibreck (194). 09/08/2017

For Elodie's fifth Munro, we were joined by her uncle Oliver. Staying in Lochinver, this was a slightly long drive away, but that gave the dodgy weather a chance to lift a bit. It was still drizzling when we started and for the first hour or so, but it did improve and become quite good towards the end.

We started off with a river crossing, which can always be a bit treacherous in the rain, but once the correct crossing point was found it wasn't too bad. Then we had a boggy but quite easy walk across moorland to the foot of the climb. From here we went straight up the side on a small path, but in hindsight we should probably have continued a bit further SE to where the slopes eased off because the route we took was pretty steep. Not only was it tiring, I was also a bit worried about my balance with the pack. Anyway, with due care we got to the ridge and found the path along it to the summit. 

It was much nicer on the ridge, particularly since the mist was just starting to lift and we were beginning to be able to see some of our surroundings. The final pull up to the summit was quite windy and cold, but instead of this bothering Elodie, she promptly fell asleep - obviously quite snug enough dressed in her sheepskin.

Halfway back down to the ridge, the cloud lifted completely and we were able to see our way down more gentle slopes from the ridge and back across the bog to the river crossing (which was now dry). Elodie was a little less happy with this section of bog and made her opinions heard, but all in all she had done pretty well. Back to the car in 5 hours.

 A variety of reactions displayed at the summit

 The clouds lifting off the ridge as we start our descent

Looking back to the summit

184, 185. Conival (158), Ben More Assynt (141). 06/08/2017.

During my paternity leave stint, I took Elodie to the far north of Scotland for a look at some hills. It was a very successful trip and for this walk we were joined by Chris. It looked like being our best day weather-wise and so, since Elodie seemed to be happy in the backpack for at least 5 hours, we thought we'd attempt one of the more ambitious walks in the area and see how we got on. The guidebook put it at 6 hours, although in the end we took a shade over 7, but Elodie was happy all the way until the last half an hour or so. Even then she was pacified by numerous rounds of 'Old MacDonald had a farm...' (little did she know it was more likely to be Old Mcleod in these parts).

We anticipated the odd shower, but in the end only experienced about 10 minutes of drizzle - the rest of the time the cloud was clear of the tops. And it really is a great location for views. We had unimpeded views of all the famous hills in this part of the country. Suilven and Quinag being particularly impressive.

The walk starts with a long approach on a track through a glen that becomes a path further up and only after an hour do you really start to climb. There was a good dry path the whole way up the side of Conival and onto its summit ridge. From here the ridge was great. The ascent over the top of Conival and all the way to Ben More Assynt is quite gradual, although the fact you have to retrace your steps back over Conival makes you think this should count as 3 Munros. Elodie particularly like the rocky top of Ben More Assynt, perhaps because we seemed to arrive there at the same time as several other walkers. The rest of the time she did some babbling and some sleeping, but generally had a good time. Thanks to Chris for his assistance in entertaining and pacifying when she laterally became slightly less happy.

 Babbling on the approach to the summit ridge of Conival

 The ridge from Conival (R) to BMA (L)

 Elodie pleased to reach the top. Chris in the background calling a cab(?)

Elodie enjoying views across Assynt, including Quinag