Relaxing in Altnacarra B & B after Ben Hope we had a thoroughly enjoyable evening; always a good sign when you’re welcomed with a pot of tea and biscuits! An added bonus was that the neighbouring pub was friendly with good craic from the locals, so it’s just as well we’d booked our dinner at Mandy’s B & B. A hearty meal was enjoyed with fellow residents. This is definitely THE place to stay in Altnacarra!
Fresh after a good night’s sleep and a wholesome breakfast, we headed along the road to Ben Klibreck. The track up was right across from the parking area – always a good start!
The day was good again, skies clear if a little misty in the distance. The wind was blustery again although not quite to the extent of yesterday.
Initially marshy underfoot, it continued in this way as it climbed. This path would be a real plowter should there be a lot of rain! Thankfully it did dry out as we climbed higher, the track initially good, then fading out. We could see where we were headed so no great navigational challenges.
We climbed to the cairns on Cnoc Sgriodain admiring the views, then continuing on to a bealach. This didn’t lose too much of the height gained so that was a relief, as was the fact that the peat bogs were pretty much dry and easily crossed. Again, in wet conditions this could present different challenges, none of them pleasant!
We opted to traverse the side of Creag an Lochain rather than going over the top, and a clear path took us along. This again was dry but had the potential to be boggy; I think on a wet day I’d opt for heading up and over.
Continuing along the hillside, we finally reached the bealach that led up the final steep ascent of Ben Klibreck. This was an easy enough climb despite it’s intimidating size and a couple of hundred metres of ascent to go. The good path zig-zagging up the steep flank, and made for a far easier descent. The summit cairn was easily reached, the trig point in bits, according to Mandy having been struck by lightning a few years ago.
We stopped briefly before heading back the way we’d come, enjoying the scenery on the way back down, despite the views being obscured by my hair constantly blowing over my face, the wind now behind us.
Going back felt far quicker, and the long traverse of the hillside flew past. The only slog was back down the slightly less marked path at the bottom where I was frustrated by the slippery conditions.
Another good hill day, but we concluded that Ben Hope is the winner.