Waking to a slightly less pleasant day, having checked out the forecast we opted for Ben Wyvis. The suggestion was that it should brighten up, cloud breaking around midday, so our planned start meant we’d hopefully reach the summit and get views.
Breaking in the Boots
Having replaced my leaky Salomon boots with a pair of lovely new Altberg Fremington from Craigdon Aberdeen, I’ve worn them around at home and had them on for the day yesterday. I therefore decided that today was the perfect length of walk for a hill trial. I did not regret it. Super comfortable from the start, my feet were happy throughout. No regrets there.
According to Bruce, Ben Wyvis is sometimes known as the Ben Lomond of the North, largely due to it’s popularity and ease of access. That did ring true as we met a few folks heading up their first munro and quite a few others that had recently started hill walking. We definitely met more people than we have on any other hill this week.
A Driech Day
Starting out, although the cloud was low, it looked like there was potential for it to clear. Walking up through the trees we held onto this hope, passing a young family that had set off just ahead of us. However, as we progressed the mist turned to a light drizzle and we realised our waterproofs were necessary to avoid getting soaked; another of those tricky days where waterproofs are way too hot and the decision is whether to risk getting wet from the outside in or to opt for sweating buckets instead! As we headed up the drizzle became more persistent and the mist thicker. Happy days!
Boulder Steps and Conservation
The path was very well built with big boulders leading across any potentially boggy areas and in large steps up to An Cabar. Here, I definitely felt the efforts of earlier in the week, my legs reluctantly lifting in order to climb the staircase.
On the upside, these steps allowed us to gain height relatively quickly and before long we reached the temporary cairns indicating the path to the top, encouraging all walkers to follow the same route in order to allow the ground to recover.
Glas Leathad Mòr
The cloud had lowered further (or maybe it just appeared that way as we were higher). We were getting quite wet with drizzle and I was less than impressed to have no views and still some way to reach the final trig point for the summit. Finally reaching it we stopped for a quick snack, not lingering too long as the slight wind was chilling us quickly due to the sweat accumulated under the waterproofs.
Trudging back across the flat plateau (supposedly a ridge but I couldn’t see it), we met quite a few folks on their way up. It was surprising how busy the hill was and also how many folks were out in shorts. I’d have been freezing!
Going down was quick and easy. Having cleared the steps we found ourselves dropping into more pleasant weather conditions around 600 metres. The views opened up and I was assured that I was pretty much seeing what I should have seen from the top, although I didn’t see either Ben Nevis or Ben Hope as an elderly chap we spoke to on the way up suggested you can on a fine day.
That aside, it was good getting back into warmer climes and I was back in my happy place as we made our way back to the car.
I’m pretty pleased with our efforts this week. I ended the week on 172 munros in total; not bad for someone that just goes for the day out!