Hill: Ben Hope
Date: Friday 22nd February 2013
Company: Myself and Beinn
Distance: 7.3km, Ascent: 925m
Time: 3Hrs 40Mins


Yesterday, the MWIS forecast for today for the North-West Highlands was: Wind - negligible, Rain - not expected, Cloud - extensively cloud-free, Chance of cloud free Munros - >90%. I therefore decided to head North-West to make the most of the outstanding forecast.

I set off from home at 04:15, destination Ben Hope. The temperature was only -1C on leaving home, but got as low as -10C on the road from Crask to Altnaharra.

A chilly drive to Ben Hope:


I arrived at the starting point by 08:00. On arrival, I was not impressed to find Ben Hope covered in cloud .

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

I followed a rough track on the right bank of the Allt a’Mhuiseil up the initial section of Ben Hope.

Beinn at the start of the track leading to Ben Hope:


We passed several small waterfalls during the ascent.

Allt a’Mhuiseil waterfall:


Looking back towards the Strathmore River:


I didn’t need to look at the map at all during the ascent, it was just a case of follow the track all the way to the summit.

Track ascending Ben Hope:


Ben Hope:


Track ascending Ben Hope:


During the ascent, we passed a couple of deer and numerous ptarmigan.

Deer:


Ascending Ben Hope:


It was really disappointing to see the good weather some distance to the South. I hoped that the weather would improve during the ascent, but instead the weather deteriorated further with rain, snow and clag above 500m.

Nice weather in the distance:


Looking back:


The ground today was frozen as hard as rock. I had to take care on some sections as I was just wearing my three season boots and didn’t bother taking crampons.

Wide ridge leading towards the summit:


On reaching the summit, we didn’t hang around for long. It was really Baltic up there today.

Beinn at the summit of Ben Hope:


Ben Hope summit shelter:


From the summit, we returned via the same route. A disappointing day out - really not impressed with MWIS!