Hill: Ben Hope
Date: Saturday 14th April 2018
Company: Myself and Cuillin
Distance: 7.3km, Ascent: 925m
It was originally my intention to spend this weekend
relatively close-to-home in the Southern Cairngorms, however, on checking
out the MWIS forecasts, the forecast for the North-West Highlands was
considerably better than that of the Cairngorms. I therefore changed my
plans and set off towards the North-West Highlands with the intention of
re-ascending either Suilven, Arkle, Ben Loyal or Ben Hope.
reaching Lairg, I decided on a re-ascent of Ben Hope. The last time I
ascended Ben Hope, MWIS suggested 90% cloud-free Munros and the reality was
clag. This time MWIS was suggesting 80% cloud-free Munros so hopefully this
time I would get great views. After all, MWIS couldn't possibly be wrong
twice for the same hill? Aye right!
I arrived at the starting point
for Ben Hope around 23:00. The Ben Hope road was 'interesting' in the dark
given the poor road surface, narrowness of the road and the size of my van.
The road is signposted 'unsuitable for caravans'.
On waking, I was
presented with a fine view of the hill.
Room with a view:
setting off, I made myself some coffee and fried-up some delicious Stornoway
Black Pudding purchased in Lairg the night previous.
We then followed the standard 'tourist route' up and down Ben Hope. The
initial path was somewhat wet in places.
back towards starting point and Strathmore River:
having a fairly bad cold, the ascent was not as easy as anticipated as there
was much coughing and spluttering. I was however quite determined to reach
the summit especially having driven so far to get there.
lower slopes of Ben Hope:
It was a
joy to walk with Cuillin who was very well-behaved on the hill.
(the dog not the mountains):
were not as good as I had hoped for as there was low-level cloud and higher
cloud. It was also quite hazy.
Mhuiseil and Strathmore River:
on a brief level section:
Kilbreck was only just visible in the distance sandwiched between low and
Kilbreck in distance:
Kilbreck beyond Creag Riabhach:
approached the summit, we had two large snow patches to cross. The snow was
soft so there was no need for crampons or kicking steps.
for the summit trig point:
from the summit were enjoyable; Ben Hope is a great viewpoint. Hopefully if
I return to ascend this hill for a fourth time it will be under beautiful
towards Ben Loyal from the summit of Ben Hope:
from the summit of Ben Hope:
the summit of Ben Hope:
the summit of Ben Hope:
started walking quite early, I was first to reach the summit. During the
descent I met a number of other parties heading-up the hill.
walkers in descent:
descent, as is often the case, the weather improved. However, by the time I
got back to the van it had again deteriorated somewhat.
improving during descent
Ben Hope is a great hill. If you haven't done it, it is well worth the