Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Tuesday 14 May 2024

Tuesday 14 May 2024 - Ben Klibreck

Quite a long drive took us to a car park by some new wind turbines, at the foot of Ben Klibreck. En route we paused to admire Stac Pollaidh and its surroundings.

Shortly after 10am we set off up the hill. I had in mind that it was a quick ‘up and down’, but I must have been much fitter in 1995, when a few of us went up Ben Klibreck having already climbed Ben Hope on the same day.

Today we savoured our surroundings. The summit was in cloud - that afforded us the excuse to take our time.

The climb has three distinct stages. First, a steep thrutch to a couple of cairns, followed by a short descent to easy, if rather boggy, ground.

Then a second steep ascent leads to a fine belvedere path that cuts out the need to ascend to a minor summit at 808 metres. Sue went up there anyway, while I enjoyed the contouring path below.

A third steep haul, including an easy rock band and a steep bouldery section, took us to the summit in three and a half hours. We had stopped for elevenses and for lunch on the way. A Scots couple had passed us. By now the cloud had gone and we were treated to some expansive, if rather hazy, views.

Just below the summit was the remains of a small building constructed and used in the 1840s by Colby and his team of Ordnance Survey pioneers. They spent months on mountain tops doing triangulations with other summits.

Here’s another summit photo, with the North Sea in the background. This is nearly the ‘top’ of Scotland. We lingered there for some time.

On the way down we took a look back to the final steep climb to the summit. Hereabouts were countless pairs of ptarmigan, a few mountain hares, golden plovers, and azaleas coming into bud.

The azaleas were being harvested for nectar by blaeberry bumble bees. Care was needed to avoid treading on them. We met a couple of women ascending, but there were no other vehicles in the car park.

Common Milkwort was also plentiful lower down the hill.

Hardly a ‘nip up and down’, today’s walk was 15km, with 900 metres ascent, taking 6.5 hours. A splendid fish supper outside the Seaforth chippy in Ullapool concluded an excellent day.

1 comment:

Sir Hugh said...

Who comments on my blog, not "here."