Sunday 21 October 2012

Ben Wyvis.

Jim sets off from the Ben Wyvis Car Park

Our first "day walk" since moving to Scotland on a glorious sunny, clear autumn day. The snow that was coating the high tops last weekend had mostly melted away leaving the paths clear.

Bhealaich Mor - views to the west

Allt a'Bhealaich Mor and Little Wyvis

An Cabar and Allt a'Bhealaich Mor

A pretty walk in past waterfalls along the Allt a'Bhealaich Mor with the trees in their full autumn grandeur. The path was excellent and the walking easy.

An Cabar

Allt a'Bhealaich Mor

Rafe - An Cabar and Allt a'Bhealaich Mor

Once at the foot of An Cabar the path steepened considerably and boulder steps have been placed up the steepest parts. As we ascended and realised just how many of these steps there were, I started to count. I counted to 340 before the path eased off, there had been at least 100 steps before I stared counting and I resolved to count on the way down!

Jim nearing the summit of An Cabar

An Teallach from An Cabar

Views west from An Cabar

A bit of zigging and zagging took us to An Cabar's summit, with breathtaking views, it was a great place for lunch, especially since there was a small shelter not far from the summit to keep the breeze off.

Rafe - a good spot for lunch on An Cabar
Views to 
Glas Leathad Mor (Ben Wyvis summit)

Views west from An Cabar

Rafe and Jim
Ascent of Glas Leathad Mor (Ben Wyvis summit)

It was an easy stroll to Ben Wyvis top, Glas Leathad Mor, through a few snow drifts, to more airy views - Ben Loyal and Ben Hope clearly visible to the north, the Moray Firth to the east and wave on wave of mountains to the south and west - we spent some time taking photographs and identifying tops.

The Cromarty Firth from Glas Leathad Mor (Ben Wyvis summit)

Views west from Glas Leathad Mor (Ben Wyvis summit)

Views east towards the Moray Firth
Glas Leathad Mor (Ben Wyvis summit)

Views west from Glas Leathad Mor (Ben Wyvis summit)

Rafe enjoys a scrabble in the snow
Bealach a'Choinnich

We continued on to a second Mumro Top, Tom a'Choinnich with more views. We had this summit to ourselves, and seemingly the entire world was ours alone.

Jim and Rafe ascend Tom a'Choinnich

Views south from Tom a'Choinnich to Leathad Mor (Ben Wyvis summit) and beyond to An Cabar

Views north west from Tom a'Choinnich - wild land
PLEASE PLEASE no wind factories here.

More views west from Glas Leathad Mor (Ben Wyvis summit)

We returned to Glas Leathad Mor and An Cabar, finding there were a few more people about now, enjoying the wonderful weather.

Views west from Glas Leathad Mor (Ben Wyvis summit)

Jim and Rafe return to An Cabar

South to The Cairngorms from An Cabar

Jim - An Cabar summit

As we descended the zig zags from An Cabar, a red kite soared up from the glen, wheeling just over our heads, giving us an ariel display before heading off to the east. I started to count the steps, but we met and chatted to so many people on their way up, that I kept losing count and eventually gave up. I reakon there must be close to 500 steps though!!

Views back to An Cabar

Bhealaich Mor during our descent from An Cabar 

 Bhealaich Mor views south west

We stripped down to tee shirts in the afternoon warmth as we descended into the valley - a reminder of the summer just gone. We finished off with coffee and a cake in the old station cafe at Strathpeffer.

An Cabar and Bhealaich Mor

Bhealaich Mor
Autumn colours near the end of the walk

Route: Ben Wyvis Car Park (NH410671), footpath east along north bank of Allt a'Bhealaich Mor, footpath to An Cabar (946m, Munro Top 160), Glas Leathad Mor (Ben Wyvis summit, 1046m, Munro 85), Tom a'Choinnich (953m, Munro Top 153) and retrace steps to start.

Statistics:  Distance: 18.8km  Ascent: 1250m  Time: 6.30hrs

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