Climbing the Ben Wyvis

On Wednesday we climbed the Ben Wyvis, the highest mountain in the neighbourhood, and a real landmark point. For example from the motorway:

It's above 3000 feet, so they call this a Munro in Scotland. Daddy had planned an intesting route.

This route probably works well in winter given the pictures on the website from where this idea was taken, but worked less well in winter as I will detail later. But the first part went really well.

 

In the distance looms the mountain:

And at its foot it doesn't look too hard!

And it wasn't too hard indeed. Still quite some effort required. This is probably about 2/3 of the way. It was quite windy, but the views were amazing.

 

After about 2/3 it became much harder for someone with fear of heights. It was doable, but not easy. Luckily the hard parts didn't take that long, and closer to the top it again became a nice walk up. Auke and Dieuwe are here almost at the top of the An Cabar (950m):

It was really windy at the top:

After a break, we went to the real top, Ben Wyvis itself. The walk is really easy, the views cannot be captured by my camera.

As usual the boys were first:

Yes, this really is the top of the world in this part of the world (1046m):

One more top left to go, the top of Tom a'Choinnich. We first had lunch on a slope of the Ben Wyvis, and then went downhill and uphill again:

The wind up there was just ferocious:

From here we followed the map above, but went off the beaten track. First we went downhill. Daddy and Mummy more conventionally, the kids more rolling:

We had to make our way down to the first, then left over the river along the forest for another half a  mile and then through the forest. But there is no path! Walking this underground isn't as easy as it might look, it's very uneven. It's very far to the forest. The "valley" below is cut through with empty riverbeds. There are swamps. And then finally you make it to the forest. From there it is down to the river. And then you have to get over this:

Then it's uphill again, trodding along the forest. Hoping the map is right and that there is a crossing half a mile uphill. You jump over swamps, pools, and sometimes partially in them. But luckily, the map is right, and the fence can be passed. But there's no path, only a half swamp, half grass fire barrier through the forest. Midges are all around you, your shoe gets stuck in the swamp:

A swarm of hornets starts to follow you, and you start to wonder if you should trust the map, go downhill, or left or right. But in the end we made it safely down, and only the good memories remain.