A walk up Ben Wyvis
October 20th 2015
I have not done this walk for a long time and being an old man, now in my 60s, was wondering – can I still do it? Yes I can.
I took my wee Mini out to beyond Garve to the Ben Wyvis Car Park. It was pretty full but I got a space. I changed into my boots and was ready to head off at 11:12.
The sign for the nature reserve used to be another two miles up the track. It is down here now. I prefer that.
This is the sort of day it was – the mist is right down on Ben Wyvis. With my modern means of navigation – my Etrex 20 – I wasn’t concerned. I did have a map and compass, just incase!
At the top of the forest track. This is where the reserve sign used to be. It does seem wilder without it but the very well made path lets you know its not really wild!
This little video clip is of me progressing upwards puffing and panting and gasping! The beeping noise is the GPS checking off a waypoint.
I made up a route before leaving home to navigate. The route for ascent worked well. My descent route was saved as a track instead! I could still follow a track but not so convenient. GPS devices are fantastic. It also tracks my route and that is what is plotted on the map above.
I had to photo this – my national emblem still growing at this time of year at near 2000 feet.
Looking back at the path. A fantastic job has been done. You could do it in your slippers.
This is always a good place to reach. It is looking down on Little Wyvis which is a Corbett. So you know you are above 2500 feet. The GPS tells you that now.
I stopped for my lunch about 12:40 just below 3000 feet. It was bitterly cold. I put my jacket and hat on, and my gloves once on the move again. They were on the whole way till below this level again. I only had a roll and packet of crisps. I had kind of rushed the trip together. And just water to tide it on its way. Not enough calories but I have plenty fat!
My camera stopped working. Don’t know why. It worked when I got home. Maybe the damp of the mist. So I’ve swapped to my phone.
This is finally at the summit ridge, just over 3000 feet. There have been multiple paths along the ridge for years. The reserve is trying to narrow this to one path – a good idea. It needs better marking to get people to stick to it. I found it really difficult and wandered off a few times.
There was nothing to see except mist so I didn’t take any photos along the ridge. This is at the summit. I wore my glasses but took them off after this. They kept clouding over in the mist. But its great to be back up here again. One party was there when I arrived. Another two came after me. It is getting like Ben Nevis – too busy.
I had to do a wee summit video – being so modest!
I headed off again back down. On the way down the cloud lifted just a little and I got a couple of pictures. Here’s the way ahead down the ridge. Loch Glasscarnoch can be seen to the West.
And looking over to the East to the Cromarty Firth – the way of home. I could see oil rigs but the photo doesn’t show it.
Back to the final cairn on the ridge. The mist seems to be lifting. It did seem to stay off the top after I got down!
Really getting down now. I overtook three parties that were ahead of me so of course that pleased me. But look. The cloud is off Wyvis.
Here I am nearly back at the car park. This wee bridge has to be crossed. It wasn’t always here. When I took my two boys at first we used to cross using the fence.
The famous fence crossing! It certainly didn’t do the fence much good!
I got back to the car at 3:13 – just over 4 hours. I was happy with that. Another good day.