Meall nan Con (Ben Klibreck) - 961m
Creag an Lochain (Ben Klibreck) - 808m

Saturday 8th August 2009

Weather/Conditions: Sunny, with blue skies and cumulus and some wind. Heavy showers towards the end though, that came and left quickly.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 13.3km / 980m / 6h 05m
Accompanying: Michael C., Martin, Michael K.

Ben Klibreck was the second hillwalk of the day, having already climbed Ben Hope in the morning. Therefore our ascent time was a little slower, and the going was a little tougher, given that we also climbed Creag an Lochain and took a longer route back to the car. Overall, it was a very nice walk to the top of the second most northerly Munro.

We parked on a lay-by at the side of the A836, roughly where believed the start of the walk to be. There was nothing to point out the beginning of the walk, but it seemed as good as start as any. We had some breakfast here before we headed off, and given my lack of food preparation, I simply had dry bread. I'd have to prepare my food a little better the next time a shop is so far away - a dry pack of rolls doesn't always suffice.

Meall nan Con

We got walking at 9.55am, and crossed a stream before picking up a path fairly quickly. The morning's exertions on Ben Hope became evident when I tried to push harder, because I had remarkably less energy than in the morning. The difference was interesting to observe given that this was the first time I'd done two Munros across two separate trips, back to back.

The path was lightly scarred but well enough defined to be followed easily. It climbed up alongside Lochan nan Eun from where the terrain steepened into a 300 metre wall of trackless heather. We climbed this in a long push, heading straight up and then across to the right avoid crags at the top. Michael K. and Martin went directly up the steep ground, so Michael C. and I met them on top of A' Chioch.

We spent some time having a rest beneath the summit slopes of Meall nan Con. A strong wind made it a cold place to stay but we were relatively sheltered amongst the crags. We continued up to the summit where we arrived 2 hours 55 minutes after we'd started out. The views from here were excellent, not only south to Creag an Lochain but to more distant views, which included many of the Corbetts, Munros and Grahams of Sutherland. It's likely that from this viewpoint, there was little of Sutherland we couldn't see. We spent 20 minutes up here. Just before leaving for Creag an Lochain, I paid a brief visit to a ruin one hundred metres east of the top which isn't marked on the map. I took a picture and hurried back to the summit because everybody was leaving. I gave some thought to why a building would be above 3000 feet on Ben Klibreck. I didn't know the answer, but I thought there would be good reason for it's existence. (Or not...?)

Creag an Lochain

From Meall nan Con's summit, we walked back the way we came and then passed over A' Chioch to the bealach beneath Creag an Lochain. Easy angled, grassy slopes led to it's summit, and it appeared to be a simple ascent to gain the top. We paused at the bealach, first for me to change out of wet socks, and then to simply lie in the sun on the warm ground. It was a very inviting place to be and with the bulk of the ascent over with for today, a nice place to sit and relax.

We got moving though when we saw some heavy clouds moving in from the south. From here, the weather would take a turn for the worse. We climbed the side of Creag an Lochain before reaching it's mossy domed summit at 2.15pm. There wasn't even a cairn up here, I'm guessing due to the lack of rocks to build a cairn with. Since rain showers were moving in, we didn't stop.


To get back to the cars, we'd walk over the far side of Creag an Lochain and over the highest ground to the river. We'd go well out of our way to be on the highest ground, but a direct route back to the car would lead us through some deep bog that seemed to go on for a couple of kilometres. Even if our route selection would keep us drier, the inevitable happened and the rain moved in. Lightly at first, and then within a second, torrential. It was the kind of rain that once you've realised what's going on, your legs are soaked. I was wearing a jacket, but only normal trousers, so stood with my rucksack shielding my legs until the shower passed. The rain was heavy but passed quickly. When the sun came out again, the saturated hillside turned to steam - rather spectacular.

The showers had passed and now only light cloud was left. The sun was shining but of course the ground was damp and wet feet was looking like the only option for me. We still had a few kilometres of trackless ground to go, so we made a beeline for Loch Bad an Loch, which we passed on it's right side between it and a smaller, unnamed lochan. It was the most logical route but all routes were eventually going to lead to the same wet feet. More frustrating was that I had only brought the one new pair of boots with me, so changing into a dry pair for the next walk wasn't an option.

Once back at the River Vagastie, I waded through, not bothering to find a passing point. There was no point, the cold water was only refreshing. All that was left now was a ten minute walk up the road and back to the car where I arrived at 4pm. I met everybody else five minutes later, who had all taken their own (drier...) passing place.

From here, next on the list was Ben More Assynt and Conival. Michael K. had to leave us today though and it would be just three of us for the walk the next morning. We drove to Lairg for supplies for the coming day and a take away. We then drove westwards to Inchnadamph, and spent the night camping in Gleann Dubh.

We did two hillwalks on the 8th, and most certainly felt the effects on the 9th. Lack of sleep did not help us either - three hours on the 7th and four hours on the 8th left us shattered for Ben More Assynt. It wasn't a sustainable pace, but I think we were all happy enough.

360° Panorama

Meall nan Con (Ben Klibreck)

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 9.55am Lay-by
(2.55) 12.50pm Meall nan Con
(3.15) 1.10pm Meall nan Con (left)
(4.20) 2.15pm Creag an Lochain
(6.05) 4.00pm Lay-by
Written: 2009-08-14