I woke to the aroma of a woody resin, sort of like pine but less sharp and with a hint of sweet perfume. Coming into consciousness I remembered where I am - in Florence parked beside a single track road, in the middle of no-where. The wee spot I'm camped is the start point for the walk to Ben Kilbreck. It has a reputation for being a boggy walk so I'm here during a particularly good dry spell. I'm surrounded by bog mytle, bog cotton and heather. Oh, and there's a long dead carcase, possibly deer, in the burn behind.
It was early, like 5am early, and freezing cold in the van. I wished I had brought the warmer duvet. Getting up to use the on-board facilities I flicked the dial for the heater. It gradually whirred into life and took an hour for the van to actually feel warm. Meanwhile I had, had breakfast, finished packing the rucksack and was nearly ready to roll.
Early Morning Ben Klibreck
Looking over The Crask to Ben More Assynt
I crossed the moor, largely unscathed thanks to the dry spell, to the slopes of Cnoc Sgriodain. At 554m it wasn't much of a bump but I felt every bit. Behind, the rather fine Ben More Assynt came into view over The Crask. What an isolated pub The Crask Inn is. Later research revealed it was recently given to the Scottish Episcopal Church, who continue the Inn side of the business as well as hold services.
I picked out quite a few distinct ranges of hills not all I could name at the time. My route went over the top of this bump and down the other side to a col, only to haul back up and some the other side. Then came a 1.5km traverse under Carn an Fheidh to the little ridge of A' Chioch.
Ben Klibreck from Cnoc Sgriodain
The Long Traverse to Ben Klibreck
The traverse was good, saving an awful lot of ascent and descent, it also had a cracking view. Reaching the col before the A'Choich ridge you look up to the final climb to Meal nan Con - Ben Klibreck's summit top. Rocky and steep is an apt description.
Up to this point I was thinking I might be the only person on the hill. However, as I climbed the steep slope, I looked back to find another walker on the traverse. In a way I was quite glad as being totally on my own felt a little weird.
Straight up to Meall nan Con - Ben Klibreck
Shattered remains of the trig point - Meall nan Con - Ben Klibreck
Rather than endless 'false summits' the trig point came into sight abruptly. Or to be honest it was the sad remains of the trig. The views were pretty good though despite the mist and overall haze.
The way back was to simply retrace my steps.
Ben Hope from Ben Klibreck
Ben Loyal from Cnoc Sgriodain
Common Butterwort on Cnoc Sgriodain