Ben Wyvis – [# 235]

Glas Leathad Mor (1046m)

  • Pronunciation:             Glaz Leeyad Voar
  • Translation:                  Big Grey-green Hill
  • Total distance:             14.7km
  • Total time:                    3hrs 40mins
  • Total ascent:                 959m
  • Weather:                       Overcast and misty. Biting cold gale-force wind on the summit ridge.
  • Start / end location:    Dedicated parking area at the foot of Ben Wyvis on southbound A835 800m south of Garbat. [OS Map Sheet 20 – Grid Ref: NH 411 672]
  • Map:                                A map of route can be found here – it may take a few moments to load into a separate window. The map displays on most browsers, but not unfortunately Internet Explorer.

Looking towards An Cabar at the southern end of Ben Wyvis

From the car-park we followed a well sign-posted trail that ran parallel with the main road for a few hundred metres towards Garbat before we took the option of turning ESE and climbing through some conifer forestry. Our path soon reached an intersection with a forestry track, which we crossed to continue along the north side of the Allt a’ Bhealaich Mhoir burn.

The view WNW from the lower slopes of the west ridge of An Cabar on Ben Wyvis

After a couple of kilometres we exited from the eastern boundary of the plantation and keeping on our ESE course we ascended towards the Bealach Mor. Around 800m beyond the tree-line the path turned sharply NE and diverged from the course of the burn as it began to climb quite steeply up the SW flank of An Cabar. The path was very well constructed: first as a gravel track, and then as the gradient steepened, a series of huge stone boulders laid to form a staircase of stepping-stones. This latter part of the path suited those of us with longer legs!

Once we reached the crest of An Cabar’s broad west ridge the gradient relented and we returned once more to a gravel scree-like path construction. A further kilometre of walking up the broad ridge brought us to the summit cairn on An Cabar (946m).

Elaine at the Trig Point on the summit of Clas Leathad Mor on Ben Wyvis

The wind across the summit was really strong and the wind-chill was bitter. There were no views to be had as the hilltop was enveloped in thick mist. We turned NNE and made our way along the hugely wide summit ridge of Glas Leathad Mor, which connected together the various summit peaks that make up the massive bulk of Ben Wyvis, as well as giving its name to the highest peak and thereby the Munro itself.  The mist never lifted as we crossed the summit to eventually reach the highest peak at 1046m or 3,432ft. We pulled on our hats, thick gloves and all of our spare layers of clothing as we sat eating a snack at the summit Trig Point.  Disappointed that the mist didn’t show any signs of clearing we retraced our steps back to An Cabar to find the top of the descent path, which we followed right back into the glen below. A few hundred metres below the summit the wind-chill eased sufficiently for us to take off our hats and gloves – we could hardly believe that we had actually needed all of this insulation on an August day – but, then again, it is the Scottish Highlands!

A pleasant walk through the forestry plantation again brought us back to the car.

Tomorrow, we’re heading to Inverness early to get the mechanical bits of the ‘van serviced, and then we’re travelling on to Perth to get the habitation parts serviced (the water, heating, gas and electrics). We’re leaving the ‘van at the servicing centre in Perth and travelling further south by car to visit family in West Lothian and to attend the Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.

About Cameron Speirs

Born and brought up in the Scottish Highlands, Cameron, has been interested in outdoor pursuits since he was a wee lad. Over the last few decades he has climbed extensively in the Italian Dolomites as well as summiting the Matterhorn and several other 4000m alpine peaks. Closer to home he has spent many wonderful weekends mountaineering and biking in Snowdonia, Cairngorms, Glen Coe, Skye and Lochaber.
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