Ben Wyvis

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Ben Wyvis
Cromartyshire, Ross-shire
Ben wyvis.jpg
Ben Wyvis from near Loch Glascarnoch
Summit: 3,432 feet NH463684
57°40’45"N, 4°34’45"W

Ben Wyvis is a high mountain of many summits in Easter Ross, on the border of Ross-shire with a detached part of Cromartyshire, all in the Highlands. It rises north-west of Dingwall.

Ben Wyvis forms an undulating ridge running roughly north-south for about three miles, with several summits; the whole mountain is classified as a Munro, as reaching more than 3,000 feet, and several of its subsidiary tops are "Munro tops". The highest summit is Glas Leathad Mòr.

Geologically, the ridge is composed of Moine pelitic gneiss.

The name 'Ben Wyvis' is from the Gaelic Beinn Uais, meaning "Hill of terror", while Glas Leathad Mòr means "Big green slope".

Summits

Nature

This harshly windswept summit ridge is carpeted with the woolly hair moss Racomitrium lanuginosum, rather than the heather or grass found on most other Highland mountains, whilst the lower slopes support dwarf shrub heath and boglands. The heath and bogland is home to a variety of plants, including Dwarf Birch, Cloudberry, Dwarf Cornel and Alpine Bearberry. The site is an important breeding ground for the Eurasian Dotterel, and represents at least 2.4% of the breeding population in Great Britain [1]. The site is designated as both a National Nature Reserve and a Special Protection Area.

Ascent

Ben Wyvis is usually climbed from the west, as that side is easy of access from the A835 road. The lower slopes are forested, and owned by the Forestry Commission. The summit ridge itself is a National Nature Reserve.

Historical interest

Ben Wyvis stands on the northern edge of the Clan Munro country. By tradition, the Munros hold their land from the Crown. The King declared that they held their lands on condition of furnishing a snowball at midsummer if required. This condition they could easily fulfil, as snow was to be found in some of the mountain corries of their property all year round.

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