Has any Outdoor Magic reader been up Ben Hope (northern most Munro) via the North Ridge? I went up there with my wife last May. We made our way round the western side of the mountain until we arrived at the foot of the north ridge. The guidebooks made it sound as if this route was more interesting than the normal long slog from the south or south west! We had read about the so-called bad step scramble up near the summit, but the guidebooks gave no gradings or difficulty - as scramblers who have done Liathach, An Teallach, Aonach Eagach we thought it shouldn't be an issue! Wrong!!!
Fair enough there was no-one else on the route above us to follow their line, but we couldn't believe the huge exposure and a near vertical scramble/climb up the rocks. After a debate we shirked it and gave it a miss, making our way up to the summit via a steep grassy gully just down and round to the right. Once at the summit, we made our way back along the ridge to look at the 20 metres or so of scrambling that beat us, it was sensational exposure straight down the full Western face of Ben Hope. If we had seen someone else above us on the route we may have had the confidence to do it, but seeing most guidebooks didn't mention it or didn't grade it, we aired on the safe side.
Have you done the route (in good weather), and how tough was it as long as you didn't look down? I think the terrain grade wouldn't be too hard, it was the huge exposure below that worried us. Were you roped up for it or just going solo?!
I'd be interested to hear from any Outdoors Magic scramblers who have done the route. Cracking view from up top, we could see Harris/Lewis and also to Orkney!