Author Topic: Suilven 24 September 2020  (Read 599 times)

pdstsp

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Suilven 24 September 2020
« on: 13:12:30, 14/10/20 »
I recently spent a week in the north of Scotland - staying in Lairg at the South East end of Loch Shin - it's a hotbed of Bronze Age remains which Mrs pdstsp is PhDing about.  But I negotiated a pass out for the Thursday as I wasn't going all the way up there without a day in the hills.  Suilven has always called so that was the aim.  Up early and a foggy drive over, arriving in Lochinver shortly after dawn.  Being early I got into the small car park near Glencanisp Lodge and was welcomed by a fellow walker who had overnighted - he was so full of praise for Suilven that my whetted appetite became even more whetted!


The walk in to the climb of Suilven is long, but is dominated by the gradually changing views of this amazing mountain.





And there are some pretty cool views of Loch Druim Suardalain too;





The approach is gently undulating, but Suilven makes some appearances - it's always there;





After a few miles the path forks, with the right fork being the approach to Suilven.  This path has been improved over the last few years, apparently, by the John Muir Trust and has changed from a mudbath to a very well defined path.  After a while the full might of Suilven unveils itself, and I found myself thinking "How on earth do I get up that".


 


But - if you look closely, there is a path approaching the dip in the middle - it zigzags to the left of the stream, before becoming more direct at height.  It is steep but well made, and, as Suilven is not particularly high, it doesn't last long.  And how it is worth it as the views open out to the North behind you.





Arrival at the col is spellbinding - one minute a wall of rock and grass in front of your nose, the next minute;





Here it is turn right to the main summit, or left to the second summit, Meall Meadhonach, [/size]which involves some scrambling.  My aim was the main summit which is still 150 metres or so above;





I was feeling so elated here, the beauty is spellbinding.  And, as I set off walking, look who came to say hello;





And, hiding behind the world's most pointless but incredible, dry stone wall, the rest of the family;





The climb to the summit is up here;





And in close up;



It is easier than it looks, winding through the rocks, with very little need for hands - maybe just for a bit of balance on a couple of occasions.  There are a couple of little interesting bits - such as this.  A beautiful climb, I wanted it to go on and on;





As the summit is approached the 360 degree views open out;


Looking back to Meall Meadhonach, the second summit;





The summit cairn;





And the view west - Harris in the distance;





I hung around for half and hour or so - just taking in the beauty of this place.  And then the descent - back the way I came - a steep descent from the col;





I had shared the way up, and summit with a couple from Northern Ireland, and we had the place to ourselves.  On the way down the rote was much busier, but everyone was in high spirits on such a beautiful day and in such a place as this.  I promised myself I would climb Suilven, and having done so, I have promised myself I will return - it is a very special mountain.








richardh1905

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Re: Suilven 24 September 2020
« Reply #1 on: 15:21:32, 14/10/20 »
Absolutely wonderful - Suilven is a mountain to quicken the pulse, dramatic from any angle, sometimes brutish and intimidating, always the centre of attention, and there is a special atmosphere about the summit, perhaps a combination of the improbable nature of the ascent and the stunning views of Assynt and Coigach; so many shapely hills all around, on display like trophies on a shelf.


Many many years my wife to be and I climbed Suilven by the route that you describe, although we started in Lochinver and walked in to Glencanisp Lodge. We descended southwards from the col into the wilderness of Assynt and had a long walk out - a long but memorable day - I even remember the bees buzzing in the sycamore trees at Glencanisp Lodge.


Thank you for posting  :)
« Last Edit: 15:25:32, 14/10/20 by richardh1905 »
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Dodgylegs

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Re: Suilven 24 September 2020
« Reply #2 on: 18:09:08, 14/10/20 »
Enjoyed those photos giving an insight to a fabulous mountain. O0
« Last Edit: 18:17:43, 14/10/20 by Dodgylegs »

pdstsp

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Re: Suilven 24 September 2020
« Reply #3 on: 18:38:07, 14/10/20 »
Thank you both - it really was one of those days which will live for a very long time in the memory.  Arriving at the col, Bealach Mor, was a truly emotional moment - I nearly got a bit of dust in the eye -  - I think you sum it up very well Richard.  The deer were an added bonus, almost like the mountain giving a reward for being first up there that day. 

April

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Re: Suilven 24 September 2020
« Reply #4 on: 20:15:21, 14/10/20 »
What wonderful photos pdstsp  O0  I do feel a bit dizzy though, that is a long way down!


Looks like an incredible experience  :)  Did the deer dash off like they normally do?
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Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Suilven 24 September 2020
« Reply #5 on: 20:39:57, 14/10/20 »
It looks like you had a wonderful day. Suilven needs to go on the list for me.

tonyk

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Re: Suilven 24 September 2020
« Reply #6 on: 20:52:57, 14/10/20 »
 I first saw a photo of Suilven  in a book in the school library when I was twelve years old and found it hard to believe we had mountains like this in the British Isles.I first climbed it in 1981.The other summit is a little harder to reach and from what I can remember did involve a bit of climbing near the top but none of it was really serious or exposed.

karl h

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Re: Suilven 24 September 2020
« Reply #7 on: 20:57:17, 14/10/20 »
Fantastic Paul O0


Pity we didn't meet on Red Screes you could have told me all about it ;D
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beefy

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Re: Suilven 24 September 2020
« Reply #8 on: 22:04:18, 14/10/20 »
Great stuff O0
I think I should drag Ape up there, don't worry Ape ill hold your hand  ;D
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pdstsp

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Re: Suilven 24 September 2020
« Reply #9 on: 22:58:24, 14/10/20 »
Thanks all - much appreciated, and April - no the deer seemed less skitty than in the Lakes - they didn't even move when I got the camera out!

vizzavona

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Re: Suilven 24 September 2020
« Reply #10 on: 08:16:17, 15/10/20 »
Yes....two fine hills in the area:-) We got to both Suilvan and Canisp on a wee birthday treat for our daughter  based at the good Bothy at Suileag.

snaderson

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Re: Suilven 24 September 2020
« Reply #11 on: 08:17:37, 15/10/20 »
Looks like you had a fab day and certainly got some great pics. It's a beautiful area. Nice to have the deer hanging around. A few years ago a group of us were lucky enough to stay for a week at Glencanisp Lodge and we walked up from there. We didn't do the eastern peak as it was extremely windy. I could have done without twisting my ankle on the descent though.

pdstsp

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Re: Suilven 24 September 2020
« Reply #12 on: 08:25:33, 15/10/20 »
Yes....two fine hills in the area:-) We got to both Suilvan and Canisp on a wee birthday treat for our daughter  based at the good Bothy at Suileag.


Yes I looked and looked at Canisp, but no way I could think about it on the same day, and I only had a single day pass - my skills were needed to assist in bog hopping round hut circles for the rest of the week - but hopefully get it next time.  I intended to wander up to the bothy on the way but didn't manage it.


Snaderson - I was going to do the eastern peak but hung around the main peak for quite a while so didn't - left in the wish list for next time.  Must have been lovely staying at the lodge.  I tried to get something from the honesty shop on the walk out as I forgot to take any food with me on the day, but I had also left my cash on the same kitchen table as my food!
« Last Edit: 08:28:53, 15/10/20 by pdstsp »

pdstsp

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Re: Suilven 24 September 2020
« Reply #13 on: 08:27:54, 15/10/20 »
Dleted - double post.  Ham fisted buffoon.

snaderson

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Re: Suilven 24 September 2020
« Reply #14 on: 08:31:48, 15/10/20 »

I had also left my cash on the same kitchen table as my food!


D'oh! So no pies from the shop in Lochinver either  :(