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10000 along 731 up!

10000 along 731 up!


Postby lowflyer » Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:19 pm

Route description: Suilven

Fionas included on this walk: Suilven

Date walked: 18/05/2021

Time taken: 12 hours

Distance: 20 km

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Suilven is and always will be a remarkable feature. No one who enters this region can fail to be impressed by its presence and it is only fitting that everyone should seize the chance to climb it.
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And so after finishing work in Inverness on a lovely May day I headed up to Assynt with the intent of an overnight on the summit.
Arriving at Lochinver in the early evening I drove along to Glen Canisp lodge and was delighted to find a parking space. A lot of walkers were coming off the hill by now.
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As I prepared my pack and tent I stood at the edge of Loch Druim Suardalain and took in the view of the magnificent Suilven in the distance.
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The path is a good one and leads behind the Lodge and the wonderful 24 hour tuck shop where I added to my supply of water due to the warm weather.
The trail meanders south easterly and would be best described as undulating and provides constantly changing vistas of Suilven which never appears to get any closer!
About 3 km in there is a wee path up to the left which takes you to Suileag bothy which is good to know albeit they have been closed during the pandemic.
Onward along the main track until you cross a bridge over a stream and Suilven now looks more imposing. A path off to the right heads toward the centre of the feature, through boggy terrain,but the going is good thanks to the upgraded trail courtesy of the John Muir Trust volunteers. Very well done them.
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As I headed up past the small lochans I decided on a change of plan. I was feeling a weakness in my knees and the prospect of the climb up with the weighty pack and tent did not sound sensible. So, I pitched the tent here and set her up for my return.
Now carrying only the basic essentials I continued up the path and benefited immediately from the lighter burden. The route up is not difficult, just a steady steep walk. I met two fellows descending who informed me that they were the last persons coming off the hill.
The moment to savour is when your head pops up over the ridge and as I was blessed with good weather and visibility, the view literally took my breath away.
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Looking north to Quinag and south to Stac Pollaidh. What a vista. Canisp an Cul Mor both looking resplendent too.
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I walked to the right through the gap in the innocuous drystane dyke up to the summit. I noted a lovely grassy flat area where I could have camped and promised myself...another time.
I lingered atop for a while just soaking up the views and as the light was fading slightly, I ventured back down to the lochans and my pre-prepared bed for the night.
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I was tired but very relaxed. I prepared a lovely meal by outdoor standards and watched the sunset and moon rise. Bliss.

A good few hours sleep, early rise, porridge and coffee, pack the tent and good to go. The wind had picked up a wee bit in the night and I wondered how it would have felt atop the ridge?
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A lovely bimble back along the trail with the occasional red deer for company,to Glen Canisp lodge and another visit to the honesty shop for some sugar fix!
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As I drove home that morning I still felt the calmness and tranquility of this wee expedition and the solitude had given me time for reflection. What a wonderful part of the world and what a privilege to live here.
lowflyer
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 19, 2018

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