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Suilven camp - via a path less travelled

Suilven camp - via a path less travelled


Postby rockhopper » Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:46 am

Route description: Suilven

Grahams included on this walk: Suilven

Date walked: 24/08/2021

Distance: 31 km

Ascent: 1170m

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I was back at the car having just descended from a camp on Quinag and wanted to go up Suilven next; decent weather forecast for that day at least but not to so good the following day. The question was which approach route to take. Given how busy the Quinag car park was, I was a bit concerned about finding space to park for either of the approaches from the west for Suilven, ie Glencanisp Lodge or Inverkirkaig. As I was to the east anyway, I decided instead to approach from the east using the Ledmore to Lochinver path – I’d also never been on it before and reckoned it would be quiet.

Drove down to just past Ledmore junction on the A835 and left the car in the car park for Cam Loch – space for several cars. Another car parked as I was getting ready and a couple set off ahead of me on the path to Cam Loch.


Suilven 24-25aug2021.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



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The path was quite boggy and a bit indistinct on the way down towards Cam Loch but improved as it followed the east side of the loch.

Suilven looking rather far away

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Cùl Beag

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Some ups and down along the side of the loch and a beach section at one point. I could see the couple ahead of me and caught up with them further up the loch. They were out for a short walk and planning to go to Loch a’ Chroisg. Half way up the loch the path splits; took the right turn and started in a more northerly direction towards Loch a’ Chroisg.

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The path surface was fairly rough and rocky much of the time requiring concentration on foot placement. Boggy bits here and there but nothing which couldn’t be circumvented.

Just west of Loch a’ Chroisg the path turns westwards with views towards Canisp.

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Now heading towards Lochan Fada

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Then the long walk along Lochan Fada

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I had been a little unsure about crossing the outflow at the western end but turned out to be no trouble.

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The path then goes through Gleann Dorcha higher up from the Allt a’ Ghlinne Dhorcha before emerging to the east of Loch na Gainimh.

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Got to the junction with main north approach path and turned left on to it – an excellent path from here to the base of the hill.

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I met another solo walker along this path and we both filed up with water for the night’s camp in the outflow from Loch a’ Choire Dubh – my pack immediately became over 2kg heavier but with only a relatively short distance to go (albeit uphill). There were people and a dog swimming in Loch na Barrack.

From further back and the lochs, the way up does look a bit daunting but there is a path which crisscrosses its way up – as is often the case, it wasn’t as bad as it looks from a distance.

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View towards Quinag on the way up

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Met lots of people who were on their way down. All of a sudden I got to Bealach Mòr with views to the south.

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Famine wall

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Had a chat with the other solo walker about camping spots. He was considerably younger and fitter than me and was planning to go to the summit first hoping to find a place to camp there. I had opted to camp a little below the summit but did consider going up with him at that point. I hadn’t realised just how ideal the summit was for camping and think I made the wrong the decision as conditions later on were excellent for a summit camp. A father and son had set up their tent just up from the bealach as the father wanted to get a night photo of the tent from near my camping spot – as it turned out, he was unfortunately unsuccessful given the fog during the night.

The father and son tent to the left

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Canisp from my camping spot

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The banshee

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Canisp

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Quinag

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I cooked up dinner then set off for the summit.

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Just past the summit there was a large, relatively flat area which would be ideal for camping. I did briefly consider going back down and moving the tent up to it but it was by now quite late and regrettably decided against it.

There was a family group who were bivvying for the night as well as the solo walker in his tent a little way away from them.

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I watched the sun setting down towards a bank of clouds on the horizon. All suggested that there could be an inversion the following morning but was thinking that Suilven may be just too low to be above it.

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With the light fading I said my goodnights to the other campers on the summit and headed back down to the tent – the mist was already starting to blow in.

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In the morning the mist was very think, the tent outer was covered in condensation and I couldn’t see a thing outside the tent. Had breakfast and started to pack up. Just at that point, the bivvyers appeared on their way down – they’d had a reasonable night and told me that there were inversion conditions at the summit.

Decided to leave the tent where it was and go back up to the summit where I again met the solo walker. From what he said, the inversion was very briefly better earlier on but Suilven was a little on the low side to be able to see clearly above the clouds.

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The cloud then rolled in more thickly so I went back down to the tent, packed up and set off. I met a lot of people on their way up but it looked as though there would be no views form the summit that day unfortunately. One couple I met who said there were occasional walkers actually decided to give up and go back even though there were already half way up the steep section saying they would return another day.

Then I had the long walk back to the car; the weather as forecast had deteriorated with a lot of low cloud in the north west although it did improve significantly on the drive back down to Glasgow.

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rockhopper
 
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Re: Suilven camp - via a path less travelled

Postby past my sell by date » Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:09 pm

Great report - inversions that leave clouds below you provide a wonderful experience, :D and are most frequent at dawn I think. Same in the Alps
But whats this sign in K?? A throwback to the Auld Alliance? :lol: :lol: :lol:
After Brexit I think England is heading back to pounds and ounces, and presumably rods chains and perch's - pathetic!
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Re: Suilven camp - via a path less travelled

Postby Mal Grey » Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:03 am

Nice one. Such an inspiring mountain, and nice to approach from a different direction.

Still easier by canoe though ;)
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Re: Suilven camp - via a path less travelled

Postby rockhopper » Sun Oct 24, 2021 10:31 am

past my sell by date wrote:Great report - inversions that leave clouds below you provide a wonderful experience, :D and are most frequent at dawn I think. Same in the Alps
But whats this sign in K?? A throwback to the Auld Alliance? :lol: :lol: :lol:
After Brexit I think England is heading back to pounds and ounces, and presumably rods chains and perch's - pathetic!
Thanks - had a chuckle about your "K" reference - assume you mean kilogrammes :lol: It's an odd one given that I'm old enough to remember pre decimalisation.
I tend to use kg and km when on the hills as they link to map distances and litres/kg is easier to compute but at other times I'll use stones, pounds, miles and inches - guess I'm a bit mixed up :wink: - cheers :)
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Re: Suilven camp - via a path less travelled

Postby rockhopper » Sun Oct 24, 2021 10:34 am

Mal Grey wrote:Nice one. Such an inspiring mountain, and nice to approach from a different direction.
Still easier by canoe though ;)
Thanks - knowing my luck I'd try using a canoe but pick a day with a strong headwind :roll: Am hoping to go back some time but next time camp on the summit - cheers :)
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Re: Suilven camp - via a path less travelled

Postby past my sell by date » Sun Oct 24, 2021 10:55 am

You have a photo of a sign saying Lochinver 19Km . I have never before seen a sign in Scotland that was not in miles - though the UK's official use of metres and miles is clearly ludicrous - we'll meet you half way :lol: - I think some commonwealth countries (Canada NZ and maybe Aus) used miles originally but are now fully metric.
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Re: Suilven camp - via a path less travelled

Postby rockhopper » Mon Oct 25, 2021 9:14 am

past my sell by date wrote:You have a photo of a sign saying Lochinver 19Km . I have never before seen a sign in Scotland that was not in miles - though the UK's official use of metres and miles is clearly ludicrous - we'll meet you half way :lol: - I think some commonwealth countries (Canada NZ and maybe Aus) used miles originally but are now fully metric.
Aha - I understand now. Had forgotten about the photo of the sign. You have a point - come to think of it, I don't recall having seen other signs in metric either - cheers :)
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Re: Suilven camp - via a path less travelled

Postby dav2930 » Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:13 pm

Goodness me, some of those photos are just stunning. What an amazing landscape and the peak of Suilven from some angles is quite incredible. You certainly had superb weather for it, at least until the following morning. Looks a very worthy route too, passing all those wild lochs. :clap:
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Re: Suilven camp - via a path less travelled

Postby rockhopper » Thu Oct 28, 2021 8:39 am

dav2930 wrote:Goodness me, some of those photos are just stunning. What an amazing landscape and the peak of Suilven from some angles is quite incredible. You certainly had superb weather for it, at least until the following morning. Looks a very worthy route too, passing all those wild lochs. :clap:
Thanks - was lucky with the weather. I've passed that area number of times with the view through to Suilven and was just curious about the path. Admittedly it's quite rough in places but worth a look - cheers :)
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Re: Suilven camp - via a path less travelled

Postby litljortindan » Sat Nov 06, 2021 11:18 am

That looks a very fine evening and not a bad morning. The sunset colours are mesmerising.
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Re: Suilven camp - via a path less travelled

Postby rockhopper » Sun Nov 07, 2021 9:26 pm

litljortindan wrote:That looks a very fine evening and not a bad morning. The sunset colours are mesmerising.
Thanks - was lucky with the sunset but next time (fingers crossed) I'll camp on the summit - cheers :D
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Re: Suilven camp - via a path less travelled

Postby Alan S » Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:13 pm

Excellent pics as always mate 8)
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Re: Suilven camp - via a path less travelled

Postby rockhopper » Tue Nov 09, 2021 9:39 pm

Alan S wrote:Excellent pics as always mate 8)
Thanks Alan - good to hear from you - cheers :)
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