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Suilven with a Canisp on the top

Suilven with a Canisp on the top

Postby GravelInspector » Sun May 27, 2012 11:39 pm

Route description: Suilven

Corbetts included on this walk: Canisp

Fionas included on this walk: Suilven

Date walked: 03/08/1980

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 1200m

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(See previous posting about Quinag.)
We (a party from an FSC group, including myself) walked through from our camp under Quinag to a new site at the head of Loch na Gainimh. Fortunately (for us) the weather was typical dreich, so we didn't have much sight of Suilven ahead of us, which was probably just as well. After a midge-soaked meal and a night's sleep, we all woke to a relatively fine day.
Our route was from the camp site at the head of the loch, alonf the flanks of Suilven to below the col between Caisteal Liath and Beinn Meadhonach (sorry, don't have a spelling checker for this on hand). It looks an impressive climb, but it's not really much more than a slog on loose scree. Up to the ridge and along to the summit overlooking Lochinver. The amount of crag on the map looks impressive, but it's not a problem on the ridge - and the path up this way is sufficiently sheep-doable that there's a drystone dyke across the ridge here, presumably to keep them from their BASE-jumping.
Returning to the col and continuing easterly along the ridge is airy but not frightening until a notch is met at 3/4 of the length of the ridge. That's really quite scary. It's also geologically interesting, because it's the expression today of a fault that cuts the 2500-million-year-old (2500Ma) Lewisian gneisses of the basement, and which re-activated more recently than 1050Ma to cut the Torridonian sandstones overlying the gneisses.
After returning to the main plateau level, the party split and many returned to the camp though around 1/3 went on to climb directly up the flank of Canisp. We cut through a couple of minor crag bands along a gully, up to the ridge and along to the summit. Then straight back down a different gully with a slight scree run. Across the valley and back to camp.
Great day ; you should have been there!

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Food stocks were now running low in the camp, so the next day's walk was to collect food stocks from a delivery in Elphin, then move on to our next camp. What most of us didn't realise then was that the next campsite would be well up towards the summit of the mountain.
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