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Sublime Slioch

Sublime Slioch

Postby kevsbald » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:43 pm

Route description: Slioch, near Kinlochewe

Munros included on this walk: Slioch

Date walked: 05/04/2013

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 19 km

Ascent: 1000m

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I give my perspective on the excellent report by Jupe1407 on this truly majestic hill. It was a wonderful day. There are a number of hills in Scotland which evoke a sense of respect and admiration. Slioch (Sleagach) is 'the spear' and as the buttresses sit majestically above Loch Maree, one ponders how it could be possible to ascend this behemoth. Fortunately, a nice meander along the loch and a walk up and into the coire is relatively straightforward. From there, the impressive coire cannot fail to bewitch. I had chosen this hill prior to a WalkHighlands meet and had a number of accompanying walkers by the name of Evie, Ewan (her son), John and Pete from Forfar. It is impossible to tell how a group of individuals who have never met before will get on. However, as the weather was truly stunning, we all set off in good spirits along the track. Conscious that this would be a long walk, we reined in the pace from the start and got to know each other. I always feel that I'm not getting to know someone properly at the outset and find myself asking a barrage of questions. I'm not nosey, I just like to get an impression of my fellow humans. Fortuntately, everybody was easy company and we took a number of stops to rest up, hydrate and take in the magnificant views across the loch. On one of the rest stops, we came across a chap from Dumfries who was clearly struggling. We ascertained that he had not been able to procure a meal the night before and that his supper had consisted of 'beer and nuts - well a haundfae'. Plenty of calories right enough but perhaps the heat of the day was having an effect. We never saw him again after we passed him. Shortly after, we emerged into the coire and were met with the impressive mountain of Slioch. I think this may be one of the most impressive coires I've been in and Pete confirmed that.
The impressive coire of Slioch
When pressed on his favourite peak, he told of the Cairngorms, where he had got married. It sounded like a great day and memories were fondly rekindled. I found myself selecting a line up the ridge to the left of me and it was quite awkward and steep with snow patches. I was annoyed with myself when I looked back down and saw Evie struggling a bit. Her son went to help her and slipped about 10 feet. It was a bad error on my part and I quickly descended to see if they were okay. No issues and Ewan felt a bit daft but I should have known better in picking that route. We arrived on the ridge and took in the views once again. From here, the walk up to the two lochans was outstanding, with the vistas across to the loch, islands and sea, quite stunning.
The frozen lochain and mighty Slioch
Pete leads the crew - happy face
By this point, all the major peaks in the Beinn Eighe National park came into view. As we climbed up the zig-zag path, we gained real height but the summit was still some way beyond the trig point. We arrived at the cairn en masse and settled down to have some food and drink. I descended off the Western point down to a prong and revelled in the escapism of it all.
Looking out over Western buttress from summit
From the summit to the trig point - bliss
This was indeed 'living the dream'. I wanted to go back over the Munro Top and all agreed that the ridge looked fine. Well, perhaps Evie wasn't convinced but she did remarkably well over the narrow arete. After the top, I romped East and down to the impressive North facing coire bowl. From here, I could see my future route into the Fisherfield 4, which I hadn't done. All that remained, was our steep descent into the coire, where we re-fuelled with fresh water and the long walk back out, all in high spirits. When Pete later wrote on WH that Slioch had become his favourite hill, that truly encapsulated our cameraderie, this stunning mountain and how good it is to be in the hills with your fellow man.
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Re: Sublime Slioch

Postby Lenore » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:49 pm

Well written and unusual (which is good, btw). Your report gives a glimpse not so much of route or views (though there is that as well) but of what it felt like to be up this hill on this particular day with this company. I like that!

However, I do hope that by "your fellow man" you mean the whole species, and not just the blokes! :-D
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Re: Sublime Slioch

Postby jupe1407 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:30 pm

Excellent report and pictures Kev, and a fine summary of a great day out, in good company.

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