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From the Land to the Sea Beyond - Ben Mor Coigach

From the Land to the Sea Beyond - Ben Mor Coigach


Postby Avocetboy » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:03 pm

Route description: Ben More Coigach

Grahams included on this walk: Ben Mor Coigach, Sgurr an Fhidhleir

Date walked: 26/05/2013

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 750m

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Saturday 25th May and we set off at 4.30am on our annual 550 mile trip to Culnacraig on the Coigach peninsula, nestled below Ben Mor Coigach. 11 hours later we finally arrived having driven up in gorgeous sunshine from Lincolnshire to Inverness, only to see it abruptly end at Ullapool! We were not too disheartened as temperatures were mild and the forecast for the week were good.
A quick check on the MWIS predicted low winds and good weather for the following day, so we decided to start the week off with a bang by tackling Sgurr an Fhidhleir and Ben Mor Coigach.

Ben Mor Coigach is a magnificent mountain. Viewed from the Ardmair it appears as one massive ridge, not revealing any of its many facets.
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It is only when you take the road to Achiltibui when it begins to reveal its true character, with Sgurr an Fhidhleir pointing skywards like a sharks fin.
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Looking back east it takes on a different perspective
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And from Culnacraig, the end of the Ridge at Garbh Choireachan plunges almost vertically into Loch Broom.
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So after a leisurely start to the day, we exited the back gate of our cottage and headed out onto the slopes and cut across to pick up the path to Sgurr un Fhidhleir
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Looking back towards Ullapool, the clouds were beginning to thin and blue skies were appearing. The air was cool…perfect for the climb ahead.
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As we gained height, although the view forward was, as yet, just moorland, behind us, the Summer Isles were basking in sunshine.
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Eventually, our first target, Sgurr an Fhidhleir, came into view, giving nothing away regarding the spectacular delights waiting for us at the summit.
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Time for a break with the Coigach ridge in the background. I had been watching two guys who set off at the same time as us and had just made it to the ridge
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Finally, after a couple of hours trudging up the heather moorland, we finally made it to the Summit. Last year, I made it up here on my own in freezing temperatures and snow on the ground. Although the view was good, nothing beats this view on a clear , sunny day. Is there a better view from any summit?
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All of Assynt mountains, Stac Pollaidh, Suilven, Canisp, Cul Mor, Cul Beag with Ben an Eoin in the foreground. Absolutely stunning.
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We spent a good twenty minutes enjoying the view before heading down to the Bealach. A perfect place for a spot of lunch with Stac Pollaidh framed between the incredible cliffs of the Fhidhleir and Ben an Eoin.
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We then climbed up the grassy slopes to the Coigach Ridge. Last year, I made it this far on my own, but had to turn back as the clouds closed in. This year, bathed in sunshine, I left my wife and son to enjoy the sun and walked the ridge as far as highest point three quarters of the way along. I had been fearful of this and doubted whether I could do it, but it was easy, the ridge is relatively wide and at no point did I feel exposed
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Whilst I was exploring my wife was taking pictures, the Summer Isles and Skye bathed in sunshine.
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Looking East to Ullapool.
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An Teallach to the south
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On my return, we then all made our way to the true summit of ben mor coigach. What a view!! Sgurr an Fhidhleir to the left and the rest of Assynt to the mountains of the North.
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Carter was feeling pretty good. I had decided that rather than scrambling down Garbh Choireachan, our return route would be along the Alt nan Coisiche which can be seen on Carters left.
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We found the source of the burn which erupted from the ground just below the bealach
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The walk down was pathless and would probably be boggy in wet weather, but today it was dry and with the stunning view ahead of us, it was pretty easy going.
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Eventually we lost the burn as it plunged into the gorge
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At this point gradient became steeper. Loch Broom looked like glass and An Teallach was ever present
behind Ben Globlach
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Moley, taking a well earned rest
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We finally reached the crossing point of the burn and had a final drink. Perfect spot for a wild camp this. Maybe next year.
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And finally, after seven wonderful hours we arrived back at the cottage, tired, but elated after a day that none of us will ever forget.
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Avocetboy
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Re: From the Land to the Sea Beyond - Ben Mor Coigach

Postby BoyVertiginous » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:11 am

Superb report.

Delighted you got the weather and were finally able to nail these two in a great day out, shared with the family.

The views captured in the pictures are simply breathtaking.
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BoyVertiginous
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Re: From the Land to the Sea Beyond - Ben Mor Coigach

Postby malky_c » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:28 am

What a great day :) This was one of my favourite walks of last year - must go back and do it again.
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Re: From the Land to the Sea Beyond - Ben Mor Coigach

Postby orion » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:20 pm

One of the best hill days in Scotland that is especially in weather like that :D
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Re: From the Land to the Sea Beyond - Ben Mor Coigach

Postby Lenore » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:45 pm

So that''s what it looks like from the other side and in sunshine! Spied these hills from Stac Pollaidh a month ago and thought them superb even then, but they are much cooler than I thought even! Thanks for posting this lovely report.
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Lenore
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Re: From the Land to the Sea Beyond - Ben Mor Coigach

Postby litljortindan » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:51 pm

Where I was yesterday but approached from the east. Nice photos. What the view from Ardmair does reveal to me is that all those ostensibly little bumps in the ridge are in fact pretty sizeable close up. Case in point being your photo looking west along the ridge.
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litljortindan
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Re: From the Land to the Sea Beyond - Ben Mor Coigach

Postby Avocetboy » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:28 pm

Thanks folks, we were so lucky to be up there in that weather, and we were equally fortunate a couple of days later up cul mor.
I know what you mean litjortindan, the ridge looks pretty fearsome from afar, but as others have said on here, it's relatively straight forward
Avocetboy
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Location: Boston, Lincolnshire

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