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Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!!

Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!!


Postby dooterbang » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:07 am

Route description: Quinag: three Corbetts

Corbetts included on this walk: Cul Mor, Quinag - Sail Gharbh, Quinag - Sail Gorm, Quinag - Spidean Coinich

Date walked: 01/10/2016

Time taken: 16 hours

Distance: 28 km

Ascent: 2500m

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My love affair with Assynt, and its description, is well documented in previous trip reports. It is such a unique landscape that fills me with wonderment, I like to lose myself in Assyntland from time to time. It is otherworldly, it is awe inspiring, and when the sun shines it evokes the need for adventure. There is no other place I’d rather be, sure as hell beats Glasgow :wink:

The roots of this trip began in my favourite vegan Café Thursday evening in “The 78” having dinner with Polly and Mountainthyme. I was down to run the Glasgow 10k but actually felt like a walk would be best. So MT and I decided to walk Sunday and I would give my place to Polly’s man Garry, a man of many events.

On Thursday evening I checked the weather. Assynt, along with most of Scotland, looked incredible. Friday morning my mind was made up to head to Assynt. I booked a single room for two nights in Ullapool and was on my way. I let MT know I probably wouldn’t walk Sunday with her. She was fine with this, she was busy anyway it turns out.

Friday evening I wandered around the harbour and coastline, the ferry setting sail for Stornoway.
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Views to Beinn Dearg Four
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Summer Isles and Ben More Coigach
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Loch Broom
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Ullapool was utterly heaving with teeny boppers in wellies – it was the Loopallu Music Festival!
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I had managed to get in via the rocky coastline but headed early as had an early rise. The sun now fading, shimmering against the water…
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I had a clear plan of what I’d be doing this weekend, firstly it was Quinag and its 3 Corbett’s.
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I woke at 6am and was soon on my way. Suited and booted and walking for 7.30am, the sun blinding the path ahead. There was one other walker who left not long after me, we would chat on my 3rd Corbett and his 2nd. But for now I was solo and enjoying the freedom of being alone in the mountains.

Soon I was on the ridge leading to Spidean Coinich, the views splendid towards Suilven & friends.
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The going was pretty easy, how could it not be with all that distraction! Spidean Coinich done, and moving on…
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Cloud reflections in little lochans.
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Looking back…
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The way ahead to Sail Gharbh…
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I reached the summit! I sat here and ate some food. I was having a pretty good time up high in the mountains :D
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More clouds, without the lochan accessory.
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The ridge ahead looked straight forward, so off I went on my merry way…

Looking back to SC from SG.
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Nearing the summit of Sail Gorm and looking back at the ridge I just walked.
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Summit Selfie! Sat here for 20 minutes milking the awesome views then made my journey back to the car.
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On route back I bumped into Andi & Joni, I had rented their studio in Braes end of May. Lovely couple who informed me they just sold their house. Next for them was a trekking holiday in India before settling for a new life in France. Really nice people, I was very happy for them and wished them well.

Next on my hit list would be a return to Achmelvich Beach, but this time I’d be exploring its rocky SW aspect and searching for the Hermits Castle.

Sublime views to Suilven & Canisp before dropping down to the bay proper. I sat here for half an hour and watched seals relaxing in the sun.
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Next I was wandering around SW rocks, the view back to the sandy beach incredible with Suilven & Canisp in the distance….
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The North Bay – Spent many a good time here 8)
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Suilven & Canisp zoomed.
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The Coast
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Views out to sea. Lewis and Harris easily visible in the distance.
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So then it was time to find that castle! It really was tiny, obviously fit for a hermit.
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Being so close to Lochinver only meant one thing! Yep, it was pie time :shock: . I sat beside the water and enjoyed a broccoli, cauliflower, fried onion, and cheese pie with mash, gravy and peas. All washed down with a can of Scotland’s finest – irn bru! Well it’s nice to indulge now and again, yeah?!
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I had pointed out Ardmair Point as a potential for a decent sunset. I drove the 30 minutes or so, and I was not disappointed. A great way to finish a fantastic day wandering around Assynt.
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Back at my digs I enjoyed a shower and a tasty beer. Tomorrow I would do Cul Mor, a mountain I’d yet to conquer.

Again I was first on the mountain, it was 8am. One man and his dog left soon afterwards.
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This morning’s target.
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The clarity was incredible, Suilven ever present and felt almost in reach.
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I was really enjoying this walk. It felt super remote walking across the barren desolate lunar like landscape, I was in the zone :)

There is a sharp pull over a boulder field to the summit, which was really good fun. And there I was standing on the summit with the most incredible views, I felt privileged, gobsmacked and elated.
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The views to Stac Polly, BMC & the Summer Isles very impressive.

Stac Polly zoomed.
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BMC & Stac Polly Pano.
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The wind was blowing hard, it was a tad cold up there. I put on an insulated jacket and dropped down out of the wind, Suilven my visual treat. I ate some banana flap jacks and sat a while.
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On route back down the boulder field I got chatting to the man and his dog, not the dog obviously as they don’t speak human yet. The man was up from Cardiff for a couple of weeks, he had great weather ahead of him.

One last photo of the mighty Suilven – Mountain Porn at its finest!
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On route back to the car I met Joni again, she was out getting some fitness in for India. Andi was cycling around Assynt on his bike. We had a chat and said our goodbyes. Then nearing the finish a small bird would stop on the path in front of me and as I got closer it would then fly about 10 meters ahead. This pattern continued for about 60 meters. I think it was guiding me, I was on the right path now.

Got back to the car at 11.50am, driving for noon. Destination one hour away at Gruinard Bay.

Arrived at Gruinard Bay and was astonished to find I had it all to myself.

I always head for the second mound on the NE tip as this provides the best views, well in my opinion.
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Spectacular views in every direction.
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I sat here for over two hours, lost in my thoughts and the surroundings.
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I spotted an ant in a sea shell filled with water. I was unsure if it was drowning and fighting for its life, or merely enjoying an open top bath to cool down in the searing heat. I decided to empty out, it could always have a bath later again if needed!
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Knowing I had a 5 hour drive home I left around 4pm, a last wander along the sandy beach before gazing to the sky and looking at the sun and the clouds.
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Absolutely brilliant weekend in my favourite part of Scotland, fills the soul with untold joy and happiness.

Here's hoping the weather gods play ball for my friends compleation next weekend on Mull, guiding on the Ben the following one, and the WH meet in Kintail end of the month. Bring on the snow :) 8)
Last edited by dooterbang on Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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dooterbang
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Re: Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:58 am

Well... all I can say is... Doot, you lucky b*** :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: The best autumn weekend so far, where did you order the sunshine?

Some of my fav hills here. With blue sky and those Assynt "weirdos" all around, hard to ask for more. I can understand why you like this area so much, it is a special corner of Scotland.

See you on WH meet if all goes as planned, hopefully weather gods will be on our side :D
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Re: Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!

Postby rockhopper » Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:40 pm

Not too bad, I guess :wink:
Must be great being young and free and able to toddle off at the drop of a hat,
not that I'm in the least bit envious :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: - cheers :)
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Re: Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:14 pm

Brilliant - those photos make me weak at the knees - no that's not arthritis setting in :lol: :lol: . It was a stunning weekend - glad you got the best of it. :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!

Postby audreywaugh » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:36 pm

Great report and photos, Assynt is a very special place, those views and beaches :D Weather at the weekend was very warm for this time of year, except at night in a tent, me being one of those teeny-boppers (I wish :lol: ) at the Loopallu Festival.!
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Re: Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:00 pm

Simply spectacular. Assynt v Galsgow 10k . The Glasgow 10k didn't stand a chance
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Re: Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!

Postby mountainsofscotland » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:04 pm

Another fantastic NW HIghlands report from you. I was hoping to head to Ullapool myself but passed up the chance when I heard the festival was on. Good stuff!
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Re: Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!

Postby jacob » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:49 pm

Wow Dooterbang, those are a lot of truly beautiful pictures of what is also my favourite place. Cracking photos of Suilven, the unusual side of Stac Polly and the cloud reflections in the Lochains, al worth a :clap:
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Re: Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!

Postby dogplodder » Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:08 pm

Love this area too - beautifully show-cased in your photos!

But isn't that prefab-look castle a funny thing? Surprised he got planning permission. :lol:
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Re: Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:58 pm

Awesome place, optimum weather, brilliant pics - the allure of the place really speaks in the pics. :clap: :clap: :clap:

(BTW what's that blue mountain with twin peaks at the beginning of the report..??)
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Re: Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!

Postby kev_russ » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:52 pm

Braw 8)
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Re: Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!

Postby smalltounboy » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:48 pm

Wow wow wow!!!
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Re: Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!

Postby David-Main » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:59 pm

Great weekend Doots, I was on the ferry on Saturday going to Stornoway and the assynt hills looked immense, look on my FB page for images i took from the ferry. The wee bird was probably a Wheatear, google it to see if it was. As you say the best place on weekends like that.
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Re: Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!

Postby The Rodmiester » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:06 pm

A stunning place Paul, love that area, I must return and soon. Superb photographs, your loss was my gain Mountain Thyme and I had a fantastic day on a wee gem of a Corbett up Loch Arkaig, after the low cloud had burned off, what a day and it looks like you had brilliant day as well.
Bet you have never seen a badger before on a Scottish hill, I came across one for the first time on our way off the hill, it just put icing on the cake as far as I was concerned.
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Re: Adventures in Assynt - A Dooterbang Weekend Spectacular!

Postby Collaciotach » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:49 pm

'S math sin ...smashin :D
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