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Suilvan

Suilvan


Postby Benaden887 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:51 pm

Fionas included on this walk: Suilven

Date walked: 14/08/2010

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 24.5 km

Ascent: 1200m

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Sulivan the hard way - 24.5k 1200m 10hrs 14/08/ 2010

The KMC were at the MCoS hut @ Elphin. It is a ideal base for doing the far northern hills or rock climbing on nearby crags. I have done both. Look N thro the huts main widow and the massive bulk of Suilvan cannot fail but draw the eye. When you rely on others to get here and have no climbing partner for this w/e - well - I resolved at long last to climb it.
This Graham rises steeply from the rough moor, presents the climber with a long 2.5km ridge of length of various heights, split by deep clefts into three sections. Meall Bheag 630m (little hill), Meall Mheadhonach 723m (middle hill) and Casteal Liath 731m (the Grey castle)
Finding the original ascent from the E in an SMC book - I read and reread their route until I had it pat, then put into practice. We left the hut in two cars, the munroists Assynt bound, dropped me off @ gr NC 233122. Over a rise to a track beside Cam loch climb the ridge of Druim nan Cnaimhseg follow this round to the base of the climb. A grass slope leads to scree then rock. The sandstone is much weathered - layered into ledges with all sizes of blocks, yet neatly as one might build a wall. Easyish climb to Bheag`s flat plateau to check out the gap. Ahead is a steep wall of rock - then the space between, well it`s a long way down, and overhanging. I can make out a wee neck that joins us to Mheadhonach. I know all this having read the script, but it still brings a sharp sense of realism. “ Don`t forget you`re all alone” sobering thoughts, but then that`s why I`m here. I head for the N side - a brief route search - then gingerly step down layers of narrow ledges edging always towards the gap. It takes a while, being careful but after a fair bit of backtracking turn a corner and now below the overhang. Steep here. At one point I have to remove my sac - crawl with it along a ledge before I can straiten up. Then, Joy - Confidence is high, cross over the wee neck to the far wall. An awesome windy place, one could climb to here from below, but it jist wouldn`t be the same. Hmm. After a thoughtful start the next 120m becomes easier. Some big steps but soon the angle eases and the real climbing is done with. A steep sided narrow ridge brings up a cairn top and so on until the ridge ends with a 2m drop to a long slope. The script says there may be an easier way further round, but I`m in the groove so hang off the edge, on one arm, then drop - I`m down, walking towards a wall and Bealach Mor. The col has paths coming up from both sides, the N one seeing most traffic Cross the ruined wall built to safeguard sheep, the uphill to the grey Casteal cairn and rest. Satisfaction swells the brain. Fantastic views, the broad dome gives me a chance to look around. Some place. A panorama takes in Lochinver. The peaks of Quinag, Glas Bheinn, Conival and BM Assynt - Behind me the bulk of Canisp - S is Stac polly, Cul Mor with Beag hidden - the Fiddler, BM Coigach and all the lochans sparkling in the sun. I soak up the ambiance of the place until it was time to go, then drop off the SW side, making my way down then angle along the base before down to my inward route and back to the hut. The day was bright and sunny, little wisps of cloud, windy, no midges until later. Seen enroute - canoeist on loch Veyalie, heron, birds and deer.
Another tick off my todo list and remain in total awe of the first climbers.
Memo: You will need to be a competent scrambler with good route finding skills and no fear of exposure to do this route
Read the original route by Lionel W Hinxman in SMC journel vol. 1 1890. thought provoking.
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Benaden887
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Posts: 167
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Fionas:153   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:46
Wainwrights:39   
Joined: Apr 8, 2012
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Re: Suilvan

Postby Sunset tripper » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:21 pm

That looks a great route. Not many have visited these tops when doing Suilven. I have been thinking of doing something similar maybe Elphin to Lochinver but not sure if the scrambling off Meall Bheag is doable for me. Did you get any pictures of the ledges? :shock:
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Re: Suilvan

Postby Benaden887 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:39 pm

Sunset tripper wrote:That looks a great route. Not many have visited these tops when doing Suilven. I have been thinking of doing something similar maybe Elphin to Lochinver but not sure if the scrambling off Meall Bheag is doable for me. Did you get any pictures of the ledges? :shock:

No photo`s sorry - you can bypass Bheag by climbing from the N side to the neck, didn` t pay to much attention to the S side. Good luck.
Benaden887
Stravaiging
 
Posts: 167
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Fionas:153   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:46
Wainwrights:39   
Joined: Apr 8, 2012
Walk wish-list

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