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Wild Cul Mor

Wild Cul Mor

Postby Jeannie » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:39 pm

Route description: Cul Mor

Corbetts included on this walk: Cul Mor

Date walked: 24/09/2010

Time taken: 24 hours

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Having been the only tent to survive the gale force winds in the remote and lovely Badralloch campsite, and not good enough weather for me to confidently climb An Teallach, we decided to fit in a wild camp en route to Lochinver. The inital plan was to walk Cul Mor, wild camp the other side, then bag Cul Beag the next day. Well, you know what they say about all good plans.....

Weather was not too good, but undetered, we started from the Knockan Crag car park late morning, along with overnight packs and the Northface (not so) old faithfull.

Starting out - the track was good with okay visability, but not of the beautiful surroundings (which only revealed themselves unexpectedly the next day!).
On the stalkers path.


In fact we didnt realise quite how nice the track was until we came to the big bog! After wading through the bog and wishing we had gaiters, I was relieved the path became stoney. Along with this though the cloud descended and took the path with it. Map reading was slow and tricky and the cloud didn't look like it was going any time soon. Stopping for some late lunch and decision making, a little group of (what I initally thought was pigeons!) ptarmigans flew in to join us and lightened the mood.
One of the locals.

Still having a fair way to the top of Cul Mor and not much vis at all, the disappointing decision was made to not climb up today. The choice was to either go back to the car and find somewhere to camp on the way or climb down towards Cul Beag and camp there somewhere. I was not keen to climb too far away from Cul Mor, just in case their was a slight chance we could climb it in the morning. Compromising (which I'm not good at!) with my well experienced other half, we decided to have a look for a place to camp.

Finding a river, we contemplated climbing down it, but the low cloud made this decision possibly a bit insane! The cloud lifting slightly revealed a small gorge......gorgeous! This was to be our spot for the night! Even though it was only about 4pm, by the time we looked around and decided on the 'best' pitch, we put up the North Face and leisurely enjoyed a cooked dinner, courtesy of the trangia at 5pm.
Room with a view


After raining all night long it didnt look good for climbing to the top. But somehow the cloud started to lift, and the temptation to get to the top got the better of us.
We could see the top from out pitch.

Making the decision to climb Cul Mor ...... we then had to find the path! In between the cloud and bog after about half an hour we found it! The cloud descended again and I started to doubt whether we should bother. Encouraged by finding the path and knowing how I would feel if I didn't 'make it', my husband led the way forward.

The last obstacle, the bolder field, met us along with another family of ptarmigan, aaaah. Worried that I would struggle back down again (being scared of heights and not good on down hills), I was encouraged to leave my bag near the bottom. Not wanting to leave my precious kit, I started to clamber over the boulders, but realising how this would be on the way back down, I reconsidered and left it there, taking a GPS point.

My husband (taking his bag), led the way and it wasn't long before we made it to the top. Of course, we couldn't see anything at all, but we had made it!
The cloudy top.

After eating a satisfying cheese and pickle sandwhich for elevensees, we set off back down and retrieved my bag.....much to my relief.
Down the boulders.

Satisfied with just walking Cul Mor, we left the hills behind and started the walk back to the car. Happy with what we had achieved, with seeing wildlife we would only see up here, and enjoying a perfect wildcamp spot, what more could we wish for?

Plodding down our eyes nearly popped out of our heads. The cloud was starting to lift and we could see for miles around....was this what was really here yesterday? Wow, wow and wow again!!
What amazing views. We had seen none of this yesterday!
The Stunning Suilven




The end of a great wild walk......the beginning of another.
Posts: 28
Munros:2   Corbetts:1
Joined: Mar 27, 2010

Re: Wild Cul Mor

Postby mountain coward » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:04 pm

Looks great - what day did you do this? We were up Cul Beag last Friday (10th)... Kept looking at Cul Mor but it normally had its top in the cloud and it seemed a bit of a shame to do it if it was 'in'... So was there a steep bit near the top? The map makes it look okay... Cul Beag was pretty steep to get up the final stages but not too scary... There was an insane path on the Cul Mor side up from a col next to a tiny peak which everyone else uses though (our route was totally pathless and went straight up from the road) - couldn't believe people went down the other route! Very scary indeed!
mountain coward

Re: Wild Cul Mor

Postby Jeannie » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:14 pm

Hi MC,

We did it the end of August, but I've have only just managed to post the report! No I don't think it was scary near the top, but we couldn't see much. Sometimes thats better for me! We were going to go down the other side, but my husband said this looked very steep on the map and then we decided not to do it anyway. One was enough for my fitness. What was Cul Beag like? Did you enjoy it?

We then climbed Suilven two days later, but in a day, which was awesome but I was very scared near the top and couldn't look at anything but the path until we reached the lovely flat and big top!!

Happy days.
Posts: 28
Munros:2   Corbetts:1
Joined: Mar 27, 2010

Re: Wild Cul Mor

Postby mountain coward » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:21 pm

Ah okay - we couldn't have waved at each other then! :D Cul Beag, if you go up from the roadside (the south side - or the descent suggested in the SMC Corbetts book) was fine but pathless all the way. Quite a few boggy bits and plodding up and down over humps but no problems. A very short route too. The climb up the summit cone was shorter on the left/hand side (south) but a bit rocky and pretty steep. I decided I wouldn't want to come back down that way so came back down the north side (heading east - hoping I'm getting these directions right as I'm back at work so mapless) of the summit cone. That was absolutely fine. The trade route goes north from that end of the cone and looks severely horrid!! Then it was just a boggy plod back the way we came.

There were absolutely stunning views from the summit though (as I'm sure there would be from Cul Mor) so make sure you do it on a good day!
mountain coward

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