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Night out on Cul Mor

Night out on Cul Mor

Postby malky_c » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:49 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Cùl Mòr

Date walked: 19/07/2017

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 920m

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Corbetts: Cul Mor.
Date: 18 and 19/07/2017.
Distance: 14 km.
Ascent: 920m.
Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes over 2 days.
Weather: Almost perfection, but a bit breezy.

I've been waiting for the perfect combination of a decent midweek weather forecast and actually being at home, and finally it rolled round. It looked a bit breezy, but I decided to go for it. The car was handily sitting outside the office, and by 5:30, I was off over the Kessock bridge, the temperature climbing into the mid 20s.

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Some slow traffic on the road, but I was parked opposite Knockan Crag by 7pm and on my way. Despite the forecast, it didn't seem too windy low down.

ImageKnockan Crag

ImageBen More Assynt

I couldn't really see that much on the way up as I was walking directly into the sun, but no worries - the weather was warm and un-Highland like. Suilven hove into view briefly. I decided to go over Creag nan Calman first, which was a good move. Great views over to Cul Beag and Beinn Mhor Coigach, before the knockout view across Stac Pollaidh and out to sea. It was a little hazy, but the hills of Harris were still visible.

ImageSuilven and Quinaig

ImageCul Beag

ImageElphin and Cam Loch

ImageConival and Ben More Assynt

ImageStac Pollaidh and Loch Sionnasgaig

ImageStac Pollaidh

ImageCul Beag from Creag nan Calman

ImageOut to An Cliseam and Harris

Then it was on to the summit, which was slightly different to how I remembered it. I thought it was flat and grassy, and strewn with sandstone slabs, but that is actually an area to the west of the true summit. There is actually a very distinct line between the sandstone of the western part of the mountain and the limestone of the summit itself.

ImageSummit rocks

ImageSummit rocks

ImageSummit of Cul Beag

After a quick stop on the summit, it was time to drop back to the west and find somewhere to camp. It was nowhere near as windy as forecast, but there was still a bit of a breeze to try and avoid.

ImageLoch Veyatie and Suilven

ImageStac Pollaidh

ImageSummit camp

ImageLooking towards Beinn Mhor Coigach

ImageLooking north

After getting the tent up, I filled up a drybag with some food and a couple of beers and took a wander out west to Bod a' Mhadail to watch the sunset and eat dinner. I hadn't bothered with a stove, so there was no cooking to worry about.

ImageBod a' Mhadail

ImageCul Mor

ImageCanisp and Ben More Assynt

ImageCanisp and Ben More Assynt

It was breezier out here, but the wind was relatively warm, so I had a good half hour of sitting, until the sun finally disappeared. This is precisely why I love living in the north of Scotland 8) .




ImageLast orders





I strolled back to the tent and took another quick wander up to the trig point before turning in at about 11pm. As promised, the breeze had increased a bit as the evening wore on, and it wasn't really sitting about weather any more.

ImageQuick visit to the summit

The disadvantage of doing this on a work night (with the full intention of being back in work the following morning) is that there is too much to look at and too much daylight. Add in the constant rustling of the tent in the breeze, and it was a recipe for about 30 minutes of sleep. When I stuck my head out of the door just before 4am, there was already a glow in the east worth looking at, and I decided that I was wasting my time in the sleeping bag.

ImageSeems like 5 minutes later it's getting light again

ImageSunrise over Ben More Assynt

I packed away the tent and was on my way by 4:30am, deciding to enjoy sunrise while I was descending rather than waiting for it to finish on the summit. The breeze made folding the tent up a bit of a trial.

ImageBod a' Mhadail from the summit



I had a break once I had dropped off the summit cone, and waited for a bit of alpenglow. I had probably chosen my route poorly for this, as I couldn't see any of the mountains to the south. Never mind, it was still a worthwhile dawn, and by the time I was back at the car, the sun was well up over the horizon.


ImageOn the way down

ImageCul Mor


ImageCul Mor

ImageSuilven, Quinaig and Canisp



ImageBack to Cul Mor

ImageSun up now

Back at the car, I was on my way just before 6:15am, the road being mostly empty all the way back to the Black Isle. I don't think I've ever made that journey so fast - I was back in Inverness in just over an hour! I had intended to work from home this morning anyway, but in reality it was all I could do to turn my computer on. The combination of no sleep and a cold finally catching up with me meant I had to nap on the sofa until about 11am, and was a complete wreck for the rest of the day.


So probably not an idea to do this sort of thing between days at work too often, but also the sort of opportunity you have to grab when it comes around. Funny to think of what I do most evenings after work (not a lot - perhaps a run or a short cycle if I'm feeling energetic), and compare it to sitting up there on Cul Mor watching the sun set over everything from Torridon to Skye to the Western Isles to Foinaven.
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Re: Night out on Cul Mor

Postby larry groo » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:40 am

Fine indeed.

Mesmerising stuff... great pics.

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Re: Night out on Cul Mor

Postby Jaxter » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:55 am

Definitely worth the effort - cracking stuff Malky :clap: :clap:

Must've been cold....trousers? :lol:
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Re: Night out on Cul Mor

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:15 am

Just sensational pics. :clap: :clap: :clap:

I've drooled over many amazing pics of this part of the world that I feel I know it already. But haven't been there yet. :( .. And a pic Suilven and one of Liathach were in large measure what got me back into the hills. The pic of Suilven and Quinaig is just wonderful. As is the sunset with Stac Polly...

I will get there in the not too distant future....
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Re: Night out on Cul Mor

Postby litljortindan » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:09 pm

Great views and fine sunset and sunrise. Never had trouble sleeping on top of a hill when I used to do that sort of thing but I know how knackering it is to miss out on sleep from the few sunrise walks I've done. Still well worth it once in a while.
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