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Slioch, solo - one of the best mountain days ever....
by MusicalHiker » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:33 pm
Route description: Slioch, near Kinlochewe
Munros included on this walk: Slioch
Date walked: 19/04/2019
Time taken: 9.5 hours
Distance: 19 km15 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I don't tick hills off lists; I've no real desire to climb all of them. I just go and climb the ones that call to me; the interesting or unique ones, and Slioch had been looking very attractive for a while!
I started by getting my stuff ready and getting 9 hours' sleep in preparation. We set off together at 9.30 and Trevor walked with me for the first hour, along the easy path towards Loch Maree. The colours were gorgeous and there were birds singing all around. Just before the river meets the loch, he went back and I carried on, alone, into the sunny wilderness.
I had worn trainers for the walk as far as the river, and carried my boots. At this point I changed into the boots, carried the trainers, and set off across the bridge and upstream. It was very lovely and reminded me of the Fairy Pools on Skye - except quieter! I was so engrossed in the pools that I failed to spot the path striking off to the left and had to guess where it was and join it a bit further along. This plan worked, however!
It was quite a hard slog, up to the col, especially in the heat. I had 2 water bottles and a carton of coconut water, but was banking on drinking some river water at some point!
The bowl was quite impressive, and massive, and I couldn't tell at that point where the top was - but I could see a faint path going up the far side diagonally, which matched the map, so I headed for that.
At the top of this marvellous path, there are lochans. They were so inviting I started to take my clothes off for a swim... but then I thought, I am nowhere near the top yet, and if there is a chilly breeze higher up I might get a chill, so I decided not to risk it.
From here, the path up the next section looked a bit hairy. It's my least favourite thing, steep loose stuff that moves - but I'd rather go up it than down it, so up I went. It was worth it for the views - absolutely spectacular.
I was starting to get really excited - I was almost at the top of Slioch! The summit is further around though, down and up more grassy slopes, and some snow still lying at this point too, and then finally I was there, and looking along to the ridge, and down at the amazing hidden lochs below!
I savoured the views and the sense of achievement and wondered what to do next.
It was either back the same way, or tackle the ridge. I did not fancy going back down the steep, loose section, and the conditions were excellent, so I decided to be brave and go along the ridge - and I'm glad I did, because it was easy and spectacular! I think I'm nervous of ridges more because of the look on my husband's face when I talk about them than anything else - I'm fine with heights and steady on my feet. This was my first vaguely narrow one but there were only a couple of places where you could hurt yourself if you fell.
The end of the ridge came, quite abruptly, and then it was a case of finding my way down - which wasn't very pleasant, as some parts were very steep and rocky. I sat on a rock and ate my food, and then tackled the descent, roughly following another couple of walkers. I was glad to get this part over with and re-join the path near where I'd entered the grassy bowl earlier. At this point I met another solo girl, and we walked back down together, having interesting chats about curlews and the state of the environment.
I was glad I'd taken my DSLR with me, but it's pretty cumbersome, so I stopped taking pictures and put it in the backpack on the walk back out, and I changed back into trainers at the pools, had a nice wade about in the cool water, and also filled my bottles in the waterfalls. The loveliest water I've ever drunk!
I skipped back into the car park as fresh as a daisy- Trevor was amazed - and I had a long shower back at the caravan park. I went to bed at 7pm and woke up the next morning quite stiff and sore, which was ok because I just had to sit in the car while we towed the caravan back to Inverness!
Delighted to have had this amazing day. I wrote a report the next day but accidentally added too many photos and lost it - so here it is again. Very hard to pick just 25!
by denfinella » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:31 pm
by MusicalHiker » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:24 pm
by denfinella » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:59 am
by Dunblane Bagger » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:42 pm
Looks like I took the same route as you, following the ridge after the summit. good seeing it in summer conditions as I climbed it in perfect full winter last year.
by U059361 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:31 am
by Alteknacker » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:26 pm
by Coop » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:32 pm
Hopefully on here soon - a couple of months still, until the clocks go back.
by Cairngorm creeper » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:38 pm
by Cairngorm creeper » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:39 pm
by MusicalHiker » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:21 pm
It was a fantastic day, and I'd love to go up again sometime - it had everything you could wish for and I did hit it lucky with the weather too!