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Slioch, solo - one of the best mountain days ever....

Slioch, solo - one of the best mountain days ever....


Postby 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 km

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In April, we were in the caravan at Kinlochewe, and I was watching the forecast carefully. We were due to go home on Thursday, but I could see Friday was looking fabulous and so we extended our stay and went home on Saturday so that I could climb Slioch.
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.
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All ready to go!

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Primroses

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Viewing the mighty mountain

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!
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Pools

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Big boulders

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!
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View into the grassy bowl

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.
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The path!

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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.
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Lochan

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Lochans from a little higher up

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.
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Getting higher....

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Loch Maree appearing

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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!
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Bee at the top!

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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.
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Ridge! Woohoo!

Looking back....
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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.
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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!
User avatar
MusicalHiker
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 83
Munros:12   Corbetts:7
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:6   Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:13   Islands:21
Joined: Dec 26, 2011
Location: Inverness, at last!

Re: Slioch, solo - one of the best mountain days ever....

Postby denfinella » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:31 pm

Beautiful - I'm not a bagger either but this one is definitely on my list!
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denfinella
Walker
 
Posts: 1044
Munros:65   Corbetts:34
Grahams:21   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:57   Hewitts:11
Wainwrights:6   Islands:45
Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Slioch, solo - one of the best mountain days ever....

Postby MusicalHiker » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:24 pm

Thanks - I reckon if I became focused on bagging all the munros, for example, I'd miss some of the really cracking smaller hills - like Suilven, The Cobbler, The Fiddler. They were all amazing! A lot of my favourites are smaller, and much harder too despite having lower summits. Next on my list - Quinag!
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MusicalHiker
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 83
Munros:12   Corbetts:7
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:6   Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:13   Islands:21
Joined: Dec 26, 2011
Location: Inverness, at last!

Re: Slioch, solo - one of the best mountain days ever....

Postby denfinella » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:59 am

I completely agree!
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denfinella
Walker
 
Posts: 1044
Munros:65   Corbetts:34
Grahams:21   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:57   Hewitts:11
Wainwrights:6   Islands:45
Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Slioch, solo - one of the best mountain days ever....

Postby Dunblane Bagger » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:42 pm

Slioch is an absolute gem of a mountain.

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.
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Dunblane Bagger
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 95
Munros:282   Corbetts:14
Grahams:2   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:4   Hewitts:19
Wainwrights:6   
Joined: Mar 13, 2015
Location: Hopefully up a mountain somewhere

Re: Slioch, solo - one of the best mountain days ever....

Postby U059361 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:31 am

Thanks for your detailed description of the walk and the very helpful pictures, this one's been calling me too, just a matter of when.............
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U059361
Rambler
 
Posts: 518
Munros:101   Corbetts:34
Grahams:20   Donalds:27
Sub 2000:40   Hewitts:5
Joined: Jul 24, 2010
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Slioch, solo - one of the best mountain days ever....

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:26 pm

A great mountain in perfect weather - what more could one ask for? Really enjoyed this report and accompanying pics.
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Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 2780
Munros:167   Corbetts:29
Hewitts:205
Wainwrights:78   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: Slioch, solo - one of the best mountain days ever....

Postby Coop » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:32 pm

Great report and pics- cheers.
Hopefully on here soon - a couple of months still, until the clocks go back.
Coop
Walker
 
Posts: 930
Munros:259   Corbetts:95
Grahams:36   Donalds:50
Sub 2000:4   
Joined: Jun 5, 2016

Re: Slioch, solo - one of the best mountain days ever....

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:38 pm

Great report and pictures :clap: :clap: ! Slioch is high on my list of favourite mountains, like you we do what takes our interest rather than aiming for all the munros and have been up Slioch three times and I am sure we will climb it again.
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Cairngorm creeper
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 676
Munros:140   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Nr. Grantown-on-Spey

Re: Slioch, solo - one of the best mountain days ever....

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:39 pm

Great report and pictures :clap: :clap: ! Slioch is high on my list of favourite mountains, like you we do what takes our interest rather than aiming for all the munros and have been up Slioch three times and I am sure we will climb it again.
User avatar
Cairngorm creeper
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 676
Munros:140   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Nr. Grantown-on-Spey

Re: Slioch, solo - one of the best mountain days ever....

Postby MusicalHiker » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:21 pm

Thank you all for the kind comments!
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!
User avatar
MusicalHiker
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 83
Munros:12   Corbetts:7
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:6   Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:13   Islands:21
Joined: Dec 26, 2011
Location: Inverness, at last!

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