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Far NW meanderings part 1 - An Socach (Kinlochbervie one)

Far NW meanderings part 1 - An Socach (Kinlochbervie one)


Postby malky_c » Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:03 am

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: An Socach (Parph)

Date walked: 31/07/2020

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 9 km

Ascent: 380m

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Sub 2k Marilyns: An Socach.
Date: 31/07/2020.
Distance: 9km.
Ascent: 380m.
Time: 2 hours, 55 minutes.
Weather: Overcast and warm.

A few days off loomed before my parents were due to stay for a week, so we looked at where we could go for a couple of nights of camping. After the exhaustion Jackie experienced at the start of the month, we decided to dial back the walking and not try anything too ambitious. In the far NW though, you don't need to go up any big hills to enjoy the scenery, so we decided to go up there. Actually we were planning a couple of things on the NE coast for a change, but somehow ended up going west instead as it is even nicer up there!

I decided to go up via Ullapool - slightly longer and slower but nice to have a cruise up the west coast past lots of our favourite places. We stopped for lunch near Kylesku before continuing to Badcall, a mile or so short of Kinlochbervie. An Socach looked to be a hill to fit our needs - not too long a walk or too high, but with good scenery.


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Waterfall on the Unapool Burn

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Loch Glencoul and the Stack

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Quinaig

There was a decent track to help us for the first kilometre or so of the walk before we had to negotiate a flat boggy area. In the end, we followed a faint trodden way on slightly higher ground to the NW of it, and got onto a ridge of sorts.

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Heading for An Socach

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Foinaven and Arkle

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Sandwood Bay

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Across Oldshoremore

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South to Handa

On the map, this is one of the less distinct summits in the Parph area, but close up it feels like a little mountain, with lochans surrounding and summit crags to the west. The actual high point was the most northerly of 3 bumps, so we wandered over. The best of the sunshine was probably back in the east of the country, but we were glad to be here. We reminisced about our new years eve trip through Parph, with lots of the first half of it being in view here.

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Summit(ish) cairn

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Crags of An Socach

We returned by a more easterly line avoiding the steepest ground, but wound up back on our outward route to cross the flat boggy area. Oddly, despite forecasts of high winds, it had been very calm on the hill. That changed dramatically as we rounded the corner to the north coast!

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Arkle and Ben Stack

If we made one mistake this weekend, it was not checking more thoroughly whether Cocoa Mountain would be open. It was supposed to be, but staffing issues meant that the re-opening had been pushed back to Monday...and we would miss it! This was a shame as it was part of our reason for heading up here, however the other part was to camp out at Faraid Head.

Balnakeil was jumping with people, most of them camping on the dunes. Didn't look like much fun so we wandered up the beach towards the military lookout. Unsurprisingly, we were away from everyone else before getting even halfway up the beach. We pitched up on a handy bit of grass just north of the main beach, about a 10 minute walk away from the car. While the views were great, the wind was howling and it looked like we would be in for a miserable evening. So we took the tent pegs out and manoeuvred the tent to the far side of a stone wall, which was much better!

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Sgribhis-bheinn

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Faraid Head

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Fashven and Balnakeil Bay

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Balnakeil Beach

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Northern Balnakeil Beach

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Ouit towards Cape Wrath

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Meall Mheadhonach

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First camp spot

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Slightly less windy site

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Dramatic skies

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Out to sea

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Sunset approaching

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The proper photographer

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Beinn Ceannabheinn

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Light going

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Sunset

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Sitting out for the evening

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Last light

It was a pleasant evening with the wind dropping and some light until 11:30pm, and in the morning we were in no rush to leave. Eventually we packed away and strolled back to the car for midday.

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Fashven in the morning

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Balnakeil Beach looking north

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Sgribhis-bheinn

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All packed away

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Heading for the beach

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Last look across the bay
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 6031
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Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Glasgow/Inverness

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