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Conival & Ben More Assynt

Conival & Ben More Assynt


Postby BlackPanther » Mon May 09, 2011 2:07 pm

Route description: Ben More Assynt and Conival

Munros included on this walk: Ben More Assynt, Conival

Date walked: 02/05/2011

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 16.6 km

Ascent: 1200m

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These two twin Munros have been on my to-do list for a while. As my husband says, you can't really go wrong with Assynt hills. Conival and Ben More Assynt may not be as well known and don't have postcard-perfect shapes like Suilven or Stac Pollaidh, but their hidden, secretive character makes a visit to them a fantastic expedition.

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We left our car at the car park near the Inchnadamph Hotel. We walked a short distance north along the road, past the bridge over the River Trallgill and then turned right to a private road. This took us well into Gleann Dubh. After crossing a gate we continued along the glen. Views were great from the very beginning.
Quinag and Loch Assynt from the car park:
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Looking back to the track down Gleann Dubh, with Loch Assynt in the distance and the bulk of Quinag to the right.
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Into Gleann Dubh:
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When we reached the bottom of the first hill, Conival, ground became steeper and quite boggy. I imagine in bad wet weather this path must be a nightmare!
The path up the slope:
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After gaining some height I stopped for a moment and looked behind me. And as always in Assynt, I saw familiar shapes...
Canisp:
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Stac Pollaidh:
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Cul Mor:
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Pano to the southwest:
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The path zigzagged steeply up to a small hanging valley below the bealach between Conival and Beinn an Fhurain. There are lovely waterfalls just to the right. On higher levels the white quartzite cliffs of Conival are simply stunning!
Climbing again! Steep or not steep, who cares!
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The cliffs of Conival:
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The view from the hanging valley:
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OK, the first part of the journey completed!
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...and that's the second! What awaited us now was a short scramble up the white boulders and scree to the bealach.
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Don't worry, folks, it's an easy scramble. Once on the col, the rest of the route to the summit follows a well-worn path, although the amount of scree can be a bit annoying.
We took a 5 min break on the col and simply enjoyed the scenery...
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The Cul Mor-Cul Beag-Stac Pollaidh complex still drew our attention:
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Hello, can you see me? Suilvan peeking out from behind Canisp:
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Views to the northeast were even better. Here, the unusual shape of Beinn an Fhurain:
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Ben More Assynt revealed for the first time:
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We got on going...
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...and soon arrived on the ridge - only to taste some more views of Assynt. Like this one - Quinag in the distance:
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Loch Assynt:
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The summit of Conival:
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The ridge between the two Munros:
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Sutherland Munros on the horizon - Ben Hope (left) and Ben Klibreck:
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The ridge path:
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First look down at Braebag:
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Just below the summit:
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After a short walk along the ridge we found ourselves at the top of Conival - only to discover that somebody was already there:
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The crows weren't very eager to leave the summit:
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Wow! Got there a tlast!
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Looking back along the ridge with Quinag in the distance:
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Distant hills: Ben Stack (left) Arkle and Foinaven (middle), Meall Horn (right)
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A few days later, when I processed our pictures, I tried to figure out exactly which distant hill was which - and I came up with this little sketch. Correct me if I got anything wrong... :D
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Taking lunch break inside the summit shelter:
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Steep, steep sides of Conival:
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Cup of tea and a sandwich - and we were on the move again. The final part included tackling the narrow ridge between Conival and Ben More Assynt. It may look scary from above but there's nothing technically difficult about it, especially in good weather.
Time to go:
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White rocks:
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Wait! Wait for me!
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As we descended along the crest, more stunning views came in sight:
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Looking up to Ben More Assynt:
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Back to Conival:
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Almost there:
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The summit of BM Assynt was very windy but I quickly forgot about the gusts just staring in the distance. It was Assynt and Sutherland again, seen from a completely different perspective... 8) 8)
Looking south along the ridge of Ben More Assynt:
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Conival from Ben More Assynt:
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Me by the cairn:
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Loch Shin and Ben Klibreck:
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That's an interesting rock sticking up there :lol: :lol:
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Hmm, my dad would certainly have a heart attack!
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Soon it was time to head back to Conival...
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...and then down the way we came.
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We waved good bye to the rocky cliffs:
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...and walked down the boggy path back to Gleann Dubh:
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The bulk of Conival from the glen:
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By the time we arrived back at the car park, tree shadows have moved and we found our car bathing in sunshine :lol: :lol: Might have been nice for the car, but certainly not for us (50*C inside - felt like an oven :? ) Thanks heavens for air conditioning :lol:
So, another fantastic day with unforgettable views. Fingers crossed, all coming sumer will be just as good :D
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BlackPanther
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Re: Conival & Ben More Assynt

Postby Stretch » Mon May 09, 2011 2:45 pm

Another excellent report, you guys are certainly having a fine year of hillwalking so far.
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Stretch
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Re: Conival & Ben More Assynt

Postby Alastair S » Mon May 09, 2011 4:02 pm

Fab report - looks like you had a great day. Those crows were probably ravens - quite a big bigger than crows and more at home in the mountains. First time I've seen them on a summit cairn though.
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Alastair S
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Re: Conival & Ben More Assynt

Postby IainG » Mon May 09, 2011 4:48 pm

This report makes me want to head straight back up there! Excellent.

Like you said, Assynt hills are completely different from anything else. A particularly enjoyed this pair, and done it in similar conditions. A fine pair of munros coupled with a great walk.
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IainG
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Re: Conival & Ben More Assynt

Postby skuk007 » Mon May 09, 2011 4:58 pm

Great pictures there and still great weather.
I must admit those two look like the rockiest Munros I've seen to date, care needed at all times I think. :)
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Re: Conival & Ben More Assynt

Postby HighlandSC » Mon May 09, 2011 5:26 pm

Very nice 8)
Like the shots of Cul Mor (where I was this day), shows the corrie in it well. Much better than the usual shots from the road side.
I think Canisp and Suilven would have been blocking any view of the fires from here that day, and I guess any smoke got lost in (or created) the haze over that way.
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Re: Conival & Ben More Assynt

Postby blueyed » Mon May 09, 2011 7:27 pm

wooow, awesome! great report
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Re: Conival & Ben More Assynt

Postby gammy leg walker » Mon May 09, 2011 7:56 pm

You would think you would be content with winning last months webtogs vouchers,and let someone else have a chance.


Only kiddin BP another top notch report.


Any chance you could lend me some of your good weather for this weekend
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Re: Conival & Ben More Assynt

Postby NevJB » Mon May 09, 2011 8:27 pm

Great report - lovely pics. As you may have gathered I love Wester Ross/Sutherland area - particularly Coigach and Assynt.
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Re: Conival & Ben More Assynt

Postby nathan79 » Mon May 09, 2011 9:59 pm

Looks like you had a fantastic day, great pics.

I was up those two last September. Above 600m nothing but cloud and hellish winds. No views at all. The ridge between the two looks good in nice weather, but in low visibility and horribly strong gusting crosswinds it was a bit different. Maybe it was good i couldn't see how far down i'd get blown off!

I'll hopefully be making a return visit this year.
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Re: Conival & Ben More Assynt

Postby ChrisW » Mon May 09, 2011 10:10 pm

Fantastic BP - beautiful scenery, beautiful pics... if you keep posting those 'standing on a rock' pics someone will be showing your dad :shock: great report again :D
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Re: Conival & Ben More Assynt

Postby BlackPanther » Tue May 10, 2011 10:21 am

Hi everybody and thanks for your comments :D
Wish I could magically make the good weather last... for all of us... Especially for the first week of June as we're off to Isle of Skye. Last year we planned a few Munros there, ended up getting flooded in our tent. Cuillins are really mountains for a good sunny day :)
My dad won't see the "me on the rocky bit" pics, luckily he is an old-fashioned guy and doesn't use Internet :lol: :lol:
One more quick word about the fires. Last Sunday when we drove from Beauly to Drumnadrochit we saw a large area practically pitch-black, destroyed by fire. Another one, smaller, I noticed just between Contin and Rogie Falls... Rain desperately needed :(
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