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Thread: Suilven

  1. #1
    Initiate Nick P 10's Avatar
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    Hi everybody,

    I am heading to Ullapool this summer for about 10 days and am considering heading up Suilven. Has anyone done this? Except for the long walk-in, how tough is the ascent? How tough is the traverse between Meall Meadhonach and Meall Beag.

    Any other good mountains around Ullapool that anyone can recommend ?

  2. #2
    Ultra King Mrs Nesbit's Avatar
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    How good? Feckin' wonderful. Try and pick a clear day and you'll be blown away by the views.

    The initial ascent up to the bealach is a steep slog, but fairly short. From there on it's excellent.

    The traverse to Meall Meadhonach is easy enough. I'd say it goes at a grade 1(ish) scramble, but it's quite airy in places. The traverse to Meall Beag is a bit tougher.

    Stay at the bothy while you're in that area and do Canisp the day after Suilven. It's not quite as good, but the views across to Suilven from it are spectacular.

    Other good hills? Any of them. Best hills in Scotland for my money. Stac Pollaidh is a must-do and Cul Mor is a cracker too. There's also a fantastic 7 hill circular route taking in Ben More Coigach.

    Edit: I'd recommend grabbing a copy of the Pocket Mountain Guide for inspiration and ideas.

  3. #3
    ‹bermensch Lindsay Boyd's Avatar
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    A trip reportfor Suilven earlier in the year plus a link to photographs taken and an earlier ascent. I consider the approach from the north side starting near Lochinver the easiest way.

    It is a fantastic area with loads of options some of which are mentioned above. Section 16 of my web site covers that area with ascents of several of the hills described therein.

    Slainte

    Lindsay

  4. #4
    ‹bermensch
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    It's a wonderful mountain. Get a venison and cranberry pie from the Lochinver Pie Shop, eat it on the top, whether there's a view or not, and count yourself lucky. The not-munro end is a tricky scramble, best done on a dry day. Every mountain near Ullapool is fantastic, you just cannot go wrong. It's a great base for proper Scotland Scotland. Buy fish or shrimp straight from the boats in the harbour. Drive north when your legs are tired and get your brain blown to pieces by the views. Eat seafood from the sea; venison from the hills. You are in a place where vast forces beyond your comprehension made an immense violent landscape

  5. #5
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    The not-munro end???

    But I agree it's a brilliant mountain, quite possibly the gem in a fantastic area.

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch
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    oh, woops, as it happens i'm a bottle of wine and a bowl of fine scottish mussels and a sunny afternoon worse for wear - i misspoke, i meant the non-summit end (Meall Meadhonach) is tricker than the summit end (Caisteal Liath). Great flat spot to camp at the top should anyone be inclined btw. And a handy wall.

  7. #7
    Initiate Nick P 10's Avatar
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    Cheers for all the inthusiastic replies! Knowling my luck the weather will be shite now

    In any case, after these replies Suilven just went to the top of the list of hills for the trip! We will be up there on a family trip (my partners family) so will probably not make it to the bothy That will be for the next trip. I have always wanted to get up to the north west and I am pretty excited now!

    Work is very stressful at the moment so I have hardly had any time to get excited about going away next week but thanks to you all, I now have a big grin on my face and I will go and start getting the kit ready!

    Cheers folks!

  8. #8
    ‹bermensch
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    Like a lot of scrambles the route to the top of Meall Meadhonach is easier than it looks. Just take your time, look for the easiest way and, if you get a bit stuck, go back a bit and try a different tack.

  9. #9
    ‹bermensch cathyjc's Avatar
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    Don't try coming off Suilven except by the regular path(s). I did (in my less experienced days), to do a 'short cut', and nearly killed myself.
    The hills up in those parts are just fab.

  10. #10
    Initiate Nick P 10's Avatar
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    So, I have returned from my holiday and it is very hard to get back into work... I really have to come up with a master plan to get paid for just going around mountains. I know, I should become a travel writer! Oh no, wait, that's work again...

    I am not one for usually having very good weather on my holiday but it started out well with a camp at Red Tarn below Helvellyn and then up over Striding Edge in the morning. Was a nice scramble but feels kind of silly with a nice troden path 5 meters to your right...

    The weather was downhill from there. I ended up doing Suilven on a day where the weather should have been pretty good. But the forecast during my 10 day break was pretty much always wrong, so I did lots of driving in sunshine and lots of walking in the rain! Nevertheless, I decided that it will be a while before I will get another shot at Suilven so I did it anyway... on what ended up being the worst weather of the trip. The girlfriend turned around after an hour an a half leaving me to blitz it on my own. By the time I got to the base and started the climb it was pouring down rain, gusting like mad (white horses on the lochs on the north side!). Luckily the ascent it protected from the wind! But the path was a river! I only made it to the northern summit (couldn't see much as I was in the clouds from halfway up the mountain). After almost getting blown off my feet on (and the mountain) I decided it was time to beat a retreat. It must have been gusting at 100km/h up there! Made a stop in the bothy on the way down for a cup of tea and a Mars bar and had a chat with some Germans. Very nice day, pity about the weather! I'll be back to stay in the bothy, do Suilven in the sunshine and have added An Teallach to the list of mountains to do!So, I nowjust have to work out how to do a long weekend in Ullapool when I live in Devon...

    Thanks for all your replies prior to the trip!

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    You don't do a long weekend in Ullapool when you live in Devon, Nick, you have to find a way to get up there for a week!

    (resident of South Wales).

    Glad you had a good holiday anyway, and got up Suilven, even if you couldn't see much up there.

  12. #12
    Initiate Nick P 10's Avatar
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    Hey Kate, well, I am wondering if I took Friday off and flew to Aberdeen on the Thrusday night and rented a car and drove to Ullapool (only 2-3 hours from Aberdeen) then I would have all of Friday and Saturday...no?

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    I have actually done long weekends in Scotland, flying up to Glasgow from Cardiff on the Thursday night and back on the Monday morning as there's a disgustingly early weekend commuter flight that gets me back before work!

    The long weekend TBW and I did in Assynt, however, included taking the Monday off as well

  14. #14
    Initiate Nick P 10's Avatar
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    Hmmm... taking more days off... sounds like a WINNER

    Now, how do we sort out the weather?

    I must say, the bothy by Suilven is fantastic, lots of space too. Would love to spend a night there

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick P 10 View Post

    Now, how do we sort out the weather?
    Well, if you can work that one out and sell it, Nick, you won't need to be able to take more days off work!!

    It's a pain - in order to get the cheap flights (ie: taxes, luggage only) I have to book well in advance, so just have to live with whatever the weather gods throw at me. I have spent more than enough days warming benches in the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven in the last 3 years!!

  16. #16
    Initiate Nick P 10's Avatar
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    Eheheheh, well, I only found out on the day before I left Scotland about the Ice Factor, otherwise I would have gone! Would love to give ice climbing a shot!

    I'll get back to you on the weather

  17. #17
    Mini Goon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick P 10 View Post
    Hey Kate, well, I am wondering if I took Friday off and flew to Aberdeen on the Thrusday night and rented a car and drove to Ullapool (only 2-3 hours from Aberdeen) then I would have all of Friday and Saturday...no?
    You're a bit optimistic hopingto do Aberdeen to Ullapool in under 4 hours; timewise, Edinburgh is not much different; Inverness is closer, but, I suspeect, has even fewer flights. Seems like a very long journey for only a couple of days . . .

  18. #18
    Initiate Nick P 10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damien ONeill View Post
    You're a bit optimistic hopingto do Aberdeen to Ullapool in under 4 hours; timewise, Edinburgh is not much different; Inverness is closer, but, I suspeect, has even fewer flights. Seems like a very long journey for only a couple of days . . .
    Im pretty optimistic about the time to get from the Deen to Ullapool. Used to live in Aberdeen. I dont think there are flights to Inverness from Devon unfortunately. I guess for the same amount of travelling I could go to the alps!

    There is no doubt it is a long journey for a few days.... I guess I am desperate after having been spoilt for a week in Scotland by all the nice mountains. Depression and withdrawel symptoms are setting in now that I am back in Devon

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