Long Weekend in the Highlands

After a good nights sleep in the car near Pitlochry, and fortified by bacon sandwiches in Aviemore we arrived in Lochinver for a two day assault on Suilven, a mere 731m Graham in the north west highlands. The sun shone as we strode in towards Suileag Bothy. Some of you may recall this is the bothy made famous by Griff Rhys Jones in the “Mountain” TV programme. Mid afternoon by the time we arrived and already getting chilly. I got in my sleeping bag to keep warm emerging briefly for the evening meal. We turned in again as soon as it went dark (about 6.00pm.) Thirteen hours later we got up. It was freezing! Especially after some overnight snow. After a bit a breakfast we were glad to be on our way.

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Along the track again for a couple of miles and then across rough ground to the foot of Suilven. For those that don’t know it rises abruptly out of the surrounding moorland. We began a steady but constant slog some 500m up to the bealach and then picked our way through deep snow up to the summit cairn.

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The deep snow made for tough going and although we tried to do the complete ridge with the weather threatening to turn nasty we returned. We stopped briefly at the bothy to pick up our gear before walking back out. arriving as usual in the dark, but at least this time with headtorches.
A full days outing even with the benefit of starting from the bothy but a worthy tick all the same.

Jon Massey & Alan Hardie
1st/2nd February

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