While we were still at home planning our holiday to Scotland I saw photographs of Suilven described in Lonely Planets "Walking Scotland" as the icon for the north west. It is only a bit over 700m high but looks like a mountain from a children''s drawing and I hoped to climb it while we were here.

tl_files/hogarth/Photos/idscf2388.jpgHaving gone to bed at midnight I woke up at four and it wasn''t raining so I sprung out of bed and drove nearly to Glencanisp Lodge. At the beginning of the lake is a private road sign so I parked there. From there I walked about six and a half kilometres along the valley floor track to grid reference 167195. This is a long roller coaster of a track but well surfaced. At this grid reference there is a small cairn and here I turned towards Suilvan. The next kilometre was a bog and spent jumping from hummock to hummock. After that the climb started. First up a rock band to Loch na Barrack and then to the summit ridge of Suilven. On the ridge I turned west to the main summit, Caisteal Liath. I was there for seven and enjoyed my breakfast while admiring the view. For the descent I followed the same route in reverse. The walk out is about eight kilometres and was just that little to long.

Stac Pollidh

tl_files/hogarth/Photos/idscf2434.jpgAfter the long walk in to Suilvan yesterday Neill was looking for a summit a little closer to an access road. Stac Pollidh fitted the bill nicely. With Iain we drove south from Lochinver to the car park at the foot of this beautiful peak and followed the well made path to a cairn on the summit ridge. By now we were in cloud and could only guess where the route continued. After climbing two chimneys we reached a point where the continuation would have been a leap across a narrow but very deep chasm and decided that we were both too old for that and so ate our biscuits surrounded by cloud and then returned the way we had come. By the time we were back at the car park the cloud had lifted and we could see the summit ridge above us.

Neill Hogarth | |