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Sunday, 16 November 2014


Suilven is one of the classic Scottish hills. At 731 m it is a Graham so not a Munro or a Corbett. As winter climbing was off the agenda due to the mild November weather, Abdalla and I drove the 3 h to the North West. I decided to do Suilven as a trail run from the East (see route). The best walking route is probably from Canisp lodge near Lochinver. But we chose to go in from the East because I rather run more and drive less. My GPS route is shown below. 
Previously I had seen Suilven from many angles and because of its unique shape it was a hill I always wanted to do. Here I saw Suilven whilst kayaking with Giulio and the other Tayside sea kayakers...
 ... and here from Stac Pollaidh whilst walking with Ana. 
 The route from the East was bog central especially after the recent rain falls. Also the paths are faint or do not exist and so the going is slow.  As a consequence I gave up on the idea of also doing Canisp, shown here to the North. 
 I approached via the long Eastern ridge. After the first top there is a large drop but a small Cairn on the Northern side marks a scrambling descent to the bealach (on the left in the photo). This is not straight forward, exposed scrambling. It is like the Aonach Eagach but with more exposure. 
 Here the Eastern top from higher up. I started the run at the end of the loch seen in the distance. 
 Whilst much of the lower ridge was in the clag the ridge itself was cloud free. And then one of those special Scottish vistas: the summit of Suilven with the Atlantic in the distance. I could see the isle of Lewis out in the ocean. 
 Here another photo of the top...
... and here is one taken with my iPhone. 
 Here the view back to the ridge...
 ... and here a self timed shot with me running. 
 It was a long slog back to the loch. But luckily the wind stopped and warm late autumn sunlight was lighting the glen. 
 I was a little worried about Abdalla who was for the first time walking in the Highlands proper. He had a map, compass, binoculars and I had asked him to play it safe and to stay close to Cam Loch. I was glad when I saw him  on a small hillock near the car with a smile on his face. 
 It was 5 degrees but we nontheless grilled three lamb chops which went down well.  
A long drive home but we both got our fix after too many dark and wet November days in Aberdeen.