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I'm pretty sure it's Sgurr a' Chaorachain - did you do it from the top of the Bealach na Ba road?
Yes, on the left hand side going from Lochcarron to applecross

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Barring a turn for the worse with the weather forecast I'm heading up to Assynt to climb Suilven at the weekend. Drive up Saturday morning, hike out, camp, climb on Sunday morning then back down the road. Buzzed as this has been on my list for years now. Only worry is that with all the recent rain the ground is sodden but I'm sure there will be somewhere we can pitch the tent that is acceptable. Anyone got any tips?
Fucking class weekend tbh. Real bucket list stuff

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Jesus that path on Suilven, NC500's fault?
The pictures you can see are at bottlenecks tbf - if you have to pass through that wall at that specific point then it seems inevitable that the ground will get churned up at that point. They've done a ton of work on the path apparently - it makes the ascent super simple despite being straight up the side, and it doesn't really mark the side of the hill (the well defined looking bit you can see in one of the pictures is not actually the path). Once you're up on the ridge it's worn in places right enough.

It was very slightly busier than I expected but I'm not sure that's down to NC500 any more than the fact it was a warm, sunny bank holiday weekend. I was surprised it was only 2 hours walk in to the base from Glencanisp, but it's still a pretty big undertaking unless people have specifically planned to do it.

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I've always got a few trips pre-planned - bucket list stuff like @ThatBoyRonaldo's (brilliant) Suilven trip above - that are waiting for my time and decent weather to coincide. This happened at the weekend when the trip to climb Ben Aden was finally a go-er. Ben Aden is regarded as a classic but is as hard to reach a mountain as there is in Scotland  - it's a proper expedition. For "fun", I also added two more remote hills - the Corbett Sgurr a Fhurainn and the Munro Sgurr Mor - to the trip. In order to solve the issue of actually getting into and back from these hills in a couple of days, I used my packraft to remove the obstacle of Loch Quoich.

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The climb onto Sgurr an Fhurainn was fairly easy as there was an old stalkers path that made it fairly pain free. The views of the west ridge of Gairich was nice from the summit.

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I last climbed Sgurr Mor about 10 years ago and it was probably the most miserable day I've ever had on the hill (10 hours of rain, having to crawl onto the summit due to mad winds, getting trapped in Glen Kingie due to the river being in spate) - so a bit of unfinished business there. This time, it was perfect weather but climbing up the steep ridge in that sort of heat with a v heavy pack was a fucking killer - I had about 100 rests on the way up and pretty much collapsed in a heap at the summit. The views to Ben Aden, Luinne Bheinn, Ladhar Bheinn (and my planned campsite at Lochan Nam Breac) were amazing and I lay about up there for a while.

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My plan had been to follow a stalkers path down to Loch Quoich and paddle along to the head of the Loch - but the problem was that the loch wasn't there. Someone had pulled the plug at the dam at the other end of the Loch to the point that the western 3km shown on the OS didn't exist. This turned what was going to be an easy paddle into a fucking nightmare walk through a massive swamp. It took hours and my sense of humour had failed massively at this point. It was a weird place - buildings that had been submerged when the Quoich was enlarged for Hydro were visible again, as was a forest of dead trees. 

I was delighted to arrive at one of the best hidden gems of the west highlands - Lochan nam Breac - where I'd always wanted to camp. If it were in any way accessible, it would be a busy place. I arrived just as the sun was setting behind Luinne Bheinn and I had just enough energy to get the tent up and get some water. Definitely one of the best places I've ever pitched my tent.

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A good night's sleep later and I headed up to Ben Aden. It's a pathless, complex hill that would be a nightmare in low cloud and it took a while to pick my way up the NNE ridge - lots of scrambly stuff and quite fun. I was actually pretty elated to make it the summit of this one as I'd wanted to do it for years and it was great to finally be there. Being able to see Loch's Hourn, Nevis and Quoich (and all the mountains around them) from one spot was unforgettable - highly recommended if you can deal with the massive arse-ache to get there..

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"All" that was left was to get back to the tent, pack up and make it to some water to get out. Even though I was knackered by this point, the paddle out was a real highlight - lovely conditions and the wind was behind me all the way. 

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Edited by Swello

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That looks fantastic, Swello.

Just out of interest, when the pack raft is deflated and folded, what does it weigh/how cumbersome is it ?

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6 minutes ago, Florentine_Pogen said:

That looks fantastic, Swello. emoji108.png

Just out of interest, when the pack raft is deflated and folded, what does it weigh/how cumbersome is it ?

It weighs a couple of kilos - think a 2 man backpacking tent in terms of size and weight. the paddle breaks into 5 pieces and weighs about 500gms and there is an inflatable life vest which is fairly negligible. You definitely notice it but the advantages of being able to cross lochs and use rivers far exceed the pain of carrying it. I try to keep my other kit minimal to make up for it.

I took this pic a couple of years back of my basic gear for this sort of trip - the packraft is in the blue drybag, my 1 man tent is in the red. 

DSC03819.thumb.jpg.945e37767eb771bfabd6e41348ea07ad.jpg

 

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Any P&B Hillwalkers ever gone to the effort of writing giant words on a hillside (in this case on Suilven)?

Suilven.jpg.b155624cebad3b1509c762e5907898e7.jpg

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You'd feel a right tit if the cloud was down and you'd walked away in there and couldn't see it :)

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Have any folk climbed Ben Ledi of late? 

It used to be one of my Dad's favourite to walk, so I said to him we should do it in September. However my only fear is the other month we did around 20 miles of the Corrieyairack Pass and he was absolutely fucked. Just want to make sure that there is a decent enough path to follow for when I have to carry his body back down. 

 

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59 minutes ago, LondonHMFC said:

Have any folk climbed Ben Ledi of late? 

It used to be one of my Dad's favourite to walk, so I said to him we should do it in September. However my only fear is the other month we did around 20 miles of the Corrieyairack Pass and he was absolutely fucked. Just want to make sure that there is a decent enough path to follow for when I have to carry his body back down. 

 

It's a good path all the way - the middle section was being repaired when I last climbed it about 18 months - 2 years ago, so I can't imagine there will be any problems. Biggest problem is trying to get parked at the bottom on a nice day...

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2 minutes ago, Swello said:

It's a good path all the way - the middle section was being repaired when I last climbed it about 18 months - 2 years ago, so I can't imagine there will be any problems. Biggest problem is trying to get parked at the bottom on a nice day...

Cheers for the reply, really appreciated. 

WIll have a look at the parking situation. 

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Any P&B Hillwalkers ever gone to the effort of writing giant words on a hillside (in this case on Suilven)?
Suilven.jpg.b155624cebad3b1509c762e5907898e7.jpg

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Not very subtle.Cerne-abbas-giant-2001-cropped.jpeg

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The middle section of Ben Ledi when you cross the burn has been paved with steps now so it's very easy to walk up. 

I can't say I'm really a fan of those kind of staircase walks but they are probably necessary on the busier hills to prevent erosion. 

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Is Ben Ledi the hill with a couple of false ‘tops’ ? I remember doing it in my youth and thinking “Thank feck we’re at the summit” only to be told there was a few hundred feet yet to go.....(twice !)

 

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40 minutes ago, Florentine_Pogen said:

Is Ben Ledi the hill with a couple of false ‘tops’ ? I remember doing it in my youth and thinking “Thank feck we’re at the summit” only to be told there was a few hundred feet yet to go.....(twice !)

 

Aye it's got a couple of undulations near the top. The last wee bit is quite steep.

It's a good idiot proof day out in the winter.

 

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23 hours ago, Hedgecutter said:

Any P&B Hillwalkers ever gone to the effort of writing giant words on a hillside (in this case on Suilven)?

Suilven.jpg.b155624cebad3b1509c762e5907898e7.jpg

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Who is Mep?

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These sorts of articles crop up from time to time and they always irk me, because on no planet is there a top ten British hill walks list where they're not all Scottish.

Lakes, Peaks, Snowdonia, Brecon beacons are all fine but whenever I go I just think "not as good as Scotland".

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/sep/05/hills-mountains-walks-uk-britain-readers-tips

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These sorts of articles crop up from time to time and they always irk me, because on no planet is there a top ten British hill walks list where they're not all Scottish.

Lakes, Peaks, Snowdonia, Brecon beacons are all fine but whenever I go I just think "not as good as Scotland".

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/sep/05/hills-mountains-walks-uk-britain-readers-tips
They're usually a load of shite. Ben fucking Lawers being in there is nonsense. They're clearly made up by wankers who've never ventured beyond Inverness.

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