Canisp – well worth the journey. Scotland’s wonderful North West

It was an early start, up at 0530 to get ready for the Moray Mountaineering Club monthly bus meet to the far North West. The bus starts at Elgin picking up members on route.  The bus was stopping at Quinag but I wanted to get to Canisp which is a great hill just past Ledmore Junction about 20 miles North of Ullapool. The forecast was pretty wild and after we left Inverness the road got pretty interesting with a fair bit of snow falling and the roads getting whiter. No problem to our bus driver and we were soon dropping of the hardy souls at differing hills. There is little shelter up here and one minute you are in a warm bus the next you are out but what a place.

The vast open moors to Canisp - heaven on a winters day.

All the way up the views are outstanding the light ever changing as we walked up the open moor in fresh snow. It is a long walk in to the ridge but we stopped regularly to drink in the views. What hills, Cul Mor, Suiliven  and the Assynt hills all looking incredible in the snow. I had forgotten my card for my camera so have to rely on the phone for photos. It was bitter cold at times but what a place, well worth the early start. I was with Bob a new member, Drummond a veteran of the club and Bryn who is going to join the club. A varied party but all enjoying this incredible place and the company. Three others vanished into the moors to climb a Marliyn to the North of us, incredible guys.

One of my favourites Suilven


The first views of Suilven just take your breath away and the walking becomes easier as you walk along the quartzite outcrops. Then a great ridge walk into a fierce wind and we were on the top, when the odd winter squall hit us, you needed your kit to keep warm. It was an easy walk back a bit boggy and a bit more snow had fallen. I had a plan as the road is not the place to wait for a bus for 2 hours for a bus and we headed for my “time share” the SMC hut at Elphin. As soon as we got to the road we got a lift from two lovely French ladies. The “Auld Alliance” at work. They dropped us off at the hut and we were soon being given tea a cake with more great views by 2 SMC stalwarts a perfect end to the day. It was a short visit as everyone was off the hill early and soon we were back on the bus to Ullapool for a drink and then back home by 2000 hours.

A great day, great company and majestic hills. I love this place – more tomorrow of to Aviemore today!



About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Corbetts, Enviroment, Friends, SMC/SMT. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Canisp – well worth the journey. Scotland’s wonderful North West

  1. woody says:

    Really enjoy ,reading your blogs ,you manage to capture your love of the hills ,and put it into words so well,not something many writers can do,I thought Gwen Moffat did it very well in “space below my feet”especially the chapters where she is driving a mobile shop around the highlands.
    Glad you are still enjoying the hills so much,I don’t manage to get out much in Winter ,because of the breathing problems I cannot move quick enough to retain any body warmth,but manage the odd stroll when it’s warmer,please pass on my best wishes to any of the ex troops who may remember me .all the best .Woody


  2. AndyL says:

    Nice write-up from yesterday – a thoroughly good day out. Thanks


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