MUNRO ADVENTURE 2015
DAY 93 ( 1st AUGUST )
MMC MEET KINLOCHEWE
Slioch – (981m, Munro 170) ‘the spear’
After yesterday’s hills I headed up to Kinlochewe to meet up with the MMC for their August weekend meet, it was a unusually poor turn out with only 4 others turning up on Friday night. It had rained quite heavily during the evening and overnight and today’s forecast was for persistent rain for hills south of Ullapool. Dan and Sheena were accompanying me today and we just had a short drive to get to Incheril for the starting point, got on our way at 9am taking the path towards Loch Maree, it was quite wet underfoot and the ferns almost head height in places across the bridge and up Gleann Bianasdail so far and into a very boggy Coire na Sleaghaich. The rain was only occasional and light as we headed up onto the final ridge but the wind was strong and extremely cold so it was hoods up and gloves on (it’s August??) past the trig point and onto the summit, even though it was quite wild we still got a view of Loch Maree below and over to the Fisherfield hills. This was my final Munro on my first round way back in 1995 and on the next 2 ascents there was a completion party on both occasions. About turned and found a sheltered spot for lunch before heading back , Sheena took off as if she was on the Slioch hill race going down the zig zag path on the top section and we were back in the Coire in no time , the rocks were very slippery and I heard Dan say to be carefully and immediately ended in a heap on the ground , we were just about dried off when the rain came on again and got a bit wet especially going through the ferns just before we reached the van . A good day out and not as bad as the forecast suggested and we got a view.
Today’s totals12.12mls:1160m ascent: 6hrs 1min.
273 Munros to date.
He is getting there he hopes to finish on Ben Wyvis on Saturday all being well!
Heavy notes – Slioch Towers above Loch Maree and it looks a true mountain from most viewpoints. There is some great climbing on the huge cliffs of Sloich with the huge Atlantic Wall a massive plum for those who ljke a total commitment climb.In winter the potential for those with vision is incredible. I summer even the Stepped ridge is a big adventure with a long walk in nearly 3 hours. The Munro itself has a good paths are used, which pass waterfalls and lochans to reach superb views, including an expansive vista over Fisherfield – one of Scotland’s last true wildernesses.
Although the route described is fairly easy, Slioch has some unusual topography, which in mist can be quite confusing, therefore well-honed navigation skills are essential.
When the Classic Cold Climbs was published in 1983, the first two chapters on Beinn Bhan and the Fainnaichs were a revelation. These areas were terra incognita for most Scottish climbers at the time, and they launched a multitude of dreams as keen winter climbers began to expand their horizons from Ben Nevis, Glen Coe and the Cairngorms.
Thirty years on and the publication of The Great Mountain Crags of Scotland is having a similar effect. Roger Webb’s inspiring chapter on Slioch’s Atlantic Wall has intrigued many, and it was clearly not going to be long before the cliff saw some attention this winter. Before this season, Skyline Highway was the only winter route on the wall to have seen a repeat.
Many year ago the RAF Kinloss MRT climbed on the incredible Waterfall Buttress which itself is a winter climb in rare conditions . The Waterfall climbed in 1984 is a grade 5 Three star route and one of incredible beauty. I was on an early attempt with Mark Sinclair many years ago. There are many more cliffs that few visit the photo below is of Dan Stuart in 1952 August 9 Johnie Lees and Dan Stewart well worth some investigation?
The Climb is Tuti a 100 metres severe Grade 5 in winter 2001! Plenty of scope about.