Assynt is wonderful and we climbed Cul Mor a day of magnificent weather with Ned my mate from the deep South. He was up to get away in the hills and we fancied a few days in the North West, is there a finer place to be?
We left on Friday I had a great night at the Banff Mountain Festival at Eden Court in Inverness what a night watching incredible people doing amazing things in the Outdoor world. I would recommend it to go it is wonderful to see what people get up to. It finished late and we did not leave Inverness till 2300. It was then a slow drive up for Elphin about 2 hours away up in the North West as there were plenty of deer on the road. We arrived well after midnight to a busy Bothy. The car was recording – 5 on the way up!It was a stunning drive up with a full moon and the outlines of these wonderful hills that mean so much. The hills were so clear and the moon and stars so bright I have never seen Assynt looking better. We were tired on arrival and added to that an awful nights sleep for me can Ned snore and later on another snorer arrived!
The other two late visitors arrived later just as we fell asleep so I was awakened I had so little sleep. I was up early as the Bothy was double booked so at 0600 I was breaking the bad news to some pals, there is no room at the inn! The phone signal is poor so it meant a walk along the road in a full moon spectacular but still awful to tell my pals there was no room. I stayed up and got ready for the hill, made the porridge and watched the sun rise! The weather forecast was superb and what a day we had on Cul Mor at 849 metres a nearby Corbett. Breakfast was porridge and pancakes and we may have a food crisis as the others were bringing the main meal. Lucky I always carry a bit extra.The weather was magic and we had a marvellous day following the ridge line taking so many photos.There was no wind but it was bitter cold as we parked near the crags at the Geology centre at Knockan crag well worth a visit. This area Assynt is stunning these hills are all unique and the incredible views of lochans, the sea and these magic mountains. If you add some snow and to me you are in “Assynt heaven” and that is what our day on Cul Mor was pure heaven.
There is a great staking path that takes you effortlessly onto the ridge and the views are spell bounding . The massive Ben More Assynt and Conival the local Munros dominate they were behind us all day. Cul Mor is a hill I have done it a few times but it is an ideal wander for a winters day. We were off the path looking into the wild Corries all day.
We walked along the ridge and it was the best day I have been out with Suiliven looking great though snow less but the Ciogach hills had snow and we were soon in it. The sandstone rock the frozen beads of grass made this a winter wonderland today.
If you add in the lochans magic hills open Moor and no Wind farms and those sculptured ridges what a wander Cul Mor is and the views !!!Age is great you take your time see places you flashed by in the past when it was all about how many and how fast you could do these peaks, This wee hill the biggest Corbett in about is an outstanding mountain and even better in winter I hope these photos do it justice. We wandered along the ridge of the path marvelling at the wildness and remoteness.This is the Scotland of “A Man in Assynt” why oh why, did it take so long to appreciate such a place. The summit was defended by a boulder field we had to come off our Corrie wander looking for ice in these wild places. There was a bit more snow here and the ski poles were a great assistance on the rough ground.
Every step was enjoyable today just the views compensated for my fitness and Ned was in good form telling me how much he missed these hills and Scotland. I know the feeling after been down South for a few years how I missed these hills. There is another top where the big cliffs are and we wandered over to it.
At the beleach the wind had made this a wild place and the snow was sculpted and barren, there must be some winds here.
We stopped for a bit then wandered over to the next top and took in Creag nan Calman, loving the views of Stac Pollaidh and the Summer Isles. The ridge has even more great views of the big cliffs, huge sandstone cliffs with few routes, it looked spectacular.
It was then take it easy and start the walk off just enjoying these great hills. The walk off was easy going and we were soon back at the car and then a short drive to the hut and no long drive home.
Then up to the summit ridge and the top boulder field and snow covered rocks.
Everyone arrived back soon after and had a great day and it was a comfortable night in the hut after an unforgettable day on the hill. Everyone was happy and I felt sorry for all the other who missed out due to the double booking.The forecast was for another good day but with a bit more wind and it would be a lot colder.
The evening light was incredible and the sunset and moon over the hills was superb as darkness came what an end to the day. The bothy was warm and I was tired but was looking forward to another day in the Assynt wonderland.
Tomorrow the plan all being well Is another great mountain Canisp it was looking magic.