Back to the mainland – Beinn Mhor Coigach. June 2016.

Date: Tuesday 14th June 2016
Distance: 11.2km
Ascent: 1000m

The end of this year’s Hebridean Spring saw us on the early ferry from Stornoway back to Ullapool on the Tuesday morning.

Quite a nice sail with clear skies and little wind. Calmac bacon butties and a view of interesting mainland hills passed the time.

Assynt from ferry:

Beinn Airigh Charr:

Beinn Airigh Charr and Baosbheinn:

The hills of our recent Fisherfield trip:

Back on the mainland we still had 6 days of holiday to enjoy with no real plan. Given a reasonable forecast we decided to drive round to Culnacraig and climb Ben More Coigach for the first time in several years.

Parked up at Culnacraig in warm sunshine, despite being only about 6miles as the crow flies from Ullapool it’s a 1hour drive round via Achiltibuie to get there.

A pleasant day with fine views across to the hills around Dundonnell and Little Loch Broom.

Across to Ghobhlach:

Headed up the path from Culnacraig to cross the Allt nan Coisiche above the waterfall and then up Garbh Choireachan. Unusually for a Graham there is a path.

Across to An Teallach from Garbh Choireachan:

The route is steep but easy, twisting a path between sandstone outcrops with firm, grippy rock. Distracting views all around mind you.

Stac Pollaidh:

The stone is wind and rain carved into interesting shapes.

Face in the rock:

Slightly irritatingly we were right on the northern border of a large area of cloud. Coigach and Assynt to our north was firmly in the sun, to our south it was darker and greyer. Ours was a compromise of occasional sun. Better than none I suppose.

Loch Broom from Garbh Choireachan:

An Teallach and Beinn Ghobhlach:

Beinn Mhor Coigach:

The rocks allowed for some easy, completely optional, scrambling for half the team with a simple path for t’other half.

Nice ridge:

Once on the Beinn Mhor Coigach ridge the view north through Coigach to Assynt opens up a bit to give views of the inselberg studded landscape.

North from Beinn Mhor Coigach:

To the south the serried ranks of hills through Fisherfield.

A’Mhaighdean across the Deargs:

Heading on from the summit of Beinn Mhor Coigach we dropped towards the bealach with Sgurr an Fhidhleir. Spent much of the walk surveying pitch sites – I can imagine lounging up here lighthouse spotting.

Out to the Point of Stoer:

A rather singular landscape on view. Visited the summit of Sgurr an Fhidhleir.

North to Suilven:

The Stornoway-Ullapool ferry passed by on its second mainland run of the day – Seaforth is a distinct design from the rest of the Calmac fleet.

MV Loch Seaforth:

Headed back to the car, time to consider our options for where to camp in the evening. Options were discussed on descent.

Garbh Choireachan from descent:

Still a nice, sunny day as we approached Culnacraig.

Approaching Culnacraig:

Summer Isles:

We’d wondered about driving up to Clachtoll, but decided to minimise the driving and grab the sun by pitching at Achnahaird Bay instead.

Found a pitch about 200m from the car park which was decent and settled in for the evening. The sun lasted an hour or two before it clouded in.

Quinag, Ben Stack and Foinaven:

Allak at Achnahaird:

Sunset:

Cracking pair of Grahams – still up there with our favourites. Hope to be back up these in less than 9 years next time.

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