Suilven and Showers

In the last three weeks, we’ve been up Conival, Stac Pollaidh and Ben Stack, but we’ve had visitors who’ve been keen to climb Suilven. Last week, my sister and niece didn’t get lucky enough with the weather to make the long walk, but this week, Sarah got the opportunity on the last day of her visit. I wasn’t making any promises though; the forecast remains unreliable up here.
Setting off from the walkers’ car park, we managed to bump into quite a few people I knew, prompting our soft-southern visitor to think that I knew “everybody” here. Far from the truth, of course, but there were quite a lot!
Andy the ranger had a guided walk up there too, and we stopped at the bottom of the gully for coffee just nearby.
It’d been dry so far, but that was going to change, with a few showers; some of them heavier than others.
At the top of the gully, the amazing view opened itself up as abruptly as ever….. sharp intake of breath from the newcomers.
Heading up to the summit, we got nearly there; less than a hundred yards and this great big bit of cloud blew up from the sea and immersed us in fog. No view! You couldn’t make it up! Less than five minutes earlier it had been just fine. And you can see it approaching, but you don’t know whether it’ll stay for a couple of minutes, or a couple of weeks!
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Anyway, Sarah was smiling; not only appreciating what she’d done and having some great views, but also scoring points over her two sons who were going to be rather jealous. Job done!
Then after a few minutes, the cloud moved and gave us some incredibly atmospheric views, and slight disappointment turned into excitement!
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Andy’s group arrived at the top, and it unfortunately meant we had to leave, as he’d pre-booked all the picnic benches for his party.
This turned into good timing for us, as the weather changed and the coldest, wettest shower so far hit the ridge. We were soaked. But I bet those on the top were even wetter.
Showers were the order of the day for the walk back. Coats on; coats off. Leggings? How wet do you get before you put them on? Then it’s too late and your legs are soggy again. Then the sun comes out and all is well with the world.
This changeable stuff gave us some good views.
We got down to the Lodge, in time for Sarah to do a bit of retail therapy at Fergus’ pottery, which was good timing too, as the biggest deluge of the day overflowed all the gutters!
Straight home to a hot shower and a pile of wet clothes!

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