Suilvan, Northwest Higlands, Scotland, Hillwalking

Chasing Daylight in Scotland: Suilvan

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

An Epic Climb in Northwest Scotland: Suilvan

Epic climb days always start early and end late.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

We started walking in low autumn light towards the hulking shadow rising in the distance.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

Our goal was before us.

Northwest Highlands of Scotland, Suilvan, Clashnessie, Lochinver, Clachtoll, Hillwalking, Family Holidays

I love walking behind my boys.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

And their friends.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

 

We made this climb during October holidays with another family from our church.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

Sweet friends who have wanted to climb this mountain for a long time.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

Well most of them have wanted to climb it for a long time.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

The dad first saw Suilvan over 20 years ago and has been planning to climb it ever since.

But I might have talked the other mama into coming along with us, becausemy girl, Mary Polly, was stateside and I didn’t want to be the only female in the party.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

And the day was so gloriously blue and sunny that we could not possibly stay behind.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

The approach to Suilvan is really long, so I promised that we could turn around after the five mile walk in if we were too tired for the climb.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

But once we had walked the entire road and then the very boggy path to the base of the mountain, we were all in.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

We stepped within the shadow of the mountain, and watched as a few little tiny people made their way up to the saddle.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

It looked very steep from the bottom, but once we started climbing, it did not feel as steep.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

There were definitely some tough spots, with lots of scree. It was hard going, but we slowly made our way up.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

Simon stayed ahead of me with the other boys. Little goats.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

We gals muddled along.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

But when we got to the saddle and rose up out of the shadow to see the other side, we were all aghast at the view.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

We had our lunch at this spot, since it was already long past lunch time.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

And I needed to take it all in for a minute.

Northwest Highlands of Scotland, Suilvan, Clashnessie, Lochinver, Clachtoll, Hillwalking, Family Holidays

Rest my legs before heading up to the tippy top.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

After tuna sandwiches and treats and crisps and tea, we started up further.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

We wondered at this wall on top of a mountain.

Suilvan, Northwest Higlands, Scotland, Hillwalking

And every few steps, we looked back to see how far we had come from the saddle where we had lunch.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

And we looked down where the drops were long at the narrow bits.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

One of the scariest parts was a narrow strip just before the final ascent. You had to skirt around the right side of the mountain with a very steep drop on the right.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

Followed by walking another very narrow path that dropped off on both sides.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

There was nothing that required ropes but it still made me squeam and shake a little.

After I made it over, I watched Taido bring Simon along behind him.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

We were all so glad to finally reach the top.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

Where the big boys were already waiting for us.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

And the views all around were worth every step.

Suilvan, Scotland, Hillwalking, Northwest Highlands

We stayed for a while. Resting and enjoying the sun.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

But soon it was time to head back down.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

Going down from a steep climb is always harder for me.

 

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

It is scary and I lose my footing. A lot.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

Also it always feels way longer to me.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

But eventually I crawled my way back to the saddle.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

Back down the mountain.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

Following Taido all the way.

Northwest Highlands of Scotland, Suilvan, Clashnessie, Lochinver, Clachtoll, Hillwalking, Family Holidays

Through the crazy rock wall.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

That we wondered again at.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

Before crawling back into the shadow of the mountain, to make the slow descent on creaky knees.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

The shadows at the base of the mountain were much longer.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

And the way back was all in bog.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

And mud.

Northwest Highlands of Scotland, Climbing Suilvan, Clashnessie, Lochinver

It took us ages to get back to the old jeep trail.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

And back into the sunshine.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

The light was fading quickly as we walked the five miles back to the car.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

We watched the sun setting before us.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

And glanced back occasionally at the mountain we had climbed.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

We thought how the sunset from the top must be pretty amazing.

Suilvan, Scotland, Northwest Highlands, Chasing Daylight, Hillwalking

But we were trying to enjoy the pink streaks we could see as we made our legs keep stepping one in front of the other.

Northwest Highlands of Scotland, Suilvan, Clashnessie, Lochinver, Clachtoll, Hillwalking, Family Holidays

It was after 6pm by the time we got to the car and we were so very tired, but so very glad we had come.

Epic climbs produce epic hunger, and we gobbled up the biggest pot of chicken and rice you’ve ever seen before sleeping hard and enjoying that great kind of tired you get from a day of adventuring.

More info on this climb can be found at Walk Highlands.