Sunday, 6 November 2011

A trip to Assynt and the return of the sunshine (posted by James)

At last! After weeks on end of grey skies, rain and galeforce winds, we've finally had an absolutely stunning weekend in the West Highlands.

With a bright moon shining and a clear sky on friday evening, I headed North towards Assynt with some friends to make the most of a seemingly impossibly good weather forecast. I was sceptical….

Ben More Assynt

After a misty start on the ridge between Conival and Ben More Assynt, the cloud lifted and we were rewarded with bright sunshine and views to die for. Crisp light, sharp shadows and a chill in the air…how I'd been longing for it during the last few months. A few hours on a high ridge in cold sunshine - something I'd been guilty of taking for granted during the last two legendary winters, but that has definitely changed. Nourishing for the soul.

A Brocken Spectre on Ben More Assynt

Bright sunshine on Conival

During the drive back my thoughts keep turning to next year. The huge towers of Suilven, Stac Pollaidh and Quinag kept appearing through gaps in the glens, tempting me. Wouldn't it be an incredible place to try and live in for a while?

Dubh Loch Mor

The Quinag

I'd been to Assynt before on a climbing trip to the sea cliffs at Reiff, so I suppose I did know what to expect. But even so, I was still slightly taken aback by the wild magnificence of the landscape. What an immense place.

I'm back at Clachaig now. As I'm writing this the last of the evening sunshine is just casting a glow on the Aonach Eagach…the buttresses of Aonach Dubh are being thrown into shadow and there's a frost on the way. I am still in awe of my adopted home.


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