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Yesterday saw me and Skye back in Assynt to walk another corbett. Canisp, old norse for white mountain, rises from the loch-strewn landscape of the far north-west, between Ledmore Junction and Inchnadamph. The usual route of ascent is from the east on the A837 at the northern end of Loch Awe.
Right from the car par, crossing the grass to a small 'telegraph pole' footbridge over the River Loanan I got a hint of the squelchy bogs to come on the half-mile or so flat bit before the climb really starts. We crossed the Allt Mhic Mhurchaidh Gheirn easily thanks to it being really wide and shallow with a few stepping stones, and very low water levels.
Our path through the grass and moss was faint but we found enough signs to the passing of others footsteps. We also find an occasional exposed tree root telling of different, forested, times. Stones appeared on the path and as we get higher they become bigger rocks. A long rock band also becomes part of our path. When the path fades completely I try to keep largely ahead. Skye is getting fairly good at path following, sniffing or maybe seeing the passage of previous walkers.
We make it to the point where Canisp's SSE ridge turns to become the south-east ridge. Skye wanted to keep on a more westerly line and footprints and hints of a path suggested we wouldn't be the first, so I followed her. Then it stopped. It was here that 3 youngish guys I suspected of following us as they made the same 'mistake', caught us up. We did all get a cracking view of Suilven for our efforts though. Nothing now but to call Skye back and climb the boulder terraces to the proper north west. That was pretty tough going. We eventually found some long tongues of mossy ground to ease the way up.
At the summit is a large and elaborate windshelter. Although it's blowing a hoolie up here no-one sits in it as the view is is far too good to miss behind it's walls. One of the guys gets out from his rucksack, as far as I can see, a folding camping gaz style stove and proceeds to warm up a burger or similar, which ends up in a bap. I give Skye her lunch and a big drink. We're joined by a another guy, whom I judge from his hefty boots to be a mountain leader. No-one else would wear such things in the middle of summer, or be so deft in them.
And then it was time to make the journey back over the rocks, bogs and rivers. A tough day, but with excellent views and nae midges, a good day.
Canisp, from the peaty walk in
Rock slabs on the way to Canisp
Looking up to Canisp
Looking back to Breabeg
Suilven from Canisp
Cul Mor and Stac Pollaidh from Canisp
Cam Loch and the view from Canisp
Canisp summit windshelter with Quinag beyond
Suilven from Canisp
Conival and Ben More Assynt, from Canisp