Sunshine (and snow) in Sutherland

At the beginning of November each year, the Corriemulzie Mountaineering Club (mostly St Andrews University alumni from the 1970s) head for Ullapool for socialising, dinner and a walk in the hills. A small but select group gathered this year and the Friday night discussion in the bar was where to go tomorrow. Ben Hee was suggested – quite a long way north but it was a Corbett on Dave’s list, which hadn’t yet been ticked off.

We woke up on Saturday to bright sunshine and set off north through what I think is one of the most stunning landscapes in the world. Ben More Coigach, Stac Polly, Cul Mor, Cul Beag, Suilven, Quinag, Ben Stack and Ben More Assynt all looked stupendous against a cloudless sky (no pics as our driver informed us that we were not tourists). Our destination, Ben Hee, had its head in the clouds when we started off but it was wonderfully clear to the south (click on pics for larger versions).

Looking south to Ben More Assynt

There was a lot of early snow on the hills and the path up Ben Hee was pretty icy. The cloud on the top seemed to come and go but by the time we got to the summit, it was still in mist – and freezing cold. Of course, we had the obligatory summit photo.

Mary, Dave and Liz on the summit.


Setting up for a summit photo












We hung around on the summit for a while hoping it would clear – there were hints of change but we were getting cold so set off down. But, after a few minutes there were signs of improvement, with Loch Shin glinting in the sun.

Sparkle on Loch Shin

It just got better and better. The mist disappeared and we stopped for an orgy of photography.

Loch Shin emerging from the mist

North to Ben Hope

Meallan Liath Coire Mhic Dhughaill and Ben Stack

Towards Foinaven and Arkle

Eventually, we headed down and back to Ullapool in the gloaming for a welcome pint and dinner. We didn’t see much wildlife apart from deer – one was rather too close when it dashed across the road in front of us on the way back.

I must admit that I was dubious about Ben Hee – a long drive and it looked a bit of a lump on the map. But the views made it a superb day out.

2 thoughts on “Sunshine (and snow) in Sutherland

  • November 6, 2012 at 1:43 am


    Thank you so much. I am sitting here in a hot office with the air conditioning blasting. Phone keeps going and I can hear the highway traffic and train line rumble. Sydney has a lovely climate and life is very good here but how wonderful to be able to escape to the hills in wintry weather.. I really miss it … Your beautiful photos of the wide open spaces bring back some very happy memories.
    Keep on daunderin’ !

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