Climbing
Non-technical rock
Alpine climbing NCCS rating
Grade I
Elevation Gain
1,350.00 m (4,429.13 ft)
Distance
23.94 km (14.88 mi)
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Suilven is one of the North Highlands' most aesthetic and appealing peaks. While on the shorter side, its prominence on the Assynt Plateau gives it a noble edge. Suilvan, fittingly, is Old Norse for "spear," named by the 10th century Viking parties that plied these waters.

The route begins just outside of Inverkirkaig at the Norman McCaig memorial. There is a parking lot here for car campers. Follow the riverside trail eastward to Fionn Loch. The trail turns abruptly, rounding the northwestern edge of the loch, keeping to the shores. Toward the eastern edge of the loch, it takes a sharp turn north, heading straight for the middle of the peak's ridge. Keep your eyes peeled for deer as they are plentiful here.

Climb the steep trail, wandering alongside a rather ambitiously built stone wall. This rains the col of the two peaks. Suilven's western peak is the easier of the two, with a wide grassy summit. The eastern summit, Meall Beag requires some scrambling of third- to fourth-class terrain in spots. When wet, the grassy hills can be quite treacherous, and a helmet is not a bad idea where there are loose rocks. Descend whence you came. 

This route is doable in winter, however, be sure to check the avalanche forecast. With prevailing winds from the north, this route can see cornices and windslabs form on the south slope, making it very dangerous. This remote corner of Scotland offers superb camping. As per Scotland's walking rights, you can set up a tent wherever you like provided that you leave no trace of your stay.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Winter

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Aesthetic peak. Historical significance.

Cons

Long route. Boggy terrain. Trail sometimes disappears.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Trailhead Elevation

65.62 ft (20.00 m)

Highest point

2,362.20 ft (720.00 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Big vistas
Native artifacts
Waterfalls
Geologically significant
Historically significant

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Primary aspect

North facing

Drinking water

Unfrozen water

Location

Comments

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