Guide to Climbing Suilven

Climbing Suilven - Introduction

If you are looking to Climb Suilven then this is the Blog for You... This Blog on Suilven have been provided to give you every bit of information you will need to know when climbing Suilven.

Where is Suilven?

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Suilven is a Mountain that is located in the UK specifically Scotland. Its found in the North West of Scotland within the Assynt, Suilven is a stand alone mountain and one of the most iconic mountains in the UK.

Above is an image that locates where Suilven is in the UK.  You can check on google Maps how long it will take you to get to Suilven from your location.   

How can i get to Suilven?

There are limited ways you can get to Suilven due to its seclusion, if you live within the UK and are not immediately local to Suilven the easiest option would be to drive. Below are the different transport options on how to get to the base of the mountain. 

- Car 

There is one main route up Suilven and one main parking location which is the End of public road from Lochinver towards Glencanisp Lodge.

- Train 

There is no public transport to the location of Suilven however the nearest train station to Suilven is Lairg Station.

- Plane

If you are coming from overseas you will most likely be travelling by Plane, it is suggested that you would land in Inverness as this airport is the nearest to Suilven.

How high is Suilven?

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731m

Suilven is a stand alone Mountain in Scotland and one of the most iconic mountain in the UK standing at 731m (2,398 ft).

How Long Does It Take To Walk Up And Down Suilven?

The time it will take you to climb Suilven will vary depending on your level of fitness.

Suilven Route

📸@craighart_85

Distance -  20Km / 12.5 miles 


Time - 7 - 9 hours


Ascent - 975m

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How Many Routes are there up Suilven?

There is one main route up Suilven.

Suilven Route

The main route up Suilven is a fairly steady walk for most the way. In normal conditions, it poses no problems for the fit walker, however the navigation can be fairly difficult.

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Stage 1

to begin the walk to Suilven Turn left at the fork to pass behind Glencanisp Lodge then keep right on the track and then left, staying on the main track at a fork. The track becomes a rougher track and passes through a gate. It crosses a rugged, rocky and undulating landscape for the next few kilometres; the great western peak of Suilven being prominent in the distance.

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Stage 2

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After almost three kilometres a junction is reached. A short detour to the left here takes you up to Suileag Bothy. Continue on the track towards Suilven, it soon slopes down beside the Abhainn na Clach Airigh. Keep on the track which now remains closer to the stream before crossing it at a bridge after a couple of kilometres. once across the bridge there is a path in 600m heading straight towards Suilven.

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Stage 3

📸@themountainwave

the first section across the moorland is fairly boggy and eroded, after 700m or so it climbs up to reach a higher level of the moor, passing alongside Loch a' Choire Dhuibh. The path passes to the right of the loch before heading into the grassy gully that leads to the nick on Suilven's ridge between the western dome and the rest of the ridge. After the first section in the gully the path zig-zags off to the left to ease the gradient, before returning to the gully in the upper section.

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Stage 4

At the ridge, turn right. Soon the path crosses the remains of a wall. Beyond the wall the path begins ascending towards the summit, winding to and fro with a little very easy scrambling. A level section is reached and the path switches briefly to the north side of the ridge before crossing a narrow neck before the final dome. Continue up the final rocky slope to the reach the grassy domed summit of Caisteal Liath. This is the true summit of Suilven.

How hard is it to climb up Suilven?

The Route up Suilven is reasonably steady and quite difficult, above is a detailed description of the route up Suilven. It is a long route to climb the mountain however the majority is flat with a short scramble to get to the summit. The navigation can be hard in bad conditions.

What is the weather like on Suilven?

The Weather conditions on Suilven can be unpredictable, this is due to the fact that mountain ranges tend to create their own conditions. So you should be aware that weather conditions on Suilven can change rapidly and often for the worst. A good day at sea level is no guarantee of good weather on the mountain! You should Be safe and prepared before climbing. 

Before going to climb Suilven you can check the forecast on the Met Office

Although the weather may chop and change, Suilven Does get hotter in the summer and colder in the winter, Below is a table of the average temperature on Suilven during the year. The Top numbers are the highest average and the bottom are the lowest.

Average Temperature

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
7°C 7°C 8°C 10°C 13°C 14°C
2°C 2°C 2°C 4°C 6°C 8°C
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
16°C 16°C 14°C 11°C 9°C 7°C
10°C 10°C 8°C 6°C 4°C 2°C
This Table is a rough Guide for Pre planning, Please check the weather before you start your climb on Suilven.

What is the best month to Climb Suilven?

The Best Month to climb Suilven depends on what you want to experience when climbing Suilven.  For example If you would like to climb Suilven on a hotter/clearer day then in the Mid summer would be the best time to climb, you can locate the tables on the average sunlight hours and  the average temperature during the year on Suilven, These two tables may give you a rough idea on what month you will want to climb Suilven. 

You may also want to know what the most popular month is to climb Suilven to either avoid or join the many people who climb the mountain each year. The most popular time to climb Suilven is usually during the summer, With the Winter being the more quieter times due to the worse conditions and daylight hours on the mountain. 

What is the best time to Climb Suilven?

The best time to climb Suilven will depend on the season you are climbing in and what you want to experience when climbing. Below is a table on the average sunrise and sunset times during the year.  When you go to book your trip please check the weather. The table is a rough guide so you can estimate what time you would like to climb.

Average Total Sunlight

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
08:45 07:00 06:45 06:00 05:00 04:20
16:15 17:15 19.00 20:30 21:40 22:20
7h 30m 9h 30m 11h 30m 14h 30m 16h 30m 18h 00m
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
04:40 05:40 06:50 08:00 08:10 08:50
22:10 21:00 19:30 18:00 16:00 15:40
17h 30m 15h 30m 13h 00m 10h 30m 8h 00m 6h 30m
This Table is a rough Guide for Pre planning, Please check the weather before you start your climb on Suilven.

Do i need to be able to navigate?

The main route up Suilven can be fairly simple on a clear day, however in bad visibility it can be extremely difficult because there is no well beaten path and if you are unable to see the mountain in the distance it can be quite tricky to know your way, navigation skills when climbing this mountain would be advised.

What do i need to bring when climbing up Suilven?

The ideal kit list when climbing Suilven will vary slightly depending on what season you are climbing in, in the winter you will need warmer clothes and base layers etc, however the essentials will pretty much stay the same.

Warm and waterproof clothing

These items are essential all year round due to the temperamental conditions on Suilven, in the summer it may be hot at the base of the mountain, however the conditions will get slightly cooler and could become drastically worse at the the top, due to this make sure you bring waterproofs and warm clothing up with you.

A pair of good walking boots

You will need a pair of decent walking boots regardless of the weather or temperature when climbing Suilven.

Useful Hiking Equipment

You will need to bring essential bits of hiking equipment when climbing Suilven. These items consist of a map, compass, torch, whistle and first Aid Kit. You can also bring trekking poles, however they are not essential.

Food and Water

Suilven is a long days hike regardless of which route you are taking so it is a must that you bring plenty of food and drink with you when climbing. you MUST take your litter down the mountain with you!

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Guide to Climbing Suliven created

24/01/2021