The Armin Grewe Homepage
Picture of a lighthouse on cliffs, mist in the background After the dry and fairly clear weather for my walk on Conival and Ben More Assynt this day didn't start very promising, it was quite misty with occasional showers. The staff at the hotel was adamant that the weather would improve, so I set out towards Lochinver. In Lochinver I first stopped at the Tourist Information Centre to book a B&B near Glen Affric for later in the week. Visibility was still very bad with occasional showers, nevertheless I decided to have a go at walking to the Old Man of Stoer and left for Stoer Lighthouse.

When I arrived at Stoer Lighthouse it looked like I had made the right decision: While there was still a lot of mist in the distance it had brightened up and looked like the sun might break through. But my hopes were soon dashed, with more mist rolling in again shortly after I left for the walk. As I was already on my way I decided to continue anyway.

Picture of a coastline with mist rolling in
Picture of the Old Man of Stoer in the mist Picture of the Old Man of Stoer in the sun Walking over the western flank of Sidhean Mor I spotted the Old Man of Stoer through the mist. Someone in a yellow jacket stood on the cliffs above it, taking pictures. While the mist created a certain spooky atmosphere it wasn't exactly helpful when trying to take pictures of a sea stack. But luck was on my side again:

Suddenly the mist lifted and some hazy sunshine broke through, giving me a great view of the Old Man of Stoer. I even had some unexpected action:

While I was taking pictures I suddenly heard the sound of a helicopter's rotor. Looking up I saw a helicopter approaching very low over the sea, flying quite close to the stack. As the Old Man of Stoer is only 200ft (60m) high it probably wasn't flying much higher than 150ft. It all happened very quickly, I only managed to take the two quick snaps of the helicopter below.

Picture of a helicopter near a rock stack Picture of a low flying helicopter near a rock stack
Picture of the Point of Stoer From the Old Man of Stoer I continued northwards towards the Point of Stoer. I found a nice rock on a cliff overlooking the Point of Stoer where I sat down and had my lunch, enjoying the mild sunshine.

Refreshed I walked past the Point of Stoer for a view north and east, but the mist and low clouds pretty much prevented any good views. With more mist and low clouds coming in again I decided against walking back over Sidhean Mor and Sidhean Beag and returned along the coastal path I had walked out on.

A last view of the Old Man of Stoer from the north before the mist closed in again, reducing visibility significantly. I had timed my walk almost to perfection, having been at my destination for the short time the sun broke through.

Picture of cliffs with mist and low clouds hanging over them Picture of the Old Man of Stoer from the Point of Stoer
Picture of a misty loch After a quick stop at Lochinver to pick up my reservation for Glen Affric (which turned out to be in Drumnadrochit, the closest they could find) I drove back towards Inchnadamph. Contrary to the assurances from the morning the weather hadn't really improved, mist and clouds were still hanging over Loch Assynt. As it was still fairly early I took a short detour north along the A894. Near Loch na Gainmhich I had an impressive view north at Faire nan Carn despite the clouds, Unapool Burn below.

The map used for this walk was Explorer 442: Assynt & Lochinver. A short description of the walk can be also be found in Walking in Scotland (Lonely Planet Walking Guides S.) by Sandra Bardwell et al. Four days after my walk The Herald also ran a description of the walk, coincidence?

Picture of a road in the highlands with low clouds lingering over it

Conival and Ben More Assynt <- Scotland Summer 2005 -> Sandwood Bay