North to the Cape – a thruhike through Scottish snow and water

During March and April earlier this year, I went to Scotland to hike through the northwest part of the Highlands between Fort William and Cape Wrath, the most northwesterly point of the mainland. The Cape Wrath trail was my guide, but I departed from the route many times to more than double the total distance of the official trail. The weather was typically Scottish with 33 days that counted at least a few hours of rain among the total 37 hiking days of the trip, including 7 with rain (or snow) all day long. Up to half a meter of snow fell on day 3, snow which still lasted a long time in the mountains for the remainder of the trip. Spring and more sunny days finally arrived during the last week.

It’s been a relaxed walk with a camp on the ridge of Suilven and the final hike along the coastal cliffs towards Cape Wrath (much more recommended than the official route over the inland peat if weather permitting) that have been the two main highlights of the trip. The pictures complete the story.

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21 thoughts on “North to the Cape – a thruhike through Scottish snow and water

  1. Hi Joery,

    Im totally inexperienced in hiking but I enjoy your blog so much im thinking of ”na parw tous dromous” as we say in Greek. Start walking that is:)

    I want to go to Nature and i want to go Sola. But I dont want to die:)

    In Scotland its snowy and I do intend to visit winter.

    Do you remember an easy part of the trail you took in Scotland, something that was way too easy for you, propably will be hard for me.

    Pls tell me via email or publicly onyour blog your route as you have shared your exact route for your adventurous trip in the Alps before (the Alps do not intrest me :))

    Looking forward to more inspiring posts from your adventures into nature, Anna

  2. Prachtig! Je foto’s zijn veel beter dan die in ‘WALKHIGHLANDS’ bij het gedeelte van de Cape Wrath Trail. Ik vind het juist jammer dat ik ze enkel in klein formaat kan bekijken op je blog. Kun je misschien eens jou Cape Wrath Trail in kaart brengen? Uitrustingslijst = Ook altijd interessant! Heel mooi , bedankt!

    • Bedankt Patrick! Zoals ik al zei in de reactie op Martin vind ik dit jaar nauwelijks de tijd om nog uitgebreid te bloggen, maar ik zal je reactie onthouden voor later.

    • Bedankt Debbie! In vergelijking met andere lange tochten die ik reeds maakte, was dit fysiek eigenlijk helemaal niet zo’n zware tocht. Wat het hier zwaar kan maken is mentaal de opeenvolging van het slechte weer en wie hier niet tegen opgewassen is door een tekort aan ervaring en dan slechte beslissingen maakt, komt natuurlijk in slechte papieren terecht. De bothy-books onderweg staan helaas bol van zulke verhalen.

  3. De foto’s spreken voor zich: elke foto bevat water, in welke vorm dan ook.
    Gelukkig genoeg droge momenten om mooie foto’s te maken! Ik ben benieuwd naar het weer als ik in het najaar naar Schotland ga.

  4. Ik zag het gisteren al aankomen…
    Dit verhaal gaat een dikke hit worden.
    Er staan parels van foto’s tussen
    die de goesting alleen maar aan gaan wakkeren.
    Het manneke wordt ook mooi,soms speels in beeld gebracht.

  5. An impressive trip, especially given the variety of conditions you experienced. I like the way you have presented the photos, they depict the storyline of your experiences along with the vistas along the way. Looking forward to your next adventure

  6. As always fabulous images to tell the story. It looks devoid of people. You must have prepared several food drops. Taking that self-timer while crossing the stream must have been cold work. Another triumph of preparation and execution, congratulations on seeing it through.

  7. The weather conditions that you encountered look challenging, I would be interested to know what gear did you use for such conditions. If you have time, could you please share the gear list of the trip?

  8. Nice job and great pics Joery, Glad to see you took a route via the Assynt. We did that with packrafts recently – definitely highlight as you say. Look forward to doing some more CWT this summer.

  9. Despite your other commitments, I don’t suppose you could do a route map that shows all your detours to take in other Scottish highlights?

    • Also sorry, I don’t suppose you could make it so you can view the pics full screen?
      Just curious too, did you take the Glenfinnan or Great Glen variation at the start?

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