We were back in the Highlands! Lockdown in Glasgow had been...well pretty rubbish (par for the course really) but I'd spent the majority of it really ill which made it even worse! With restrictions lifted, we were able to escape north, but it never really feels like I'm in the Highlands until I've been to Torridon
The classic stop-for-a-picture at the Kinlochewe viewpoint
We thought I might be able to manage Beinn a' Chearcaill, and it was a beautiful day so we could take our time over it. We parked up just past Bridge of Grudie, managing to get the car off the road without blocking anything. After a few minutes of wandering aimlessly we picked up the path (fairly indistinct to start with!) heading off behind the houses and we were off.
Beinn Airigh Charr and Meall Mheinnidh across Loch Maree
After the first few minutes the path became much less overgrown and was easy to walk on. Covid had not only completely destroyed my lungs and any fitness I had, but also through inactivity had caused problems with my old knee injury, so I was keen to stick to decent paths where possible.
I thought this looked like 2 frogs kissing
The path did the trick, and we climbed easily (ish) before breaking off on another path which led us gently up the side of the corrie in a lovely rising traverse. This path wasn't marked even on my orange map, so I was glad I'd read other people's reports!
As we climbed the side of the corrie we became more sheltered and the odd midge was on hand to chivvy us along if we dared to stop for a breather. There were glimpses of the views to come though
We climbed out the top of the corrie and found a wee cairn - this would be useful for finding the path on our way down! We could also see a lot of lumps and bumps ahead....
We could see the path initially continuing so we followed it (there were even a few small cairns) but it soon petered out around this wee lochan, so may have been kept alive by people fishing?!
From here we were on our own - fortunately the terrain was standard Torridon slabs and terraces and the ground wasn't bad despite lack of path. There were steep sections that I struggled to get up though.
Looking back towards Loch Maree and Beinn Airigh Charr we could see that we'd come a fair way - and it felt like it!
There were a lot of frogs around, and they kept jumping out from under my feet
Not more up!
However, as we climbed higher, the gradient did eventually begin to ease and we could see across the impressive slabs
Approaching the summit
Looking back to Slioch and Fisherfield hills
And at last we were at the summit - a huge slab!
I was knackered by the climb but the views were superb Similar to when I camped on Beinn an Eoin, we could see right into Coire Mhic Fhearcair and admire the triple buttress
The backside of Liathach (by far the best looking backside on show!)
Black Carls - the Eastern end of the Beinn Eighe ridge (maybe someday....!)
Sgurr a' Mhuillin
Beinn an Eoin - not a bad camp spot
Sgurr Mor and the Horns of Alligin peeking out from behind Beinn Dearg
Very happy to be on a hill
It was a beautiful day and I was tired (and Malky was hungry) so we sat down, took our shoes off and had a break to admire the views
Beinn Airigh Charr was now in the sunshine and looking even more spectacular
A' Mhaighean and Slioch prominent in front of the main Fisherfield ridge
Beinn Airigh Charr, Meall Meinnidh and Beinn Lair behind Loch Maree
Loch Maree with Poolewe behind
Coire Mhic Fhearchair of Beinn Eighe, and Liathach
Coire Mhic Fhearchair
Beinn Dearg and Beinn Alligin (with tiny An Ruadh-Mheallan peeking out the back)
The huge summit!
Eventually we figured we'd better get moving. We decided to try to keep a bit further to the right as it would make for an easier descent (avoiding the worst of the steep bits we'd come up). The views across to Meall a' Ghuibhais were impressive
Ruadh Stac Mor of Beinn Eighe, with the continuation of the ridge behind
Sun landing on Slioch and the Fisherfield hills
Loch Maree, Beinn Airigh Charr and out to sea
A glimpse of the Western Isles
It was tempting to stop for a dip, but decided that would probably be too tempting for the midges
A last glimpse?
Even the slightly easier way there were still some gigantic rocks to work our way around
Finally we were at our cairn - we had successfully made it to the top of the path - it should be easy from here, right?
We filled up water from the stream before dropping down into the impressive corrie
Looking down the corrie with Meall a' Ghiubhais behind
As we dropped further, the breeze completely disappeared, and despite being completely knackered I had to keep going, getting chivvied along by Malky who really didn't want to get eaten by the midges (neither did I, to be fair, but I was too tired to care too much )
Finally back at the car I was able to stop walking It was a relief (but hard work) to take boots off, and I was very pleased we'd brought Malky's car so all I had to do was collapse into my seat and try to stay awake
Seems I managed to overdo it as everything went pear-shaped a few days later...but for Torridon, it was almost worth it
A last glimpse of Slioch - but we would definitely be back
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