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Beinn Alligin - winter

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:48 pm
by davgil
A drive of over five hours :( would see us at the car park just beyond Torridon Village for our ascent of Beinn Alligin.
The weather for Torridon was to be dry but cold and windy for our trip, planned several weeks before.


My friend on this trip was testing her ice axe and crampons for the first time so safety took precedence over any
pre-determined goals or summit bagging. Weather and conditions were kind to us for most of the ascent and for
her first walk with winter kit she was doing very well and loving the grip and stability of the crampons 8)

Winds became quite strong as we approached the first summit of the day, Tom na Gruagaich, 922m.

We couldn’t even stop for a photo due to the bitter cold wind and continued down the other side for some shelter,
a photo and a bite to eat. We huddled together in the lee of a large boulder to enjoy some much needed food and drink.

Looking back up towards Tom na Gruagaich

Our views ahead of the ridge walk to to Eag Dubh and Sgurr Mhor with the horns in the distance.




Off again and heading downhill before the ascent to the summit of our second Munro of the day, Sgurr Mhor 986m.

Before the summit however we passed the dramatic gully of Eag Dubh (can you see the face?)
As we reached it we were blasted with gale force winds hammering up the gully showering us with fine particles of ice cutting into our faces whatever direction we faced. Getting a photo here was quite a task but with camera soaked and faces stinging we managed a few :lol:


Onto the summit now and decision time!
Should we make the journey over to the horns or retrace our steps.
The unknown difficulty of the horns was a concern to us in the wintry conditions, realising that if we reached them
and decided not to tackle them then our journey back would be partly in darkness.
Decision was made to leave them for another day and be content with our two Munros.

Views opened up only briefly for us during the day tempting us back in better weather.

We arrived back at the Torridon Inn (highly recommended) having taken advantage of their cut price room offer
where we could relax and recover, more from the early start (3.00am) than any difficulty on the hills.
We had a most relaxing, enjoyable evening compared to the alternative long drive home.

An enjoyable first visit for us both to the Torridon hills!
Another one that will definitely be repeated!


Re: Beinn Alligin

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:04 pm
by trekpete
Looks a right raw day alright. Good decision to turn back if you were unsure of the Horns, they will still be there for the next trip.


Re: Beinn Alligin

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:46 pm
by TheOldCodger
From memory, Ralph Storer's '100 best routes in Scotland' says the Horns in winter are 'a major :o mountaineering expedition'.

Re: Beinn Alligin

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:04 am
by Scott69
Some cracking pics,maybe best to have left the horns.

This may sound strange but when I done them last year (going in the same direction) the worst part wasn't the horns as such but more getting down to the path out from the last one...I could see that being quite akward in iced up conditions.

That said...two bagged and a cracking day for it :D

Re: Beinn Alligin

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:03 am
by Alastair S
Great stuff & some dramatic photos there Dave.

Like me you got the best of the last of the winter's snow, but unlike me you managed to bag your hill. Well done - & no doubt a good call on the Horns. I turned round too (but due to cloud & rain) so I've still got that pleasure to come.

Re: Beinn Alligin

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:27 pm
by ChrisW
Great report and stunning pics :D

Re: Beinn Alligin

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:42 pm
by jonny616
Nice report & a big well done for trying this in winter. I did this last october, horns first, & thought ascending the first horn 'glad i'm not going down this way'. Also i found the hardest part the decent off the horns & ascent of Sgurr Mhor, so i think you were spot on leaving the horns. I'll be going again as i spent all day in the clag.



Re: Beinn Alligin

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:00 pm
by davgil
Thanks everyone :)

Both Munros were relatively easy and the weather was quite mild apart from the odd gale force blasts around the summits.
I thought the horns would pose a real challenge in the conditions so no regrets in leaving them for another day.
Good excuse to get back up there anyway :D


Re: Beinn Alligin

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:33 pm
by Graeme D
Excellent photos and great to see such a contrast with my own experience of Alligin in the month of August. I reckon that face on the side of the Eag Dubh was an earlier walker who had dallied too long to take a photo and ended up being wind blasted and frozen solid to the side! :lol:

Re: Beinn Alligin

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:28 pm
by davgil
haha...thanks Graeme!

I'm hoping for a day like you had on my next visit!