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Liathach in Fog

Liathach in Fog


Postby JonetCol » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:37 pm

Munros included on this walk: Mullach an Rathain (Liathach), Spidean a'Choire Leith (Liathach)

Date walked: 19/06/2011

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 11.2 km

Ascent: 1311m

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As a Xmas Box, my wife Colleen had booked me three days in Torridon, which included a guided walk. I chose Liathach for the 'guiding' as I was unsure of navigating the pinnacles in poor visibility. As it turned out the tops were covered in mist from the outset and I was hugely reassured to be accompanied by the excellent Richard from Torridon Activities.
The day started badly, as I was stiff and tired from the 300 mile plus journey from home the previous day - when the sky was also much clearer!
PICT1462.JPG
Liathach seen clearly day before


During the early steep ascent I struggled badly with my 62 year old legs and abs still sore from the drive. At one point both Richard and I worried if I would make it. Luckily I got a 'second wind' as we approached the steep scramble to the ridge to the west of Bidean Toll a Mhuic. My relief turned to awe as a break in the cloud allowed a spectacular view to the depths of Coire Dubh Mor and across to Beinn Eighe - what an amazing place!
PICT1419.JPG
across to Beinn Eighe


Sadly the cloud quickly dropped again, obscuring all but a few feet of visibility.

We continued along the ridge and over a couple of smaller tops to reach the thumb-like summit of Spidean a' Choire Leith (1055m). En route the mist had given the ridge an eerie Tolkien-like air.
PICT1421.JPG
View W to scotland's last active volcano


As we looked back we found we had company.
PICT1425.JPG
Two tax officials in pursuit


Reaching the summit allowed a break for water and the obligatory 'evidence' shot.
PICT1422.JPG
me atop Spidean


The scramble over the Fasarinen Pinnacles was exciting - to put it mildly. Though the dangers are obvious I felt calm throughout - reassured no doubt by the presence of my skilled guide. There was no view to speak of - other than down!
PICT1426.JPG
view down from the Pinnacles


We stayed with the Pinnacles all the way, apart from one point where the alternative path was so close it made little difference. At this point I chose to crawl under, rather than manouevre round, a bit of an outcrop and before we knew it Mullach beckoned. It was a bit of a climb - but when you know you are so close you hardly notice - and then we were there!
PICT1427.JPG
Atop Mullach an Rathain


We then began the steep descent down wet slippery sandstone and loose rock. Great efforts have been made to create a decent path but the elements resist strongly. A little lower the sky was clearer providing views up and down Glen Torridon.
PICT1431.JPG
View E along Glen Torridon

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PICT1429.JPG
W along the Glen


I look back on it as a fantastic experience and one I'd be happy to repeat alone - in better visibility. Meantime many thanks to my ace guide Richard.
JonetCol
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Re: Liathach in Fog

Postby Morag M » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:03 pm

Well done, looks like you had a great time :D despite having such a lot of low cloud.
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Re: Liathach in Fog

Postby Bod » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:22 pm

Excellent and well done....hoping to follow in your steps soon. Thanks.. :D
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Re: Liathach in Fog

Postby monty » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:56 am

Well done. Shame about the weather. Looking for sunshine before i head of up there. :D
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Re: Liathach in Fog

Postby ChrisW » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:52 am

Great effort JonetCol, such a shame about the clag but it did provide some real atmosphere to a few of those pics. You still managed to keep it interesting and sneak a few great shots through the mist, enjoyed sharing, thanks :D
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Re: Liathach in Fog

Postby kevsbald » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:41 pm

It won't win WOTM after Liathach on Fire but I applaud your efforts to do this.
Well done that man.
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Re: Liathach in Fog

Postby Graeme D » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:06 pm

JonetCol wrote:As a Xmas Box, my wife Colleen had booked me three days in Torridon


And I applaud your wife's choice of Xmas gift! 8) Good stuff!
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Re: Liathach in Fog

Postby Alastair S » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:38 pm

Yes, good effort. Love the active volcano pic :lol:
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