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A Rainbow Welcome in Coire Lair for Beinn Liath Mhor

A Rainbow Welcome in Coire Lair for Beinn Liath Mhor


Postby jakeyboy » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:22 am

Route description: Beinn Liath Mhor, Achnashellach

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Liath Mhor

Date walked: 31/03/2012

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1070m

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Waiting for Laura to get back to me as to whether she could join me on this my second outing of 2012. I had the usual problem of whether to take on the Corbett "Fuar Tholl" or go for my first Munro of 2012 "Beinn Liath Mhor". I had decided to make up my mind when I reached the junction cairn at the head of Coire Lair, unless Laura had any preference.
As it happened, Laura finally let me know she was up for it, and since the Corbett was just short of Munro status anyway, we'd be as well climbing the Munro! Decision made, I picked her up early in the Saturday morning drizzle and we headed off at around 6:00 am. It remained dull and overcast all the way to Achnashellach, but the drizzle had long been left behind.
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Fuar Tholl looming up ahead seemed to be competing for our attention.

This was my second outing of the year, my previous being the Corbett Creag nan Gabhar the previous week, and it was Laura's first outing of 2012. Even with Fuar Tholl beckoning us, we were determined it was the Munro we'd tackle though, and as we reached the head of Coire Lair we were treated to the sight of a gorgeous rainbow forming an archway to the glen. :shock:
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Our first view of Coire Lair and the Beinn Liath Mhor ridge with summit obscured by cloud!
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And the rainbow begins to form.........

As the rainbow began to form and I began snapping away, Laura was busy fumbling in her rucksack. With rain appearing to approach, she hastily pulled on her waterproofs whilst still fumbling in her bag! I was getting superb shots of the forming rainbow and Laura was till fumbling and muttering. As I continued taking photos, Laura suddenly announced, "found it!" as I looked round, I saw Laura standing dishevelled, camera in hand as she uttered the immortal line......"It's gone!" I turned back to see the landscape now completely devoid of any rainbow!! :lol: :lol: We both collapsed in fits of laughter and I assured her that I'd taken more than enough shots of it! Not the point, I know. But it was funny!
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........the money shot of the archway to Coire Lair

The start of the climb proper was a steep affair and we had many stops before reaching the first summit cairn at the Eastern end of the ridge. It looked a long way to the true summit!
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Looking back down the steep initial ascent path and back across the approach plateau. The path can be seen quite clearly.

The sky was clearing and it was a positively beautiful day when we reached the first summit cairn.
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The cairn marks the start of the Beinn Liath Mhor ridge. Ahead is the final summit.
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A quick shot and a quick snack before heading down the ridge
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The view ahead looks awesome
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Laura discovered some snow! No time to build a snowman though, got to get on..... Note Bheinn Eighe in the distance!
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The ridge and summit in the distance.

As we followed the ridge to the summit we couldn't help but notice we were stopping an awful lot! But is it any wonder when you look at the superb landscape that is Torridon! Each dip and rise on the ridge seemed to open up even more spectacular views, and although it was a long hard slog to the summit, there were no real problems. A couple of outcrops would have perhaps caused Laura to plump for the bypass routes, but I think the pure elation of the day helped her overcome that.
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Did we really come all the way across that ridge? Yep!
As we drew closer to the summit, the views west to Loch Torridon opened up!
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That's what it's all about folks!
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A nice panorama
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Loch Torridon stretching all the way to the sea!
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Laura reaches the summit of Beinn Liath Mhor!!

For our first Munro of the year, we found it a tiring but exhilerating days hike. But we both agreed that the views were worth the sore muscles we were to experience the next day. The descent was a little tricky to follow with no clear path or route. But we picked our way steadily and reached the stalkers path with no problems.
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Another of those Torridon views!
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Looking back from the summit.
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Coire Lair and the route back as seen from the summit.
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The walk took us a little longer that we had hoped, and with all the stopping for pictures and rest breaks included, we probably took nearer to 11 hours in all. :? But we thoroughly enjoyed our day and once again were lucky with the weather! 8) I think we'll be back to Achnashellach yet. Maybe Fuar Tholl or the other Munro here - Sgorr Ruadh. :D
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The way back. Spectacular!!
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jakeyboy
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Re: A Rainbow Welcome in Coire Lair for Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby kev_russ » Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:24 pm

Stunning :)
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Re: A Rainbow Welcome in Coire Lair for Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby danielsutherland » Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:37 pm

Fantastic weather for these hills, I was not so lucky for both the two munros and the Corbett!! :)
Great report.
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Re: A Rainbow Welcome in Coire Lair for Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby dogplodder » Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:39 pm

A stunning ridge walk and great photos to remind you of it! :D
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Re: A Rainbow Welcome in Coire Lair for Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby snodland » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:24 pm

Hello Jakeyboy

Loved the photos. I think I may have seen and briefly spoke to you two about three quarters of the way up the Eastern Summit. I had had problems with my walking pole so was a bit slow coming up the first climb but fortunately you had stopped a few times and were taking many photos - No wonder it was a teriffic day to be on that hill.
I think later on I saw you from the Coire Lair Path as you were coming down the quartzite scree on the descent over the back of Benn Liath Mor and hoped you had seen the little cairn on top of a rock at the start of the little path down the steep sandstone crags.

Wish I had started off early enough to see the rainbow. That is a good pic
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snodland
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Re: A Rainbow Welcome in Coire Lair for Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby jakeyboy » Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:32 am

snodland wrote:Hello Jakeyboy

Loved the photos. I think I may have seen and briefly spoke to you two about three quarters of the way up the Eastern Summit. I had had problems with my walking pole so was a bit slow coming up the first climb but fortunately you had stopped a few times and were taking many photos - No wonder it was a teriffic day to be on that hill.
I think later on I saw you from the Coire Lair Path as you were coming down the quartzite scree on the descent over the back of Benn Liath Mor and hoped you had seen the little cairn on top of a rock at the start of the little path down the steep sandstone crags.

Wish I had started off early enough to see the rainbow. That is a good pic


Hi snodland!
Yes I remember speaking to you and recall you had trouble with your pole. We had a real struggle finding the path you mention, but saw the cairn eventually! :? We had more problems after the lochan, but just picked our way down the grassy, sometimes boggy slopes. We were lucky with the weather considering the conditions that followed in the week. Thanks for spotting the report. Maybe we'll meet again :D
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Re: A Rainbow Welcome in Coire Lair for Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby mrssanta » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:35 pm

Must get meself back up to Torridon one day soon
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