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The careful adventures of a small gray one on a big gray one

The careful adventures of a small gray one on a big gray one


Postby Huff_n_Puff » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:20 pm

Route description: Liathach, Glen Torridon

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

Date walked: 08/09/2012

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 8 km

Ascent: 1221m

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“What the **** am I doing here?” thought Huff_n_Puff to herself, trying not to panic. :sick: :sick:
Here she was, a good-weather-walker who wandered slowly round the hills usually only in the company of Roger and the two spaniels, out in the mist in what felt like a howling gale, three quarters the way up Laithach with a group of serious hill walkers? As a good weather walker she'd forgotten that wind and mist meant clagged specs and that meant double the trouble in trying to see. On Laithach – not being able to see might be a serious problem. It might stop her enjoying that pension she'd worked so hard for. :cry: :cry:

Slowly she mentally ticked off her options:
Plan A: throw a massive panic tantrum and demand a helicopter rescue NOW (That had certain appeal, she'd fancied being winched into a helicopter ever since the time she'd been a volunteer casualty on a mountain rescue training day and the helicopter that was supposed to 'save' her had broken down so she'd had to walk off the hill under her own steam.) But on second thoughts she doubted her acting abilities – she'd probably just end up in fits of laughter and look sillier than usual when she was told there would be NO rescue. :roll: :roll:
Plan B: whinge loud long and clear about not being able to see and being old – naw that would just end up looking silly without the laughter. :(
Plan C: take off the specs – (she could explain why)
Plan D: just keep on walking – afterall they had a guide so just follow the guide's footsteps.

She opted for plan D, but it was getting harder to keep up because she couldn't see much at all. So she tried plan C plus plan D – that worked – up to a point.
The point was the pinnacles.
Laithach 08 First glimps of a pinacle.jpg
Pinnacle in the mist

The group's aim was to do Laithach possibly via the pinnacles, but in the clag and wind would she be able to see where to scramble? After they'd passed the first Munro, Mullach an Rathian (no photo stops – nothing was visible) the problem was solved by the guides – the two groups that were possibly going to do the pinnacles would go by the bypass path – but then she'd seen photos of the bypass path on the WH site; that path had its own terrors – at least with the pinnacles she could use hands to cling on. :think: :think:

So what was she doing there?
The simple answer was that she wanted to climb Laithach but as something of a scardy cat she'd fancied the reassurance of a guide – that had worked brilliantly in the Cuillins. So when she saw the Torridon Walking Festival included a Laithach walk she'd signed up – Roger too, although he could have managed perfectly well on his own. Laithach meant a day off for the dogs – being feted by a kind neighbour and her daughter. (Yeah, its a dog's life. :lol: )
Laithach 02 getting ready.jpg
Some time earlier that morning

The weather wasn't brilliant for the walk so the organisers decided that it would be done from west to east instead of the more usual east to west – to avoid walking into the wind. As they set off they'd all hoped the clag would lift, “yes look its lifting”, “oh no its coming down” - seemed to be the pattern of the day. :crazy:
Laithach 03 Loch Torridon from the slopes of Mullach an Rathain.jpg
Going up the western path

Going up the western route has advantages – ie: going up the scree instead of coming down it. Makes a trickier climb up, but that was far less trouble for Huff_n_P than coming down scree – she still had memories of setting a world record for the longest time taken to come down the Great Stone Shute in the Cuillins. :thumbdown:
Laithach 07 Going up the west route.jpg
Going up...

Yes it was a good start to the day. If only she could see where she was going...

So back to the bypass and all its terrors, the guide set off leading her group along the path. Not to be deterred Huff_n_P followed stoically, not even thinking about the sacrificed pension.
But what was this?
Huff_and_P could see the path well enough :) , the path was nowhere near as scary as her imagination (or those clever photos) had lead her to believe :D . The path was fine, she was happy, all her (misplaced?) confidence came flooding back. :D :D At the eastern end of the pinnacles the rest of the group went up this last one – just for a taster - but Huff_n_P was happy to seize the opportunity of a break in the mist to get a few photos.
Laithach 09 Along the bypass route.jpg
Looking back along the bypass

Laithach 14 Glen Torridon.jpg
Down to Glen Torridon

Laithach 12 Climber in the mist.jpg
Up to the pinnacle

After lunch it was time for the final assault on Spidean a' Choire Leith – across a boulder field. The ancient quods were feeling by now – but, yet more blessing from this route, it's easier going up a boulder field than coming down. Summit gained, Laithach's two munros bagged, Huff_n_P was ecstatic, she'd done it, brilliant. :clap: :clap:
Laithach 17 Liz on Spidean a' Choire Leith.jpg
Ecstatic with a pudding basin

Even the clag cooperated, giving brief glimpses of why this is one of Scoltand's favourite mountains. :D
Laithach 18 View north towards Gairloch.jpg
West towards Gairloch

Laithach 19 Beinn Eighe in sunshine.jpg
Beinn Eighe
Laithach 20 Stuc a Chorie Dhuibh Bhig.jpg
Stuc a Choire Dhuibh


Only one small problem remained – going down.
Helicopter? :shifty:
Funicular? :shifty:
Abseil? :shifty:

“What do you mean I've gotta walk?” :evil:
“Over two more peaks and then down all those steps?” :-o

“OK,” she sighed, “I'll get there, but I'll be slow.” :arrow: :wave:
Laithach 23 Is that the car I see below me.jpg
Quick route down to the car

Laithach 24 Lorraine and Roger.jpg
Patient people

Laithach 22 Waterfall.jpg
Photo break

Laithach 25 Pinacles in the mist.jpg
Last look at a pinnacle


With many thanks to the Torridon Walking Festival, Lorraine our knowledgeable guide, Sandy, Lindsay, Rob and Iain for being good fun on the walk (and patient with the slow coach) and not least Roger for being there.

Huff_n_P wishes it to be known she's up for doing this again on a still, sunny day in summer - walkies anyone? :lol: :lol:
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 952
Munros:249   Corbetts:16
Grahams:9   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:18   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   Islands:18
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: The careful adventures of a small gray one on a big gray

Postby mrssanta » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:56 pm

great!
User avatar
mrssanta
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 3007
Munros:245   Corbetts:10
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:44
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: The careful adventures of a small gray one on a big gray

Postby dogplodder » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:10 am

Good on you! :clap: I've often wondered if it mean be easier to do from west to east and your experience suggests it might be. If you're going back on a good weather day I'd be up for joining you! :D
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dogplodder
 
Posts: 3597
Munros:227   Corbetts:53
Grahams:16   
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:5
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Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: The careful adventures of a small gray one on a big gray

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:25 pm

dogplodder wrote:Good on you! :clap: I've often wondered if it mean be easier to do from west to east and your experience suggests it might be. If you're going back on a good weather day I'd be up for joining you! :D

You're on :D :D but next summer - we're about to head off on a trip to the High Atlas.
The only real downside is the aching quads and knees over the next few days - but it's worth it :D :D
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 952
Munros:249   Corbetts:16
Grahams:9   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:18   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   Islands:18
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: The careful adventures of a small gray one on a big gray

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:27 pm

mrssanta wrote:great!

Thanks!
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 952
Munros:249   Corbetts:16
Grahams:9   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:18   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   Islands:18
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

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