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A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet

A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet


Postby Jambo235 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:12 pm

Route description: Liathach, Glen Torridon

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

Date walked: 21/10/2012

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 8 km

Ascent: 1309m

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On a SAUMC* weekend in Torridon I made an incredible find:
A ridge called Liathach which completely blew my mind!
A fantastic scramble and two munros were combined
On this western hill which left me wanting more,
Soon An Teallach will find me knocking at the door.
The others, still tired from the horns* of yesterdays hill,
Decided to pass up this incredible thrill.
But glorious weather they put to waste,
With hearts not set in the right place,
So I adventurously departed on my own
With the goal to sit on Torridon’s throne.

I began on a path that winded up high
To a ridge so sharp it must cut the sky!
A trio of walkers who’d set off before
Ignited a challenge to meet their back door,
To have a quick hello before I overtake and disappear ahead,
So my pack was shouldered and off I sped.
Like a cat my eyes were fixed upon this mouse
And were only averted to spy a grouse,
Lying below the crags, in the heather beside.
And at this point I did decide
To take a break and enjoy the view
And name all the summits that I knew.
Quickly though I was off again,
For I could not long refrain,
From entering the lair of the corrie above
And a little more altitude made me fall in love.
For once I reached the ridge and looked along
I could not help but burst into song
For some reason it was the Kazak national tune*
That was running through my head as I walked the rocks strewn
On the assent up to Spidean a’ Choire Leith*
What a fantastic trip I was having today!

I rested my legs and stopped for a quick nibble
Where the realisation I’d forgot my Jaffa Cakes made me giggle
So whilst enjoying the sights a strawberry jam roll it was to be.
Then suddenly a swirling ball of mist surrounded me,
The idea of doing the pinnacles in the white
Gave me quite a fright!
But soon the sun returned and it wasn’t very long
Until I continued humming my Kazak song
Whilst stumbling down the rocky slope,
I was gazing ahead and could only hope
That the pinnacles I’d read about in many a book
Were as thrilling as they look.

A tiny slip early on kept me steady
As to meet my maker I’m certainly not ready,
Especially so when there’s a ridge and summit still to do,
I was always going to see this one through.
I passed up the safety path – not because I’d have felt a cheat –
Just the airy ridge looked a treat!
Watching the stag below give his best boom,
This fun had better not end anytime soon.
Scrambling up and over I went,
And my confidence did not face a dent,
For I managed this ridge, which borders sublime,
With no blips or worries – it was totally fine.

The gap with the group ahead stayed the same,
Over the whole walk no extra speed or ground could I gain.
Today it was not I who did the catching
For behind me there was a Scouser who was more than matching
The speed at which I could walk.
For a few minutes he slowed his jog to talk
Before leaving me to stand amazed
At the red trainers which simply grazed
Over the pinnacle I was about to encounter,
But his pace did not cause a downer,
Just encouraged me admire his grace
As over the pinnacles and beyond did he race.

When I finished the ridge I spared more than a glance,
I’ve walked in Norway, England and southern France,
But nothing I’d done could be compared
At the mountain which has left greater people rather scared.
Onwards I followed the footsteps of the faster man
And breezed up to the summit of Mullach an Rathain*.
I then descended down the horrific scree,
Which caused more than one jolt to the knee,
But this flaw can be forgiven
Because of the views that were given.
The sight of Skye over sea
Couldn’t have brought anymore glee.
Closer to home upper Loch Torridon was sparkling blue
So beautiful that I chose this spot for my final chew,
Which turned into a fantastic snooze,
Underneath the sky’s bright, bright blues.
After a nap that was second to none,
I reluctantly got off my bum,
But before I started the t-shirt was removed
I couldn’t help but wonder: would Munro have approved?
I took my time down the remainder of the southern side
For it might be a while before my feet return to collide
With Liatach’s Torridonian Sandstone
That left my mind totally blown.

SAUMC* - St Andrews University Mountaineering Club
Horns* - The day before we'd all climbed Ben Alligin via the horns
Kazak national tune* - I'd recently watched Borat and his parody national anthem could not leave my head the entire walk! Youtube it if you want a laugh.
Spidean a Choire Leith* - Pronounced 'Speet-yan a Chora Lay'
Mullach an Rathain - Pronounced 'Moo-lach an Raa-han'

Here are a few pictures from the day:

Image
Starting at the base of Liathach

Image
Arrival onto the ridge

Image
Arrival onto the pinnacles

Image
Final pinnacle

Image
Mullach an Rathain with Upper Loch Torridon behind

Image
Beinn Eighe - left for a latter trip to Torridon!

Image
Have you had a nap in a better location than this? Loch Torridon and Skye on the horizon
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Jambo235
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Re: A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet

Postby KeithS » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:42 pm

Well what a way to write a report
Most impressive, I must retort.
I really love this beautiful area,
the walking here could not be hairier.
Keep up the good work, and bear in mind
We all enjoy, I think you'll find,
to read of such tales and look at your snaps
it's a real thrill and I think perhaps,
In the future maybe we should
all write this way, if only we could.
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Re: A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet

Postby Jambo235 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:55 pm

Those compliments are very kind of you to say,
And in regards to all reports being written this way:
If a maths student can bust out a rhyme,
Then who knows what is possible given time?
Sure writing this little poem did take a while,
But it's worth it to make you smile,
And surely everybody on this site knows
That you cant describe the beauty without a bit of prose?
However I fear that to fully encapsulate such a place;
Such a mountain; such an route might be beyond the human race.
For to experience this you need to see,
But for now a rhyming couplet, or two, or three
Might have to suffice for you and me.
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Re: A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet

Postby STAND » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:37 pm

Whilst on walkhighlands I am really new,
I couldn't resist a line or two.
My knowledge of others is certainly narrow,
But the pool of reports in this class must be shallow.
For this poem did inspire,
Me to go a little bit higher,
To cross the bridge over the Firth of Forth
And head to the dreamland way up north.
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Re: A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet

Postby rockhopper » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:29 pm

Cracking stuff,
I must admit,
But at poetry,
I’m just a twit.
I’ll keep it short,
And not sound a prat,
By just saying,
I enjoyed that.

cheers :)
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Re: A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet

Postby Jambo235 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:52 am

Rockhopper I appreciate that rhyme,
I'd suggest it was more than fine,
Thank you for sparing the time
To post that reply on the poem of mine.
A twit you did not appear
For I understood your message loud and clear,
I noticed to Liathach you've never been
So the fine ridge is yet to be seen.
It's certainly one not to be missed
So get up there and tick it off the list.

Greetings STAND and I'm glad you enjoyed
The rhymes and words with which I toyed,
Hopefully I'll be hearing more
About the northern plans you have in store.
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Re: A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet

Postby basscadet » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:59 am

Oh Jambo I'm really c*ap at rhyme,
but this was a treat to read in my skiving time :clap:
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Re: A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet

Postby RicKamila » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:33 am

We've never been to that great hill,
But reading this im sure we will,
Your photos show the Highlands at its best,
We live in the east, but love the west,
Five lines in and Im stuck for a rhyme,
So I will end it at this moment in time.
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Re: A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet

Postby Jambo235 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:24 pm

Basscadet your compliments have left me blessed,
And to be honest, keeping comments simple would be best.
But RicKamila I do appreciate the time
That you spent on your rhyme.
I too am a boy from the east
Who went to tame this western beast.
There are many plans that I have in store
That involve going westwards more and more.
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Re: A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet

Postby LeithySuburbs » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:09 pm

Jambo, my car is a poetry free zone
So, if you don't want to walk to Glencoe,
Leave the rhymes at home
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Re: A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet

Postby Jambo235 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:15 pm

LeithySuburbs wrote:Jambo, my car is a poetry free zone
So, if you don't want to walk to Glencoe,
Leave the rhymes at home


I'm sure I can manage to not rhyme all the way, I can satisfy myself by spontaneously breaking into song occasionally. Or would that not be allowed either?
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Jambo235
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Re: A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet

Postby LeithySuburbs » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:07 pm

Jambo235 wrote:
LeithySuburbs wrote:Jambo, my car is a poetry free zone
So, if you don't want to walk to Glencoe,
Leave the rhymes at home


I'm sure I can manage to not rhyme all the way, I can satisfy myself by spontaneously breaking into song occasionally. Or would that not be allowed either?


No, singing is fine :D
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Re: A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet

Postby Bod » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:26 pm

Not surprised it was your best day yet, what a mountain :wink: :D :D

Having a giggle at all of the above, see you in Glencoe :D
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Re: A Poetic Tribute to Liathach - My Best Day Yet

Postby Jambo235 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:50 pm

LeithySuburbs wrote: No, singing is fine :D


Does this include several renditions of the aforementioned Kazak parody national anthem though?

Bod wrote: Having a giggle at all of the above, see you in Glencoe :D


I look forward to meeting yourself and others too Bod.
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