Grade Eighe for Torridon
by gordon l » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:17 am
Route description: Beinn Eighe (western summits)
Munros included on this walk: Ruadh-stac Mor (Beinn Eighe), Spidean Coire nan Clach (Beinn Eighe)
Date walked: 30/03/2013
Time taken: 10 hours
Distance: 18.5 km
Ascent: 1185m4 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Two weeks ago when we were nearly blown off Aonach Mhor in a freezing whiteout and squelched back to the car in darkness, utterly sodden, and hours over our expected trip time we knew that we had earned mountain karma points. We couldn't have imagined that we would be so lucky to spend them on our first trip to the hills of Torridon over the Easter weekend.
On the day of our Aonachs adventure the MWIS prediction had been for a 70% chance of cloud free summits with little wind so it was with hope, rather than real expectation that we travelled to our base at Ledgowan Lodge in Achnasheen where we would be camping for 3 nights. This time the forecast was "superb" visibility and to our great delight, MWIS was 100% right.
Beinn Eighe is a fantastic mountain system that leaves a lot of itself hidden from the roadside. It is Liathach that grabs all the attention as you drive towards the starting point along the A896: suddenly you find yourself driving into a calendar photo As much as Liathach looked hugely impressive from the road we weren't confident about the snow conditions of the pinnacles so we had decided to leave for another visit. Today was all about Beinn Eighe.
We left the car at the carpark and walked 2km back along the road to begin the gentle walk up the excellent path leading towards Coire an Laoigh. As we ascended the stalker's path the views became more and more impressive and we knew we were in for a great day. I was taken by the view back at Sgurr Dubh and the jigsaw-piece-like Loch Bharranch The ascent towards the ridge was brilliant fun: sunshine blazed off the snow giving the area (and us) an alpine glow
The ridge itself is a stunner, views in all directions taking the breath away. We took plenty of time to soak it all in, couldn't really think of a better place to be. With crampons now fixed we made the short haul up to the main ridge and over to our first summit of the day, Spidean Coire nan Clach. The toothy ridge leading to Ruadh-stac Mhor now revealed itself, beckoning us onwards. What amazing views we now had in all directions. The descent from Coinneach Mhor was steep but straightforward. The sun bouncing off the icy snow gave it the appearance of a giant lemonade sparkle. The ascent of Ruadh-stac Mhor would be quick but we slowed ourselves down by constantly turning back to take in the new view of Triple Buttress and Coire Mhic Fhearcharr on our left. We knew that out descent would be down there and it looked mighty steep! The summit views were simply stunning too. These are days to take it easy and enjoy every moment. The views stretched out into the blue beyond and we tried to identify the peaks we saw before us... Skye, the Fisherfields, the Fannichs, Assynt, Knoydart, Kintail...The mountain karma chips were well and truly cashed in! The descent into Coire Mhic Fhearcharr turned out to be a lot of fun. A good chance to test out the crampons on a steep slope whilst enjoying more great views and blazing sunshine. The walk past the frozen lochan was a chilled out stroll. We took our time, hatching plans for more walks in the area, taking yet more photos and even a quick spot of bouldering as we made our way down the glen past Liathach on our right and to the car park. This was our Torridon initiation, a truly great hill in truly great weather. Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?
by BlackPanther » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:56 am
Saturday was the best of the four Easter days, very little wind and the sky "oh so blue". We were across Loch Maree, doing one of Fisherfield Corbetts, and we sat on the summit for over half an hour, gazing towards the panorama of Torridon...
Liathach in such conditions would be a wee bit too risky, at least to my taste. It was scary enough as a summer climb
by kevsbald » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:57 am
by audreywaugh » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:14 pm
by audreywaugh » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:14 pm
by dooterbang » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:08 pm
Simply amazing. This day will live long in the memory...more so doing it with your special lady
by Graeme D » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:40 pm
by gordon l » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:50 am