walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Fire and (not enough) water in Torridon

Fire and (not enough) water in Torridon


Postby Huff_n_Puff » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:43 pm

Route description: Maol Chean-dearg ascent, Coulags

Munros included on this walk: Maol Chean-dearg

Date walked: 02/04/2013

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 932m

4 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).

It was sheer good luck that plans were revised at the last minute which left us Tuesday free to head for the hills. We've been eying up the Glen Carron area for a while so decided to head for Maol Chean-dearg, as that gave us a plan B (circuit of Maol Chean-dearg) if the conditions looked too challenging :).
After our last outing with Menno, our dogs' favourite hillwalker, they were devastated to find he was working and they would just have to make do with their regular humans, therefore no almond croissants or bridies :( . After debating whether this was a fatal breach of their terms and conditions they decided that it was too good a day to miss so agreed to head for the hills - oh with the odd photo stop on the way.
001 Sgurr a'Mhuilinn 01.jpg
Sgurr a'Mhuilinn (I think)

I think this is Sgurr a'Mhuilinn seen from the A832 - but please tell me if I've got this wrong.

The little car park was full by the time we arrived at Coulags - we'd planned to be there by 10am - but somehow had lost an hour en route. Not to worry the weather was wonderful, and warmer than the temperature I'd been expecting, so did I shed an unnecessary layer of clothing? - well eventually but only after getting rather too hot :( :-?.

Its an easy start to the route - although a rather menacing flock of sheep guarding the main road had the dogs scurrying for the safety of their leads - and they made no attempt whatever to investigate these woolly creatures.
MCD 01 Well signed path.jpg
Main road guarded by sheep


Great path and we soon arrived at the bridge

MCD 04 Time for a swim.jpg
Fancy a swim?

and yes I did fancy a swim, but opted for getting rid of some clothes instead - nothing too exciting mind you I still had plenty of layers to go :o :shock:

We got to the bothy - and its building project
MCD 05 Mountain Bothy.jpg
Bothy with building project hiding behind it


Followed by the 'Henry Moorish?' tether stone - we tried it for size for Biggles & Bertie, but we'd brought the wrong leads :lol:
MCD 07 Henry Moorish.jpg
Fionn's tether stone?


We stopped for a drink and nibbles where the path branches left for the Maol Chean-dearg summit, and I sheded another layer - I really had exaggerated the cold and as a result was hot and sweaty. At this point we'd done three fifths of the distance to the summit, but had only gained about one fifth of the height - the next section was only going to get hotter! So a drink before we go.
MCD 08 A quick drink and then we'll be off.jpg
One for the road

Our goal peaked over the slope - the bald red head wearing a white lace cap.

The dogs need sustenance too ...
MCD 09 Did someone mention biccies.jpg
Did someone mention biccies?

MCD 10 I thought so.jpg
I thought so


We passed an icefall en route for the bealach
MCD 12 Icefalls.jpg
Icefall


The route really was pleasant going and not a cloud in the sky - gradually the hills around us came into view - but as we got onto the blealach there was a haze just beyond An Rhuadh-stac, not an atmospheric one - this was smoke.
MCD 15 An Ruadh-stac.jpg
An Rhuadh-stac

MCD 18 Wildfire.jpg
Burn-off or wildfire?

From this distance it was impossible to see whether this was a controlled burn-off or a fire out of control.

We headed up the scree path - and what WH had advised would be the steepest section of the day. As scree paths go this was very good - although I suspect that was because the recent now melt meant the path was damp and therefore firmer. As we came out of the scree into the snow the path was very obvious.
MCD 20 Ah here's the path.jpg
This way I think!

The footprints were a great help in navigating the snowy boulderfield - as were the winter boots - but it was a slower job than I'd expected. On this last stretch before the summit we met 3 encouraging people on their way down - they promised it would all be worth it when we got to the top - too be honest I didn't doubt them for a moment! What I could see already was pretty spectacular :D
MCD 21 Sgurr Rhuadh and Bienn Laith Mhor.jpg
Sgurr Rhuadh and Bienn Laith Mhor

MCD 22 South to Skye.jpg
Snow, sea and Skye

Once at the top it was - well what can I say?

MCD 28 Beinn Allign.jpg
Beinn Allign

MCD 28b Beinn Damh.jpg
Beinn Damh

MCD 27 Torridon's big beasts.jpg
Torridon big beasts (sort of!)

MCD 30 View north east.jpg
View north east

MCD 31 Laithach.jpg
Laithach again


We sat at the cairn eating and marveling at the views - well Roger ate - for some reason I wasn't hungry so I drank some water and munched an apple. Trouble set in when I tried to stand up to head down - cramp in both legs had me alternately squealing and swearing - I'd stupidly over heated to the point of losing too much liquid and that in turn made me gag at food - the consequence was only cramp but in a very inconvenient place :sick: :sick:

The walk down was slower and much more uncomfortable than the walk up - but hey that meant more time to enjoy the views. By the time we got the bealach An Ruadh-stac had fires on both sides.
MCD 33 Fires to the right of me fires to the left of me.jpg
Fires to the right of me, fires to the left of me


On the snow coming down we noticed that the quartz scree had taken a toll on at least one of the dogs' paws, and although neither of them were showing any sign of distress I would think twice about taking them into this sort of terrain again.

After I slipped on some snow going down from the bealach and both legs cramped badly again Roger insisted on taking my pack as well as his own (what a star :clap: :clap: ) and I limped (a bit shame-faced) along the path.
Biggles got rather interested in a small group of red deer - the only wildlife we'd noticed that day, but came back (eventually) when called and seemed relieved to be put on the lead. No need to play the great hunter now :lol: :lol:

We eventually passed the bothy shillouetted against the late afternoon sky
MCD 34 Heading home.jpg
Heading home

and were soon back to the start of the walk - the menacing sheep had moved on - and despite the cramp and overheating it was a brilliant day.

And the moral - just be careful where you wear that thermal base layer :lol: :lol:
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 910
Munros:249   Corbetts:16
Grahams:9   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:18   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   Islands:18
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: Fire and (not enough) water in Torridon

Postby kev_russ » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:17 pm

Bootiful :)
User avatar
kev_russ
Walker
 
Posts: 388
Munros:152   Corbetts:51
Grahams:25   Donalds:26
Sub 2000:13   Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Mar 17, 2009
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Fire and (not enough) water in Torridon

Postby The Rodmiester » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:22 pm

Some grand views from the top, now I know what I missed! Ta for posting. Can this weather continue for a wee while longer?
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 3389
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:75   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: Fire and (not enough) water in Torridon

Postby clivegrif » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:09 pm

Fabulous stuff, would love to be in Torridon in conditions like this.

Had heard there was a fire problem though.
User avatar
clivegrif
Scrambler
 
Posts: 1451
Munros:282   Corbetts:33
Grahams:10   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:6   Hewitts:194
Wainwrights:50   
Joined: Nov 28, 2010
Location: Worcester

Re: Fire and (not enough) water in Torridon

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:55 pm

kev_russ wrote:Bootiful :)

Thanks.

The Rodmiester wrote:Some grand views from the top, now I know what I missed! Ta for posting. Can this weather continue for a wee while longer?

Still lovely on the east coast on Friday - so here's hoping :lol:

clivegrif wrote:Fabulous stuff, would love to be in Torridon in conditions like this.

Had heard there was a fire problem though.


Yeah ... Torridon is really special.
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 910
Munros:249   Corbetts:16
Grahams:9   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:18   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   Islands:18
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: Fire and (not enough) water in Torridon

Postby soulminer » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:05 pm

It sure is an area with some awesome views, in every direction :)
User avatar
soulminer
 
Posts: 804
Joined: Mar 18, 2010
Location: Johnstone

Re: Fire and (not enough) water in Torridon

Postby mr_ash_37 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:59 pm

Lovely pictures and report
User avatar
mr_ash_37
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 175
Munros:60   Corbetts:3
Joined: Jan 20, 2012
Location: East Ayrshire

4 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 38 guests