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Liathach at Easter

Liathach at Easter


Postby madprof » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:43 am

Route description: Liathach, Glen Torridon

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

Date walked: 31/03/2013

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 10.5 km

Ascent: 1400m

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Liathach is rated Walk Highland's favourite mountain for good reason. It's blooming marvellous.

I was there with two experienced climbers who were, mercifully, happy to do such an awesome ridge walk with me, despite my lesser experience.

We ascended at the east end of the ridge which was brutally steep. First trip away using poles and I was glad to have them, right up until the point when it came to getting the axe out and then they became a nuisance.

After donning crampons and sorting gear out we moved onto the scramble up to the top of the ridge. My two climbing mates were very helpful and gave me the guidance I needed. I was perfectly capable of doing the route but it was a matter of confidence and simply getting the basics right.

The first scramble:

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The view across the ridge up to Stob a' Choire Liath Mor, with Spidean a' Choire Leith right behind it.:

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One of my climbing buddies going up a very steep slope:

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The ever-present danger of cornices was all too obvious:

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A view from the top of the taller Munro, looking out west to the pinnacles and the other Munro top:

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As we came onto the pinnacles we decided to skirt the first couple because we didn't have ropes. However the snow condition was less than ideal in the sun and as we edged around underneath we had to be careful not to slip.

The trickiest part was a scramble up a narrow bit of rock leading to an equally narrow shelf. Crampons jammed into a crevice, what was a reasonably tricky move seemed much worse because of the exposure. Confidence played a big part and I couldn't have asked for better people to climb with for that.

Just as I got to a point where I wasn't bricking it, I looked up and heard "smile!", so...I did!

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We continued to make our way over the pinnacles:

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Once clear, I felt relief but also a real sense of achievement. Sure, it had been scary but I had joined loads of mountaineers in the "I did it" club, having done something that wasn't a walk in the park for them at the time.

A view back on the pinnacles from the ascent to Mullach an Rathain:

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And a view from on top of the Munro:

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From there it was a slippy descent back to the road:

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That evening we were treated to some lovely light in Glen Torridon:

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The bulk of Liathach behind the hostel looked a little like it was on fire...

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...which one hillside was the following evening, after a landowner set light to it!

Everything about the route was unforgettable. This mountain totally deserves every bit of praise it gets. And next time I come, I'll come better skilled, inspired in no small part by the first adventure.
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Re: Liathach at Easter

Postby soapy27 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:45 am

Awesome report and photos there :clap: although a bit scary !think I'll wait till the snow dissappears before I traverse the pinnacles . Well done
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Re: Liathach at Easter

Postby rockhopper » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:06 am

stunning - cracking day for it :thumbup: no way would I try it in these conditions though, also would want to wait until the snow was away - cheers :)
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Re: Liathach at Easter

Postby kevsbald » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:41 am

I kid you not, my hands were sweating reading your report. Well done. Might leave this as my last one/two.
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Re: Liathach at Easter

Postby LeithySuburbs » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:19 pm

Well done on doing this :) . I chickened out on the ridge on Saturday :lol: .
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Re: Liathach at Easter

Postby LeithySuburbs » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:19 pm

Well done on doing this :) . I chickened out on the ridge on Saturday :lol: .
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Re: Liathach at Easter

Postby pigeon » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:21 pm

That looks amazing,will wait till snow has gone though :lol: Well done :clap:
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Re: Liathach at Easter

Postby Meatball » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:03 pm

Added to the (winter) to do list!
Cracking report!
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Re: Liathach at Easter

Postby mrssanta » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:33 pm

EEEk! I've done the pinnacles twice, but really don't think I'd want to do them in all that snow, looks a bit too dramatic!
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Re: Liathach at Easter

Postby dooterbang » Fri May 03, 2013 6:13 pm

Missed this report so glad it got a mention in the newsletter.

Well done on coming 2nd and very well done on your walk.

What a great day and the confidence more experienced guys bring to walks like this is mammoth.

Cheers.
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Re: Liathach at Easter

Postby Jabber » Sat May 04, 2013 10:16 pm

Wow
Glad this was brought back round. Stunning in the snow and yep I would been bricking it as well.
Did Liathach last Summer and I can't wait to go back. Now I've seen it in the snow even more so . :clap:
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