Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day
by GillC » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:57 pm
Route description: Liathach, Glen Torridon
Munros included on this walk: Mullach an Rathain (Liathach), Spidean a'Choire Leith (Liathach)
Date walked: 12/10/2013
Time taken: 8 hours
Distance: 8 km
Ascent: 1283m9 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).
Tomsie and I had agreed to meet up again for a walk after Glencoe, and 2 areas were on the table. Crianlarich, (nearer me ) or Liathach, (a lot further away! Lol)
Since I have so much more to tick off, let him decide and Liathach it was to be.
Driving up on Friday afternoon/evening with an early start planned for Saturday I was a bit wary of my first venture into the mighty Torridon. Heard a lot, read a lot,, was I up to this?
I turned off the road at Kinlochewe as the sun was getting low in the sky. So low, I couldn’t see a bloomin’ thing. Couldn’t raise John on the phone, so just kept driving,,was about to turn back, thinking I’d gone too far when I saw the sign for the campsite. I’d left it up to John as to whether we used Torridon or Kinlochewe, the former being a wee council run field with public toilet and shower block. Torridon won and apart from being a tad waterlogged around the track, it was fine (and free!)
The campsite lies in the shadow of Creag Dubh nam Fuaran, which was more red than black in the setting sun. The weather forecast for the weekend was great, but it was decidedly chilly, even at 6pm. Camp set up, chicken curry on to heat and a wee can or two from Tomsies boot! Accompanied by the sound of rutting deer, Bliss!
Early night and up around 6am. Booted up and parked up at the start point about 2 miles or so from the campsite at 6:55am, still dark and the sky full to bursting with stars,, amazing. My first hill start in the dark. We had our head torches on but once your eyes got accustomed to the dark, no need to have them on. This was magical, the sky beginning to brighten to the East and off on a fab day.
The path climbs up and across Allt an Doire Ghairbh with the sky brightening by the minute over our shoulders. Lovely big waterfall and great views up to Spidean a Choire Leith getting more like Ayres rock by the minute in the rising sun.
As we approached Coire Liath Mhor, we decided not to take in the tops,,just the Munros. Earlier, we had seen a car pull in to the layby down below, and could now see people on the path below us.
Taking in the views at the top and then heading West, The deer were not to be seen but we could still hear them, echoing around the great stone walls of the hills. Just beyond here, we had some swirling cloud with the sun shining through. John suggested we might get a broken spectre and literally seconds later, there it was, with me right in the middle lol I couldn’t believe it, I’ve only ever seen this in other peoples pictures. It disappeared, only to re appear and grow larger several more times. Managed to get a few pictures, a seriously special moment there. (Thanks for the heads up John)
We soon reached a stone built shelter under the top of Spidean a Choire Leith, the views across the North and out to sea were just spectacular. Still find it hard to believe I was up here.
From the top, we trekked onwards and up to the first Munro of the day Spidean a Choire Leith, 1055 mtrs, number 41 for me,
There was a group of 3 who had passed us on the way. Later identified as Mark, Deirdre and Sue. As we sat at the top taking pics, having some food etc., up popped some more WH members , Davie Sothern, Dean Souter and friends, Weaslemaster and Alison . Great to meet some new WH members and some I’d met before. We ended up all banding together and continuing on in a group of about 11, this was VERY helpful on the pinnacles, lots of helping out on the footholds etc. The first kick up the pinnacles, a smoothish slab of rock, brings you up to a point where you either turn sharp left,,or go down,,straight down, not recommended.
Continuing on over the pinnacles, lots of fun, picking routes down, I only used a bypass once,,when John advised it wasn’t worth going over, like one point on the AE, it was like climbing off your fridge freezer lol.
When the last of the pinnacles was clear, we could see the path ahead, up the side of the North facing crags of Coire na Caime and veering round to the North before reaching Mullach an Rathain. This was a good walk round, a gradual slope up and a chance to chat to the rest of the group and take in the stunning surroundings.
The Northern Pinnacles of Mullach to the North were looking fantastic. There had been a snow fall earlier in the week and only parts of the North faces still had a powdering, a reminder of the time of year, belied by the amazing clear sunny day we had.
Great time at the top of Mullach, taking pics, chatting etc, before heading off for the descent. This route goes down Toll Ban and eventually meets up with Allt an Tuill Bhain. A VERY rocky, rubbly way down, so a careful descent, picking your way through the moving rocks and scree.
The party pretty much spread out over the field.
Nearing the bottom, car keys handed to John,,let him run ahead and pick up my car, to drive to the start point for his. Good plan!!!
Dean and I reached the bottom and about a minute later, along comes Percy Puma....good timing or what. We then drove past everyone else on the way to the start point, honest we WOULD have stopped but there really was no room lol.
Thanks to John for suggesting this, and for putting up with my plodding pace. Thanks to the other WH members and friends at the top for their company and encouragement along the way. I still find it hard to believe I do these things, especially when I drive along looking up at fierce big hills, knowing I’ve been up there and thats what makes it all the more special. Very special indeed.
So, will I come back to Torridon? You bet! Loved it, loved it, loved it.
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by AnnieMacD » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:19 pm
by GillC » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:23 pm
The pinnacles look worse from below Annie,,get yourself up there lol
by davetherave » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:20 am
by Tomsie » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:45 am
Twice I'v being to Torridon and what a place.
Great report again, enjoyed reading it , now to read the steep fecker
by GillC » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:18 am
by Tomsie » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:40 am
GillC wrote::lol: thanks john, didn't quite know how to incorporate our bicycle impression with lights on the way back from the pub but oh that's still making me giggle. Lol.
I think it was more of a train impression
by quoman » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:14 am
Am Jealous nice report and those pinnacles look nice.
by GillC » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:15 am
by ceaser » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:54 pm
by GillC » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:32 pm
ceaser wrote:fantastic day ,was good to meet up with you again Gill ,glad you were there to notice my jacket being blown over the cliff
Haahahaaa forgot about that,,,all I can say is "it wisnae me!!!"
by jupe1407 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:11 pm
by PeteR » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:30 pm
What a great day you all had for this beauty
by GillC » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:03 am