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Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day


Postby 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: 1283m

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My introduction to Torridon - Day 1

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.

1 Sunrise to the East.JPG
Sunrise to the East

2 Sunrise colours to the West.JPG
Sunrise colours to the west


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.

3 Waterfall on the ascent.JPG
waterfall under the crags

5 Spectacular.JPG
Spectacular!


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.

4 Himalayan scene.JPG
More like the Himalyas


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)

6 My first broken spectre, special moment.JPG
My first broken spectre, amazing moment.


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,

7 Top under Spidean.JPG
The top under Spidean, looking West

8 Munro 41 & 165 respectively.JPG
Munro 41 & 165 respectively


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.

9 View over to the second Munro.JPG
Views over to the second Munro of the day

10 The path ahead for the day.JPG
The path ahead

12 Pinnacles.JPG
The Pinnacles


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.

13 At the pinnacles.jpg
At the Pinnacles

14 Scrambling fun.JPG
A bit of scrambling fun

15 Onward.JPG
Upward and onward


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.

11 The ridge ahead.JPG
Smashing ridge

16 give us a wave, me, Deirdre and Sue.JPG
Give us a wave! Me, Deirdre and Sue


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.

17 Stevie showboating.JPG
Showboating Stevie

18 Munro #42.JPG
Munro # 42 and Loch Torridon and the sea beyond

19 Tomsie and Davie Sothern.JPG
Tomsie and Davie


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.

20 Boulder field descent.JPG
Boulder field descent

21 Back up to the route down.JPG
Looking up,,to the route down.


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.

http://s1048.photobucket.com/user/gfc30 ... t=2&page=1
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Last edited by GillC on Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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GillC
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Re: Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Postby kev_russ » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:12 pm

Epic stuff :clap:
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Re: Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:19 pm

Fabulous, Gill. Really enjoyed reading that and seeing your great photos. I was up on Beinn Alligin at the same time - report to follow tomorrow. Wasn't the weather just the best? Glad you like the area! I still think the pinnacles look scary......
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Re: Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Postby GillC » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:23 pm

Thanks guys, Epic indeed.

The pinnacles look worse from below Annie,,get yourself up there lol
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Re: Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Postby davetherave » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:20 am

Very well done Gill. Im extremely jealous. :clap:
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Re: Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Postby Tomsie » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:45 am

It was a great day Gill, setting off in the dark, sun rising, views, spectres, sunshine, cold, meeting WH members, pinnacles, scree, beer and currys :lol:

Twice I'v being to Torridon and what a place.

Great report again, enjoyed reading it :clap: , now to read the steep fecker :D
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Re: Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Postby GillC » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:18 am

:lol: :clap: 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.
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Re: Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Postby Tomsie » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:40 am

GillC wrote::lol: :clap: 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 :crazy: :lol:
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Re: Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Postby quoman » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:14 am

Hi GillC,
Am Jealous :clap: :clap: nice report and those pinnacles look nice.
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Re: Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Postby GillC » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:15 am

Cheers W, it was a terrific day and the pinnacles were fab. :D
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Re: Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Postby ceaser » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:54 pm

fantastic day ,was good to meet up with you again Gill ,glad you were there to notice my jacket being blown over the cliff :D
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Re: Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Postby 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 :D



Haahahaaa forgot about that,,,all I can say is "it wisnae me!!!" :shock:
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Re: Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Postby jupe1407 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:11 pm

Awesome report Gill. Torridon is beautiful, I hope i get a day on Liathac as good as yours!
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Re: Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Postby PeteR » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:30 pm

Superb stuff :D

What a great day you all had for this beauty :thumbup:
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Re: Liathach the leviathan, oh what a day

Postby GillC » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:03 am

:D. Thanks PeteR. Certainly was a fantastic experience. I'm in love with Torridon, can't wait to go back, G
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