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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.

Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:14 pm

Munros included on this walk: A' Chralaig, Mullach an Rathain (Liathach), Sgurr a'Chaorachain, Sgurr Choinnich, Spidean a'Choire Leith (Liathach), The Saddle

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Damh, Fuar Tholl, Sgorr nan Lochan Uaine, Sgurr Dubh

Date walked: 14/02/2015

Time taken: 55 hours

Distance: 98.6 km

Ascent: 9819m

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Back last Summer, in the heady atmosphere following our Compleation, I decided it would be a good idea to push the limits a little and book up on one of Martin Moran's 5 day courses. I selected the Winter Mountaineer option and looked forward to it as something that would happen sometime and might be fun. As the time drew nearer my emotional response turned more to anxiety - not just the usual worries about not being fit/competent enough on the course in comparison to peers, but the magnitude of doing some quite scary climbs. Based in Torridon, the "usual suspects" were going to be Liathach, Beinn Eighe, Forcan Ridge etc. The heavy dump of snow the preceeding week, and the death of a climber on Liathach the Saturday before we were due to start didn't help my nerves any :roll:

Allison and I had taken a couple of days off either side of the course to get some more hills in - from my point of view an excellent opportunity to rescue my flagging Corbett count - recent bad weather and other issues has played havoc with my "2 a weekend" goal. Plus - if we survived the course - it would give us a chance to try out some of the skills we'd learned at the end. We headed up to Inverness on the Thursday night and enjoyed the relative luxury of a hotel, with a couple of pints in the Castle Inn. Next morning we drove to Torridon - let the adventure begin!

Day 1 - Sgorr nan Lochain Uaine & Sgorr Dubh - 13km, 6.5hours, 1144 ascent, WH route

There was still a fair amount of snow at road level as we turned left at Kinlochewe and drove down to Torridon. Unfortunately the mountain monsters that inhabit this land were largely obscured by clag. Parked across from the Ling Hut, where there were a few other cars already and set out into the mist. The start of the walk is on a fine footpath, which became covered by deep wet snow as we pressed on. One set of footprints was going our way, which helped. Up the side of a featureless slope, slogging through the snow with a crust just starting to develop as we nearer the summit of Lochan Uaine. We were at once exposed to a bitterly cold wind and wrapped up to have a bite to eat at the top. Had a near miss as my lunchbox decided to take itself down the northern aspect of the hill for 100m :lol: We headed down a rough line over rocks and frozen heather towards the bealach with Sgorr Dubh, avoiding crags in places. Visibility wasn't imporving and it felt we could have been walking anywhere. We found the exit line between two snowy promontaries and continued to head NE up a steepening slope to the top of Sgorr Dubh. The snow was knee deep and effort was required to make it to the rocky cairn. We retraced our steps to the exit line and headed over undulating largely featureless ground in a general NW direction. This seemed to take a very long time indeed. The middle part of the return is over steep ground with frequent crags that required negotiation and the final stretch back to the track was layered with deep wet snow. In all took about an hour longer than I anticipated. Back at the carpark we met a couple of climbers who'd been up on Pyramid Buttress - apparently the sky was clear once you got above 900m. Ach well, not much of a view but a relatively straightforward start. We decided to drive to the Torridon Campsite which, surprisingly was otherwise uninhabited :lol: This may have been because 3/4 of it was a lagoon. We found a dry spot near the trees and pitched, enjoying a warming meal and trying to sort out some dry clothes. What we'd hoped would be a restful night was shattered when some incredibly loud music started from somewhere nearby at 11.30 and went on all night til 6.30. I entertained various fantasies which included going to the offending venue and chopping up the music system with ice axes.

Start of the walk
ImageP1050651 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sgorr nan Lochan Uaine
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ImageP1050655 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit
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Towards Sgorr Dubh
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Summit #2
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New Goggles
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Descent
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ImageP1050667 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Day 2 - Beinn Damh - 12km, 5.75hours, 1035 ascent WH Route
Saturday looked much better than the Friday, with Liathach fully visible over the campsite. Drove along to the Torridon Hotel - no-one else around - maybe the whole village was letting its hair down last night. Some spectacular views of Liathach/ Beinn Alligin across the loch as we got to the hotel. Set off along the stalker's path through the pinewoods, every few moments turning back to look at the jewels behind. Streams were gushing with snowmelt, tree branches studded with frozen waterdrops. A wonderful morning to be walking in Torridon. As we came out of the trees we could see the northern aspects of Beinn Damh, plus Maol Chean Dearg and, poking impressively upwards, An Ruadh Stac. Liatach was still exerting a magnetic pull on my senses, with some cloud now drifting over higher up its flanks. The path was now smothered with deep snow and progress slowed accordingly. Again there were some old footprints to follow and we reached the start of the pull up Toll Ban and onto the bealach at around 550m. Cloud was now helping the mountain play hide and seek. We found a path and headed SE, skirting round the west side of the hill and coming up onto Spidean Toll nam Biast. From here we could see a narrowish ridge that led up to the summit. Some cautious moves on steep frosty snow had us crunching our way to the top. The sun tried breaking through, ripping gashes in the cloud layers to reveal pointy white tops around us. Descended, taking in the 868m top - which actually made for an easier route than contouring the western side of the hill. Briefly thought of venturing up Sgurr na bana-Mhoraire, which had some cornicing on display, but the likelihood of no views from the top, and excitement about the course starting later that day sent us back to the car happy with our day.

Torridon Campsite...
ImageP1050668 by 23weasels, on Flickr

...quagmire
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Alligin/ Liatach
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Alligin
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Forest path
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Jewelled trees
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Alligin again
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Liathach
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Towards Beinn Damh
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Alligin
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An Ruadh Stac
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Liathach
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Up the bealach
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On the shoulder
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Approaching the final ridge
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Modelling the new Grivel leash
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Hide & seek in the mist
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Heading back along the ridge
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Impressive buttress
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Loch Damh
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Scalloped ridge to Sgurrr na bana-Mhoraine
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Towards Torridon Village
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We then drove down to Coulags via Shieldaig, impressed by the vast snowy bulk of Beinn Bhan. Stopped off at Lochcarron for a few essentials and got to the lodge - familiar to anyone who has been up the path alongside Fionn Abhain. It felt strange to be opening the gate and driving through rather than parking outside and wandering in. Over the course of the afternoon we met up with the other participants on the course - in all there were 6 of us doing the Winter Mountaineer course and 3 French guys doing the Introductory Winter Climber one. The lodge was very comfortable and promised a touch of luxury after long cold days out on the hills. Turned out that Allison & myself had by far the most hillwalking experience, some others had done more climbing stuff, but we'd get an idea how it would turn out over the next couple of days as we were put through our paces. Martin made a brief appearance to outline the week's main features, but was off to Norway the following morning to Ice Climb.

Day 3 - Snow Skills on Fuar Tholl
8 am start was in order - all 3 groups were heading to Fuar Tholl to practice some snow skills and I suppose, let the guides see what we were made of. As well as the Frenchies, there were a couple of lads from Somerset, a guy from Luton and Mike from Brechin. Mike joined us along with our guide for the week, Nick Carter. We arrived at the phone box at Achnasheen and accessed Fuar Tholl in a manner I won't report on here. Headed up to the tiny lochan on the flat area of Sgurr a mhuillin where the deep wet snow began. Mist and drizzle filled the air. Did a bit of navigation practice then headed to the beginnings of steeper ground to try our hand at digging bucket seat belays and revising ice axe arrests. After a bit of hilarity it was time for serious stuff. We were going up Access Gully to the summit. Roped up, crampons on, we herded nervously behind Nick. The ground got steeper and steeper, requiring front pointing and daggering with the axe. For the final vertical section we waited by a rocky spur whilst Nick went up ahead and set up an ice axe belay then called us up. This was hard going, particularly as there was one convex bulge just before the cornice that needed close attention to get past. Finally, one by one, we pulled over the edge with a sense of exilaration. Very little snow on the summit area, wind cold. Headed down the narrow ridge to The Nose, roped for the initial section then yomped over heather and soft snow. Waited for the other party back at the bus and a return to the comfort of the Lodge.

Preparing to set out
ImageP1050734 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Start of the ascent
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Heading for the corrie
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Nick prepares us for action
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On our way to practice axe arrests
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Access Gully
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Allison checks her head is still attached
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Getting steeper
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Nick storms off ahead
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Topping out
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Day 4 - Liathach traverse W-E 7.5km, 1286m ascent 8 hours
We'd been told the night before that we'd be doing Liathach today. Which gave me plenty of time to worry about what was in store - just good timing for my birthday :roll: What could be a better present than a wander over liathach's pinnacles and a 7am start for that matter :lol: The weather was pretty crappy - mist down low and drizzly rain as we drove along in the minibus to the starting point. As we got ready to go I noted that the wind was stronger than I was expecting - another fine omen. We followed the path up into Toll Ban where it disappeared under thick snow. Wading ahead we navigated our way onto the left hand ridge to avoid potential avalanche territory in the gully. However we still walked across old avalanche lines, and I was hoping there would be no further snow movement today - Nick seemed fairly confident that things would go OK. We took opportunity to compare different maps - OS 1:50000, 1:25000 and Harvey's as well as my Satmap. Interesting variations in the information, with Harvey's coming out the most accurate. Made it up to the top of Mullach an Rathain where we all stopped to check navigation again, thick mist being all around and some sheer drops in the vicinity. We moved along the crest towards Am Fasarinen and I was beginning to enjoy myself, although still apprehensive about the pinnacles to come. At the start of that sectiion we roped up, with Mike being put on the end of the rope which meant he led the down sections. In at the deep end for him, poor guy! One tricky downclimb section with considerable exposure, otherwise it's all quite easy and I'd have felt fine on most of it unroped. We are caught up by the other party then overtake them on the final pinnacled section, wading through deep and steep snow to reach the topof Spidean a Choire Leith. My 82nd Munro - only 200 left in my second round now!!
It's very windy at the summit and we chill while taking a few summit shots. We head down the eastern shoulder for a bit then Nick tells us to prepare for a bumslide of mega proportions! Over to our right the mountain seems to fall away and he expects us to bumslide that?? I consider him certifiable at this point, but he says trust him. The main problem is not being able to see over the egde - we gingerly descend for a bit then get ready to slide - this is "Way Up" gully apparently and allows us to descend 600m in a very quick time indeed. Once the initial fear evaporates, it's actually great fun, provided care is taken not to bash against the rocky gully walls. We then make for the normal path down alongside the Allt an Doire Ghairbh. Nick races off in front to go and retrieve the minibus while we saunter down, relieved and exilhirated to have completed the traverse. We wait in the bus for about 45mins before the other group catches up with us then head back. Everyone's a bit tired for some reason that evening, even the french lads who've been to the Forcan Ridge and early beds are in order.

And so it begins
ImageP1050753 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking over to Sgorr an Lochan Uaine
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Up into Toll Ban
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Checking navigation at the first summit
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The fun begins
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Downclimb section
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Summit #2
ImageP1050774 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Bumslide!!
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Descent to the road
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ImageP1050779 by 23weasels, on Flickr

You can see the gully we descended by
ImageP1050780 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Dinner
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Day 5 - Rest Day
After the exitement of Monday, we had a quieter day today, beginning at 9 with some lectures on avalanche awareness, navigations and route selection. Then Nick took us off to Lochcarron Crags for a spot of ropework and dry tooling. I'd asked for a bit of practice with simple rope techniques that I might want to use as a walker. However, firstly he set up a route up a rock crag, with bolted in loops. I thought - there's no way I can go up there! He made it look effortless and took us through the aims of using climbing axes and front pointing. Seemed weird to be using crampons and axes when there wasn't any snow. I went first, made a great deal of screeching noises with my crampons on the rock and took ages to get anywhere - the first section was a bit convex and awkward. Finally, after many bashes to the knees and expletives uttered, I made it past the main obstruction onto easier rock before falling off about 2/3 of the way up. Neither Allison or Mike had much appetite for this kind of thing and neither made it to the top. We then spent an hour or so looking at ropeskills which was very helpful, refreshing knowledge learned in previous settings and making me feel that I could set up basic belay etc if needed. Had one more try at the dry tooling wall then headed back to the lodge.

Image16562404752_57753a9f10_o by 23weasels, on Flickr

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Nick breezes past the awkward bit
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Descending like a spider
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Day 6 - Forcan Ridge - 9.5km, 1114m ascent, 7.5 hours
Another 7am kick off and a trip south to the Forcan Ridge. I was really looking forward to this as I'd enjoyed the ridge before and didn't forsee any difficulties, having survided liathach and knowing that we'd be abseiling the downclimb. Mike was a bit more apprehensive I think. It looked like a nice day, with pretty morning clouds over the 5 sisters and a glow out to the west. We took the shortcut to the south of Meallan Odhar, crossing frozen snow that needed care and occasional step cutting before we arrived at the base of the ridge. Looked like being good snow conditions under foot, with distinctly more nip in the air than the last few days. Donning crampons and harnesses in preparation, we made a start to the ridge. This was great fun - the snow cover was ideal for getting good grip apart from the odd section where the rocks were glazed and slippy. It was pure joy nipping along the ridge crest, although once we roped up progress slowed and there was always the need to keep an eye on the tension in the rope - i was tied on last. We reached the downclimb and clipped into the abseil tat around a boulder. Looked a bit iffy to me, but Nick seemed confident it would hold us fine. He abseiled off first, making a snow ledge to the right at the base, I followed, then Mike and Allison. Stopped for some lunch at the bottom, in very chilly temperatures. On we went to the top of Sgurr na Forcan then onto the summit of the Saddle. Wind was strong, with hoarfrost forming on any exposed surface, hair etc. Visibility was very poor once again, unfortunately. We didn't have time to make it further along the ridge to take in the 2 NW Tops I was after - they will need to wait for another day - providing another excuse to do the ridge :lol: We descended towards Coire Mhalagain and picked up the wall route that led back towards Meallan Odhar. I was feeling good, when Nick suggested we could always nip up the Graham Biod an Fhitich I was well up for it but my companions were not. Ah well.

Kintail morning
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Setting off
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Sisters
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Start of the ridge ahead
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Tying on
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Waiting to abseil
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Mike enjoying the ride
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Sgurr na Forcan
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Saddle trig
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Image16377514517_aa66505761_o by 23weasels, on Flickr

Descent into the mist
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Biod nam Fithich
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Back to the car and the short drive back up to Coulags. Having settled down to tea and cake, Allison received some sad personal news and had to leave at once, Craig having driven up for her. That left the evening flat - I was worried about her and also missing the prospect of her company over the remainder of the week. We had been talking of heading to Skye to do the Corbetts there if the weather was any good, but that plan was now up the spout. I didn't feel that I wanted to do any Corbetts without her, so had to consider my options. There was one more day of the course, then I could always go home early if the weather was crap.

Day 7 - Black Carls, Beinn Eighe - 11.5km, 1280m ascent, 6 hours
Unfortunately no pictures for this day as I managed to leave my camera, satmap and map behind - mind in other places
Set off at 7am once more, each taking his own car as both Nick and Mike had plans to leave directly after the walk. Mike had been thinking of going home first thing, and sure enough about 45 minutes into the walk he decided he was heading back - just as we got to a ford over the Allt a'Chuirn. That left me and Nick to complete the walk. I was keen to do the Black Carls, but also wanted to get the 2 Tops at the east end of Beinn Eighe - this was a perfect chance as with only 2 of us we'd be faster. Conditions were once again claggy as we left the trees behind and moved onto scree slopes up the shoulder of Creag Dubh. It was then a matter of navigating up the sharp ridge, with a path evident in places where snow cover wasn't complete. After huffing and puffing a bit we got to the top of Creag Dubh and set off towards the pinnacles. Nick left me off rope for most of the time, scambling over the quartzite blocks was great fun, though exposed in a number of places. The only place where the rope went on was for the final pinnacle which involved more of a climb including an awkward corner move. It appears that it can be bypassed on the left, judgeing by the footprints disappearing round that way. After getting to the top of the final pinnacle, the summit of Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe is reached. We then moved on westerly for Sgurr Ban, descending steeply about 150m to a bealach, past spectacular riven cliffs that were reminiscent of Skye, shattered quartzite surrounding us. Another ascent of 150m to the summit and my second Top of the day, then retracing our steps to Fhir Duibhe and descending down the eastern aspect on steep snow before contouring round Coire Domhain to avoid a difficult river crossing and rejoining our ascent path. Typically as we walked away from the mountain the sky cleared, leaving beautiful blue over the white mountain slopes. We could make out the jagged teeth of the Carls quite easily. Back at the car in good time - I almost felt like going and climbing another hill but sense took me back to the Lodge for a final night. Spent the time after packing up playing a game of Risk with the Frenchies, and narrowly avoiding world domination :lol:

Some photos from Nick - thanks!
ImageIMGP0881 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageIMGP0882 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Beinn Eighe - Black Carls to the L
ImageIMGP0886 by 23weasels, on Flickr


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Day 8 - Sgurr Chonnich, Sgurr a'Chaorachain & Bidean an Eoin Dearg - 24km, 1568m ascent, 7.5 hours

Weather forecast on Thursday predicted a crap day with rain and gale force winds battering the west of the country. However the morning forecast at 7am suggested a much more benevolent day. I'd been wondering what to do today, thinking I might head home if it was truly horrible, but driving past Craigs, on the way back from Beinn Eighe reminded me of some unfinished business in the Achnashellach hills. Bidean an Eoin Deard, a Top of Sgurr a'Chaorachain would fit the bill nicely. I'd packed the car in a rather haphazard manner the night before and bid the lodge adieu at 7.30, driving the short distance to Craigs. I'd decided to put my approach shoes on for the lengthy walk down the track, carrying my boots strapped to my bag. This proved an excellent idea for foot comfort and I was able to keep my shoes on most of the way up into Bealach Bhearnais. Crossing the wire bridge was easy this time - just remember to lean out with the arms! I was surprised to see no footprints in the snow - looked like no-one had been up this way in the week. Arrived at the bealach and started the long gradual climb up the shoulder of Sgurr Choinnich - I'd come up from Sgurr na Conbhaire last time so this was new. Ice on the path and hard snow led to me fitting crampons halfway up the ridge. Visibility was poor at the top and care with navigation was required to avoid wandering over the corniced edge. Got to the cairn which was almost completely buried in the snow then followed the ridge egde along to the bealach with Sgurr a'Chaorachain. Paused for lunch in a sheltered spot at the start of the ascent, it was very cold in the wind. Steeply climbing over glazed rocks I got to the summit cairn to find it was filled in with snow. I crouched on top of the cairn to set my compass for the ridge to Bidean an Eoin Dearg - being a little worried given the poor viz and the knowledge of the sheerness of the cliffs on the left side from our night spent on Maole Lunndaidh. It was disappointing to have no views over Loch Monar but you can't have everything. Wandered in a sea of white to the 1031 spot height then onwards to the Top summit. Didn't linger, just headed back trying to follow my footprints where I could see them, pleased to have covered the 4km in one hour. Decided to follow the WH descent route off the north shoulder of a'Chaorachain - fortunately the snow was nice and firm and the descent manageable. About 1/3 of the way down the snow petered out, leaving a steep descent on grass, avoiding various crags here and there. Made for Pollan Buidhe and the track and enjoyed the snowy vista of the south torridon hills on my return route. Back at the car in good time, stopping to chat with an elderly couple who lived in the cottage by the train tracks on the way down.

ImageP1050848 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Towards Bealach Bhearnais
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Beinn tarsuinn
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Lurg Mhor
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Summit ridge
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Choinnich cairn
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Glimpse of Loch Monar
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Summit a'Chaorachain
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Summit Bidean an Eoin dearg
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Another Top
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View to the valley
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Distant Torridon Giants
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Fuar Tholl - if you look to the left of the main gully you can see access gully
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ImageP1050894 by 23weasels, on Flickr


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Decided to stay another day and to drive down to Kintail - thought I might head up the Saddle again and claim the 2 elusive tops - maybe stay near the Kintail Lodge Hotel and get a hot meal. Driving back was a bit of a nightmare with low sun, thought I'd ask at the Shiel Bridge shop if I could stay at the campsite there even though it wasn't open, but that was vetoed by the owner. So I drove on to the Cluanie Inn, pitching the tent at the start of the private road just east of the Cluanie (warningf - very shallow ground to put pegs into!). Then walked over to the Cluanie for a well earned tea. Back at the tent bedded down for what I expected to be a cold night - the forecast promising a foggy start but a clear day later.

ImageP1050895 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sunset over Cluanie
ImageP1050897 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050898 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Day 9 - A'Chralaig & A'Choich 13.5km, 1345m ascent, 5.05hours

Woke up at 7, peered out of the tent and could see nothing, so went back to sleep for an hour. Peeked out again, could see nothing more and decided to get up. Tent covered in layer of ice, car thermometer told me it was -1.5. Cold start then. Couldn't be bothered searching for the breakfast things so just had a snickers bar for brreakfast whilst I pondered my options. The Saddle was a long way back up the road, whilst A'Chralaig with its top of A'Choich was right beside me - let's go for that. Got changed into my boots which were frozen despite having spent the night on the parcel shelf of the car. Walked along to the starting point in the hope that they'd defrost, which they more or less did. Several folk also heading up A'Chralaig - the first other people I'd seen on any mountain this week. began the ascent up the back of Fuaran Mor Chlunaidh, following the stream line, a steady strenuous slog. Snow began when the terrain flattened out at around 600m. Looking behind me I saw the whole valley smothered in a cloud inversion and the hills of the South Glen Shiel ridge/ Ciste Dubh looking splendid in their white coats. This was a day to savour. I wandered up the hillside, enjoying the visions in white all around. Crampons on at 800 odd metres and looking for the best way to get over to A'Chioch - unfortunately it looked a very steep descent over a small bit of cornice - damn! By this time I was thinking I should have gone up the Saddle, and that I wasn't going to get a top at all. I'd already climbed A'Chralaig twice so it wouldn't count for a second round....what to do. I pressed on to the large cairn on A'Chralaig, scanning down to the ridge on A'Choich. i did think about going on to Mullach Fraoch Coire which looked wonderful in these conditions, but restrained myself - I was here to do Tops. I decided to head for Bealach Choire a'chait and contour round to the ridge out to A'Choich - that seemed easy enough. Beautiful snow conditions for a morning's walking - I reached the ridge easily enough and strode out to the summit. As I got there the weather suddenly changed, blasts of cold wind hitting me and clouds rising in the east. I sat and ate a sandwich watching a couple of guys I'd spoken to on the way up cresting the pinnacles on Mullach Fraoch Coire. The slopes down from the rocky tops looked immensely steep and I was hoping the couple with the dog ahead of me hadn't decided to go that way. Donning my belay jacket I munched my sandwich, musing on the events of the past week. I retraced my steps along the ridge, deciding to climb up the steep section back to A'Chralaig for the sheer hell of it - a bit of front pointing/daggering got me there unscathed and it was an easy romp back down over the frozen shoulder back to the Cluanie. Finished by 2.30 and back home in less than three and a half hours, not bad going. A great week, marred only by Allison's unplanned departure, new skills honed on the course and a new appetite for northern hills in winter.

Morning view
ImageP1050902 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Promise of views to come
ImageP1050904 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050909 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050915 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050918 by 23weasels, on Flickr

A'Chralaig
ImageP1050920 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050923 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050924 by 23weasels, on Flickr

A'Choich
ImageP1050928 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050930 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Steep ridge to a'Choich
ImageP1050932 by 23weasels, on Flickr

A'Chrailaig top
ImageP1050936 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050937 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View south
ImageP1050940 by 23weasels, on Flickr

A'chralaig to Mullach Fraoch Coire
ImageP1050949 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Mullach
ImageP1050951 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sgurr nan Conbhairean
ImageP1050952 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit a'choich
ImageP1050955 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050958 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Weather changing
ImageP1050960 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View north
ImageP1050965 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Loch Cluanie
ImageP1050972 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050973 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1050975 by 23weasels, on Flickr


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Last edited by weaselmaster on Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:43 pm

great stuff :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Postby Petr Dakota » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:49 am

Wow ! :clap:
...and big Wow !!! :clap: :D :clap: 8) :clap:
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Re: Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Postby Beaner001 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:05 am

Best report this month Al, superb, really enjoyed that :clap: :clap:
Just been looking into the courses Martin offers and really fancy one myself now, prob have to be next winter though :(
Sorry to hear Allison got some bad news and had to bail :(
Cheers :D
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Re: Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Postby basscadet » Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:42 pm

Wow you have been busy. Good weather at least some of the time too :D
Happy belated Birthday 8) and I hope SK is doing fine after her bad news :?
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Re: Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Postby rockhopper » Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:54 pm

A very productive week, WM, and some great photos to finish off - hope Allison's OK. The course sounded a bit scary at times though - reminds me why I'm a hillwalker and not a climber ! - cheers :)
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Re: Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:03 pm

basscadet wrote:Wow you have been busy. Good weather at least some of the time too :D
Happy belated Birthday 8) and I hope SK is doing fine after her bad news :?


Cheers, Seana - another year older but still ticking over
Weather was reasonable considering - at least for walking conditions if not views :D
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Re: Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:06 pm

rockhopper wrote:A very productive week, WM, and some great photos to finish off - hope Allison's OK. The course sounded a bit scary at times though - reminds me why I'm a hillwalker and not a climber ! - cheers :)


It wasn't actually scary - that's what I imagined it would be before I went on it, but I found it an enjoyable experience which wasn't much out of my comfort zone - other than the drytooling which is just not for me.
I put myself firmly in the hillwalker category rather than anything more adventurous, but feeling able to take on a "proper" mountain ridge in winter is alright.
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Re: Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:08 pm

Beaner001 wrote:Best report this month Al, superb, really enjoyed that :clap: :clap:
Just been looking into the courses Martin offers and really fancy one myself now, prob have to be next winter though :(
Sorry to hear Allison got some bad news and had to bail :(
Cheers :D


Course ran very smoothly and I thought it delivered what it claimed to.
The guides were impressive and it was good to have small teams on the hill then meeting up with the others in the evenings. I'm pleased I went and hope you enjoy it if you do book in future...
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Re: Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Postby RiverSong » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:37 pm

This is a great report. I always enjoy finding out what everyone has done over the weekend, and I find it incredible the sheer amount of mountains you manage to climb, together with the very long distances you must be driving, plus you don't seem to eat very much at all!!

Belated birthday wishes to your good self and sympathy to Alison for her bad news. Can't wait to hear what you get up to next :D
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Re: Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Postby AnnieMacD » Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:47 pm

I've taken a leave-of-absence over the dark days and come back to this! Wow, just wow. What an amazing experience you guys had. I'm pleased you liked the Black Carls - very under-climbed in my opinion as there are no Munros involved. I think that day had to be one of my very best mountain days although I did continue on the first Munro.

Would love to have tried that gully on Fuar Toll. I went up the ridge on your right in summer conditions - wonder if it's doable without snow and ice? Funny the way most of the gullies have English names - I guess the locals didn't go up them!

Hope Allison is OK.
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Re: Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:11 pm

AnnieMacD wrote:I've taken a leave-of-absence over the dark days and come back to this! Wow, just wow. What an amazing experience you guys had. I'm pleased you liked the Black Carls - very under-climbed in my opinion as there are no Munros involved. I think that day had to be one of my very best mountain days although I did continue on the first Munro.

Would love to have tried that gully on Fuar Toll. I went up the ridge on your right in summer conditions - wonder if it's doable without snow and ice? Funny the way most of the gullies have English names - I guess the locals didn't go up them!

Hope Allison is OK.


Thanks, Annie
I was disappointed not to have my camera for the carls - it was an exciting experinece- Nick, my guide did take a few shots which he might email to me, so if that happens I'll add them in to the report. I really enjoyed Beinn Eighe.
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Re: Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Postby malky_c » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:02 pm

That's some amount of winter hill bashing, even for you! Lots of interesting stuff with a spectacular finale :D .

I moved up north to be closer to all of this but the main thing it has done is made me lazier :lol: .
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Re: Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:37 am

Really entertaining report, as always, and some great pics, especially on the last day; so much so that pleasure got the better of envy! What a brilliant way to spend not far short of a fortnight. Just wish it wasn't quite so far away...
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Re: Big Winter Mountains in Torridon/Kintail

Postby Borderhugh » Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:43 am

Wow. I am very envious. Well done!
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Location: Stirling :)

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