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Alligin - WOW

Alligin - WOW


Postby roscoT » Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:49 pm

Route description: Beinn Alligin

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr Mor (Beinn Alligin), Tom na Gruagaich (Beinn Alligin)

Date walked: 03/07/2015

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 10.6 km

Ascent: 1134m

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The countdown to a long-awaited long weekend in Torridon was finally over. With the following days forecast still in doubt, Friday looked excellent, so a sibling graduation drinking session was cut short the night before in order to leave sunny Glasgow at 7am. Scotty was getting the train from Aberdeen to Inverness, who I picked up with food supplies at 10.30, and after a wrong turn or two we were at the foot of giants in Glen Torridon by lunchtime, excited and nervous in equal measure.

Temperature was in the mid twenties so suncream was applied and we got going from west side of the bridge up the well-trodden and dry rocky path. Cracking views back over Upper Loch Torridon soon opened up.

ImageP1000380 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000383 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Don't think I've ever been as warm as this while walking. Height is gained quickly, but we had to stop every few minutes for fluid, and worryingly my legs were already feeling the strain. The walk description had said the foot of the corrie is reached shortly, but it seemed to take an age for us to get there! A small waterfall in the distance at first seemed like a mirage in the baking heat. The corrie at first seems unclimbable, however the route from left to right towards Tom na Gruagaich, the first munro of the day, eventually comes into view.

ImageP1000384 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000387 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000389 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageCoire nan Laogh by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000397 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

We stopped in the corrie for something to eat and a facewash from the stream, then it was onwards up the steps to Tom, meeting a couple of groups on the way who had been coming anti-clockwise.

ImageP1000401 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

The breeze was a bit more substantial higher up, mercifully, and the views back became simply stunning. Before the final ascent, we stopped for 15 minutes to look across to Skye in the excellent visibility, not a single word being said.

ImageP1000402 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageCuillin Ridge by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

The summit of Tom na Gruagaich is a short blast from here, and coming over the precipice reveals a truly breathtaking view of the ridge and famous horns ahead, with Liathach on the right, Beinn Eighe, Gairloch and Baosbheinn to the north and the Outer Hebrides to the distant west. The whole trip would've been worth it for these views alone!

ImageTom na Gruagaich by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageSgurr Mor and The Horns by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageTowards Gairloch by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageOuter Hebrides in the distance by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageLiathach by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageSgurr Mor by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

We stayed here for around 20 minutes, then began to walk along the ridge towards Sgurr Mor, the day's second munro, shortly before which you reach the awesome black cleft. Looking back to Tom gives you an idea of the sheer drop you were just standing atop - we were both really enjoying ourselves by now!

ImageP1000434 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageBack to Tom by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageLiathach again by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageUpper Loch Torridon by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000444 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageDont look down by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageBlack Cleft by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Atop Sgurr Mor, the views are again sublime. Here, we met a woman from New Zealand, Kyria, who asked if she could join us over the horns, as she had promised a friend she wouldn't do them alone. No problem we said - the more the merrier! The path over said horns is clearly visible from here, and some nerves started to build as we descended towards them.

ImageSgurr Mor Summit by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagepath over the horns by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageLiathach once more by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000462 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000466 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

The first horn is the highest ascent of the 3, and there are a few different routes up it. The bypass path looked extremely sketchy, and would suggest on a wet day or in bad weather it could be a potentially fatal option. We found it to be great fun, certainly not as difficult as described, and should be ok for most people who are relatively fit. Airy, yes, but even if you don't like heights there are no proper 'don't look down' moments.

Imagefirst horn by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imageback to Sgurr by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000476 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000478 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

A quick stop at the top and it was on to horn number 2, which is about the same difficulty, but a lot shorter. It turned out Kyria and I were both in the same line of work, so had lots to talk about, boring the life out of Scotty in the process!

Imageout to sea by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagesecond horn by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageLoch a Bhealaich by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

We were then on to the final horn, which bypasses first to the right, then up a tight chimney, probably the biggest 'steps' of ascent of the the day. Stopped at the top here for a few pictures, and I peered timidly over the edge, a drop of 600 odd metres.

ImageP1000487 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagedown the second horn by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000490 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000497 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

It was then time to begin the descent which, as previous reports have noted, is probably the hardest part of the walk. The kness and calves were really feeling it here, and there are several shuffly bum sections. I can imagine this descent would be extremely treacherous in the wet or worse, in snow.

Imagestart of descent by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000502 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageCuillin ridge zoomed by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Seemed to take us quite a while to get down here, but the path in alongside the burn is very pleasant once it levels out, passing several attractive waterfalls. We were back at the car and reality after 5 and a half hours that I will not forget in a hurry. Checked in at the youth hostel and had a few well-deserved tinnies - truly excited for the 3 days that lay ahead.
My love affair with Torridon had begun :D

ImageP1000509 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageSgurr Mor zoomed by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

ImageP1000511 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Imagewell earned by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Last edited by roscoT on Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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roscoT
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Posts: 227
Munros:121   Corbetts:23
Grahams:13   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:14   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:3   
Joined: Jul 26, 2014
Location: Glasgow

Re: Alligin - WOW

Postby teaandpies » Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:44 pm

Man, that looks so good. Awesome!
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teaandpies
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Re: Alligin - WOW

Postby spiderwebb » Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:56 pm

Fantastic place, wish I was there now :D
Some of those steps on the horns are somewhat stretching especially if your legs aren't long enough :lol:
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Re: Alligin - WOW

Postby roscoT » Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:53 pm

spiderwebb wrote:Fantastic place, wish I was there now :D
Some of those steps on the horns are somewhat stretching especially if your legs aren't long enough :lol:


It really was a day to remember - the first of a 4 day trip (3 more reports to come!)

Yeah i'd agree, the woman we met, Kyria, was really short and she struggled at parts. Still think the descent would be a mare if it was wet!
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roscoT
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Posts: 227
Munros:121   Corbetts:23
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Sub 2000:14   Hewitts:5
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Joined: Jul 26, 2014
Location: Glasgow

Re: Alligin - WOW

Postby teaandpies » Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:58 pm

roscoT wrote:
spiderwebb wrote:Fantastic place, wish I was there now :D
Some of those steps on the horns are somewhat stretching especially if your legs aren't long enough :lol:


It really was a day to remember - the first of a 4 day trip (3 more reports to come!)

Yeah i'd agree, the woman we met, Kyria, was really short and she struggled at parts. Still think the descent would be a mare if it was wet!


So having done it now what why do you think would be better?
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teaandpies
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Posts: 924
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Re: Alligin - WOW

Postby roscoT » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:03 pm

Hmmm not sure. In good weather I think the way we did it was good, as you get the breathtaking view opening up at the top of Tom na Gruagaich. Think i'd much prefer the other way round in poor conditions though, even although the ascent would be a killer.
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roscoT
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Posts: 227
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Sub 2000:14   Hewitts:5
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Location: Glasgow

Re: Alligin - WOW

Postby spiderwebb » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:36 pm

roscoT wrote:
spiderwebb wrote:Fantastic place, wish I was there now :D
Some of those steps on the horns are somewhat stretching especially if your legs aren't long enough :lol:


It really was a day to remember - the first of a 4 day trip (3 more reports to come!)

Yeah i'd agree, the woman we met, Kyria, was really short and she struggled at parts. Still think the descent would be a mare if it was wet!


:lol: :lol: I'll say no more re the horns and short legs :D
As for the route anticlockwise I can honestly say I prefer it and found the ascent much easier than the corrie. Had a damp start but sheltered behind a huge boulder waiting on the weather to clear and it did as forecast for a change.....into a superb day, truly special.
Looking forward to the remaining reports :D
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Re: Alligin - WOW

Postby railton22 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:12 pm

Great piccies and awesome mountains. Given me an attack of nostalgia reading your report. Definitely one worth a revisit. :D
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Re: Alligin - WOW

Postby roscoT » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:03 pm

You never forget your first trip to Torridon! I won't anyway!
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roscoT
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