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Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby Fife Flyer » Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:14 pm

Route description: Liathach, Glen Torridon

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

Date walked: 07/09/2015

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 1450m

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Where to start, I am still buzzing after 2 awesome days in Torridon, I dread to think how many times we just stood in amazement drooling at surrounding scenery 8)

Firstly I have to say a HUGE thank you to Martin & Denise for arranging such un-Scotland like weather and then inviting anyone who fancied joining them. As usual I checked the forecast, I was almost tempted to head up on Sunday to join them for Slioch and am glad I didn't, as the forecast was correct and by all accounts it was worse than miserable. I will let Martin tell that story :wink:
Now as we all know Torridon isn't exactly handy for the majority of us and when I checked the mileage and the estimated travelling time, I knew it would be a middle of the night departure :lol: I set the alarm for 4.45am, however one of Fiona's dogs was barking to summon her downstairs at 4.15, I had hardly slept having read quite a few WR's, so I got up & was on the road before 4.45. Only 3hrs 45mins of driving and my Satnav kept me right. I had arranged to meet Martin & Denise at the start point between 8.30 & 9am and was there early (as usual). As I was early I was going to get myself ready, but as soon as I opened the car door I was invaded by swarms of our favourite little friends. So that plan was put on hold.
I sent Martin a text to let him know I had arrived & his car appeared on the horizon a short time later. In the meantime I was working out the best and quickest way I could get kitted up, first priority was to make myself smell nice - I literally covered any exposed skin with the Avon stuff :lol:
When Martin & Denise arrived they told me we had extra company for the day Graham (Graham H) who was staying in the Youth Hostel, so we both headed there. I was reluctant to vacate my car so Martin headed off to search for Graham.
We had a brief discussion regarding the vehicular positioning, as the last thing we wanted to do was to walk the 2km or whatever it is along the road after the days stroll :lol: Martin was going to leave his nice clean car at the finish & we would leave mine at the start - sorted :wink:
By 9.30 we were on our way, me not at all scared of Midges trusting in my nice smelling stuff to keep them at bay, whereas the rest of the gang were dressed like beekeepers - proper feardies :lol: :lol:

ImageDSCF4657 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Sensible attire?

ImageDSCF4658 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The way ahead/up, note the cloud

ImageDSCF4660 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Time to remove the fancy dress as the temperature/humidity was rising rapidly

ImageDSCF4666 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Just follow the path

The start of the walk is about 50yds along the road and it is just a matter of following the path upwards and upwards. The going was pretty relentless and as there was no wind we were at the mercy of our little friends, so stopping was not really an option. However, when you are perspiring profusely and gasping for breath we had to stop, especially as Graham was galloping uphill :lol: As with all walks the views behind were opening up and it wasn't too long before we entered the cloud :( We were kind of fearing the worst, but deep down we knew the weather forecasts are always accurate :roll: By this stage we were all down to our baselayer and it wasn't too long before gaiters were removed and packed away, they definitely weren't needed :roll:

ImageDSCF4669 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The last photo before we entered the cloud

ImageDSCF4671 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Not quite sure what Martin's plans were, maybe he was contemplating going up the direct route :lol:

ImageDSCF4672 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Graham looking down on us

ImageDSCF4673 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Our first view on top of the cloud

Just before we reached the bealach we popped out of the cloud and WOW, for anyone who has never seen an inversion it really is something to behold. The cloud filled all the glens like a huge layer of cotton wool and all we could see were the summits it really is an awesome experience, the last time I had the pleasure was on Ben Starav and that was a truly memorable day too 8)

Once on the bealach we all reached for our camera's and were pointing them in every possible direction, it was there we also had our first Brocken Spectre, we were to have quite a few along the ridge and like inversions are quite rare too 8)

ImageDSCF4686 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, It doesn't get much better than that

ImageDSCF4691 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, A little peek at what lies ahead

ImageDSCF4695 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Brocken Spectre, always difficult to catch, as I presume there is nothing substantial to focus on

ImageDSCF4697 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Only noticed this when I uploaded the photo's

ImageDSCF4698 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Photo's & more photo's

ImageDSCF4699 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/,

ImageDSCF4702 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Amazing

ImageDSCF4708 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The way ahead - Eeek

We decided to head to the eastern top first as it seemed rather daft not to get an even better view of Beinn Eighe. So after what seemed like a few minutes we on top of Stuc a' Choire Dhuibh Bhig :lol: The views were jaw dropping and we were running out of superlatives :wink:

ImageDSCF4727 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Beinn Eighe

ImageDSCF4720 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The way ahead

ImageDSCF4722 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/,

ImageDSCF4725 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/,

One of the 'nice' problems of pointing and shooting in so many directions and all you see is little pointy bits, it is nigh on impossible to remember not only what direction you were looking and exactly which summits they are :lol: I am bad enough identifying hills when I can the whole of them, so when only the very top is on view - nae chance :roll:

Reluctantly we had to move off the top and make our way to the serious stuff :lol: On the descent back down to the bealach we met up with Alistair and Alex who would join up with us a bit further along the ridge, thanks for your company guys hope the stalking went well :wink:

ImageDSCF4736 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The western end of Beinn Eighe and the path in/out can be seen to the left

ImageDSCF4737 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Spotted a couple of walkers on the path to Beinn Eighe so I zoomed in

ImageDSCF4738 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Me spoiling a fantastic backdrop of Alligin

ImageDSCF4739 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Martin photographing Graham :lol:

ImageDSCF4740 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Beinn Eighe again

ImageDSCF4748 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Graham posing before the ascent

ImageDSCF4749 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Martin trying to smile

From the bealach it was a matter of following the path, there are plenty of opportunities to make the traverse as easy or as difficult as you want. Graham opted to tackle a few extra scrambly bits, however we were able to assist by advising him the best route down, from below. Safety in numbers is always a great thing :clap: :clap:

ImageDSCF4751 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Alistair and Alex catching us up

ImageDSCF4754 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, What a pair of posers :lol: :lol:

ImageDSCF4757 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Looking back towards the west top

ImageDSCF4763 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, This kind of highlights the options, you can follow the path or go over the top - so to speak

ImageDSCF4764 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Alistair and Alex (again)

ImageDSCF4765 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Martin posing whilst Denise struggles in the background :lol:

ImageDSCF4768 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Guesses on a postcard :wink:

ImageDSCF4769 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, All smiles on top of Spidean

ImageDSCF4771 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The view across to the next summit

ImageDSCF4772 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Northern pinnacles zoomed 8)

ImageDSCF4775 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Cloud constantly moving

ImageDSCF4783 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, An Teallach

ImageDSCF4784 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, An Teallach zoomed

After rather along time we had to move and the next stage was the section we were kind of dreading, we had already decided to go high (so to speak) as the eroded bypass path sounded an even worse option :o
Because we knew things were about to get serious, the poles were put away and as my camera is rather bulky that was packed away as well. Having said that, the scrambling turned out to be very easy, it does help when you can see the way ahead and the rocks are bone dry and give excellent grip 8)

ImageDSCF4785 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Graham opting to go the scenic way, Alistair & Alex supervising

ImageDSCF4786 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, No words needed

ImageDSCF4787 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Alex looking down and contemplating the easy way

ImageDSCF4789 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, How big?

ImageDSCF4791 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Denise about to head up

ImageDSCF4794 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Graham having fun

ImageDSCF4795 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Alistair surveying the way up

ImageDSCF4796 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, This shot highlights the exposure

ImageDSCF4799 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/,

ImageDSCF4801 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The way ahead, easy peasy

ImageDSCF4806 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Looking back

ImageDSCF4809 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Looking south

ImageDSCF4811 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Looking north, note the crazy paving, almost like a patio surface :shock:

ImageDSCF4812 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Group photo on the summit, lovely blue sky :lol:

After what turned out to be a much easier than expected traverse we reached the 2nd summit 8) Yet again we seemed to spend ages just taking in the views, there was hardly any wind and it was a perfect afternoon to be on top of one Scotland's finest summits. It really seemed a shame that we had to head down, especially as we knew the initial part of the descent wasn't going to be an awful lot of fun :lol:

ImageDSCF4813 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The way down, if you look carefully you can see the path, when descending you can't miss it

ImageDSCF4819 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Looking across to the lower slopes of Beinn Eighe & a gorgeous Lochan

ImageDSCF4821 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Lochan zoomed

ImageDSCF4825 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Looking down on Torridon village

ImageDSCF4824 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Looking out to sea

ImageDSCF4829 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Northern Pinnacles

ImageDSCF4831 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/,

ImageDSCF4828 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Ben Alligin

ImageDSCF4833 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Water feature on the descent, not much water though :shock:

ImageDSCF4834 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Looking back up, goodbye Liathach - I will be back :wink:

The descent wasn't quite as bad as feared, the loose scree was quite badly eroded but not too difficult.
After 8 hours of constant joy, apart from the midges, we arrived back at Martin's car. Martin being a good egg also gave Alistair a lift back to the start to save the pair of them plodding back along the road :lol:
Days in the hills don't get much better than that, hopefully the photo's do Liathach justice. As stated earlier a massive thanks to Martin & Denise, without their post I would probably have been stuck in Fife :clap: :clap:
To Alistair and Alex great to meet you both, hopefully next time you head north of the Border you will let us know :wink:

Next - Beinn Liath Mhor & Sgorr Ruadh, watch this space :wink:
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Re: Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby kmai1961 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:27 pm

"Wow" is right. Great photos. So happy that you got such a good day. Well done to all! :clap:

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Re: Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby GraemeMac » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:14 pm

An inversion on Liathach, im not jealous at all :-| :-D . Looks like you had a brilliant day, I had an inversion on a hill I cant even remember the name of and it was fantastic, to get one on Liathach is something special
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Re: Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby mamoset » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:09 pm

Awesome, what a day. :clap:
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Re: Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby dooterbang » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:36 pm

Oooft, what a walk :D If you threw in a wee 10mph wind plus a sunset/sunrise you'd be in heaven :wink:

I've still to do these, I'm wanting a day like this for it! Nice to hear you thought the scrambling was easy. Weather has been great last 8 days, and I've been holed up with injury yet again...gutted to miss some great walks! But happy for the folk that take advantage, like yourself.

I'd seen the photos earlier but its always better to see them in some kind of order with a wee story of the days events.

Cheers for posting.
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Re: Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby jupe1407 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:59 pm

Terrific stuff Martin. That looked a great day :clap:
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Re: Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby Petr Dakota » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:23 pm

Well done all of you ! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Glad you had a good weather and the inversion views...Wow ! great photos there 8) :clap:
As I wrote before, I am planning to go there in second half of September ( Liathach, An Teallach...etc. ), very looking forward, but all depends on the weather ( Snowdon Horseshoe, Skye or Aonach Eagach is the plan B ). Meanwhile it looks rainy for the holiday time and even more days before...so wet condition expect :roll: Hope the scramble there will be still doable in wet conditions...???
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Re: Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby ancancha » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:34 pm

That looks like a lot of fun :!: but also a walk where you'd be glad of company :shock:
Great story and photos Martin :clap:
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Re: Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby dogplodder » Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:06 pm

What a day you got. Those inversion photos make the heart sing! :D
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Re: Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby J888ohn » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:23 pm

Amazing day and photos! So jealous having had to turn back before the first summit in May due to snow! Good to know the scrambling wasn't that bad as I was quite nervous about that. Need to get back up there asap. Great report. :clap:
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Re: Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby Walk cycle » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:38 pm

Awesome - especially the photo labelled - The view across to the next summit. Would love to climb Liathach.
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Re: Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby wilkiemurray » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:28 pm

Wow-great photos and report - love the fog bow one- just a tad jealous!

A day to remember by the looks of it indeed :)
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Re: Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby PeteR » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:07 pm

Some of the best close up views of the pinnacles I've seen Martin :D

Can't wait to have my turn :wink:
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Re: Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby Toxx » Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:59 am

The photos are spectacular! Great post.

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Re: Liathach - Wow, hope the photo's do it justice

Postby NevJB » Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:23 am

Simply stunning - good things come to those who wait - hope this made up for the awful weather you endured on Skye.

You managed to cram it all into one day: cloud inversion; Brocken Spectre; amazing visibility; epic route. Oh, am I envious.

Your picture 'The Way Ahead' is worthy of a book - love it.
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