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Two out of three ain't bad - perseverance in Torridon

Two out of three ain't bad - perseverance in Torridon


Postby Jaxter » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:36 pm

Route description: Beinn Liath Mhor, Achnashellach

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Liath Mhòr, Sgòrr Ruadh

Date walked: 07/04/2016

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 1450m

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It was day one of the great North Scotland trip :D After a long trip up the night before, we had a slightly later start as the weather was forecast to improve later and left Aultguish Inn at 8. The weather was not great – it was raining and cold and when we arrived at the layby at Achnashellach we had to put the waterproofs straight on :(

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Feeling excited to be out in the hills but uninspired by the weather, we set off up the track, crossing the level crossing and heading towards the glen. It was a long flat walk along a very wet path next to the river to begin with. I was feeling very flat – possibly a hangover from my Drumochter expedition the week before, but more likely lack of sleep :-|

Once out of the forest, the path leaves the river and heads steeply uphill for a time. It was chucking down with rain and my entire body was objecting to every movement. Dragging myself up it slowly, we made our way steadily up to the top. Here there was a large cairn where the path splits – either up the ridge of Beinn Liath Mhor or along the glen to the bealach. Due to the forecast of high winds we elected to stay in the glen as long as possible. The path was fairly flat from here, all the way along to where it climbs up to the bealach at the other end.

Coming into the glen should have been spectacular, sadly we were greeted by driving rain and no visibility. The two peaks we should have been able to see were hidden in cloud. I was still feeling pretty awful and my companion was offering the sort of encouragement where he walks off and I have to keep up or get left behind…. :roll:

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We got about halfway along the glen; the driving rain was starting to get us down and we could see nothing. Knowing that these hills were stunning in better weather, we were wondering if we should retreat and save them. :?

Decision made, we turned back. Not liking defeat, I checked that he wasn’t turning back because I wasn’t feeling great. Assuring me he wasn’t, we turned back for one more look up the glen – a miracle was happening and it had cleared a little – Sgorr Ruadh had appeared a little out of the clag and although we couldn’t see the bealach yet, it was clearer than it had been. After more debate and several changes of mind we decided to persevere :crazy:

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Turning back round, we marched along the track. With the decision made, I started to feel better and our banter improved. We knew that the rain was forecast to leave off soon, so thinking positively we made for the bealach and elected to attempt the two peaks, leaving Maol Chean-dearg for another day.

Looking back from up near the bealach
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Up towards the ridge
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Although still raining, the visibility was continuing to improve a little - we could see the ridge up on the right leading into the clag towards the summit of Beinn Liath Mhor, and we cut off up towards it before reaching the bealach. This turned out to be another “shortcut” as it involved scrambling over large boulders and up steep grass :roll: We found a reasonably sheltered spot for some food as we expected the forecasted 30-40mph winds to become apparent as soon as we reached the ridge. The rain had eased somewhat and we were able to see back down the glen too :D

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Food having further improved our mood, we continued up, reaching the ridge and a wee lochan. From here, it was a steep scrambly climb up some cliffs – the path was clear although it was doubling as a stream. I was enjoying myself at last :lol: Reaching the top of this, we were on big flat slabs of rock and into the snow line.

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We started up the final pull towards the summit. Unfortunately, as I started up, I felt something in my back – ironically the other side than had been giving me problems recently. Slowing down to assess the damage I figured I’d probably done something scrambling up the cliff. With few options, I continued.

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This was a summit that we really felt we had earned. Although we were in the clag, it wasn’t as windy as we had expected and the rain had let off at last! :D

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Summit pictures taken, we set off back down. We hadn’t lost much height before the views opened out at last and we were able to see over to the Torridon giants (also clagged oot at the top) as well as our entire route. :D

Towards Torridon
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MCD (r) and Sgorr Ruadh (l)
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We decided we would head to the bealach to take a ‘back check’ so headed back down the fun scrambly bit.

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As we came around another huge lump of rock, the sun came out and the summit of Sgorr Ruadh cleared.

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We met the path and set off up the steep other side towards to ridge of Sgorr Ruadh.

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Sgorr Ruadh
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Looking across to the BLM ridge, now clear
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We trudged up steep boggy grass before reaching patches of snow and sinking into that instead. The ridge eventually reached, we carefully picked our way across loose rocks. We picked up a steep path and followed this; the gradient lessened as we came into snow and clag again. Following the ridge along what we assumed was the top of the impressive cliffs we had seen from below, we reached a slightly exposed climb up to the summit. Another claggy summit was reached and the wind had picked up again. Deciding that perseverance was the word of the day, we posed for more pictures and decided to beat a hasty retreat.

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Our initial plan of heading over to MCD had been abandoned long ago, and although we had been thinking of following the ridge down the other side of Sgorr Ruadh towards Fuar Tholl, the weather looked so horrible that we decided to opt for ease and safety and headed back down towards the bealach :shock: On our way back we bumped into another human - we were surprised to see someone appearing out of the clag as they must have been as mad as we were :lol: After a quick chat, we continued on down to the bealach which was still clag-free.

Heading back down the glen, we enjoyed all the views that we had missed out on coming up. Torridon is a stunningly beautiful place and we were so happy to be able to see it eventually.

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The sun was out and I insisted on stopping to remove waterproofs as it was getting very warm! Joking about leaving the suncream in the car, we continued along the long walk down the glen and eventually back down to the car 8)

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We were so glad that we had persevered despite the awful weather earlier on, as the views we eventually got were worth anything. Feeling like these were two blue blobs that we had really earned, we headed back to the hostel for some more pasta and an early night before the next day’s adventures.
Last edited by Jaxter on Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Jaxter
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Re: Two out of three ain't bad - perseverance in Torridon

Postby dooterbang » Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:17 pm

Pity you didn't head down to the bealach at Fuar Thol as its a great walk out with a large lochan and waterfall to engage the senses. You can see them though on your corbett round in a couple of years :wink:
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dooterbang
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Re: Two out of three ain't bad - perseverance in Torridon

Postby Collaciotach » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:37 pm

Nice one :D
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Re: Two out of three ain't bad - perseverance in Torridon

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:15 pm

Just can't understand why you left the suncream in the car.... :)

But it's a truly wonderful place, even with partial views....
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Re: Two out of three ain't bad - perseverance in Torridon

Postby Jaxter » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:56 am

dooterbang wrote:Pity you didn't head down to the bealach at Fuar Thol as its a great walk out with a large lochan and waterfall to engage the senses. You can see them though on your corbett round in a couple of years :wink:

Sounds like the perfect excuse to go back :D


Collaciotach wrote:Nice one :D

Thanks - didn't feel it at the time :lol:


Alteknacker wrote:Just can't understand why you left the suncream in the car.... :)

But it's a truly wonderful place, even with partial views....

I know, rookie error :lol:
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Re: Two out of three ain't bad - perseverance in Torridon

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:28 am

Nice one, and I do love all the poses in your reports, always good to see folk having fun.

I highly recommend a return to do them the "long way" on a better day in the future, the whole ridge of BLM is fantastic, and the descent from SR to the bealach & back to the Coire Lair track delightful. The only thing to watch out for is the river crossing, which can be a little difficult. I seem to remember you have a little experience of such though!
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Re: Two out of three ain't bad - perseverance in Torridon

Postby Jaxter » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:39 pm

Mal Grey wrote:Nice one, and I do love all the poses in your reports, always good to see folk having fun.

I highly recommend a return to do them the "long way" on a better day in the future, the whole ridge of BLM is fantastic, and the descent from SR to the bealach & back to the Coire Lair track delightful. The only thing to watch out for is the river crossing, which can be a little difficult. I seem to remember you have a little experience of such though!

Thankyou!

I'll definitely be back...although maybe take my wellies :lol:
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Re: Two out of three ain't bad - perseverance in Torridon

Postby ancancha » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:55 pm

You two are clocking up the summits now !
Glad you got some sunshine 8)
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Re: Two out of three ain't bad - perseverance in Torridon

Postby Graeme D » Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:52 pm

Perseverance sure paid off. :clap: You have to go back and do Fuar Tholl though. Stunning hill.
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