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Liathach night trip: sunrise,views,mist,wind,rain & search !

Liathach night trip: sunrise,views,mist,wind,rain & search !


Postby Petr Dakota » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:03 pm

Route description: Liathach, Glen Torridon

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

Date walked: 19/06/2016

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 13.67 km

Ascent: 1582m

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Sunday was my one and only day off work and my friend and work mate Mark was free on weekend which meant opportunity ( rare ) for another mountain trip together :) Mark never been in Torridon before and I had still Liathach on top of my to-do list to complete the Giants there...
4 hours 15 mins driving time from home, one free day only and start very early morning at work again on monday ( need wake up at 02:45 am ) made the wish of Torridon almost impossible especially when I woke up at 01:45 am on saturday - saturday was my working day, at work from 03:00 am...but it was a chance to do this mountain together, Mark would not go to do mountain like this alone as he started enjoying the Munro bagging a few months ago, mostly we are struggling to get the same day off work for trips together and I really wanted to conquer Liathach before the shorter ( daylight ) days will come again.
Because of all of this reasons I offered the option of Liathach and Mark agreed :D
My plan was to start from home around 22:30 on saturday, travell to the North / North-West over the darkness, start our climb @ 03:00 morning on sunday and get back home @ 16:00 afternoon :crazy: :lol: :D
We both watched the weather forecast which was still changing for the sunday ( very nice forecast for saturday, but I was in work ). Mostly overcast - cloudy then rain late afternoon, visibility poor...very poor or moderate before noon ( there was still changes in the forecast about the worse visibility, but moving between 08:00 - 12:00, early morning showed good and very good visibility, but darkness :lol: :roll: :lol:
Well, there was a chance...opportunity...and hope and we felt more and more determined !!! 8) :D
It was big plus that the daylight is starting very early especially on the north and also near full moon :wink:
After my work since very early morning on saturday, I prepared all my stuff for the trip and got to bed @ 17:45 :crazy: to try sleep at least a little...Alarm set for 21:00 :shock: :lol: then woke up, checked recent forecast again, prepared fresh food and porridge for the way...enjoyed dinner, strong black coffee and cold shower :lol: :lol: :lol:
Met with Mark at 22:30 we started our journey at 22:45 :D
We arrived in the Torridon car park near Liathach path at 03:00 am and started our climb at 03:15 am :D :D :D
After 03:00 the daylight started quickly open all the scenery around...visibility looked promising, but we guessed the change will come as the forecast said.
We got on the top in very clear visibility, sunrise just started shining and we enjoyed all the views around, made a lot of photos and some videos...Shortly after - on our way from the first top to the 1st Munro summit the conditions changed very very quickly and we did not see anything around...not even shapes of the tops, ridges or pinnacles ahead :o :crazy: :shock:
We reached the 1st summit in cold wind, fog and rain :roll: :? It made big difference - the walk through the boulders, wet slippery stones...extra care needed on the top especially in the continuous rain, noisy cold wind and fog which made the navigation worse - using GPS - no views of any direction :roll:
Mark was following me carefully, we did not hear each other in the wind so i was keeping turning back to check if everything is ok. How surprised I was when i turned back and I did not see Mark anywhere :shock: I tried to call him, but it was not helping in the wind...tried to use my phone, but no signal... :? I turned back and walked the same way, but zig-zag way to see more around...still nothing. Mark was not even on the summit and nowhere around...I walked down again, hoped that he maybe turned a little on the side keeping going down used his phone GPS....
It was a horrible feelings, I felt responsibility for him and i started feel guilty that I did not turn more often when he followed me... :( :crazy: :? In the lower level my phone was ringing - there was a place with signal fortunately, Mark called !!! :D I asked him where he is, but he was not sure...just gave me some descriptions....I told him to stay there without any moving and wait me. I did not find him on the ridge - he said is in lower level of the ridge, so i called him back to find out again. He realised that by his phone GPS he is probably on the wrong ridge - the short south-east ridge from summit. I told him to go up by the GPS - back to the summit and wait there...I walked up to the summit again, but Mark still not there...no signal there again on the summit... :roll: :shock: :crazy: :( :roll: :? After walking around the summit in all directions i walked down to get the signal again...Fortunately reached Mark by phone then...I asked him to check properly his position, confirmed with a hope...I told him to wait there as by my GPS I was not far away from him at the time and if I we will not meet in 15 mins we both will go to the summit again and meet there. After this attempt we finally and successfuly met, but have spent an extra 1h 15 mins :shock: :roll: :lol: :lol: Happy by the way and funny then...but in the time the feelings was hard to describe...it was the most scary moment from Liathach...Liathach itself was not difficult. How easily and quickly can something like this happen when the weather conditions change so quickly :roll: :crazy: and how dangerous is it in the mountains especially on the top !!! How bad Mark felt probably, because he had not experience with navigation in poor visibility so it was scary for him...and also scary for me when I did not know what happened with him.
We were joking later: I was impressed by the summit to go back there many times again to enjoy the summit more :lol: or that Mark wanted just to test my fitness to repeat the ascent many times etc :lol: :lol: :lol:
Most of my Munros I did alone in any conditions, but another experience and lesson learned for both of us when team work - walk...for Mark not to turn anywhere when is following me - need to follow strictly and keep in touch. For me keeping control often, checking - turning more often and be prepared with an emergency plan like if we will lost each other and there is not signal or visibility get back to the summit or some agreed point in agreed time to wait.
This delay and the rain, fog, wind and wet conditions made us decided for the by-pass option.
Then we reached also the second summit ( once only :lol: :lol: :lol: ) and headed for descending. Visibility still poor, but then clear in the lower level of the descent.
It was a great adventure night-mornings trip, all the experience perceived positively for next :D :wink:
Liathach is great mountain, we missed the views from both summits, but we enjoyed the beauty at least from the first tops on the beginning...lucky that we started very early by the way as for rest of the day the top was still in the clag ( visible also in the photos...how clear it was early morning ).
We enjoyed also the way back home...got there safely after 16:30 ( stopped for refreshment by TAKE AWAY kiosk ) 8) :D :wink:
Back in the work on monday very early - woke up at 02:45, but still full of good memories from Torridon :D 8) :wink: :D :lol:






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2:45 am - arrived in Glen Torridon ! Shape of Beinn Eighe in the background :D :D :D


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First sign of the mighty Liathach further ahead... 8)


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Parked just under Liathach - near the path...daylight is opening the scenery quickly after 3:00 - the advantage of summer - near the longest day and full moon :D we started our walk / climb at 3:15 am


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The small cairn shows the start point - initial path a short distance back on the road ( East )


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Some nice & easy scramble :D

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Waterfall


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All the tops are clear - promising to get some views from there 8)


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Nearly daylight ! :D


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Enjoyed this part 8)



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Exposed view ! :roll: :o The height gained quickly...how deep is the road and River Torridon below ! :wink:


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Glen Torridon from above


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Myself posing in the final ascent - Spidean a'Choire Leith clearly visible in the distance 8) ( meantime...)


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Towards South-East


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Nice clear view still very early morning :)


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Mark approaching the top...


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a part of Beinn Eighe over the Glen


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The way ahead ( still very clear ), the first Munro summit - Spidean a'Choire Leith is the last one


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Maol Chean-dearg, Sgorr Ruadh, Beinn Liath Mhor and the other mountains... 8)


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The giant Beinn Eighe...nice memories from last year :D


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Another view towards North-West 8)


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Sunrise starting shinning... 8) :D


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...and shining more :D


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Good morning Liathach !!! :D :D :D


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Towards South-West


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Beinn Eighe looks great !


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The Western part of Beinn Eighe...


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Time to continue our walk :D :wink:


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Looking back...


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Looking back again...sunrise looks nice, but the clag is starting covering the tops quickly :? :shock: :roll:


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Views closing :roll: :?


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Mark descending one of the tops


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Looking back...the clag is keeping this level meantime...allowing still some views :)


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...getting worse...no visibility :roll:


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Cleared again, but very shortly...


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Mark following me



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Preparing for the curent conditions - cold wind and drizzle...which will change in rain shortly after...


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Spidean a'Choire Leith summit :D


20160619_061505a.jpg

...and summit selfie ( Mark's photo ) :D


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The visibility near the pinnacles :crazy:


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Me on the by-pass path....the conditions of the path is ok, much better than I expected :) ...just exposed


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Northern Pinnacles in the mist...


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The second Munro - Mullach an Rathain summit :D


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The beginning ( and the visibility ) of the descent... :crazy:


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Views opening again in the lower level :D


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Towards Loch Torridon


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Walking on the road back to the start point - Liathach still in the clouds on top


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Glen Cottage


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My car finally visible in the distance ahead...alone in the car park...nobody in the mountains...

We met only one walker almost on the bottom of our descend, he was going to the Mullach an Rathain only as he had done Spidean a'Choire Leith before - separately...He is near to compleat - 26 Munros to do only :clap:
Last edited by Petr Dakota on Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:10 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Petr Dakota
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Re: Liathach at 03:15 morning-sunrise from top, then mist &

Postby jamesb63 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:28 pm

Scary moments for you Petr :shock: :shock: it is amazing how quick things can change
You had it a LITTLE clearer than when I was there on Friday it was just clag all the way :(
the following pic I took at 6.29 the same evening after I done it
It was now clear everywhere except on Laithach :o

DSC04521.JPG
Laithach
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Re: Liathach at 03:15 morning-sunrise from top, then mist &

Postby Petr Dakota » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:50 am

jamesb63 wrote:Scary moments for you Petr :shock: :shock: it is amazing how quick things can change
You had it a LITTLE clearer than when I was there on Friday it was just clag all the way :(
the following pic I took at 6.29 the same evening after I done it
It was now clear everywhere except on Laithach :o

DSC04521.JPG

Looks like we had the same "views" from the top like you James :crazy: We were just more lucky on the beginning thanks to the very early - crazy start...when whole Liathach was clear even on the top..but how quick the weather changed and how different it was also the conditions...rain, wet, cold wind, mist - fog...
Reason to go there again James :D Liathach deserve more visits :wink:
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Petr Dakota
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Re: Liathach night trip: sunrise,views,mist,wind,rain & sear

Postby Petr Dakota » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:58 pm

Report updated and photo descriptions done now :wink:
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Petr Dakota
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Re: Liathach night trip: sunrise,views,mist,wind,rain & sear

Postby rockhopper » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:50 pm

That sounded challenging but worth it in the end - believe it or not, you saw far more than I did spending most of the time in clag :roll: One advantage, I guess, of walking solo: no need to keep track of your walking partner :wink: - cheers :)
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Re: Liathach night trip: sunrise,views,mist,wind,rain & sear

Postby Bonzo » Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:41 pm

If I remember correctly the 'obvious' visible route from the summit of Spidean does take you onto the short south east ridge where you eventually end up looking over into the abyss. I've seen a few people make the same mistake.

I've not been on the summit for over 15 years and would have expected the correct route to be more obvious now as I assume the footfall on Liathach has risen dramatically.

Obviously not.
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Re: Liathach night trip: sunrise,views,mist,wind,rain & sear

Postby ancancha » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:37 pm

Thank goodness for GPS on the phone and the phone :!:
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Re: Liathach night trip: sunrise,views,mist,wind,rain & sear

Postby dooterbang » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:35 pm

I like your start times, mad...but great! Wish I could sleep at night but I can't, would ba an allnighter.

Hope you and your mate can get out again :)
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Re: Liathach night trip: sunrise,views,mist,wind,rain & sear

Postby Silverhill » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:02 pm

A ridiculously early start again :crazy: and some really nice pictures before the weather turned. How awful to search for your walking buddy (and he for you) for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Luckily there was a phone signal! All's well that ends well. :D
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Re: Liathach night trip: sunrise,views,mist,wind,rain & sear

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:39 pm

Your day sounded epic with all of the changing conditions and emotions. It is so easy to get separated in poor visability, Glad it all worked out ok and hope you both get better weather for your next day out. Good pictures of the changing light and weather.
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Re: Liathach night trip: sunrise,views,mist,wind,rain & sear

Postby Petr Dakota » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:36 pm

Thanks for all the comments :D appreciated...
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Re: Liathach night trip: sunrise,views,mist,wind,rain & sear

Postby martin.h » Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:46 pm

Great read Petr, edge of the seat stuff tho', :shock: good that you both came out on the right side of it. :D :clap:
I'm going to try one of those early starts one day, I really fancy the idea of getting into the hills before everybody else does. :D
Cheers.
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Re: Liathach night trip: sunrise,views,mist,wind,rain & sear

Postby Petr Dakota » Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:31 pm

martin.h wrote:Great read Petr, edge of the seat stuff tho', :shock: good that you both came out on the right side of it. :D :clap:
I'm going to try one of those early starts one day, I really fancy the idea of getting into the hills before everybody else does. :D
Cheers.

Thanks Martin :D You will love the early starts :wink: Once you will try then you will always do that :)
Mostly I'm meeting 1st walkers on my descend or on the bottom when back near car park :lol:
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