walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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.

Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor

Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor


Postby Cairngorm creeper » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:51 pm

Route description: Beinn Liath Mhor, Achnashellach

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Liath Mhor

Date walked: 10/02/2017

Time taken: 9.5 hours

Distance: 15.7 km

Ascent: 1080m

6 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Our route is a back to front version of Walkhighlands, with two slight diversions, one planned and one that was more spontaneous :lol: .
IMG_7205.JPG
The route

The weather (unusually) was very true to the forecast, low winds, sub zero temperature and lots of Sunshine.
We left home at 07:20 and further north a snow covered Ben Wyvis was glowing pink in the morning light. As we parked the car at Achnashellach Station all the mountains to the south of us had good covering of snow. By 09:15 we we were on way past the red telephone box and down the track.
IMG_7176.JPG
09:15 on our way

The junctions on the track were all easy to identfy and although there was evidence of forestry work underway, today there were just a couple of guys in a van cutting branches. The junction between the path to Coire Lair and the forestry track was again easy to identfy and we had to wonder at a sign on the path saying to no admittance to the forestry track if felling was taking place. It was a bit late to stop you if you were on your way back :? .
Once the more northern mountains came into view we were surprised and a little upset to see that the snow cover in this area was very sparse. We had been saving Beinn Liath Mhor for a winter adventure and waiting eagerly for the right conditions. We wondered about changing our plans, but who can resist a Torridon peak on a sunny day, :) , not us :lol: .
IMG_7177.JPG
Fuar Tholl from the junction between track and path.

We were approaching Beinn Liath Mhor from Coire Lair as we suspected that the crags from the bealach at the end of the Coire may best be tackled in ascent. One walker overtook us, exchanging pleasantries and another was close behind, just as we turned down the Coire path. Both the other walkers continued on the path up the mountain.
The entrance to the Coire is dominated by the crags of Sgorr Ruadh on the left and the sandstone face of Beinn Liath Mhor on the right.
IMG_7206.JPG
Entrance to Coire Lair

The terrain was well frozen and by the time we reached the far end of the Coire most of the earlier cloud had cleared and the promised sunshine had arrived.
Rather than walk right to the end of the path we planned to take a short cut up the side straight to the second bealach and little lochan. This route was mainly OK, apart from the traversing of some icy slabs, with a long drop below, which had me squeaking. :crazy: The OH wondered what I was making such a fuss about :( .
IMG_7179.JPG
A bouldery rib on our shortcut

Our water strategy rather depended on boiling snow for lunch and a brew, so we decided to stop at the bealach in case the white stuff was in short supply higher up.
IMG_7180.JPG
A scenic lunch spot

Lunch over and time to head up the path between the crags.
The path was quite eroded with snow and ice in all the wrong places, so although it wasn't difficult it was rather inelegant at times.
IMG_7182.JPG
The path Icy in the wrong places .

About half way up we met one the guys walking in the reverse direction, quick chat about the day and what lay ahead for all of us and we were on our way.
And 15 minutes later we were on the Beinn Liath Mhor ridge with splendid views in all directions.
IMG_7184.JPG
Bein Liath Mhor

IMG_7183.JPG
Sgorr Rhuadh
IMG_7186.JPG
Heading up to the summit. Maol Chean Dearg and Beinn Damph behind
IMG_7185.JPG
14:00 The summit

Beinn Liath Mhor is a wonderful ridge walk, broad and bouldery in places, at other times rocky with some minor scrambling and a one point narrowing down to a short arete.
IMG_7188.JPG
Looking back at the summit

IMG_7187.JPG
The ridge ahead

IMG_7189.JPG
Easy scrambling

IMG_7190.JPG

IMG_7191.JPG
The narrowest section

IMG_7192.JPG
More snow on approach to second summit

IMG_7193.JPG
15:10 second summit

IMG_7194.JPG
Rocky towers on the way to the third summit

IMG_7197.JPG
Going over them this way is optional

IMG_7199.JPG
15:50 The third summit

Now all we had to do was walk down. Still on a high and in brilliant sunlight we didn't give a thought to looking at the map or taking a bearing until 20 minutes later, when we were making our way down a steep and broad boulder field. Shouldn't we be following a path :? .
IMG_7211.JPG

We checked the map, confirmed our reference with the GPS (navigation for numpties :lol: ) and paced our way towards the path which we indentified quite easily, but it kept disappearing into snow. Then, despite being careful about our navigating we were unable to work out the point at which it headed down the steep ground between the crags. Rather than risk being cragfast or worse, we checked the map and identified a less steep descent about 400m to our left on the other side of a gully. We traversed some steep heathery ground to reach the gully which we were able to cross easily and then make an easy descent to join the path path in Drochaid Coire Lair just as the moon was rising in the east.
IMG_7209.JPG

IMG_7210.JPG
Could be Venus over Fuar Tholl

A pleasant walk back by torchlight.
IMG_7204.JPG
Achnashellach Station

We made it back to the car at 19:10 and I can't help but wonder if we are the only people who seem to turn straight forward routes, in excellent visibility into epics :lol:
An absolutely brilliant day and first class mountain and my only regret was the amount of time I had to spend watching where I put my feet rather than admiring the views.
User avatar
Cairngorm creeper
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 675
Munros:140   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Nr. Grantown-on-Spey

Re: Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:18 am

Cairngorm creeper wrote:I can't help but wonder if we are the only people who seem to turn straight forward routes, in excellent visibility into epics :lol:


:lol: No, you're not! We had a few "epics" like that, too. We descended Beinn Alligin in total darkness once, no torches, relying only on moonlight... We almost got lost in the clag on Cairnwell Munros (???) and another time, we ascended Sgorr Ruadh, thinking for half way up, we were climbing Fuar Tholl!

BLM is a superb mountain and I'd love to go back even though we had an excellent day when we climbed it for the first time. Views are so amazing, especially north/west to Liathach and other Torridons :D

Sometimes, when young brave souls overtake us, running past, I feel sad that I can't be that fast any more... But honestly, I'd rather sit on the summit for an hour and sink in the views than race up and down with my tongue sticking out :lol:
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3245
Munros:260   Corbetts:163
Grahams:112   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:09 pm

What brilliant weather for a day in such a brilliant place; and you got some great pics of it. I chose the Lake District the day before, and although the weather was fine, there was no real sun, and boy was it cold. I guess I'd have been better going for the Highlands - but I couldn't afford 2 days off at very short notice...

This is one I still have to do...
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 2738
Munros:167   Corbetts:29
Hewitts:205
Wainwrights:78   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby Jaxter » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:47 pm

oooh lovely, what a great day you got for it!! :clap: :D

I know what you mean about making simple walks into epics....I'm an expert at that :roll: I think if it's all going too well then I get bored and deviate from the plan :lol: :lol:
User avatar
Jaxter
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1223
Munros:199   Corbetts:123
Grahams:51   Donalds:45
Sub 2000:58   Hewitts:50
Wainwrights:53   Islands:24
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby Graeme D » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:13 pm

Brilliant little report. Lots of memories there of one of my finest ever hill days from a few years back. 8)
User avatar
Graeme D
 
Posts: 3494
Munros:220   Corbetts:103
Grahams:64   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:56   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:27   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

Re: Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:53 pm

BlackPanther wrote:
Cairngorm creeper wrote:I can't help but wonder if we are the only people who seem to turn straight forward routes, in excellent visibility into epics :lol:


:lol: No, you're not! We had a few "epics" like that, too. We descended Beinn Alligin in total darkness once, no torches, relying only on moonlight... We almost got lost in the clag on Cairnwell Munros (???)

Beinn Alligin i the dark sounds very tricky :crazy: We got "misplaced" in the clag on the Cairnwell Munros as well and ended up traversing a very steep face in the snow. It is much trickier up there than one is led to believe :lol:
BlackPanther wrote:
BLM is a superb mountain and I'd love to go back even though we had an excellent day when we climbed it for the first time. Views are so amazing, especially north/west to Liathach and other Torridons :D

Absolutely, I think we will be going back for more as well and Fuar Tholl is definitely on he list, but one for summer Me thinks.

BlackPanther wrote:Sometimes, when young brave souls overtake us, running past, I feel sad that I can't be that fast any more... But honestly, I'd rather sit on the summit for an hour and sink in the views than race up and down with my tongue sticking out :lol:


I used to worry about being slow but I feel quite comfortable with our pace now, we know what we can manage in a day and what terrain we are comfortable with in the dark. Being slower means you get to spend longer in amazing places absorbing the atmosphere.
User avatar
Cairngorm creeper
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 675
Munros:140   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Nr. Grantown-on-Spey

Re: Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:53 pm

Jaxter wrote:oooh lovely, what a great day you got for it!! :clap: :D

Yes stunning day for a stunning place :D
Jaxter wrote:I know what you mean about making simple walks into epics....I'm an expert at that :roll: I think if it's all going too well then I get bored and deviate from the plan :lol: :lol:

A bit of deviance, deliberate or accidental always helps to make the day more exciting and memorable :lol:
User avatar
Cairngorm creeper
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 675
Munros:140   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Nr. Grantown-on-Spey

Re: Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:54 pm

Alteknacker wrote:What brilliant weather for a day in such a brilliant place; and you got some great pics of it. I chose the Lake District the day before, and although the weather was fine, there was no real sun, and boy was it cold. I guess I'd have been better going for the Highlands - but I couldn't afford 2 days off at very short notice...

This is one I still have to do...


We were really lucky to be able to pick the weather and the day. I am sure you will love Beinn Liath Mhor, along with its near neighbours, a fantastic place.
I think the summit temp. was similar to your day in the Lakes (which looked pretty special) but with sun and no wind we were sweating rather than freezing :D, astonishing difference.

We hope to get in at least one trip to the Lake District this year but have yet to decide which part.
User avatar
Cairngorm creeper
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 675
Munros:140   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Nr. Grantown-on-Spey

Re: Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:54 pm

Graeme D wrote:Brilliant little report. Lots of memories there of one of my finest ever hill days from a few years back. 8)


Thank you Graham. It is one our finest to date as well.
User avatar
Cairngorm creeper
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 675
Munros:140   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Nr. Grantown-on-Spey

Re: Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby malky_c » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:27 pm

Love these hills, especially in that weather - some of my most visited 8) .

I had a bit of a mini-epic getting up and down this in the mist once - however it was because we had worked our way through a substantial amount of bubbly on the summit of Sgarr Ruadh at a friend's Munro completion :lol: .
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5862
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:254   Hewitts:256
Wainwrights:102   Islands:33
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Inverness

Re: Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:11 pm

malky_c wrote:Love these hills, especially in that weather - some of my most visited 8) .

I had a bit of a mini-epic getting up and down this in the mist once - however it was because we had worked our way through a substantial amount of bubbly on the summit of Sgarr Ruadh at a friend's Munro completion :lol: .


Great image of image of you all in a champagne haze on BLM :lol:
User avatar
Cairngorm creeper
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 675
Munros:140   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Nr. Grantown-on-Spey

Re: Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby rockhopper » Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:37 pm

That looked good !
Maybe need to return here some day having seen nothing in poor weather first time round - cheers :)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6401
Munros:282   Corbetts:207
Grahams:60   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: May 31, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby litljortindan » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:54 pm

Maybe not as much snow as you wanted but looks pretty good.
User avatar
litljortindan
Walker
 
Posts: 1736
Munros:111   Corbetts:55
Grahams:26   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: Torridon Sunshine on Beinn Liath Mhor

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:34 pm

rockhopper wrote:That looked good !
Maybe need to return here some day having seen nothing in poor weather first time round - cheers :)

Well,worth a return trip, lots to do and if you get clear weather perhaps some of the best views of Torridon
litljortindan wrote:Maybe not as much snow as you wanted but looks pretty good.

It was a really good day, and we can still go back another day for the snow.
User avatar
Cairngorm creeper
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 675
Munros:140   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Nr. Grantown-on-Spey

6 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: andygunn23, dannk23, niaamhr and 43 guests