After back sliding on our walking and walk reports last year I am starting the year how I mean to continue. and what a cracking day the 2nd of January was. OK there was no snow, but the sunshine made up for it.
Tom na Gruagaich was our first munro many many years ago and this is our fourth time on its summit; the best hills are always worth further exploration. We had previously wondered what the end ridge Na Fasreidhnean would be like as an ascent and found it listed it the scrambling guidebook as a grade 1. Given the lack of winter conditions but short daylight hours it seemed an ideal fit for the day, especially as most of the scrambling was lower down on the ridge.
We left the Ben Alligin carpark at 8:30 and followed the footpath toward Coire nan Laogh, stopping to admire the views back across Loch Torridon.
As we approached the Coire Na Fasreidhnean was looming before us, looking incredibly steep and we hoped the guidebooks weren't lying when they said it was easier than it looked . . The faint path leading to the ridge was fairly easy to identify which, thankfully was now looking far more manageable. I was surprised by the steady stream of walkers heading towards Beinn Alligin so it was nice to be leaving them all behind and make our own way up the heathery slope. Initially the path seemed to come and go but as we gained height we found ourseleves on a well defined path that weaved its way up the rocky ridge with a few sections of unavoidable scrambling. It really was a glorious day, with very little wind and the ridge allowed us to appreciate the true grandeur of the situation. The rock was very grippy were it was dry but there were some icy patches, which made some of scrambling awkward although there was nothing technically difficult .
It was just a short walk across a shallow bealach, from the top of Na Fasreidhnean to Tom na Gruagaich. There was a dusting of snow but still incredibly mild on the summit and as we had no plans to continue onto the second Munro we had plenty of time to sit around enjoying the sunshine
We passed the time of day with several groups of walkers making their way onto Sgurr Mor before setting of down Coire nan Laogh and back to the car park.
We spent so much time admiring the views and taking photos that I can't honestly say how long the walk took. It was about 16:00 when we got back to the carpark. A good start to the year, now where is that snow!
Travel and Coronavirus
Please check current coronavirus restrictions before travelling within or to Scotland.
Click for details
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.