Torridon times. Yes torrid times, indeed. Only just now able to recount events I think this bright idea goes back to sometime in Coronavirus lockdown, about May, or so? Things beginning to look more hopeful for a wee trip so I canvassed the usual suspects, who were up for taking a gamble to book accomm on spec and keep fingers crossed all would be well with the Covid. The excellent Ledgowan bunkhouse duly booked with Big Jasper, Andrew, Bob and Lawrence, signed up for the ploy
Despite some worries, the due date came round, as we all set off at 5a.m., looking to rendezvous en route before taking on a hill or, two when we got there, perhaps even Liathach, if the forecast held? As always, it seems things don't quite work out as planned This time bad luck was to strike a blow to Andrew and Big Jasper, with a puncture only half an hour from home. Travelling separately, I was able to meet, Lawrence and Bob at the Cluanie Inn car park, as planned. The midges however, were not happy at our meeting without their permission and chased us off to Kintail Lodge to discuss options It had been a wet journey and clearly the other lads wouldn't catch up to join us, so I sold the lads an idea for them to do Maol Chean-dearg, while I consider whether to try for An Ruadh-stac, having already done MCD.
Got to Coulags but, weather was still poor, so we skiddled about for a while in Lochcarron and sat in the cars a while to see if things dried up. Things dried up, but by then the midges from Cluanie caught up with us. You've got to admire them Severe! Anyway, as the last drops of rain fell, we made our way across the bridge and onto the track for MCD, generally managing to leave the midges trailing in our wake Had a wee look at the bothy, the Clach nan Con-fionn, as the mist lifted and we turned left for the steeper ascent to Bealach a'Choire Ghairbh, by which time I had more, or less talked myself into having a go at the Corbett.
Arriving at the bealach, was a bit similar to my first time, as the view of An Ruadh-stac made one take a deep in-take of breath. I think the other lads were impressed too, although just a little concerned at me heading off to do it on my own, which I understood, but re-assured them I wouldn't challenge my comfort zone, so off they headed up the steep, scree slope while I made my way over the massive rock, to the base of the stac. Yes, impressive it is, but the slabs aren't too steep. There's also, an occasional wee pile of stones marking the way. Once or, twice I went off track, but it was easy enough to clamber back on route, taking a regular look NE, to make sure the youngsters weren't going to get to the top too much before me
Seemed to be at the top pretty quickly and just in time to watch Lawrence and Bob, make the summit of Maol Chean-dearg. It was a braw day by now, still a bit hazy, but the views are superb. After a bit of grub and a drink, it was time to head down, as the other pair were on the move! No problems on the descent and our rendezvous was near choreographed to perfection back at the bealach, all well satisfied with our hills. Bit of a hot trek back out, but the banter was great, hearing of the lads adventure to base camp Everest, raising thousands of pounds for charity and meeting a lot more folk heading up into Coire Fionnaraich, before getting back to the cars in about five and a quarter hours.
By this time, Charles and Andrew had got on the road and were on their way to bag Fionn Bheinn, just to get a quick hill in. Even then, they somehow managed to take a diversion off track just to make their day complete And by this time we were showered up and taking full advantage of the re-fuelling facilities at Ledgowan Lodge, enjoying some fantastic hospitality, before moving on to tackle some of Bob's Birra Morretti and Lawrence's Highland Park. Perfect preparation for tomorrow's hike, which, weather playing ball, would be Liathach
Time for an early bed!
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