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Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro


Postby Mountainlove » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:00 pm

Route description: Liathach, Glen Torridon

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

Date walked: 18/03/2015

Time taken: 7.45 hours

Distance: 11 km

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I woke up to a beautiful morning at the Torridon campsite. Freezing conditions the night before had woken me up few times and my wee tent was still covered in frost. Brrr. After a mega quick lukewarm shower :? - (the only downside of the campsite), I had breakfast and got ready to climb Liathach. :D

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Liathach rising steeply the night before the climb

The starting point is a short 5min drive from the campsite and having slept at the foot of the mountain the previous 2 nights, made it even more special to finally climb it. I arrived at an empty car park just before 9pm and the steep sandstone cliffs of Liathach reflected the morning sun in a warm glow. A wee cairn indicated a lovely path up the mountain.

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The wee cairn and path up

The sun was warm and within the first half an hour I had stripped down to my T-shirt. With the burn to my left the walk was a pleasure. Taking my time the path climbed higher and higher until I reached a curved wall of rocks. Stopping for the first time I looked in the valley far below.

The road looked tiny and was even more dwarfed by the big mass of Seana Mheallan at 437m which looked like a small lumb of a hill from my viewpoint.
I continued up the hill and by the time the path forked to the right an hour had passed from leaving the car. The path was now leading past some big snow patches and a few scrambles were required to climb the hill. Steeper and steeper the path climbed until I had reached the the ridge. 830 meters ascent in 1.7km is quite a climb. :shock:

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The path

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Closer up, just before the path turn towards the right

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Looking back down and the lump of Seana Mheallan

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The first 3 peaks. The first Munro is the furthest away one

I walked along the ridge and the views were as amazing I had hoped them to be. Beinn Eighes Sail Mhor rose steeply from the valley floor and the path I had walked around the previous day, was clearly visible. Lochans reflected the dark blue sky and some lovely looking Corbetts could be seen across Wester Ross. Forcing my eyes away from the view I looked down and saw that the ridge was covered in soft snow. No need for crampons yet and walking along, I stopped many times to take in the view and take photos. It was certainly a day to be enjoyed. :D

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The first wow views ahead towards Beinn Eighes Sail Mhor and path to climb it

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The views ahead

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Looking into the distance

The first peak was climbed quickly and standing at the top Stob a Choire Liath Mhor looked magic. Covered in snow with a line of footprints right next to the razor sharp edge with steep drops to either site. Time to put on the crampons and get my ice axe out.

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View from the first summit back along the ridge

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Towards Beinn Eighe

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Towards Ben Alligin and some lovely Corbetts

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And towards Stob a Choire Liath Mhor

Geared up I walked along the rocks, before I reached the snow. My crampons made screeching sounds on the rocks and I felt like a right winter mountaineer. :D With a grin on my face I walked on, so glad that I waited for a perfect day to climb this hill. :thumbup:
With crampons the walk up the hill was easy, but looking down the snow slope, left my stomach in a knot and made me grip my ice axe that wee bit harder. A fall would be pretty serious! With jelly knees I took some photos and decided not to look down for the rest of the climb ...ignorance works sometimes! 8) I felt relieved when I stepped on the summit of Stob a Choire Liath Mhor and was able to see the first Munro of the day ahead of me.

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Down to the left

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Down to the right

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and ahead

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At the top of Stob a Choire Liath Mhor looking back

Walking along the summit I reached a steep cliff. Considering if it would be easier to take the crampons off, I looked down and saw crampon marks down some rather steep looking snow slope. It looked doable.Gripping the rocks I lowered myself down the edge and realized that most of the snow was frozen solid. Kicking my feet in as hard as I could it was pretty scary and I remembered reading that some rock climbing moves might be required. I certainly did not look like a climber, while god knows what moves I made 8) :lol: , I inched myself down the rock. It was scary and I was relieved when I reached the bottom. As usual looking up the bit I just climbed up looked like nothing grrrr

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Walking along the top with the Munro

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The first Munro of the day - looking lovely

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The down climb, looking rather easy from the bottom

The scary part was soon forgotten when I looked up the Munro. The nearly frozen snow glistened in the sun and I started the climb. It was steep and pretty frozen solid and by the time I reached the summit I was drenched in sweat. At the top I met 2 climbers who had came up one of the snow gullies and were as surprised as me that we seemed to be the only people on top of the mountain during such a beautiful day.

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Snow turned to ice

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A fine slope

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Close to the top looking back down

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From the summit looking back

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and ahead whats yet to come

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Myself

Saying good bye to the climbers, I saw the Fasarinen looming dark and uninviting ahead of me. The north face was pure rock and they seem to climb vertical from the valley below and ice cold wind blew in my face when I inched myself over the edge to look down below.

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The Fasarinen

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Over the edge towards the north

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Back down to the road

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Towards the distance

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Close to the edge

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Let the walk begin

The south side was the complete opposite. Away from the wind the sun was warming the rocks and the snow had melted and left a carpet of coarse grass, still brown from the lack of oxygen and air, yet inviting for a scroll. Putting my crampons away, I stepped on the so called bypass, which even though avoids most peaks still climbs across some and makes the going along a lot quicker. Out of the wind I was soon back in my T-shirt and enjoyed the steep drops to my left. Things changed when I encountered my first snow covered gully.
Urgh! :shock: There were some footprints across, but with the melt in the previous days I could also see some cracks in the snow. Getting my ice axe out again - there was no way on earth I would walk across it without it. I tried the first step which seemed solid. But what a drop to the valley below. Deciding that looking down was not a good idea, I pushed my ice axe deep into the snow and using it as a handle made my way across the gully. Scary! Needless to say , I was pretty relieved when I reached the other site and the path again.

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It started to look like summer

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Eeek the first gully to cross

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Head for heights is required

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Looking down the gully

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First gully done there was a lot more ahead

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But with views like that the hardship is easily forgotten

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Still on the bypass

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From one of the other gullies looking down

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The last of the Pinnacles


Walking along the path wound it self around the Fasarinen and I had to cross 6 more snow covered gullies until I finally stepped on a grass covered meadow. The final climb towards my 200th Munro could begin. :D
The grassy slope felt like a red carpet after the steep cliffs, snow covered rocks and snow filled gullies and with ice axe and crampons tucked away and was able to stride towards the summit.

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The final Munro ahead

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Nice and easy

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But still breathtaking views towards the right

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More views

In the distance the ocean glittered in hazy sunlight and I was able to spot my campsite, the walk now easy was soon over when I placed my hand on the cairn...200 Munros completed. Yeah! Taking some pictures of myself with my self timer, I sat down and had lunch while enjoying the views towards Beinn Alligin and Beinn Dearg. In the far distance I spotted 2 other walkers, but had the summit for myself.

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Yeah 200!

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Views towards the ocean and Beinn Alligin

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Looking back towards the ridge

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The cairn

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Enjoying the sunshine I stayed for 45min until I managed to drag myself away. Time for the down climb. A downhill slope of scree greeted me and it was back to reality...this would not be fun. More sliding than walking I struggled down the hill until half way down the the path resembled a path again. From there it was a pleasant walk back to the road and back to the car again...Liathach I will be back!

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The down climb

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When the worst bit is over

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A gentle walk back close to the bottom

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On the road back to my car
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Mountainlove
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1202
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Re: Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Postby MilanBohac » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:07 pm

Beautiful!!!! :clap:
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MilanBohac
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Re: Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Postby kev_russ » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:10 pm

Braw 8) Well done on hitting the big 200
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kev_russ
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Re: Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Postby basscadet » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:24 pm

What a day, You must be chuffed with that :D
Well done on reaching the 200 mark, over 70% of the way to compleation - yaay! :lol:
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basscadet
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Re: Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:36 pm

Is this a wonderful mountain or is it a wonderful mountain??? That first shot must have been taken a zillion times - I took exactly the same shot as I drove down the Glen. I hope to do the ridge again this year, hopefully taking in Ben Alligin.

I would almost say, as others have done, that Beinn Eighe is even better - because you get the best views of Liathach from there!!!

You had such a BRILLIANT day for it - I envy you, especially being a relatively short drive away!

Well done on your 200-up! :clap: :clap:
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Alteknacker
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Re: Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Postby Graeme D » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:38 pm

A special hill for a special day! :clap:
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Graeme D
 
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Re: Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Postby The Rodmiester » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:44 pm

God, you won't forget that day in a hurry, wonderful stuff on a fabulous hill. Fantastic record and photographs :clap: :clap: :D Many Congratulations on reaching your 200mark :clap: :D What a day!
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Re: Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Postby larry groo » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:23 pm

Fantastic!!!

Well done on the 200!

:clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Postby martin.h » Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:37 pm

You've got nerves of steel.
Congratulations on your 200 and what a mountain to do it on.
Thanks for sharing your achievement.
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martin.h
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Re: Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Postby gammy leg walker » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:18 pm

Many congrats on reaching 200 and what a mountain to reach that number. :clap: :clap:
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Re: Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:04 pm

Stunning pics and a fantastic achievement :clap: :clap: so glad you got such a brilliant day to reach the 200 - many congratulations :D
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Re: Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Postby hopper68 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:31 pm

Brilliant stuff, well done on reaching 200 ....great achievement :clap:
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Re: Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Postby Mountainlove » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:12 am

Many thanks for all your lovely messages.
The mountains of Torridon are amazing and I certainly can't wait to climb some of them again. :D
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Re: Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Postby Petr Dakota » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:33 am

Congratulations to your 200 ! :clap: :) :clap:
Nice photos from beautiful area...it was really great sunny day yesterday. I am planning Torridon and especially the Liathach for my 100 :wink: Hope the weather will be good enough to enjoy all the views around :)
Well done...
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Re: Snow-Rock-Ice Liathach - my 200th Munro

Postby Beaner001 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:07 am

Congrats on the 200 up!! :clap: You got a fine day for a fine Mountain :D
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