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Liathach, a special day that won't be forgotten.

Liathach, a special day that won't be forgotten.


Postby martin.h » Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:57 pm

Route description: Liathach, Glen Torridon

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

Date walked: 07/09/2015

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 1450m

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This is a follow up to Martin's lovely report, a great day in the mountains we shared with Denise and Graham.

After a rather disappointing attempt on Slioch the day before, (we turned back in the bowl due to high winds, rain and clag) Monday promised to be the opposite.
Well it was promised and it delivered.
We had arranged to meet up with Martin and Graham through the meeting up post on Walkhighlands.Martin was travelling up from Fife, Graham was staying in the Torridon youth hostel. I picked Graham up from the hostel, joined Martin in the parking spot at the finish point, left my car there and piled into his car and drove up to the starting point. All was set for a good day out with no road walking at the end.

Liathach is one of those mountains I've wanted to climb for ages but had to be in good weather to fully appreciate what it has to offer and that's what we got.
We quickly got ready for the off, the midges were very hungry and made their presence known in large hoards.

The climb up was warm and humid but we soon gained height and walked into mist,
ImageDSC00903 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr Water feature.

ImageDSC00904 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. View into the Glen before we ascended into the cloud.

ImageDSC00905 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Well, we were happy enough here, hoping for better things.

we carried on in the mist not seeing much but the higher we got the thinner it became and suddenly we were out of the cloud witnessing the most wonderful cloud inversion Denise and I had ever seen on a mountain, Martin and Graham had their camera's out, many photos were taken, we just could'nt stop looking at the scene around us, we even had brocken spectres, what a treat.

ImageDSC00906 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. The cloud got thinner

ImageDSC00907 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. And wonderful things started to appear.

ImageDSC00908 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr
ImageDSC00909 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr
ImageDSC00911 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Really starting to clear

ImageDSC00914 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. I tried to get a spectre but not very good.

ImageDSC00915 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Fantatic sight of what was to come.

ImageDSC00919 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Martin watching the curtain of cloud slowly giving up it's secret.

ImageDSC00920 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Beinn Alligin and Beinn Dearg peeping through.

ImageDSC00924 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. That view again.

ImageDSC00925 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Beinn Eighe.

We made the quick detour onto Stuc a' Choire Dhuibh Bhig and got the most wonderful views of Beinn Eighe, Alligin and Beinn Dearg.
ImageDSC00930 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Beinn Eighe zoomed.

ImageDSC00932 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Alligin and Dearg.

ImageDSC00933 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr Beinn Eighe.

ImageDSC00934 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr.Looking back to Stuc a'Choire Dhuibh Bhig on the way to Spidean.

ImageDSC00935 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Spidean.

After a lot of ooo's an ah's and look at thats we set off for the first munro, Spidean a' Choire Leith, by now the ridge was clear and we could see ahead, the first summit looks good from a distance and is actually further away than it looks but we soon arrived and were treated to the most fantastic view, that of the Am Fasarinen pinnacles and the second munro, Mullach an Rathain, a real rugged sight highlighted by the mist swirling around them. We were joined by two guys from London Alistair and Alex who we had met a little earlier and they stayed with us along the mountain.
ImageDSC00937 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Denise on Spidean.

ImageDSC00939 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Our next Munro,Mullach an Rathain, pinnacles hidden in the mist.

ImageDSC00940 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr
ImageDSC00941 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Martin enjoying the scene.

ImageDSC00944 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Lunch time.

ImageDSC00945 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr.Pinnacles appearing, What a sight.

After a quick bite we set off for the fun bit, Martin leading the way over the boulders, Graham hopping over them like a mountain goat, slowly but surely the pinnacles were getting closer.
ImageDSC00950 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Pinnacles, wow!.

We were all a bit apprehensive about them largly due to what we'd read, we could see two people ahead just starting their climb so we watched to see how they got on, they wizzed up, no problem, and soon were on the top of the first pinnacle, then it was our turn. We started our traverse.

ImageDSC00951 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Graham, Alex and Alistair on a pinnacle.

In parts the traverse is a wee bit exposed but it's all on good grippy rock and makes for a wonderful airy scramble with no real difficulties and the general feeling was anybody doing Liathach should not dismiss the pinnacles for being too exposed, they are well within the capabilities of any experienced mountain walker.

ImageDSC00952 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Airy viewpoint.

ImageDSC00955 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Glen Torridon.
ImageDSC00956 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Brilliant views.

We had a great time and its true to say anybody doing the traverse can make it as hard or as easy as they wish, yes, there's exposure but that's lessened by the sheer enjoyment.
All too soon the pinnacles were behind us,
ImageDSC00958 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Looking back.

ImageDSC00959 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Denise and Martin deep in discussion.

the next munro was much closer, the climb up to Mullach an Rathain was straight forward and enjoyable with plenty of opportunities to stop and look back.
ImageDSC00964 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Our next target.

ImageDSC00970 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Looking back to the pinnacles.

ImageDSC00973 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Job done.

On the summit we just took our time savouring the views trying to forstall the descent knowing it was going to be tiring.
ImageDSC00978 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Denise on the summit. Mullach an Rathain.

ImageDSC00980 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Beinn Alligin.

ImageDSC00981 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Beinn Dearg.
ImageDSC00982 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. An Teallach.

ImageDSC00983 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Northern Pinnacles.

ImageDSC00986 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Beinn Eighe.

ImageDSC00985 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Am Fasarinen.

ImageDSC00990 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Loch Torridon.

ImageDSC00991 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Happy bunch of people.
ImageDSC00993 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Just stunning.

ImageDSC00999 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Alligin and Dearg again.

ImageDSC01000 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. One last look.

But we had to go so reluctantly we set off down over the loose scree.
ImageDSC01001 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Awkward descent.

ImageDSC01002 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Graham on the loose scree, very tricky.

ImageDSC01003 by Martin Hawer, on Flickr. Bye Bye Liathach.

The descent wasn't too bad and after about an hour and a half we were back at the car after one of the best days Denise and I have spent in the mountains together.
I would like to give special thanks to Martin and Graham for responding to my post and joining us to help make the day as good as it was, good weather or not, the company was excellent, thanks guys.
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martin.h
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Re: Liathach, a special day that won't be forgotten.

Postby Silverhill » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:35 pm

Wow that looks awesome! 8) I can see from the pictures that you all had a great time.
Good to hear that you found the pinnacles well doable, very encouraging!
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Re: Liathach, a special day that won't be forgotten.

Postby Fife Flyer » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:36 pm

Great stuff Martin, some cracking photo's really bring back memories of a fabulous & amazing day :clap: :clap:
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Re: Liathach, a special day that won't be forgotten.

Postby Beaner001 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:33 pm

Fantastic Martin, I'm harbouring thoughts of a winter ascent :shock: :D
Have a good end to the year and hopefully catch up next year pal
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Re: Liathach, a special day that won't be forgotten.

Postby martin.h » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:48 pm

Beaner001 wrote:Fantastic Martin, I'm harbouring thoughts of a winter ascent :shock: :D
Have a good end to the year and hopefully catch up next year pal


Thanks Matt,
A winter ascent, wow! I'm looking forward to that report, hope you get the chance.
Our first trip next year is Glencoe, already booked for 1st week in May.
Hope to see you next year, take care. :D

Fife Flyer wrote:Great stuff Martin, some cracking photo's really bring back memories of a fabulous & amazing day :clap: :clap:


Thanks Martin,
Yeah, t'was a fantastic day and thanks for the company, everything came together it was just how we'd hoped it would be.
See you next year :D

Silverhill wrote:Wow that looks awesome! 8) I can see from the pictures that you all had a great time.
Good to hear that you found the pinnacles well doable, very encouraging!


Thanks Silverhill,
We were all a bit doubtful about the pinnacles but after we'd been over them the conclusion was they were much more interesting than the bypass path and the views were sublime, a great experience. :D
Cheers.
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martin.h
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Re: Liathach, a special day that won't be forgotten.

Postby Petr Dakota » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:44 am

Great report and photos Martin :clap: :clap: :clap:
Glad you got the good weather for the views :D 8) Happy to see you enjoyed great holiday in the wonderful area :D
Hope the same or very similar weather conditions aand visibility will be next Year on May as well for you...
All the Best and stay safe both of you 8)
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Re: Liathach, a special day that won't be forgotten.

Postby martin.h » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:34 pm

Petr Dakota wrote:Great report and photos Martin :clap: :clap: :clap:
Glad you got the good weather for the views :D 8) Happy to see you enjoyed great holiday in the wonderful area :D
Hope the same or very similar weather conditions aand visibility will be next Year on May as well for you...
All the Best and stay safe both of you 8)


Thanks Petr,
We were really lucky with the weather this year, especially Torridon. how was your trip up there?
It's a shame we don't live closer to the Highlands but "absence makes the heart grow fonder".
Roll on May.
Cheers and stay safe.
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martin.h
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Re: Liathach, a special day that won't be forgotten.

Postby Petr Dakota » Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:47 pm

martin.h wrote:
Petr Dakota wrote:Great report and photos Martin :clap: :clap: :clap:
Glad you got the good weather for the views :D 8) Happy to see you enjoyed great holiday in the wonderful area :D
Hope the same or very similar weather conditions aand visibility will be next Year on May as well for you...
All the Best and stay safe both of you 8)


Thanks Petr,
We were really lucky with the weather this year, especially Torridon. how was your trip up there?
It's a shame we don't live closer to the Highlands but "absence makes the heart grow fonder".
Roll on May.
Cheers and stay safe.

Thanks Martin, we had great time there in the North-West and North, we did An Teallach instead and more Munros incl. Bla Bheinn and Ben Hope...report soon, hopefully :wink:
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Re: Liathach, a special day that won't be forgotten.

Postby ochilbhoy » Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:59 pm

Some fantastic photos Martin, I climbed it solo last week, wish I had taken a better camera rather than phone pictures, your picture's do the route justice,what type of camera did you use ? need to invest in a better one, I took the bypass route thinking it would be safer on my own, halfway round I wish I had went over the pinnacles, as that is one narrow by-pass path, reading your report has got me thinking next time over the pinnacles.
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Re: Liathach, a special day that won't be forgotten.

Postby martin.h » Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:24 pm

ochilbhoy wrote:Some fantastic photos Martin, I climbed it solo last week, wish I had taken a better camera rather than phone pictures, your picture's do the route justice,what type of camera did you use ? need to invest in a better one, I took the bypass route thinking it would be safer on my own, halfway round I wish I had went over the pinnacles, as that is one narrow by-pass path, reading your report has got me thinking next time over the pinnacles.


Hi ochilbhoy,
I've got a little Sony DSC-HX50 which has now been discontinued and replaced with the DSC-HX60, they both have manual controls so you can play about with different settings.
The pinnacles are great and probably a better bet than the by-pass path, we found no difficulty really and its a good fun experience, you'll enjoy them.
Cheers.
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Re: Liathach, a special day that won't be forgotten.

Postby dav2930 » Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:05 pm

It doesn't get any better than that. Superb photos of a fantastic day on one of Scotland's most spectacular mountains. Well done. :clap: Like Beaner001, I'd love to do a winter traverse, but being in the right place at the right time isn't easy!
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Re: Liathach, a special day that won't be forgotten.

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:24 pm

Absolutely stunning pics: and perfect weather for experiencing a perfect place! Lucky you!
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Re: Liathach, a special day that won't be forgotten.

Postby martin.h » Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:22 pm

dav2930 wrote:It doesn't get any better than that. Superb photos of a fantastic day on one of Scotland's most spectacular mountains. Well done. :clap: Like Beaner001, I'd love to do a winter traverse, but being in the right place at the right time isn't easy!


Hi dav2930, Its good to get the weather right for a change and looking back on our visits to the Highlands this year we've done very well.
If you manage a winter traverse of Liathach I hope everything is just right for your day, it'll be an absolute belter :D
Cheers.

Alteknacker wrote:Absolutely stunning pics: and perfect weather for experiencing a perfect place! Lucky you!


Thanks Altenacker, I've still got a smile on my face when I look back on that week, If we get similar on the Skye munros next June I reckon we'll be in heaven on earth, fingers crossed :D
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Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire

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