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3 Wildcamps, 4 summits in Torridon

3 Wildcamps, 4 summits in Torridon


Postby jacob » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:45 am

Munros included on this walk: Mullach an Rathain (Liathach), Ruadh-stac Mor (Beinn Eighe), Spidean a'Choire Leith (Liathach), Spidean Coire nan Clach (Beinn Eighe)

Date walked: 06/09/2018

Distance: 24 km

Ascent: 2668m

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"Some for better, most for worse", would best describe the changes in my life over the past year. And without going into further detail, this also explains why it's been a year and a half since I last visited Scotland and why I'm on my own this time.
My plans were solid, or at least that's what I thought, but health and weather unfortunately do influence your days on the hills, don't they, so the execution left a lot to desire.

Plan was: get of the ferry at Newcastle at about 10.30 in the morning, drive up north like a madman, arrive quite in time at Kinlochewe, to walk up Beinn Eighe as far as possible from the overnight carpark in Kinlochewe, and wildcamp somewhere on the slopes of Beinn Eighe. Next day would be taking on the ridge, including the Black Carls, descend at Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair, and make up camp there. After waking up the plan would be to go round the back towards Liathach and ascend into Coire na Caime and again put up the tent, make a 3 star dinner and enjoy the lovely sunny Scottish weather. Waking up on Sunday would mean me going up the Northern Pinnacles of Liathach, follow the ridge and descend into the same Coire, at my tent and spend another night there. From there, monday and the following days would be crossing the A896 and do a similar multiday trekking through the Coulag/Achnashellach mountains.

Excecution was: anything up to Sunday went according to plan (no, I don't really drive like a madman). But instead of leaving my tent at Coire na Caime, I thought it would be a good idea to have a go at the Northern Pinnacles and Liathach ridge with my 18 kg multiday rucksack on. Why? To save a day. Why? Eeehhmmm...... F***ed if I know.

Waking up on Sunday, the weather was bad. So impatient ADHD ME jumped up at the first sign of cloudlift a few hours later, told himself the day was going to be lovely, packed his stuff and headed for the Northern Pinnacles. No more than 15 minutes later, rain came down on me like a punishment from the Gods. And I must really be a sinfull person, as they kept on punishing me throughout most of the day.

With no view through thick clouds, strong winds, wet and loose stone, and a 18 kg rucksack, the Norhtern Pinnacles are less than funny. As are the Am Fasarinen, be it they're less hairyscary. On the ridge I mistook a stonechute for a path, wich lead me to a tiresome dead end and an even more tiresome "one step up, two steps down" climb up that same stonechute to regain the ridge. By the end of the day, I was fully soaked, a rather big blister had grown and popped, causing quite some discomfort, and standing on the A896, with just half an hour or so of daylight left I had the choice to:
1. According to plan head for the Coulags bothy.
2. Head for Kinlochewe ( I thought is was no more than 6 km), where my car was and drive to the Torridon youthhostel.
3. Walk to the Torridon youthhostel.

Option 1 wasn't really an option with a foot killing me.
Option 2 seemed the better over option 3, for at least I'd have the car with me in case the youthhostel was full. So unaware of the way more than 6 km I anticipated, I started walking. It must have been out of pure pity, that a mercedes heading towards Torridon stopped and the driver asked me if I was allright. After some mumbling and stuttering from my side, the more than friendly guy just turned around his car, and gave me a lift to Kinlochewe. There I picked up my car and drove of to the youthhostel, where I would spend the next 4 nights, with an increasingly painful foot, that would blow up to proportions like blowing air into a rubber glove. I did meet some great people at the youthhostel though, two of whom I wish a very pleasant holiday and one I wish a good life and studies in Glasgow.


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Beautiful light looking down from the first campspot.


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And from the same place looking up. Weather still fine here.


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By the time I reached the Black Carls, weather had worsened.


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But nothing can kill my good spirits (at least not yet)


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Any ridgephoto I took was blurred by raindrops on the lens. Below the clouds, the weather was more "agreable" as they say in French. Wildcampspot at the loch.


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And a sunset promising good weather for tomorrow.


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Good morning Jacob!


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Morning sun perfect for drying out my gear.


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And off I head for the north flanks of Liathach. Beinn Alligin in the distance.


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First view inside Coire na Caime


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And me being very happy about it!


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Again a view from the plateau towards Alligin and Beinn Dearg.


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Next day: yippeehh, cloudlift! Let's go!


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This must be the second or third of the Northern Pinnacles. The cloudlift was like the promise of a dodgy secondhand carseller. It had very little value.


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Looking down from the ridge towards my campingspot.


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Almost at the summit.


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And at the summit. Look at me being happy about it.


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Nice late afternoon lights on my way down.


So after 2 days at the youthhostel, I thought I was up for Beinn Liath Mor, Sgurr Ruadh an Fhuar Tholl in one day. I wasn't. I finished Beinn Liath Mor as good and as bad as it went (report to come soon) and went back at the hostel for another 2 days. My ever growing right foot with a wound on it that by now looked like Mac 'n' Cheese, I decided to see a docter, who pumped quite a big dose of antibiotics in me. That treatment gave me enough courage to have a go at An Ruadh Stac (report also to come soon), but that definately was my last adventure this holiday. I'm sat here now in a lovely little hostel at the foot of Sail Mhor (Ardessie) as I'm looking back on this holiday with mixed feelings.
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Re: 3 Wildcamps, 4 summits in Torridon

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:46 pm

Hi Jacob, good to hear from you again!

Quite a strange story, in that, although it's obviously wet, you did seem to get some reasonable weather and views - and that at a very risky time of the year in the matter of good weather! The morning after your camp in Coire Mhic Fearchair looks like it was superb.

However, it has to be said that the plan "...to go round the back towards Liathach and ascend into Coire na Caime and again put up the tent, make a 3 star dinner and enjoy the lovely sunny Scottish weather." was a bit optimistic - as I'm sure you know!

A real pity about the blister. It's something I haven't had for decades, mainly since I started using double skin socks (1000 mile socks). You might want to investigate these.

I plan to be in Torridon in November, but am reconciled to the idea that good weather is not very likely :roll: .
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Re: 3 Wildcamps, 4 summits in Torridon

Postby jacob » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:03 pm

Alteknacker wrote:Hi Jacob, good to hear from you again!


Thanks Alteknacker, it feels good to be "back".
I had lovely weather for two full days. I have seen a lot of rain as well and felt a lot of galeforce winds. Nothing new there, though it is my layman impression that spring (in which I usually visited) in Scotland is more like the "4 seasons in 1 day" thing, whereas autumn is more persistent in it's weather patterns.

However, it has to be said that the plan "...to go round the back towards Liathach and ascend into Coire na Caime and again put up the tent, make a 3 star dinner and enjoy the lovely sunny Scottish weather." was a bit optimistic - as I'm sure you know!


I haven't got a clue what you're talking about :lol:
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Re: 3 Wildcamps, 4 summits in Torridon

Postby Mal Grey » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:54 pm

Wow, quite an adventure, and quite a route through these magnificent mountains. I hope the wild, atmospheric conditions in your photos leave stronger memories than the pain from the foot!

Fair play to you, the plan may not have worked out, but the route was potentially a completely stunning way to see Torridon and the Coulin Forest. :clap:

Great images, too.
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Re: 3 Wildcamps, 4 summits in Torridon

Postby jacob » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:03 pm

Thanx Mal,

I'm not so much worried for what memories will stick to me. But just to be on the safe side, I'll keep the photos of my rotting foot out of yet another photobook. :lol:
I've had a great week and a half, and as promised, two more walkreports to come.

cheers,

Jacob
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