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Pensioners Torridon Weekend (WH Meet)

Pensioners Torridon Weekend (WH Meet)


Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:04 pm

Munros included on this walk: Fionn Bheinn, Ruadh-stac Mor (Beinn Eighe), Sgurr Mor (Beinn Alligin), Spidean Coire nan Clach (Beinn Eighe), Tom na Gruagaich (Beinn Alligin)

Corbetts included on this walk: Fuar Tholl

Date walked: 08/11/2018

Time taken: 19.9 hours

Distance: 54 km

Ascent: 4040m

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This was a kind of extended weekend as part of the WH meet which was superbly organised by Hugh in a fantastic location. As we all know Torridon has enough hills of all shapes and sizes to keep everyone happy and busy and the Youth Hostel is an ideal base and has everything we need for a WH invasion.
One of the few benefits of being retired is that we can decide to add a day or two to the weekend and that is what we did. I volunteered to drive and the 3 of us managed to squish into my small family car with ease and also easily managed the 400+ mile trip on one tank of petrol. The plan was to leave Fife at 7 o'clock with our next stop being breakfast in Inverness. I must mention our breakfast for all the wrong reasons, quantity and quality it was fine, but as we all had bacon we all ended up having a bit of a raging thirst.
In an effort to keep Parminder's Munro tally moving we opted to nip up Fionn Bheinn, especially as we were passing through Achnasheen. My last visit to Fionn Bheinn was the opposite of wall to wall sunshine, I trudged up the hillside with Callander Girl and we saw absolutely nothing, couldn't see or find a path and ended up amongst the peat hags.
So after our 'big breakfast' we arrived at Achnasheen and parked in the last available space in the railway station car park, kitted up and set off on our way. We found the path rather easily and it certainly helps if you can see ahead and where you are going.

Thursday 8th Nov 2018 - Fionn Bheinn
Distance: 12km
Ascent: 805m
Time: 3hrs 10mins
Participants: Me, George and Parminder

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Says it all

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Shades of my last outing in the Borders, barking dogs, not as many or as aggressive

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We didn't fancy crossing this as there are no handrails

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Looking back down towards Achnasheen

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One of the locals posing for us

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Water feature

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Looking back down over the bogfest - that can be avoided, as we did on our descent

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Part of the hydro scheme?

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Looking NW

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Looking towards the summit trig

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Looking eastish

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Fionn Bheinn is certainly a fantastic viewing point

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For anyone venturing up Fionn Bheinn I would suggest heading up the shoulder which is east of the path, that way you will avoid the bogfest - we did that for our descent like all hills the boggy areas are so obvious when you are able to look down on them.

Friday 9th Nov 2018 - Beinn Eighe
Distance: 18km
Ascent: 1120m
Time: 7hrs
Participants: Me, George, Parminder and Steve Smart briefly

After a cool evening in the hostel due to the heating and hot water being out of order we decided to try avoid digging out our head torches by having an early start. I knew the walk would take about 7 or 8 hours and as the daylight hours were becoming limited so we wanted to start walking by 7.30am. As usual I didn't sleep very well, the bedrooms were freezing, however a couple of seconds under the duvet body heat was soon restored. We all got up about 6am and left just as it was starting to get light. The hostel really is a superb base for any of the nearby big hills of Eighe, Liathach & Alligin within a 10mins drive.

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Bonus shot, Beinn Eighe taken from the roadside on the way to the Hostel

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The very friendly stag at the Beinn Eighe car park, obviously used to being fed and expects it too

We opted to tackle the route anti-clockwise for a number of reasons which turned out to be a great idea. We had the wind behind us on the ascent and it was forecast to strengthen as the day progressed. My only concern was the descent down to the lochan near the triple buttresses as it was badly eroded 3 years ago and unlikely to have improved.

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Early morning 2km walk along the road

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Good path with a nice gradient until the steep stuff is reached

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Not much water coming downhill, Liathach peeking out

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Looking down and across the road to Sgurr Dubh

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Zoomed shot of Loch's Clair and Coulin

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Steeper section which is badly eroded

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Looking towards the eastern end of the ridge

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Looking across to Liathach

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The final push up towards the summit, looking down on the southern shoulder

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Gairloch zoomed, nice and sunny just about all day and we hardly saw the sun all day

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Looking NW, stunning view

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A few action shots

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Summit shot

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Looking back along the ridge

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The way ahead with the 2nd summit in the distance

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Atmospheric shot with the cloud rushing in

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Sun still shining at Gairloch

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Looking back round the ridge

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Looking down at the descent route as we were passing en route to our second summit

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2nd summit, no views, it was very windy and freezing

It was whilst we were having lunch in a sheltered spot below the summit a fellow walker appeared out of the greyness and as he neared we soon recognised who had appeared - Steve Smart. We had a chat and finished our lunch whilst Steve nipped up to the summit and returned to join us for the descent down to the bealach before our descent. Steve was invited to join us but he fancied walking into the strong wind and tackling our first Munro. For the record he must have run round the ridge, as he was sitting with a smug look on his face in his car when we arrived back at the car park.

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Here is a brief video which demonstrates how strong the wind was, had to stop abruptly as I thought I was going to lose my hat

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The beginning of the descent

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George casually looking up

Apologies to Parminder as he features in the majority of the descending photo's, I think he was secretly making it look tricky so he could have his photo taken.

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Different technique

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Waiting and shouting advice

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Another technique

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At this point Parminder got cramp, hence the lack of smiling and was informing us quietly

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Easy peasy now

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This slightly lower down and it looks like Parminder is climbing back up to enjoy it again

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Easy path now

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Triple Buttress

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Looking back - the descent route looks almost vertical

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Sail Mhor

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Triple Butress again with a bit of cloud hovering

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Water feature

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Looking west

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The path on the long walk out, Liathach posing nicely

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Our friendly stag waiting for us, I gave him the majority of my Granny Smith apple, which he struggled to eat

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Granny Smith on the ground, George chopped it up for him

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Nice pose

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Waiting for George's Pink Lady apple, which he much preferred

That was Beinn Eighe, a fabulous ridge and days walk.

Saturday 10th Nov 2018 - Ben Alligin
Distance: 10km
Ascent: 1110m
Time: 6hrs 20mins
Participants: Me, George, Parminder, Steve (Smart), Martin (G), Jamie & Danii (And Tara the collie)

Now we are onto Saturdays plan, on Friday evening I asked just about everyone what their plans were and managed to add a trio to our little group. The forecast wasn't overly clever, plenty of strong wind and the occasional shower, the afternoon was supposed to be improving so we opted to tackle the route clockwise with a view to saving the Horns till later. With the forecast better for later we 'binned' the early start and left just after 8am and were walking shortly after 8.30.

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Looking south across Upper Loch Torridon

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Early morning low level shot

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Just about the only time we saw the sun

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Slightly higher up, weather on the change

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Looking worse, soon be in cloud

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Trudging uphill into the cloud

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Looking back downhill, cracking view

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Quick pit stop

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A brief view, I had to be quick to catch it

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The way ahead

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Almost a view

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The happy crew

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Different angle and a view

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Brief video, had to cease abruptly as my hat was about to be removed by the wind

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Another group shot

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Arty shot, quite pleased with the outcome

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The fun will begin soon

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Another arty shot

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The beauty of Torridon

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The way ahead

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Sun and low cloud make for some great shots

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Taken from one of the cairns along the route

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A couple of posers

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Cloud getting in the way

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Very arty shot, took quite a few - not like me

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The long descent is now about to begin

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Sun assisting with another arty shot on the side of Beinn Dearg

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Most of the descending now done

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Zoomed shot of the huge crack on the ridge

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Water feature

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As promised the weather did improve, looking back at the Horns

That was Ben Alligin, back to the Hostel for shower and the usual Saturday evening fun and games.

Sunday 11th Nov 2018 - Fuar Tholl
Distance: 13km
Ascent: 920m
Time: 5hrs 5mins
Participants: The usual gruesome threesome, Me, George & Parminder

The end of another successful Walk Highlands meet and like the rest of the folk who attended I would like to pass on our appreciation and thanks to Hugh for organising. Our plan for the Sunday was to have a relaxing day on the way home and I suggested Fuar Tholl as it certainly looked impressive when I tackled the nearby Munros a few years ago. Having said our goodbyes (to those who were up) we set off before 9am and were walking by 9.30. The forecast was certainly favourable as rain was scheduled to appear about 2pm and that turned out to be almost spot on (pardon the pun) as we were almost back at the car.

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A quick photo of the hill at the back of the hostel, looking rather impressive

I parked in the layby come parking area in Achnashellach not far from the railway station, there were already a few cars there.

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Achnashellach railway station, wonder what rush hour is like?

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That is where we are heading, looks fairly close, the slight drawback is the ascent is from the other side

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Good path which takes the majority of walkers to Beinn Liath Mhor and neighbour

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Arty shot looking back

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Parminder was nominated to lead, saves him dangling at the rear

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Beinn Liath Mhor ridge which is a cracking walk

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Looking across the glen to Beinn Liath Mhor and it's little lochan

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Getting nearer to our target

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You can tell when we are ascending as George has his head down

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One of the many lochans at the foot of Fuar Tholl

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Sgorr Ruadh

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Looking across to Maol Chean-dearg

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Ascending up Fuar Tholl

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Loch Carron not zoomed

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Sgorr Ruadh again from higher up

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Loch Carron zoomed

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MCD again, too good not to post

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Looking across to Beinn Liath Mhor from on high

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BLM from the summit area of Fuar Tholl

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Western end of Fuar Tholl and Sgorr Ruadh on the right

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First of 3 short videos from the summit of Fuar Tholl

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2nd one

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3rd one

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Selfie, don't take many as most of my photo's feature the other old yins

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Our descent route, quite a long way down - George romping down

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Parminder not quite romping downhill

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George waiting for Parminder

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Not quite romping down

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Looking across to Sgorr Ruadh

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Descent getting easier

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Looking back at the impressive buttress

Fuar Tholl is a fantastic hill that is a superb viewing point at 907m it is only a few inches short of being a Munro. We met a young local couple on the ascent (they overtook us) and we had a good chat with them on the summit. We discussed our descent route whilst ascending and decided to follow the couple down the scree slope at Coire Mainnrichean, there is an obvious path and like most loose scree slopes is eroded. The descent probably cut off about 1km and saved descending over a scrambly bit on the way up Creag Mainnrichean. The walk out was rapid and we managed to catch up and then have a chat with Andy Lawson and his female walking partner (sorry forgotten your name), they had been doing one of the Munros they didn't manage earlier in the weekend.
Now it was just a matter of driving home, we had already decided to stop in Inverness for a burger and it was rather good.
A very productive weekend, the chances of visiting 5 Munros and a Corbett in November are probably very rare, so thanks again to Hugh for organising the weather as well.
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Re: Pensioners Torridon Weekend (WH Meet)

Postby parminder » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:59 pm

Well done Martin.... Great photos, great write up of the outing....thanks hugh for organizing a great meet.Thanks. to all at the meet old and new friends... :clap: :clap:
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Re: Pensioners Torridon Weekend (WH Meet)

Postby M4RTIN » Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:22 am

Nice Report, Martin, with plenty of pictures (as usual). :wink:
Really enjoyed Alligin with you guys; always nice to get out on the hill with you guys.
:thumbup:
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Re: Pensioners Torridon Weekend (WH Meet)

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:41 pm

If all Scottish pensioners could do what you did that weekend, we wouldn't have to worry about the general health of the older generation! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I must admit, we did Beinn Eighe multiple times, but we never thought about bum-shuffling down the stone shute. Brilliant exercise - must try it next time I'm up there :wink:

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Re: Pensioners Torridon Weekend (WH Meet)

Postby sunshine65 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:36 pm

Brilliant report Martin you guys are the business
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Re: Pensioners Torridon Weekend (WH Meet)

Postby kevsbald » Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:08 pm

You got a great haul of hills there. Nice. Liked the bumshuffle technique down the Beinn Eight lochain exit.
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Re: Pensioners Torridon Weekend (WH Meet)

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:53 pm

Great report with excellent pics :clap: :clap: :clap: . I was really sorry not to be able to make this weekend, and you seem to have had way better weather than you had a right to expect given the forecast. Now I doubly regret missing it!

As others, I appreciate the bum shuffle down the scree into Coire Mhic Fhearchair. The last time I was up there I also descended this scree by a bum slide, but on that occasion it was on deep snow :D .
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