Liathach at Easter

Route: Liathach, Glen Torridon

Munros: Mullach an Rathain (Liathach), Spidean a'Choire Leith (Liathach)

Date walked: 31/03/2013

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 10.5km

Ascent: 1400m

Liathach is rated Walk Highland's favourite mountain for good reason. It's blooming marvellous.

I was there with two experienced climbers who were, mercifully, happy to do such an awesome ridge walk with me, despite my lesser experience.

We ascended at the east end of the ridge which was brutally steep. First trip away using poles and I was glad to have them, right up until the point when it came to getting the axe out and then they became a nuisance.

After donning crampons and sorting gear out we moved onto the scramble up to the top of the ridge. My two climbing mates were very helpful and gave me the guidance I needed. I was perfectly capable of doing the route but it was a matter of confidence and simply getting the basics right.

The first scramble:


The view across the ridge up to Stob a' Choire Liath Mor, with Spidean a' Choire Leith right behind it.:


One of my climbing buddies going up a very steep slope:


The ever-present danger of cornices was all too obvious:


A view from the top of the taller Munro, looking out west to the pinnacles and the other Munro top:


As we came onto the pinnacles we decided to skirt the first couple because we didn't have ropes. However the snow condition was less than ideal in the sun and as we edged around underneath we had to be careful not to slip.

The trickiest part was a scramble up a narrow bit of rock leading to an equally narrow shelf. Crampons jammed into a crevice, what was a reasonably tricky move seemed much worse because of the exposure. Confidence played a big part and I couldn't have asked for better people to climb with for that.

Just as I got to a point where I wasn't bricking it, I looked up and heard "smile!", so...I did!


We continued to make our way over the pinnacles:




Once clear, I felt relief but also a real sense of achievement. Sure, it had been scary but I had joined loads of mountaineers in the "I did it" club, having done something that wasn't a walk in the park for them at the time.

A view back on the pinnacles from the ascent to Mullach an Rathain:


And a view from on top of the Munro:


From there it was a slippy descent back to the road:


That evening we were treated to some lovely light in Glen Torridon:


The bulk of Liathach behind the hostel looked a little like it was on fire...


...which one hillside was the following evening, after a landowner set light to it!

Everything about the route was unforgettable. This mountain totally deserves every bit of praise it gets. And next time I come, I'll come better skilled, inspired in no small part by the first adventure.

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Comments: 10

Beinn Alligin at Easter

Munros: Sgurr Mor (Beinn Alligin), Tom na Gruagaich (Beinn Alligin)
Date walked: 30/03/2013
Distance: 11km
Ascent: 1370m
Comments: 6
Views: 2230


Activity: Mountain Walker
Mountain: Liathach
Place: Assynt - all of it
Gear: Scarpa Manta boots
Camera: Sony RX100 M2
Ideal day out: A crisp winter's day breaking a trail up a pristine (non-avalanching!) mountainside with a view for miles.
Ambition: Solo winter ridges

Munros: 35
Corbetts: 2

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Trips: 2
Distance: 21.5 km
Ascent: 2770m
Munros: 4

Joined: Nov 20, 2012
Last visited: Feb 17, 2018
Total posts: 122 | Search posts