Monday, 19 January 2015


East face Sgurr Ruadh looking superb
Beinn Liath Mhor's long summit ridge, The big Torridon peaks to the right
Steep slopes from Coire Lair onto Beinn Liath Mhor, Fuar Tholl in the background
Liathach & Beinn Eighe
Fine views of Sgurr Ruadh along the south ridge of Beinn Liath Mhor
Looking back to the Achnashellach Forest and remote Munros of Monar
Coire Lair, Sgurr Ruadh and the Munro summit of Beinn Liath Mhor
Some lovely neve on the decent
Beinn Alligin & Liathach
A mix of powder, ice, neve and windslab today
Another stunningly beautiful and very cold day with overnight temperatures plummeting to around  -10 C  throughout many areas in the Highlands. Of course this means clear skies and no wind. With these conditions it's always great to explore the very special places in Scotland and I headed to the Glen Carron/Torridon area. I'm never sure weather to include the Munros around Coire Lair as 'Torridon'. The fabulous mountains  between Glen Carron and Glen Torridon offer superb views of the Torridon peaks, therefore I class it  has Torridon! The journey from my home in Aviemore to Achnashellach is one of the most beautifuly scenic rail journeys in the country. With snow lying at all levels it was even more spectacular today. Achnashellach station as got to be the finest starting point of any station on the Highland lines. Shortly after you disembark here you get the most spectacular views of Fuar Tholl at the entrance to Coire Lair. Today's conditions meant trail breaking in powder snow lower down the hill. To make a fine circuit of the three mountains that surround the coire (Fuar Tholl, Sgurr Ruadh and Beinn Liath Mhor) would be a very long and tiring route in the conditions we have just now. So I was quite happy to settle for just one mountain, Beinn Liath Mhor. Thankfully there were a couple of folk some way ahead of me who had made a trail through the ankle deep snow but it was still hard work. With spectacular views and sunshine it felt a lot easier! Its been some years since I was on the Munro of Beinn Liath Mhor and I forgot how steep the initial slopes are. There was a lot of wind slab around so careful route choice was exercised. Thankfully there are plenty of crags and boulders to make a safe route up the hill. I spent over 30 minutes on the summit savouring the views of the big Torridon Munros ( Beinn Alligin, Liathach & Bienn Eighe). It must be one of the finest views of these hills, they look like  it's one long ridge! It was late by the time I left the summit and I found a better route back down the hill, taking a line further east gave some good neve and more consolidated snow. Timed perfectly for the 6.06pm train back. Days like this and places like this are so special and I'm sure I will be back soon this winter.

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