Tuesday, 13 October 2015

LIATHACH TRAVERSE & OVERNIGHT BIVVY

Am Fasarinen (The Pinnacles) on Liathach
Glorious sunrise onto Spidean a' Choire Leith
 Upper Loch Torridon & Beinn Alligin from Mullach an Rathain
Am Fasarinen
Looking east toward Beinn Eighe
The Northern Pinnacles & Beinn Eighe
The final ridge onto Spidean a' Choire Leith
First light onto Liathach
Am Fasarinen
Corrie na Caime
Looking back east to Spidean a' Choire Leith
The beautiful flowerdale Forest, Beinn Eighe & Fisherfield Forest
Beinn Alligin
Sunrise on Liathach
Upper Loch Torridon in glorious sunshine
The bike in along Glen Torridon the evening before

Liathach is second on my list of top 10 mountains after An Teallach. Every time I traverse this wonderful ridge in the Torridon area I change my mind! Today was probably my most stunning outing under summer conditions. With another high pressure drifting over The Highlands, I took the opportunity of an overnight bivvy high up on the mountain. To make the trip even more memorable I cycled to the foot of the hill from Achnasheen in glorious late afternoon Autumn light, absolutely beautiful. There was a lot of high level cloud as I walked up to the ridge line of Stuc a' Choire Dhubh Bhig, the eastern most top of Liathach. I found a nice perch in some grass for my traditional' bivvy. No sleeping bag, mat, stove. Just a pertex bivvy bag, group shelter and the spare clothing in my sack. A proper bivvy! The cloud cleared and it was a brilliantly clear, star studded night with the stags roaring far below me in the corries. A 6.30am start and onto the first summit as the sun very slowly peeped up on the horizon. A cold start and an absolutely glorious early morning traverse. There was the first ice of the season on the quartz rocks which made for a careful clamber on the boulders of the first Munro, Spidean a' Choire Leith. Then comes the best bit of the traverse, Am Fasarinen - The Pinnacles. Lovely scrambling in a stunningly beautiful setting with the stags still roaring below and the sun just starting to warm the rocks.. Before you know it its over and a final stroll up to the second Munro summit of Mullach an Rathain, the western summit with those super views looking down on Upper Loch Torridon and across to Skye. It was hot on the descent back down to the glen. I didn't see another soul all day! On the bike again to Kinlochewe and what must be one of the finest 10 miles of road cycling in the Highlands. Then another 10 miles from Kinlochewe and I got to Achnasheen with 5 minutes to spare for the train back to Aviemore. One of the best 24 hours you could ever wish for!

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