A fabulous weather day. Light winds and bags of beautiful late Summer sunshine. Perfect condtions for one of the finest mountains on the planet, Liathach. I can never tire of this amazing hill. It's now over 100 times I have traversed it's beautiful pinnacled ridge. I met up with Aileen & Ian for a late morning start on the second finest mountain. It was a memorable day.
We set off from Glen Torridon in T-Shirt and shorts (for some). Liathach's main carpark is little more than a layby, it was full. When I say full we are talking less than 10 vehicles. With a late start we were onto a winner with regards to meeting any other people on the traverse. Instincts were right. We saw less than half a dozen folk who were either just out in front or came running past us. Now we could guarantee we'd have the mountain to ourselves and savour it.
It's not long up the good path that gains the ridgeline, despite the trails relentless angle. From the ridge you get wonderful views of the Flowerdale Forest to the North. We wandered East to the obligatory Munro 'Top' of Stuc a' Choire Dhubh Bhig. This should not be missed out on the traverse as it is one of the finest (of many) viewpoints throughout the long traverse.
The rollercoaster ridgeline can now be enjoyed with stunning views either side of the rocky ridge. There are a further two Munro Tops to go up and down before reaching the first Munro summit, Spidean a' Choire Leith. There was a chill in the air but the strong sun meant it was T-shirt weather most of the time. The clarity of light was brilliant for photography. Days like this you should take your time and savour every minute and every metre.
After our break on the summit we dropped down to the start of the pinnacles, Am Fasarinen. This series of Torridonan Sandstone pinnacles is where all the scrambling on Liathach is. Some easy and some harder sections can be taken direct or bypassed. There is a much lower 'bypass path' but I personally would never go down onto this. Some of this narrow path is seriously exposed and eroded as it weves around the hillside and steep gullies on the Gen Torridon side of the mountain. You also miss all the fun and excitement!
We kept stopping to admire the scenery and enjoy the sunbathing/photography/solitude. We now had the hill to ourselves.
All to soon the final, highest of the pinnacles, Am Faserinen is gained. All the scrambling is now over and it's back to 'normal' walking for the final 20 minutes to Liathach's second Munro, Mullach an Rathain.
It was now late afternoon and some high level clouds had drifted over. From this fine view you get to see the entire Upper Loch Torridon and out to sea with the Cuillin of Skye now easily reconisable.
A long descent down into the Toll Ban Coire. I noticed the burn running down through here was very low, the lowest I have ever seen it. Enough water, though, for a refill of water bottles to see us down in the glen and a terrific end to the day. Brilliant company with some great banter along the way.