Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Tuesday 17 March 2009 - Spring comes to Torridon - Beinn Dearg

"It's the first time I've seen the mountains for over a week" said our neighbour, admiring the view across the bay to Beinn Alligin. The mountain had been bathed in pink light as the sun rose this morning, and it remained sunlit all day.

Dave S went off to bag Beinn Eighe, whilst the rest off us headed up Coire Mhic Nobuil towards Beinn Dearg. The waterfalls below Alligin were impressive but the high contrast between sun and shade didn't produce a satisfactory image. So here's a rare photo of Dianne, shortly before she left us for her unexpectedly (due to a misunderstanding) low level walk back to Annat via the Ling Hut.

Whilst Di continued on the low level path. Dave O, Julie and I headed on up the good path to Bealach a' Chomhla before attacking the steep west ridge of Beinn Dearg.

A ptarmigan tried to chat to us...

"Hrrh, hrragh" - "I'm Harold" he chirped.

T-shirts had been in order lower down, but up at the summit of Beinn Dearg, reached after lunch in a sheltered spot on the ridge, an extra layer was welcome. It had taken nearly four hours.

On the final stretch to the first summit of Beinn Dearg, with Beinn Alligin behind

The views in all directions were magnificent, with the Cuillins on Skye, and Clisham on Harris, shining in the sun in the distance.

The Cuillins are about 60 km away!

It's quite a long ridge - about 4km - with some rock steps that challenged Julie's short stature. She now has bruised knees and is accepting Dave O's herbal remedies - we hope she survives his ministrations.

On the ridge, with Liathach beyond

Julie crashes down one of the rock steps

Looking back at the steep rock steps - they come directly down the steep prow (unlikely but true)

On the north side of the ridge the ice on Loch a' Choire Mhoir was breaking into a white mosaic.

At the far end of the ridge we paused for some time at Carn na Feòla to admire the twin Corbetts of Baosbheinn and Beinn an Eòin.


The descent from Carn na Feòla was steep, but sported excellent views of Liathach and had no difficulties, apart for Dave who marched purposefully across the path and to the wrong side of the river.

It was a pleasant amble back to the car park, past a young but very dead deer (we also saw lots of live specimens today) and then encountering the first people we have seen this week, a painter near the waterfalls and a young couple on a slow stroll.

The 16km walk took us 8 hours including 1 hour of stops - a slow amble in lovely spring weather. The route, shown below, involved about 1167 metres ascent and would have taken Naismith 5 hours or so.


Reunited at Annat Lodge we enjoyed lamb tagine and other goodies before flaking out in the intense heat of the living room.

2 comments:

James Boulter said...

Glad to see that spring is on its way in the Highlands. Will be doing a coast to coast from Evanton to Ullapool in just over 4 weeks. Has the snow disapeared from the hills?

Phreerunner said...

Spring!
It got progressively more summery all week, but there's still a bit of snow above around 900 metres, and crampons could be needed in places above 1000 metres. Walkers on Liathach found them helpful, and the higher mountains further south have quite a lot more snow.
If you are taking a northerly route I doubt you'll encounter any significant snow on your trip, but you should take sun cream and midge repellant!