1055 m. |
Translation: Peak of the grey corrie
Pronuncation: speetyan a chora lay (leehach)
2000 The hill of hills. Since we had tried to climb Liathach in 1995 and had failed due to bad weather close to the ridge of the hill it had been on our mind. Now on a very sunny Saturday in September we set out to climb this precious Torridonian hill. This being the first Munro we climbed in this particular party since we went up Beinn Sgritheall in September 1995 we were very much looking forward to it.
Comming from Lower Diabaig we set out early in the morming from the car park in Glen Torridon close to where the well-maintained path up the Allt an Doire Ghairbh leads up into Toll a’ Meitheach. We were soon overtaken by several hillwalkers among them being a very swift walking lady who – as we were to learn later – was from California.
We paused high up in the Toll and could see the lochans on top of Seana Mheallan across the Glen. Branching to the right we soon reached the bealach west of Stuc A’ Choire Dhuibh Bhig. We paused for some photographs and some water and continued west along the main ridge over the two subsidiary tops of Bidean Toll A’ Mhuic to the bealach below Spidean a’ Choire Leith where the alternative route from Toll a’ Meitheach joins the path on the ridge. It looked very steep indeed from up there.
From this point it was a short and sharp ascent to the summit of the day’s first Munro Spidean a’ Choire Leith. There we were soon accompanied by half a dozen other climbers, among them the Californian climber, who were all happy that they had made it and that the weather was so fine.
The view across the glens to Beinn Alligin, Beinn Dearg and Beinn Eighe were marvellous. Most exciting was the look ahead, though, along the ridge of Liathach towards its second Munro Mullach an Rathain. Pinnacles, vertical drops and great corries lay ahead. We soon continued down the southern ridge of Spidean a’ Choire Leith to where the Pinnacle Ridge Am Fasarinen starts. We decided to walk along the bypass path on the south of the crest and were rewarded with spectacular views of the Pinnacles above and Glen Torridon below. What a sense of airiness and exposure.
The crest of the pinnacles can’t offer bigger thrills. The sandstone towers are terrific from the path and all the fun ends much too soon when the path connects to the grassy ridge leading to Mullach an Rathain. On this second Munro we paused and watched some climbers come up the stone towers of Meall Dearg. We descended down into the Toll Bhan and quickly lost height on the scree. Where it gives way to semi-level ground we refilled our water flasks and paused before we continued on the steepish descent to Glen Torridon over heathery, grassy and slabby terrain. From the trees standing where the Allt Luib Molaich flows into the River Torridon we strolled back to our car past Glen Cottage.
This mountain is certainly one of the very finest hills in Scotland and deserves further exploration. It was most gratifying to climb Liathach in the same party that tried to do it in 1995 and didn’t succeed then. We accomplished this feat now and made it together, in 2000.
Description This is one of the great Torridonian mountains, rising on the north side of Glen Torridon in tier upon tier of sandstone cliffs and terraces from the banks of the River Torridon to the shattered pinnacles of Am Fasarinen, almost a thousand metres above. The mountain as a whole is an eight-kilometre long ridge running from west to east above the head of Loch Torridon and the lower part of Glen Torridon. The most spectacular part of it is the narrow pinnacled ridge between the two highest summits. On its north side Liathach has three corries backed by dark sandstone cliffs, of these, Coire na Caime is particularly impressive.The traverse of Liathach involves some exposed and difficult scrambling which calls for mountaineering skill and experience, particularly in winter or in bad weather. However, the two highest points can be reached by routes that are relatively straightforward. The ascent of Spidean a' Choire Leith starts from the A896 road in Glen Torridon a few hundred metres east of Glen Cottage and goes directly and steeply up the path to Toll a' Meitheach. Below the headwall of this corrie make a rising traverse rightwards to reach a col and turn left along the main ridge to the summit. The ascent of Mullach an Rathain starts from the pinewood near the foot of Glen Torridon and goes up a path near the Allt an Tuill Bhain which leads high up into the corrie below the peak. The last part of the ascent is up the ridge on the west side of the corrie.