962 m. |
Translation: Red peak
Pronuncation: skoor rooa
The Coire Lair Skyline. Route 57 in Ralph Storer’s book. Many times had I gone through this particular tour on the map. But since we had abysmal weather on or first try and only made it round the first half of the Skyline i.e. Beinn Liath Mhor we decided to take a different, non-standard approach to Sgorr Ruadh. We parked our car at the car park normally used as a starting point for Beinn Eighe in Glen Torridon. Then we crossed the river and followed the path which passes the SMC’s Ling Hut and continues due south along the right bank of the Allt Frianach. The path, which is very well maintained, leads through the corrie of the hundred hillocks. After 4 km the good path ends and gives way to a rather indistinct one which climbs up the hillside in the direction of the Bealach Ban between Sgorr Ruadh and Meall Dearg. The path disappears and reappears in places and even though route finding is no problem in good weather the terrain is rather featureless. Just south-west of Beinn Liath Mhor’s western slopes we passed through a mossy section and crossed a small burn where we saw one of the biggest frogs we ever had seen in Scotland. Soon afterwards we could see the rocky knoll which dominates the Bealach Coire Lair. The ascent to Sgorr Ruadh’s shoulder from the lochan at the bealach is steep but short. The shattered stone structures of Sgorr Ruadh facing Coire Lair are interesting and impressive. Once on the ridge we carried on in a south-easterly direction over quartzite blocks. Soon we got to the higher layers of red sandstone and after we had climbed the last few metres we suddenly stood at the summit stone shelter. There the character of the hill changes completely from shattered and bouldery to grassy and plateau-ish terrain. Unfortunately the summit veiled itself in clouds soon after we got there. Frank and I rested for a short while inside the shelter and then headed back to Glen Torridon. On our way we joked that (dispite of the rather indistinct path and partly featureless terrain) we would take exactly the same route back, pass the mossy spot and find the frog sitting there on its stone. To great our surprise we did find the mossy spot without a problem, crossed the same small burn at exactly the same spot and – surprise, surprise – found the frog sitting there. Call us masters of navigation, if you wish. Soon we got back onto the good path and after another pause we strolled back to our starting point in Glen Torridon – the views of Liathach and Beinn Eighe in front of us as a compensation for the longish tramp back. Sgorr Ruadh was the last Scottish hill we climbed in the year 2000 and it was the final Torridonian Munro for me – the first one having been Beinn Alligin in September 1993 years before it got awarded the status of Double Munro.
Description These two mountains are on opposite sides of Coire Lair to the north-west of Achnashellach. Beinn Liath Mhor on the north side of the corrie is a long ridge with prominent grey quartzite screes on its crest and flanks. Sgorr Ruadh on the south side is a darker sandstone mountain which shows the characteristic terracing of the Torridonian peaks on its steep buttresses. Coire Lair itself is an impressive place, enclosed by the steep screes and cliffs of these two mountains, and the right of way from Achnashellach to Torridon goes through it and over the pass at its head.The route from Achnashellach goes up the right of way for 2 kilometres to a junction of paths. Take the right-hand one for ½ kilometre and then climb steeply north-west to reach the main ridge of Beinn Liath Mhor not far from the east top. Traverse west along the stony ridge for 2 kilometres to the summit. Descend south-west to the pass at the head of Coire Lair and climb south onto the north-west ridge leading to the summit of Sgorr Ruadh. Descend again south-east by grassy slopes to a wide col sprinkled with lochans and go between these to reach the stalker's path below Fuar Tholl. Follow this path down to join the main path in Coire Lair.