926 m. |
Translation: Big grey hill
Pronuncation: byn leea voar
Due to bad motivation and even worth weather when i first tried to tackle it in 2000 Beinn Liath Mhor was still on my ticking list. Call it fate or just coincidence but the choosen location of the 2015 session made me use a very seldom choosen approach – in terms of locations and transportation – from Coulin. To save me some steps Cord offered to drive me from our cottage using the landrover track with our Fiat 500 upgrade called V70. After a little consideration where we should end our approach trip, he dropped me off a little bit too early, the V70 would have easily made the 1.5 miles to the hut, but never mind. The hut is in a very good state except the paint choosen if you take the notes in the hut seriously.
The walk along Easan Dorcha is exceptional beautiful and does in my opinion not lack comparison to the walk up Glen Derry. After reaching Drochaird Coire Lair – pittily in worsening weather – i started the very, very steep and narrow ascent to the ridge. I have not seen that many steep and narrow ascents, here you can trust me. The bad weather and the steepness accompinied me to Point 876. There only the steepness left me. It had snowed very heavy end of this April 2015 and i walked in newly snow up to my knees ignoring happily all the covered stone pits which i hit constantly more often than needed.
And up on the ridge two old friends accompanied me: “Gustly Winds” and “Hardly No Views”. Luckily the ridge is this defined that my eldest friend “Navigational Problems” should join me only later that day. After Point 876 i enyjoyed the downhill session which ended too soon with the reascent to Point 887. I was lucky that the elements enabled me to take some very dramatic pictures – where i met a long time forgotten fourth friend named “Loose My Glove”. There it went. Black Shadow. But since that remarkable day in the Fannaichs back in 1998 where i lost a glove i am always prepared to such situations because i carry 3-4 pairs of spare gloves in my rucksack.
Things got now even more interesting. Iced rock formations, waist high snow, strengthening gusts, in one word: lovely conditions. But i really loved it. And since i was not totally engulfed in clouds i used every chance to take pictures of the breathtaking landscape that surrounded me: the approaching summit of Beinn Liath Mhor with the Torridian giants in the background. Marvellous. I felt lucky. Lucky even more later to survive the choosen descent.
But first i had to concquer this Munro, well earned but no time and no conditions for sandwiches. I descended and then the troubles began. Cord had already warned me about the rocks and the descent i had chosen was definitely not the best in winterly conditions. The rock formations combined with snow and ice coverings led me to a zig-zag-down-up route to the bealach. My heart was heavily pounding and i had to wear my grivels due to the lack of crampons to more or less securely climb down. There was more than one occasion where i cursed my self on that afternoon.
But then i finally reached safe terrain and made my way the usual stumbling and looking and navigating. I reached the path far beyond the point i ought to reach it. But i did not mind. This path was my friend for the next 3 miles before reaching my approach path. Nevertheless i enjoyed the strolling back to the hut where the path developed into a track. Cord was already waiting at Point Alpha to pick me up and spare me the last mile to Coulin Farmhouse, thanks my friend!
That was a hell of a day. And i would no like to have missed one single second of it. A real adventure. A marvelous landscape. And a real Munro.
Max elevation: 957 m
Min elevation: 107 m
Total climbing: 1118 m
Total descent: -1122 m
Total time: 06:50:58
2000 We set out from Achnashellach on a day which looked quite promising in terms of water comming down from the skies. Some sunny spells on our drive from Lower Diabaig to our starting point had given us glimpse of the sun, however. But those were the only rays of sunlight until the hike was over. We soon reached the mouth of Coire Lair but couldn’t see anything because the hills were shrouded in clouds and rain was comming down on us.We followed the path to the foot of the south east face of Beinn Liath Mhor. From there Alex and I (Frank’s went back to the car – the knee) climbed up the very steep heathery slopes of the hill. That was a real slog. After some scrambling on wet, wet stone higher up on the hill we reached the ridge just 50 meters west of the most easterly summit of Beinn Liath Mhor. The wind was strong and unrelenting. Rain was comming down. Alex and I stamped along the ridge which narrowed and then broadened to the second summit of the day and further on to the main summit of the hill which is all white quartzite boulders. We rested in the lee of the big summit cairn and ate our sandwiches holding them in our cold hands. We aborted the descent to the head of corrie due south down the summit slopes and retraced our steps back to the summit cairn. From there we went due west and turned to a south-westerly direction at a lochan 1 km west of the summit of Beinn Liath Mhor. With some additional scambling over wet and slippery stone ledges overgrown with grass and moss we finally reached the path comming from Bealach Corrie Lair: Wet boots, wet legs – me at least. We had gone too far west and had to walk back east to the rocky knoll at the head of the bealach. Here the rain subsided and for the first time in three hours we could see a little further than 1 km. We even joked about continuing to Sgorr Ruadh but then quickly made up our minds to call it a day and walk back down Corrie Lair which is a very scenic corrie indeed. Beinn Liath Mhor looked quite interesting from Corrie Lair with the clouds clearing from it. A pity we did have such appalling weather. A very wet day out in the hills but nonetheless rewarding since we had battled against wind and rain and still had been energetic enough to enjoy it. A hard-won hill. Frank waited for us at the car and off we went to a warm bath.
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.