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Liathach


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One of the Torridon giants, perhaps at its best on a sunny, sharp autumn day. Driving down Glen Torridon, the north flank is soon dominated by the seven km ridge of this mountain. There are two Munro summits and three other tops on this walk, for which a head for heights and a sure foot is useful.

Begin from the A896 road, about 700m east of Glen Cottage. Take the good path up the east bank of the Allt an Doire Ghairbh, to enter the Toll a' Meitheach. Above a fork in the burn cliffs bar progress. Take the right fork of the path to reach the col west of Stuc a'Choire Dhuibh Bhig (915m). A short detour to climb this top is rewarded by a fine view of Beinn Eighe, a fellow giant.

Go back over the 833m col and continue along the crest of the ridge, bending north-west then west on quartzite rocks round Coire Leith, with a great spectacle of sandstone buttresses broken by gullies and transacted by numerous airy ledges. The ridge climbs over the twin tops of Bidean Toll a' Mhuic before the summit of Spidean a' Choire Leith is reached, the highest point of the day at 1055m.

The next section of the ridge is the difficult part and begins with a descent south-west over quartzite rocks then grass to the start of the Am Fasarinen pinnacles. The north, Coire na Caime side of the ridge is very exposed but has more sure rock underfoot than the alternative of the exposed path system on the south flank. This is especially awkward when wet, with loose sections where it crosses minor gullies, so unless you are really unhappy with exposure it is usually better to stay on the crest of the ridge.

These difficulties end on the peak of Am Fasarinen (927m), after which the ridge broadens and leads easily, with one minor bump, to Liathach's second mountain, Mullach an Rathan (1023m). The descent back to the glen begins by going west for about 100m before bending south down the rocky ridge for a distance. When obviously easy, drop into the corrie of Toll Bhan, taking a rough path near the burn and so to the road and a short hoof back up to your starting point.

 

Maps: OS Sheet 25 'Glen Carron & Glen Affric'
Distance: 10 km
Ascent: 1300 m
Time: 7 hours
Food & Drink: There is a selection of fairly typical west coast hotels at Kinlochewe, Achnasheen, Poolewe and down the glen in Torridon. Bunkhouse and barn accommodation is also available at Kinlochewe. We once watched an exciting football final in one of them, where the gale kept blowing the aerial off the roof and the locals kept putting it back up. Not fixing you understand, just replacing it. Typical west coast!

 

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