Out in the mountains at last. Coire Lair Torridon and Sgorr Ruadh

What a great day, I have not been out since I fell just before New Year. We went out to the wonderful West to Torridon’s  Coire Lair near Achnasheallach. This area is forgotten by mountaineers it has some magnificent mountains, away from the crowds and some special views. The forecast was good and we had a great drive up to the hills, every few minutes a different view of old familiar hills, it was great to be out. You start this walk from the railway station, it is great to see the wee train slowly passing along the glen that the road follows. How many railway stations have this view of the great south east corrie of Fuar Tholl I doubt few in Scotland? The train is so important for the area and such a great part of the area, it is now part of the journey.

Achnashellach Station   From the railway station the path goes through the forest and follows a great path by the river Lair, the paths here are incredible made many years ago. to my mind they are the best I have ever walked on. The effort and time it must have taken to make these walkways to heaven? The views of Fuar Tholl open every turn,its great cliffs in the snow we stop and wonder at, climbs abound on the cliff faces. Glaciation has done its work here, with huge corries and cliffs sculpted and terraced cliffs. What a place, the path works it way effortlessly to the beleach past loch Coire Clair a wondrous area. The Loch is clear and mirror like with reflections of Beinn Liath Mhor  making us stop and drink the views. The huge Mainreachan buttress juts out like a huge piece of cake, ice is forming but the buttresses are black. I have had the privilege to climb here on this huge cliff many years ago, memories flood back. There are so many other climbs, you can see why this cliff has so much to offer.

A look across at the Torridon Hills.

Fuar Tholl and the Mainreachan Buttress

The boys continue to Fuar tholl and I carry on past the beleach and on to the summit by big snow slopes to Sgorr Ruadh, now in the mist and hard going on the snow. No footsteps and across no man’s land hard going for me as I am unfit, no views at the top and off down as back and body is sore. I soon reach the main path again and catch views of the Torridon giants in the distance. It cleared again as I walked off, such is life, there was no one about I and  enjoy the solitude in this great place. The sun is out and the colours  shine, the boys are back at the car a few minutes after me full of the joys of a great day on a wonderful mountain.   It great to be back in the hills.

At the weekend there was an article in the local paper about the future of RAF Mountain Rescue, I have thought deeply about it. I hope to put my thoughts to paper tomorrow. It is also the 25 th Anniversary of a black day for Mountain Rescue. The Wessex helicopter from RAF Leuchars crashed on Ben More near Crianlarich on the first of Feb. The Killin Mrt team leader was killed and 2 others friends very badly injured, it was a day that changed my life.

Today’s tip: Live every day and never take for granted what you have.

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Aircraft incidents, Enviroment, Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Out in the mountains at last. Coire Lair Torridon and Sgorr Ruadh

  1. Nice blog Heavy, lots of good stuff in there. When’s the long awaited book coming out? Great to see you out and about and great to look at all those posts of yours on Facebook.
    All the best – Ginge Williams.


    • heavywhalley says:

      Thanks mate – really enjoyed out on the hill with Ned & Megy hope you are still out. It amazing how slow I am but really love seeing more. Book is very slow, blog is getting me into writing daily. My life is better apart from body falling apart, I must get to a Valley re union. You doing okay? Hope life is good for you.

      This is my email now heavywhalley@heavywhalley.com

      Many thanks for the comments, you were one of MR Finest, thanks for looking after me at St Athans and Valley!


  2. Taff says:

    I’m enjoying your blogs Heavy

    Like you at 69 its hard work just bumbling in the hills these days.


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