DAY 82 ( 21st JULY )
A Lucky Day Today
Beinn Liath Mhor (926m, Munro 258) “Big grey hill”
Sgor Ruadh (962m, Munro 195) ‘red peak”
Maol Chean- Dearg (933m, Munro 247) ‘bald red head’
After yesterday’s hills I decided to head for the Achnashellach area next, the drive took me through Beauly and as I hadn’t had my tea I couldn’t resist the easy option of fish and chips. While there I checked out the forecast it was rain early on clearing about midday so no rush to get going? I parked up for the night just before Achnasheen with a view of the hills so it would give a idea what it would be like on the morning.
A long lie in today and awoke to rain and strong winds with the hills clagged in here we go again I thought. I set of at 10 and headed down to Achnashellach station and parked up, my intension was to walk down the road to Coulags and come back to the van, I never realised how busy it was and didn’t fancy the 4.5 mile walk with Penny on the lead.
I was pondered what to do when a van drew in beside me with a young lad driving, I thought to myself if you don’t ask you don’t get. I went over and asked nicely if he would pick me up if I left my van down at Coulags and take me back here no problem was his answer, problem solved, I gave him a fiver for his help.
It was still drizzling when I set off at 11.15 but I was committed now , I took the right of way path from the station heading up to Bealach Coire Lair which was running with water with all the recent rain, just before the high point I left it and headed for the high col between the main summit and a small top , the weather was improving all the time and by the time I had reached Beinn Liath Mhor it was clear ,all the Torridon hills were in the clag as were the other Achnashellach hills , as I descended my next objective cleared also , it’s a tricky route down to the bealach especially when everything is wet .
A easy ascent up the grassy slope to the col and a rocky ridge onto Sgorr Ruadh, I had 2 options to get to Maol Chean-Dearg and I chose to head down the SE ridge towards Fuar Tholl then W down steep slopes to pick up the main path to the hill at 200m,
I never thought about having to cross the river it was quite a challenge. Followed this washed out path to the high point then steeply up through the rocks and finally to the summit , I got three views today but It was all very local to where I was . Back the way I came to meet up with the main path, past the bothy and finally back to the van, within 5 minutes the rain was on, that’s what I call a lucky day .
Today’s totals: 15.94mls, 2062m ascent, 6hrs 38mins.
242 Munros to date.
This is a great area and it seems to be getting busier. From the railway station where you can park near the path goes through the forest and follows a great path by the river Lair. These paths here are incredible made many years ago and some feet of engineering to me they are some of the best in Scotland and among the finest I have ever walked on. The effort and time it must have taken to make these walkways to heaven? It is not just the Munros but there are two great Corbetts in among these Munro giants. The first from the station dominates 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.
The other Corbet An Ruadh Stac is a mountain of great wildness, it is tricky and can involve some serious scrambling many miss these two hills in chasing these Munros. The three Munros and two Corbetts in one long day one of the finest in Scotland? Any comments?