“The weather had a great forecast for the West” my friend Kalie said “West is best” so I came over late on Thursday night. I had just had a tooth taken out on Wednesday and was not feeling great. Yet the drive through on Wednesday was stunning I have rarely seen the hills and the light as good. Hidden gullies enhanced by the shadows, the blue skies and even late on the sunlight were surreal for me. There were lots of vans parked in lay -byes the great rush for the NC 500 was on. I love the last bit of the journey past the Loch views of the mighty Torridon Giants Beinn Eighe and Liathach then the drive round from Sheildaig where you can see Beinn Alligin in its great bulk.
I had an early night but a very bad sleep but my gear was all sorted before I left home. We were away early after a breakfast of porridge heading for Beinn Alligin. Again the journey from Kalies was magnificent and even she said that it was the best she had seen it. I knew I would be slow today little sleep but the weather was so good.
We arrived at a nearly empty car park above Loch Torridon and slowly headed uphill. It’s straight from sea level so a good lot of effort. It is a great path though and warm though only 0830. The path goes up into the big Corrie Laoigh and follows a burn up the hill. We needed lots of water breaks for Islay and ourselves today. I found it hard going after little sleep and the tooth drama. Kalie was patient, Islay waiting patiently. The views keep you going all the way up as they expand and the path is still being worked on near the Corrie rim. There was only one patch of snow near the river. There are some great cliffs on the Corrie along with the ridge that can give a good scramble but not today. At times it was warm and then a wind would cool you down.
I had no power at all today the body struggled but we were managed to take in all the beauty of the day. We made the ridge took lots of photos. The rest of the ridge looked superb the great cleft and the Horns of Alligin spectacular. I was happy to be on the hill and we enjoyed the views.
We headed down slowly meeting a few folk going up. Out of the wind it was wonderful to be in the sun. We headed down I was still not great and drinking lots of fluid. I saw an Eagle yet was so tired but we made it to the car and then to Torridon village for a drink and cake. It was then head back a wonderful drive back to Kalies. Again the light was wonderful a joy to be out. We passed so many vans in lay – byes on the busy NC 500 the summer madness has started.
There was a wee BBQ in the village that night and we we after a shower had a lovely few hours. It’s great to meet folk again and share conservations. Things we took for granted before COVID.
It’s funny often I did these hills in fast times including some big days like Beinn Eighe, Liathach, Beinn Dearg and Alligin all in a one long day. Now I do what I can and some days struggle but still enjoy my wanders out.
A grand day body a bit sore but a great day out. It’s so good to see these familiar hills again even to do one is a privilege. They are right when they say “ Youth is wasted on the young”
Todays tip : Watch the weather on the West it can be very hot drink plenty of fluid, use sunscreen and be aware there is a high fire risk.