The Torridon Hills

Beinn Eighe (Ruadh-stac Mor) and Spidean Coire nan Clach
By Rob Sinclair

Start Point: Car park on the A896
Grid Reference: OS Landranger Maps 19 and 25 (GR 958 568)
Time: 6 - 8 hours
Distance: 12 miles
Height Climbed: 3,350 feet (1,020 metres)
View Location: click for online scalable map
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Introduction

Well the day I completed this munro it was a leisurely start in the morning and not only was I welcomed by sunshine but more importantly a bit of a breeze to keep the midges at bay!

Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair & the Triple Buttress
Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair & the Triple Buttress
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It has to be said, that The Torridon Hills (Liathach, Beinn Alligin & Beinn Eighe) and their surroundings must be some of the most scenic of all the Scottish mountains. They also appear to sprout out of the ground from nothing and therefore require a serious amount of ascent. However, the views at the summits and on the ridges are breathtaking and well worth the effort.

Beinn Eighe is probably the least exposed of the three but offers instead perhaps the most stunning corrie in Scotland. Coire Mhic Fhearchair is filled by a lovely, clear loch and in the right conditions the impressive backdrop of the Triple Buttress can be mirrored on its surface (almost caught it in the picture opposite).


If you're not pushed for time and the two Munros are not your sole interest then the whole ridge could be completed. Taking in Sail Mhor would simply involve another walk out and back. It also looks possible, although I have not walked it, to carry on East along the ridge past Spidean Coire nan Clach to Sgurr Ban and further on to Coire Domhain or Creag Dhubh. With some care, descent routes could be found off either of these two tops and both would culminate in a gentle walk into Kinlochewe.

 

Route

  • Unfortunately there was no shortcut from where I was to the Beinn Eighe path but once I got onto that path it was a nice gentle walk round to the waterfalls of Allt Coire Mhic Fhearchair.

  • A short, sharp climb past these waterfalls and then you are offered the stunning splendour of Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair and the Triple Buttress.

  • From here I followed a path round the West side of the Loch over some large scree and then headed over towards the col in the South-East corner of the Coire. The final climb up to the col is fairly steep and is really a scree chute but to the left there is quite a stable route up.

  • At the top of the col you can drop your pack and run along to the first Munro and back - only takes 20/30 minutes.

  • The rest of the ridge is easy going and fairly unexposed. There is actually a Top with a trig point about 100 metres West of the Munro. Again you can leave your pack here as this is where the path starts for the descent off the mountain. The descent is quite steep in parts but easy to follow all the way to the bottom.

  • If required, hitching tends to be very easy along the A896, however the associated dangers must be taken into account.

   
Brocken Spectre - Beinn Alligin
Brocken Spectre
Click photo for larger picture

Brocken Spectre

Definition of Brocken Spectre: a huge shadowy image of the observer projected on mists above a mountain-top. It is usually confined to hill country and ideal conditions are when the walker is on a ridge looking down into a mist-filled corrie and the sun is low in the sky. Each member of a walking party can see only his own image.

This picture was taken at 1900hrs on top of Beinn Alligin. The image is actually me standing in front of a trig point and therefore you can only see my head and shoulders and my right arm taking the photograph.

The phenomenon was first observed on Brocken, Harz Mountains, Northern Central Germany.

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