Leathad Buidhe - 559m
Saturday 26th October 2013
Weather/Conditions: It was a generally showery weekend. Atmospheric conditions on our hill. I expected to get totally soaked and I was dreading it in that way a bit. But things actually turned out very well with good views to all surrounding mountain areas.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 12.3km / 950m / 4h 20m
Having spent a month in the NW of Scotland (July) I forgot just how bloody far it is from Glasgow! I left home late on the Friday afternoon. By the time I was passing Stirling, I knew I was for a long haul. By the time I was crawling up a jam-packed A9 at Pitlochry the tedium was getting overwhelming. I was utterly bored at looking at headlights by Aviemore, and seeing the city glow of Inverness brought only relief. From there onwards, the roads became notably quieter and I flew along silent straight roads. Achnasheen and Kinlochewe slid by and then Torridon arrived; it couldn't have come sooner!
I met the guys in the pub for a few hours before heading back to the hostel for a while. Struan and I both camped in the campsite - certainly colder than the hostel, but also cheaper: a relief, given the price of petrol needed to reach it in the first place.
The plan next morning was Meall a' Ghiuthais. The other guys went off to the higher hills while Struan and I headed up Glen Torridon. It was one of those strange half-light mornings, with a wild heaviness in the air, and cold rain showers brushing the mountains. I was expecting a drenching on our hill and in some ways didn't really look forward to it. I was strangely worried about the cold and the wind on the summit. It was a strange inexplicable thing - something I get passages like this, where I fear the conditions on top.
But we got going anyway.
There is a great car park at Aultroy, and the track leads off up the hill from here. We tried cutting off to be "more direct" which led to getting caught up in bog. then found the path again... (Shortcuts are always a bad idea) The track climbed toward the Drochaid then we cut off on long sweeping slopes up toward the summits.
It's the views that are absolutely magnificent here, not only over Torridon but also into Fisherfield. It was nice to see A' Mhaighdean poking out, a hill I'm immensely fond of. Undoubtedly, Beinn Eighe stole the show, with it's spurs radiating out towards our hill. We emerged out over the top of Meall a' Ghiuthais to find Loch Maree and Beinn Airigh Charr in the distance and a short walk gained the summit cairn.
We'd originally planned to climb Ruadh-stac Beag, but I think at this point the motivation could not be found. We headed back down the the way we arrived but traversed across to have a look at the cairn on Leathad Buidhe. We also took a look at the gorge below, named on the map Eas a' Bhadain Duinn, though 'eas' would be the waterfall itself.
We were back at the car surprisingly dry. I hadn't expected that, and with a morning's hill-going done, we went to Kinlochewe. We got lunch, then I checked out Malc's Arete, the super-classic Torridon boulder problem. I didn't get as far as I'd have liked. Never mind. Next time!
The following day, the forecast was looking pretty dreadful and I wasn't so happy that I'd come so far to do so little walking. It seemed a lot of plans had gone unfulfilled. The guys headed home Sunday morning and left me to the Torridon Celtic Jumble in the rain. Not the place to be when the rain comes... All I really had was the long West Highland drive home in the rain, which I couldn't have done fast enough.
So a strange weekend all things considered but nice to get something done.
Meall a' Ghiuthais 360°
Leathad Buidhe 360°
Leathad Buidhe - Monar Detail
Attadale across Loch Carron
(0.00) 8.55am Aultroy car park
(2.15) 11.10am Meall a' Ghiuthais
(3.05) 12.00pm Leathad Buidhe
(4.20) 1.15pm Aultroy car park