Sgurr Dubh - 782m
Sgorr nan Lochan Uaine - 871m
Beinn Liath Mhòr - 926m
Sgorr Ruadh - 962m
Beinn Damh (Spidean Coire an Laoigh) - 903m

Saturday 18th April 2015

Weather/Conditions: Amazing. Again.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 26.5km / 2450m / 10h 05m
Accompanying: Struan

The Coulin Forest is an expanse of hills that I somehow find more memorable than the Torridon peaks. Maybe it’s because they are less celebrated, and as such they are more of a surprise. There are sensations of wildness and space you can feel here that the big Torridon hills don't match. Whatever the case, I just really like these hills!

Struan and I were going Corbett hunting, and we devised a three-Corbett route across the range, taking in a great sweep that would also allow me to pick off a couple of Munros from my second round.

Sgurr Dubh to Beinn Liath Mhòr

Another beautiful day was in store. We parked at the busy Coire Dubh Mor entrance in Glen Torridon, but headed off in the opposite direction; south across the moors. Our first hill was Sgurr Dubh, a compact mountain sitting in plain view across the glen. It must be infinitely less climbed than looked at, but a spectacular hill anyway.

We climbed it first by endless moor, leading onto rockier steps near the top. The summit arrived with obligatory cairn, and we headed onto the second Corbett, Sgorr an Lochain Uaine. This summit is really just a curious prominence rising from chaotic ground, a mad tangle of lochans, slabs, and streams. Everything seems discordant and lost. But we had no problem finding our way through and a gentle ascent brought us to the top. The lochans from which it derives its name are a pair clustered together on the southern side of the hill. We scrambled down to these on incredibly loose terrain, to pass between them. An enormous ‘iceberg’ floated on the westerly of the two, a relic from winter.

The north flank of Beinn Liath Mhòr was another loose-ground quartzite horrorfest, something that seems to happen quite a lot when that rock type is involved! We emerged out onto a busy summit: a reminder again of how the Munros can be so busy compared to the Corbetts. But no bad thing – we spent quite some time here taking in the day.

Sgorr Ruadh & Beinn Damh

Struan wasn't bothered about going for Sgorr Ruadh afterward, but I was going for it in any case: it would be one of the few summits left on my second Munro round. So I left Struan to Coire Grannda while I went to its top. I met a couple of girls out for a hill day here, and then headed back the way I came. I met up with Struan once more, and we continued west.

Things became more remote here once more: We left the busy Munro areas and went west into an area of low-level stalking tracks and lochans. It was really pretty pleasant, and we were heading for Beinn Damh, a mountain that simply looked massive.

Around the rim of large Loch an Eoin, I started to feel a little raw, and realised I was getting tired: not tired in the muscles, I simply hadn't eaten properly. On the 500m rise to Beinn Damh it absolutely hit me square and sent me into some horrendous fat-burning alternative reality. I promptly downed the best part of an entire pack of digestives and then felt sick for it. It was a reminder to keep on tops of eating: this felt utterly rotten. The metres to Beinn Damh were extraordinarily hard work.

But what a viewpoint! What a mountain. It's a curious looking peak, full of the mystery of the Torridon peaks. It has some staggeringly steep terrain on its flanks and a number of tops that make it one of the most massive sub-3000ft mountains in Scotland.

The sun was sinking in the west, casting the world in warm light. The glens were filled with crosslit moraine, the high quartzite tops glistening. Even the Isle of Lewis was in plain sight; that was a massive buzz. I couldn't stop photographing Liathach across Glen Torridon; a beautiful mountain from any angle.

Finally we descended toward the Torridon hotel. I was ready for that; the tiny re-ascent to the minor top of Creagan Dubh was seriously hard work. We descended into the glen below on a good path, back to the pines and waterfalls, to a Liathach that was golden in the evening sun and finally the Torridon Hotel. An amazing day.


Sgurr Dubh 360°

Sgorr nan Lochan Uaine 360°

Detail - Trotternish

Beinn Liath Mhòr 360°

Sgorr Ruadh 360°

Sgorr Ruadh - 180° North

Sgorr Ruadh - 180° South

Beinn Damh 360°

Beinn Damh - 180° North

Beinn Damh - 180° South
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 9.20am Coire Dubh Mor parking
(1.50) 11.10am Sgurr Dubh
(3.05) 12.25pm Sgorr nan Lochan Uaine
(4.00) 1.20pm Beinn Liath Mhòr
(5.20) 2.40pm Sgorr Ruadh
(8.30) 5.50pm Beinn Damh
(10.05) 7.25pm Torridon Hotel
Written: 2017-12-13