Over the past few years I have completed three (An Teallach, Aonach Eagach and the Cuillin Ridge) out of the four classic mountaineering ridges in Scotland in winter. This just left Liathach left to complete, unfortunately for the past two years the weather and conditions didn’t align while I was in the area. Thankfully this year it was very different as we were blessed with a stunning weather forecast during the time we had planned on being in Torridon.
Our walk up from the Beinn Eighe carpark was wonderful as the sun was rising which was plastering the mountains in a wonderful orange glow, as we ascended the mountain we started to see some of the wonderful scenary which Torridon has to offer. The ascent up to the start of the ridge was pretty hard work and we took a very long time to get up to the ridge, thankfully yesterday someone else had broken trail which made the approach somewhat easier. When we got up to to the first top we were greeted by a spectacular panorama of the Torridon hills which instantly made all of the hard work worthwhile.
Thankfully once we were on the ridge there was a decent track and less snow which enabled us to make much better progress. This initial section of ridge is very worthwhile doing despite not being between the munros as it is just about 1km of fantastic walking ridge with stunning views and great positions. Thankfully we met another team on this part of the ridge who had remember one of the less often required items for scottish winter, suncream!
Thanks to this improved progress we made it to the first munro just before my cut-off time to continue, which was great as it would have been such as shame to have to turn back on such a perfect day. Unfortunately, this was one of the short periods of the day where there was some hill fog so we didn’t actually get a view from the summit. The descent down to the pinnacles was covered in wonderful soft snow which made it quick and easy and we were soon gearing up for the technical section of the ridge.
The difficulties around the pinnacles were always short lived and never very difficult, but there were a few airy sections with some fantastic exposure. We made good time across the technical ground and were soon at the other side getting ready for the ascent up to the final munro. As we were climbing up the views just kept getting better and better and at the top we were greeted to a stunning 360-degree panorama of Scottish mountains basking in sunshine.
Due to the extensive soft snow cover the descent was very painless and very quick and we were back at the road in no time. Thankfully I avoided having to make the three mile walk back up the road to the car thanks to a very friendly guide from North Wales and his wife who gave me a lift back up the road to my car after he had collected his from the mid way car park.