Thursday, July 28, 2011

Walking on Slioch Scotland 14th July 2011

Walking on Slioch, Scotland, 14th July 2011.

We left Torridon on a perfect morning with a clear blue sky heading for the majestic mountain of Slioch. Although the day gradually clouded over, we were still rewarded with wonderful views of Torridon, Fisherfield and of course the beautiful Loch Maree.

Slioch is a straightforward walk with plenty points to stop and admire the views. I would urge you to return by the tumbling waters of the Abhainn an Fhasaigh and enjoy the scots pine clinging to the cascades of white, foaming water.

I had often wondered why Loch Maree had Kinlochewe at one end and Poolewe at the other. The interpretive sign at Kinlochewe confirmed that it had indeed been Loch Ewe but was changed in the 17th Century to honour the Saint who brought christianity to the area. You live and learn!

Approach to Slioch.

Torridon from Slioch.

Loch Maree.

Fisherfield and An Teallach from Slioch.

Loch Maree from Slioch.

Ben Nevis 20th July 2011

Nearing the summit Ben Nevis 20th July 2011.

Michael Anderson, ably assisted by Meg and Lucy as he approaches the summit of Ben Nevis on 20th January 2011. Michael has the slight disadvantages of being deaf and blind, but these and the other minor inconvenience of being 70 years of age didn't put Michael off climbing the highest mountain in the UK on behalf of DeafBlind Scotland.

Organised expertly by Nina and Fiona, the party was led superbly by Lucy @snoweider. Other volunteers Meg, Phil and yours truly helped out in what was truly a memorable day!

Michael completed the climb in 17 hours 40 minutes and I confess to being humbled in his presence. Not once did I hear a word of complaint in spite of occasional bumped shins and wayward instructions. A truly exceptional man.

The side story was that Jim from Erskine, who joined us along the way to celebrate his 76th Birthday had a wee turn near the summit and was helped down the hill by Meg and myself before we reached the top. Never have so many offers of chocolate been given by so many to so few! Just as well that Nina wasn't providing the assistance!

I enjoyed a tremendous day in great company with kind people. I also managed to squeeze in sightings of heron, baby owls and a pine marten near the Visitor centre before we even started! There's definitely something to be said about getting up at 4am! Finished off the long day by visiting Loch Arkaig, Loch Ness and Glencoe as tourist guide to couple who helped get Jim down the mountain. Man that beer tasted good in the Kingshouse!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Liathach Torridon Scotland July 2011

Liathach from Ling Hut.

We were fortunate enough to enjoy some sun on a walking break in Torridon in July 2011. Based at the Ling Hut, we walked for four days out of five, climbing the fantastic hills of Beinn Alligin, Liathach, Beinn Eighe and Slioch.

Torridon really is one of my very favourite parts of Scotland. The mountains themselves are classics, with superb paths giving way to some great scrambles. The proximity of the sea, high lochans and rushing waters make for great scenery. The wildlife is stunning and we enjoyed close encounters with deer, ptarmigan, ring ouzel and enjoyed being piped home by the sand piper every evening.

The Ling Hut itself was perfect, nestled beneath the 'Corrie of a thousand hillocks' it provides basic facilities including an excellent drying room. It is one of the Huts run by the Scottish Mountaineering Club which can be hired by Climbing Clubs and members of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland.

Beinn Dearg from Liathach.

Upper Loch Torridon from Mullach an Rathain.

Beinn Eighe from Liathach.

Looking West over pinnacles to Mullach an Rathain, Liathach.

On the Am Fasarinen pinnacles.

Spidean a' Choire Leith, Liathach, Torridon.

A friendly deer on the Torridon hills.

Ling Hut, Torridon, Scotland.

'Corrie of a thousand hillocks' above Ling Hut.