North Torridon Mountains
© M.G.P. Meredith (Olympus Mju Zoom)

The North Torridon Mountains


This picture is a collage of two separate photographs. Unfortunately, the exposures at which the two photographs were taken are not identical and the colours don't match exactly across the join - as can be seen. The photograph shows the complete ridge of Liathach in the centre. Behind it and to its right can be seen the quartzite capped ridge of Beinn Eighe, and standing separately to its left is Beinn Alligin. Behind the left end of the ridge of Liathach is Beinn Dearg.

The house we lived in for seven years, Am Ploc, is positioned on the small peninsula visible at the right hand end of Loch Torridon.

These photos were taken by Mat, from Beinn Damh which is partly visible on the left in the foreground.

The following is an extract from Lea MacNally's book, Torridon:

"A last steep ascent that day took us up and over the summit ridge of Liathach. Far, far below us were the matchbox-sized white houses of the village of Fasag, with Loch Torridon almost lapping their thresholds. A potentially breathtaking panorama was denied to us by the greyness of rain sheeting in from the sea. That, too, I was to get accustomed to, in the years to come, at Torridon.

While Liathach is unquestionably the grimmest of the Torridon giants, with three of its tops over 3000 ft and its exposed, airy, narrow Pinnacles ridge, strenuous and nerve-testing for most mountaineers, its other two mountains, Beinn Alligin (3232 ft) and Ben Dearg (which only just fails to reach 3000 ft) also require care and respect. These last two only dwindle in stature in relation to Liathach, so near and so dominant. The first day I ventured on the traverse of the ridge of Liathach I was again accompanied by [my son]... On the top it as blowing a gale, though we had left only a moderate wind in the glen below. There was therefore no question of a first attempt on the exposed Pinnacles section for this is tricky enough even on a still day with its knife-edged series of jagged rock scrambles dropping away sheer on both sides. Disappointed, we skirted this section by the exceedingly narrow track which runs, ribbon like, on the south side of the Pinnacles ridge. This track requires an impeccable head for heights, (vertigo sufferers, please note) and is innocuous only in comparison with the actual ridge. It is bordered to the south by a sheer drop and from its edge one looks straight down to the road, far, far below, in Glen Torridon, with its ant-like vehicles creeping along its narrow track. We enjoyed that high walk, though denied the ultimate thrill of the ridge."

I have chosen this extract because it describes so well, and with uncanny similarity, my first visit to the summit of this magnificent mountain with Mitch in 1984. We were blessed with good weather on that day, but I did not have the impeccable head for heights so sensibly recommended above.
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