Monday, 24 October 2011

Liathach, October 2011

Liathach is a formidable mountain in the north-west with two Munro summits linked by a ridge with a series of pinnacles. Our October trip on this mountain was organised with the hope that sun would shine and we could bound over the technical sections with ease. A forecast was predicting improving conditions from late morning onwards, so after meeting early with our clients (all 9 of them), we suggested delaying our start by an hour. This seemed to pay off as the cloud level gradually lifted from around its initial 200m.

Setting off, we were rewarded with views as we hiked up the steep ground in Toll a'Meitheach. Onto the crest and into the cloud, the cloud stubbornly stuck at around 800m, and wind was now also picking up.
The quartize topped Spidean Mialach was bagged, followed by some careful navigation and footwork down to attain the foot of the Am Fasarinen Pinnacles. We headed up the first of these pinnacles to get a taste of the drops and exposure. No other views were to be had and the strong winds and gusts prevented us from taking in any of the other pinnacles. Instead, we chose to stick to the path a few metres below, which itself is fairly exposed with a couple of sections where boot and weather errosion have washed it away. Onto Mullach an Rathain, the second Munro summit, with a chance to peer over the Northern Pinnacles which lead to the mainland's hardest Munro top - Meall Dearg. Leaving the ridge behind, we descended rapidly southwards and gazed at the view ahead once we were below the mist - Liathach is one of the highest mountains in the area, so seemed to attract cloud, whereas the mountains to the south were cloud-free al day today ! All in all, a fine day and we'll be back for another visit next year. Some more photos are on our Flickr page .