21st-22nd July 2017
We awoke the next day to a morning of glorious sunshine. The forecast had looked reasonably grim for the whole of our trip, but we seemed to have really lucked out with the weather so far. After packing up our gear we head back towards the Skye Bridge, stopping in briefly at the shop in Broadford to pick up more supplies, before we left the island and rejoined mainland Scotland. We were headed further North, much higher than I’ve been before, driving through the mountains until we reached the small village of Torridon around midday.
I’d seen a couple of images of this sweeping mountain ridge that looks like a Scottish Machu Picchu, with stacks and towers making up an interesting array of rocks along the ridge. These vague pictures were why we were here, and why we set off directly up the side of Liathach. The climbing was tough, we climbed steadily for around 2km until, at last, we reached the shoulder of the mountain and the world opened up in front of us. The views looking North were some of the best I’ve ever experienced: with dark, barren and wide valleys, with conical mountains sticking up and key points in the landscape.
Moving onwards we climbed up and over the first peak, through a dusting of cloud, before making our way onto the impressive ridge. This was, by far, one of the more precarious and dangerous hikes I’ve been on, but often the greatest rewards come from the most risk. Making our way over, along and around we eventually reached top of the second summit. On our approach the clouds parted and we were treated to 360º vistas.
The descent was equally as steep and challenging as the climb earlier that day, and by the time we reached the foot of the slopes and tarmac road our legs were weak and tired. We spent the next hour-or-so driving along the coastal road West of Torridon searching for a place to pitch the tent for the night. Being further North, and a little off the main tourist trails, there were far fewer frequently used campgrounds but we eventually found a nice patch overlooking the bay. With the dull ache of a day’s hike burning our legs and backs we got our heads down for an early(-ish) night