26th to 29th May 2023 - Ling Hut , Glen Torridon (May Bank holiday )
What a stunning long weekend we had in Torridon! Getting there wasn’t as easy as thought – a theme which seems to repeat itself for this year’s meets… A bad accident in the early hours on Friday caused a closure of the A9 which shouldn’t get resolved until very late in the night.
Alison, who was meeting non-EMC friends for a climbing at Diabeg was caught in the early stages of the road block, but after a lengthy diversion still managed to get a climb in. Aware of the issues, Mark and Aga opted for a scenic drive up the west coast whilst others had to follow the lengthy diversion put in place. Claire and myself were rather lucky as our planned run up Aonach Shasuinn from the south avoided the A9 anyway – and we were rewarded with good views into Glen Affric, lovely wildflowers and an outraged Golden Plover close to the summit. I took a rather unmemorable fall on the descent and ended up with quite a memorable bruise on my thigh – sitting down was rather uncomfortable for the following week. Tim had avoided all Friday traffic complications by already arriving on Thursday by train at Achnashellach and then walking to the Ling hut over various Munros on Friday.
Saturday had a rather dreich weather window slap bang in the middle of the day. Undeterred, Hamish, Brendan and Mark set out to get soaked and blown about on Sgorr Ruadh, and Mark also added on Beinn Liath Mhor. Tim, Aga, Kama, Claire and I went up Sgorr nan Lochan Uaine and had to face fairly complex terrain and no views on Sgurr Dubh which made for fairly interesting navigation. The views into the gorge at the end however were well worth the earlier challenges. Alison opted to stay low-ish on Croic-Bheinn and cooking copious amounts of delicious chilli. Keith and Shaun went to Ardeshlaig and climbed one route before they were rained/blown off.
Sunday’s forecast was superb, and Tim, Claire, Kama, Hamish, Mark and I set off for a traverse of Beinn Eighe via Lawson, Ling & Glover's Route & Ceumm Granda, then later down the Black Carls to take in all the Munros and Munro Tops. Claire and Tim with help from Kama did a superb job at route finding/giving directions on at all the scrambles. A long but rewarding day in the hills, bumping into Jo, a previous EMC member, and watching a BASE jumper survive his flight off the triple buttress. Kama, Claire and I finished off our day with a little wild swimble in Loch Clair before Kama headed back to Edinburgh. Beinn Eighe was also Shaun’s and Keith’s venue choice, climbing Ordinary Route up the East Buttress, as well as Aga’s and Brendan’s who had a great day on the “standard” route taking in both Munro summits in an anticlockwise direction. Alison was the only one who went somewhere slightly different – she and her friends climbed on Seanna Mheallan.
After tiding up the hut on Monday morning (with a special shout to Hamish – the toilet has probably not sparkled like this in a long time), Brendan and Hamish opted to return home directly. Alison, her friends, Sean and Keith climbed the classic A’Cioch Nose on Sgurr a Chaorachain under blue skies. Aga and Mark had a stunning day on Slioch. Tim, Claire and I had great views from Liathach – we went up the east ridge of Stuc A'Choire Dhuibh Bhig, then over the Am Fasarinen pinnacles – but chickened out of adding on Meall Dearg as the link up looked too loose, steep and scary.
All in all it was an excellent long weekend with lots of great memories. But where are Alison’s glasses?