OUTLOOK ON WESTER ROSS the website of Jeremy Fenton
LIATHACH (1055m, the grey one)
This is my favourite Scottish hill (I am far from alone in this opinion, but there are others who put An Teallach at the top!).
What makes it so special? It is not for the faint-
The Torridon Hills
The Torridons are an incomparable group of at least 8 hills, between Loch Maree and Loch Torridon: the big three are Liathach, Beinn Eighe and Beinn Alligin; other significant hills are Beinn Dearg, Baosbheinn, Beinn an Eoin, Meall a’ Ghiuthais, Beinn a’ Chearcaill.
The best group in Britain? The Skye Cuillin might argue with that, but only if “best” is defined as “most exciting”. The Torridons are uniquely photogenic thanks to the isolation of each hill, and in good weather there is nothing to beat a day spent among or on them (and do choose good weather!). Glaciation has worked wonders here, sharpening the ridges, carving out spectacular corries and deepening the glens which separate the hills; but then it had a perfect medium in which to work, the lovely Torridonian Sandstone.
W.H. Murray in Highland Landscape, his survey of the Scottish Highlands, judged that “Glen Torridon, its loch, and the mountains to either side, display more of mountain beauty than any other district in Scotland”.
The picture at the top of each page of this website is a 180° view from the western top of Liathach.
BEINN EIGHE (1010m, file mountain)
This is a whole range of tops, mostly pale quartzite which accounts for the rather un-
BEINN ALLIGIN (986m, jewel mountain)
In the Liathach class: a beautiful, impressive, varied and totally enjoyable hill. It has great views because of its isolation and nearness to the sea; it has the Horns, a delightful pinnacle ridge; it has the remarkable Great Gash (or Black Notch), from which fell the biggest rockfall in Britain. And it has no quartzite, so the walking is delightful!
BEINN DEARG (913m, red hill)
Two feet short of being a Munro! A challenging hill to climb, but a fine viewpoint in the middle of the Torridons.
BAOSBHEINN (875m, wizard hill?)
A major ridge with four tops whose north end is seen not far from Gairloch. It gives a long but very rewarding day’s walking.
BEINN AN EOIN (855m, bird hill)
An easier hill, making a fine walk along a broad ridge with good sandstone to study and a lofty summit. It involves quite a long walk in from the road.
MEALL A’ GHIUTHAIS (887m,
pine tree hill)
The easiest Torridon hill, reached from the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve’s Mountain Trail, a remarkable path taking walkers up onto the quartzite. The hill is geologically interesting because it seems to be upside down.
BEINN A’ CHEARCAILL (725m,
Much more interesting than it looks, if you like Torridonian Sandstone: wonderful exposures, and an unusual summit (right).
Beinn a' Chearcaill
There are no hippos on Beinn a' Chearcaill.
In Africa there are hippos in pools and rivers,
showing only their goggle eyes above the surface.
On Beinn a' Chearcaill in April, like miniature hippos,
showing only their goggle eyes above the surface,
croaking and splashing in snowmelt pools,
there are frogs.
Round their horizon circle the higher hills,
Magnificent, but frogless, and the frogs have eyes
only for each other: like tourists who glance
unseeing at hills and hippos, then turn back
to each other and resume their interrupted croaking.
But there are no tourists on Beinn a' Chearcaill:
only the frogs and I, and the eagle high above.
From Glen Torridon
The other side: Coire na Caime
The summit from the east end
From the summit; Beinn Eighe beyond
There’s a pinnacle bypass, but…
The Am Fasarinen pinnacles
West from the summit
The east end
Coire mhic Fhearchair
Quartzite on the ridge
The two Munros and the Horns
View east from the summit
East from the summit
A “bad step” on the ridge: fun!
The summit from the north ridge
The summit ridge, with Gair Loch distant
Towards the summit pyramid
… And back along the ridge
The slopes up to the summit
The back of Beinn Eighe from the Trail