Little change on Liathach

I first completed the traverse of Liathach at the tender age of six. I remember very little of it though I can recall a few moments crossing scree filled gullies and causing a degree of concern on the descent, insisting so the story goes, on running ahead. Many years later and little it seems, has changed - Liathach remains for me, like so many others, among my favourite of the big Scottish ridges. And I still like to run ahead on the descents.
Above, Chris contemplates the steep ascent completed, and the steep ascent still to come...
...though there is a moment's reprieve on the first level section of the ridge which also provides a taste of the exposure that follows.
From close to the summit (1055m), a view (L to R) across Beinn Alligin, Beinn Dearg, Baosbheinn and Beinn an Eóin - all of which I have climbed, ridden and camped beneath in years past, each summit carrying its own memories - happy days.
Beinn Dearg through the gully which precedes the Fasarinen pinnacles.
Chris completing one of the first more exposed steps...
...and myself on one of the last. In dry conditions, if a little care is taken picking the best line, especially in descent, none of the pinnacles present any difficulty greater than grade II or III scrambling. We took them all direct, which is what I had hoped Tim and I were going to be able to do on a winter attempt a couple of years ago. A late start and deep unconsolidated powder decided otherwise and we retreated before committing to the full traverse.
The last of the Fasarinen pinnacles above, and below a view across the ridge leading to the more difficult northern pinnacles, towards the Horns of Alligin - an easier proposition than Liathach but another fine ridge especially in winter conditions when the traverse merits Grade II.
From Mullach an Rathain we dropped rapidly on the loose path and before long I was heeling down, running the steep descent as I had so many years before. I passed many bemused faces on the way, most friendly, some disappointingly but predictably aloof, no doubt disapproving of my apparent recklessness regardless of my painfully polite approach to passing. Continuing happily into the glen in this way I reached the final slabs between which the path winds to the road and after a short walk, was offered a lift by an elderly couple who related stories of their own exploits on the ridge far above, from years gone by. Perhaps it was they whom I remember stopping to ask just how old I was while careering down on that day almost exactly 34 years ago.
Taken on a beautiful early spring day while riding into the Coulin Forest, this is the classic view of Liathach, in perfect conditions for the winter traverse which remains on the list though I doubt I will ever struggle to find reasons to return to Torridon.

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