Best day of the Summer

On paper, Fuar Tholl, Sgorr Rhuadh and Beinn Liath Mhor, looked like a 4 hour circuit, jogging the flats and descents. In retrospect perhaps in reverse might have been closer to the mark. I had been here both in Summer and Winter on many occasions but never as a full traverse of the three. Once before over Beinn Liath Mhor, in snow, masking the cruel quartzite.
The route of ascent up Fuar Tholl, the way I chose, takes rough hinterland, chest deep heather masking sunken boulder-pits. Although after 400M or so height I managed to get onto the famous slabs, which were amazing and take you right up to about 700M. A short ridge with a narrowing leads easily to the Summit. All around surrounded by the cloud inversion. Skye like a sawtooth in the distance, to the East-clear.
So 40 mins behind schedule already I tried to make up time on the descent to the lochans, running into a band of rough quartzite near the bottom, a taste of what was to come. A stop at the loch for water and fuel and I was lifted by the easy and quick climb to Sgorr Rhuadh. Ah hour and a quarter on my timing to go, mmmm 15 mins to the col, then 30 mins to traverse Beinn Liath Mhor, 30 descent, it could be done…..
1 hour and 15 mins later, only just on top of Beinn Liath Mhor. So much rougher and so much steeper than I had remembered. Impossible to run at speed now that I was so warm/worn. Final pull to the last top on the ridge was heavy. What a view though, Torridon to the North, over the lochans. ‘I’m going to be a bit late’ call made, I gingerly made my descent firstly over a field of quartzite, then more quickly once sandstone had been reached.
Still all in all, 5 hours 50 mins. So rough.

This entry was posted in Hill running, Photography, Summer walking and climbing. Bookmark the permalink.

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