This is custom heading element

TORRIDON

Glen Torridon stretches for eleven miles from Kinlochewe to Loch Torridon and the scenery is fantastic. Torridon is best known for the three giant mountains that lie on the north side of Glen Torridon; Liathach, Beinn Eighe and Beinn Alligin. Liathach with its fantastic setting and forbidding south wall of old sandstone dropping into Glen Torridon is, in many people’s view, the best mountain in Britain.

The mountains to the south of the Glen are impressive and include some great Corbetts including well known Beinn Damh. Further south lies Applecross with another excellent Corbett, Beinn Bhan. In fact this area has seven 2,900ft Corbetts and Top 500 Summits, all of the highest quality.

To the north of the Torridon giants lies the Flowerdale Forest. When walking the hills it is not obvious why the area was given the name, Flowerdale, by the McKenzies of Gairloch (the owners of the Estate) but apparently it was because of the impressive displays of wild flowers in the Glen.

The Top 500 Summits in the  Torridon area are;

1    Liathach – Spidean a’ Choire Leith          3,461 ft           2    Beinn Eighe – Ruadh-stac Mor                 3,314 ft

3    Beinn Eighe – Spidean Coire nan Clach  3,258 ft          4    Beinn Alligin – Sgurr Mhor                        3,235 ft

5    Sgorr Ruadh                                                 3,152 ft             6    Maol Chean-Dearg                                        3,061 ft

7    Beinn Liath Mhor                                        3,038 ft           8    Beinn Alligin – Tom na Gruagaich            3,025 ft

9    Beinn Dearg                                                 2,998 ft             10  Fuar Tholl                                                     2,976 ft

11  Beinn Damh                                                2,963 ft               12  Ruadh – stac Beag                                      2,940 ft

13  Beinn Bhan                                                  2,940 ft              14  An Ruadh – stac                                          2,927 ft

15  Meall a’ Ghiubhais                                     2,910ft                 16  Baosbheinn                                                  2,871 ft

17  Sgorr nan Lochan Uaine                            2,858ft                18  Beinn an Eoin                                              2,805 ft

19  Sgurr Dubh                                                   2,566ft

I have described my two favourite walks in Torridon. Firstly a circuit of Liathach and secondly a round of the two Corbetts lying in the Flowerdale Forest, Baosbheinn with its many summits and nearby Beinn an Eoin.

1.  Liathach

Spidean a’ Choire Leith    3,461 ft

Mullach an Rathain           3,359 ft (Munro only)

Lliathach ridge
Lliathach ridge

The small passing place road from Kinlochewe to Torridon passes Beinn Eighe then Liathach. For those who love the Scottish mountains this is one of the truly great drives in the world. A short walk from the road to Loch Clair gives a superb view of Liathach.

There is a small car park marked on the 2.5 inch map as the road passes directly south of Spidean a’ Choire Leith, just over two miles before the small village of Torridon is reached (reference 936566). Fifty metres west of the stream, the Allt an Doire Ghairbh, a cairn signals the start of a path which leads all the way to the ridge, a height gain of nearly 3,000ft. The ridge is reached just east of a Munro Top, Stob a’ Choire Liath Mhor. Go west along the ridge and over this Munro Top. A final ascent then leads to the Munro and highest point on Liathach, Spidean a’ Choire Leith.

Spidean a’ choire Liath looking to Mullach an Rathain
Spidean a’ choire Liath looking to Mullach an Rathain

From the summit of Spidean a’ Choire Leith, descend south and the south west to a col. The path can then be followed around the south side of the Am Fasarinen Pinnacles. The low point between the two Munros is then reached and a climb of just under 500ft just north of west leads to the summit of Mullach an Rathain.

There has been much debate as to whether Mullach an Rathain qualifies as a Top 500 Summit. Most sources put the drop at 152 metres which would exclude it from the list as 500ft equals 152.4 metres. Our own testing put the drop at 153 metres, just over 500ft of drop but this is not sufficiently accurate to be relied upon. We have therefore relied on the drop quoted in the hill bagging website, 152.1m or 499ft and Mullach an Rathain is therefore excluded from the list.

From the summit of Mullach an Rathain, descend south into a corrie and then follow a stream, the Allt an Tuill Bhain, to the road. It is a two kilometre walk east back to the car.

There is accommodation in Torridon including a Youth Hostel, a great bar at the Torridon Hotel and Inn, and a lovely coffee shop, the Torridon Stores and Cafe.

2. Flowerdale Forest

Baosbheinn                 2,871 ft

Beinn an Eoin             2,805 ft

Beinn an Eoin (left) and Baosbheinn (right) from Gairloch
Beinn an Eoin (left) and Baosbheinn (right) from Gairloch

Few visitors venture north of the Torridon giants to the Flowerdale Forest and its two mighty peaks, Baosbheinn and Beinn an Eoin. The peaks lie either side of Loch na h-Oidhche, a long walk from the road. There is a bothy between the two mountains, Poca Buidhe, but as it does not feature in the ‘Bothy Bible’, I presume it is locked most of the time, as it was on our visit.

I would recommend staying in Gairloch, a beautiful place with superb sea views and only a ten minute drive from the start of this walk. Gairloch is also home to what is, in my view, the best cafe/bookshop in Britain, the Mountain Coffee Company and Hillbillies bookstore. Andrew, the owner, has put together a fantastic selection of walking books that is hard to beat. When the sun is shining, you can sit outside overlooking the sea and the two peaks featured in this walk.

North from the ridge of Beinn an Eoin
North from the ridge of Beinn an Eoin

There is a small car park next to the A832 between Gairloch and Kinlochewe (reference 856721). The track starts a few hundred metres to the east of the loch and continues south east then south for five kilometres. After crossing the Abhainn Loch na h-Oidhiche, follow the path for a further 400 metres, turn east to reach the bottom of the north ridge of Beinn an Eoin just to the north of the north west buttress. Climb the ridge bypassing the north west buttress then continue just east of south over three minor tops. On the final summit climb the ridge narrows.

Baosbheinn
Baosbheinn

Carry on south over the summit and descend the ridge for roughly 400 metres, then drop down steeply west to the Poca Buidhe Bothy at a height of around 1,300ft. From the Bothy walk south west then west to the bottom of the ridge leading up Baosbheinn. Climb north west over two tops, pt 707m and pt 806m (this latter top is a HUMP having a 100m drop on all sides) to reach the plateau summit of Baosbheinn.

From the summit continue north north west over two minor tops and descend north at the col before  the final top, Creag an Fhithich. Continue just east of north for around three kilometres crossing the Abhainn a’ Gharbh Choire to arrive at the outward track two kilometres from the start point.