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Liathach  East - West Traverse

Location: Torridon, Wester Ross, Northern Highlands

Length: 11km / 6.75 miles

Ascent: 1490m / 4888ft

Time: 8 hours

Difficulty: Long with strenuous ascent, and serious in that there are no simple ways off the 4km (2.5 miles) long spine of the mountain. If tackled directly, The Pinnacles offer interesting and exposed scrambling (Scrambling Grade 1.5), although they can all be bypassed by a path to their south.

In winter The Pinnacles of Liathach area formidable proposition and classed as Winter Grade 2.

  Liathach Ridge and Loch Torridon
     

Seasons:

Summer conditions may be expected from June to September and winter conditions from October to May.

Geology:

The Pinnacles and lower rocks are composed of Torridonian sandstone, a delightful rock, often including a matrix of quartz pebbles; hard and reliable, it is a little like concrete to walk and scramble on. The tops and higher rocks are of blocky grey quartzite, granular and sharp-edged, good to walk over and climb on, though more brittle than the sandstone.

Flora and Fauna:

Peregrine falcon and wheatear may be seen, also mountain hare and red fox. Spotted orchid, bog asphodel and dwarf cornel grow in this region.

  Liathach from Loch Clair
     

Comment:

This is the toughest of the Torridon 'big three' - also comprising Beinn Alligin and Beinn Eighe, particularly if The Pinnacles are climbed directly. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful, powerful, high mountain challenge - the fairest of the fair.

From Glen Torridon you can certainly sense the awesome power emanating from Liathach, but you have only a limited visual impression of her immense bulk.

Her slopes and mid-heights dominate the filed of vision, but you can only make out a fraction of her distant heights, and then the effect is softened by the telescoped perspective, where 1000m of vertical height are crammed into hardly any horizontal.

 

  Liathach - Torridon
     

To see the real Liathach - the great pinnacles, the razor-sharp edges, the soaring aretes, the towering cones and spires and the great hanging corries of that 4.5km (3 mile)  long spine, you have to view her from afar, preferably from the heights of the great north - from the mountains rising above the Shieldaig and Flowerdale Forests - or better still, by climbing her steep flanks, and experiencing her great ridge at first hand.

The summits:

Stuc a' Choire Dhuibh Bhig - 915m / 3002ft

Bidean Toll a' Mhuic - 983m / 3225ft

Spidean a' Choire Leith - 1055m / 3461ft

Am Fasarinen - 927m / 3042ft

Mullach an Rathain - 1023m / 3358ft

  Liathach from Beinn Eighe
     

Liathach is one of the most famous mountains in Torridon  and offers a superb mountaineering challenge amidst breathtaking scenery and is one of the must do mountains in Scotland.

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