Last week Tracy and Nikki arrived at The Torridon Hotel for a five day visit. They had been away hiking in the Alps when a guide there recommended the Torridon area as a great place to go. I had been chatting to them before they arrived, giving me a great idea of what they wanted from the week and set out a four day plan of the hikes on the area:
We headed up Glen Torridon to the Coire Dubh car park. From there we followed the footpath that runs up into Coire Dudh Mor and on up to Coire Mhic Fearchair. On the ascent, the north side of Liathach was revealed in all of its majestic glory. With the cloud down onto the tops, the hills looked grey and brooding. As we progressed further round the Coire the views opened up showing more of the northern Torridon mountains, eventually giving views through to Loch Maree and its islands. At last we rounded the last part of the footpath that leads to the final steps up to Coire Mhic Fearchair. As our heads popped over the lip of the Coire, the loch and huge crags of the Triple Buttress came into view. After having lunch in this fantastic amphitheatre we descended the path which gave us another opportunity to take in the view.
After checking the weather forecast, Day 2 was due to have the best of the weather. We altered the planned days slightly and went on the trail that runs from the Coulags over Bealach na Lice and back down to The Torridon Hotel. This route is one that gives wonderful views of the hills, which changes as you pass over the Bealach. Tracy and Nikki had told me that when they had been hiking in the Alps they had stayed in mountain huts there and I thought it might interest them to see one or two of the bothies that are dotted around the Scottish mountains. The bothy that is part of the way up Coire Fionnaraich is named after the Coire and is a nice example of a bothy that can be found in the hills for emergency shelter or just a dry place for a cup of tea.
After the two long walks and with the rain coming down we decided to have an easier day to the previous ones. After a later start we took the road to Diabaig, ready to follow the footpath that runs from the top of the village along to the Craig bothy. This is one of the joys of the Torridon area, you can walk surrounded by mountains or you can be on sea cliffs looking out over the headlands and islands. The walk I had chosen to do gave views of (depending on the weather) Rona, Raasay and Skye. On this walk we were very lucky the rain came and went in squalls, rather than the torrential rain forecast, and the sun even came out when we stopped for lunch meaning we could sit outside and enjoy the view.
For the last day I decided to take Tracy and Nikki up the path that leads from the Heights of Kinlochewe and up towards Lochan Fada. This was a great walk as it takes you into an area that few go to and it is on a mixture of 4×4 tracks and easy footpaths making the walking easier on tired legs. As you ascend the path you start to see the hidden hills of the Fisherfields which are usually hidden from the Glens by Slioch. Once we had reached the highest point on the path we had a great view into the mountains and a great spot for lunch. Just as we finished lunch, and were discussing how few people there were in the Torridon area, a group of five walked up to us following one of the many long walks across Scotland. After a quick set of group photos they continued into the Fisherfield Forest and we continued back to the car.
Tracy and Nikki’s attitude throughout the four days was great, it didn’t matter that it was a bit windy at times or that it might (and did) rain, they were always happy making it a pleasure to guide them.
blog by Rich Trott