Torridon trails at Easter

Easter was spent up in Torridon and I couldn’t believe this was my first outing to such a stunning place. The 4 days of continuous sunshine obviously helped but even without this hardship, there was no denying the beauty of the dramatic and rugged sandstone mountains standing guard over the fresh water and sea lochs.

The 25 of us did a good job at taking over the Torridon campsite with bikes, vans, tents etc. This is a great facility on a dry weekend with no midgies!

Camp

Saturday was the ‘shorter’ of the MTB trails and after the customary faff, we set off from the campsite in search of Loch Damh.  The first big mechanical arrived just as we escaped the tarmac and someone discovered a worn jockey wheels and unfortunately was game over for two of group.

Route map

The singletrack was boggy in bits as it hugged the side of the loch and then opened out to a lovely snack spot towards the south end.

Beach

The path then climbed around Beinn Damh with a few bits of hikabiking along the way.

Climb

We reached the bealach between Beinn Damh and Beinn na h-Eaglaise and cleaned our bikes a bit in the lochan.

Beallach

The descent was pretty technical for the majority with a lot of loose rock.  I took a tumble which developed into a cracking bruise but it was great fun.

Descent

We then crossed a burn before a cracking section through the forest which conveniently pops you at the back of the Torridon Hotel where a cold pint awaits.

Before the forest

Most of the others headed off for the ‘big’ ride on Sunday (which incidentally took 9 hours!) but I headed up to the Ben Alligin circuit with Gregor and his dog Breach.

Breach

What an incredible day! We headed up into Coire nan Laogh and the steep ascent was a hard hit on the wearied legs.  We had our first food/chill out stop at the plateau and this set the tone for such a sunny day. From the summit of Tom na Gruagaich (922m) we had amazing views over to Skye and my obsession with Liathach began.

Breach was like a mountain goat as we followed her down the ridge to start the Sgurr Mhor climb. There is an impressive crack in the ridge revealing a dramatic gully.  From the top (986m) we got a great view of the Horns of Alligin.

Ben Alligin

Scrambling over the Horns was great fun and we managed another long stop to enjoy the views and sun. The descent is always my least favourite bit but on a day like this, the grumbly joints seemed subdued.  Lower down, the path passes some waterfalls and we couldn’t resist a paddle in the chilly water of one of the pools.  Definitely a spot for a future dip!

What a cracking weekend and Liathach definitely on this year’s list!

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