Torridon Munro bagging weekend
Two nights in Fern the Van, a night in the Torridon Hotel and another night in the Torridon Inn, interspersed with Munro bagging, a bit of cycling (me) and climbing (the G-Force), as well as a surprisingly sunny period of early summer sun and blue skies created a weekend of so many wonderful memories.
Thursday’s van stop
We set off late from Glasgow, both of us buzzing after a hectic week of work. As we drive north through ever-changing and heightening scenery, lit by a surprisingly bright night sky, I feel the stresses ebb away.
Driving through the southern Highlands and then to Glencoe, we chat about all the things we have not had time to chat about during the week. We comment on the superb landscape and the clear sky.
Some 1.5 hours later, we find our perfect overnight spot right in front of the iconic mountain, the Bauchaille Etive Mor. The G-Force’s only disappointment is that the sky is too light for “proper star gazing”.
Since Fern has been converted (thanks again for the revamp Ali V) we need nothing for our night’s stop. We have food and drink in the fridge, water for coffees and washing up, cooking equipment, crockery, a comfortable bed, great lighting and a heater.
We sleep well and wake up to an even more stunning view of the Buachaille, resting solid beneath a deep blue sky. We realise that for once we may well have lucked out with the weather.
Friday’s Munro: Fionn Bheinn
With only 60 Munros still to bag to compleat a round I am always keen to tick off a new one. We decide to enjoy an easy first day with an ascent of Fionn Bheinn from Achnasheen.
I had heard it was a fairly dull walk but on a sunny day with amazingly clear views, the gentle ascent of around 800m over 7.5 miles (return) to reach the 933m summit is really lovely.
We take our time, chatting, stopping to enjoy the views, walking some more, chatting some more and rejoicing in our good fortune of being able to hike in short sleeves on an early May day.
I’ll let you enjoy the photos of the views on this walk, which took in mountains such as the mighty Slioch, Liathach and Beinn Eighe, and as far afield as the Cuillin on the Isle of Skye.
Saturday’s Munro on Liathach
Another great day of weather saw us Walking the Liathach Ridge in Torridon.
Day 3 in Torridon
While G climbs with a friend at Diabaig on the Sunday, I head off from Shieldaig to ride the Bealach na Bà road climb with Facebook friend Sophie. It is our first meet-up and we throughly enjoy chatting, laughing and cycling in the sunshine.
The Bealach na Bà is a historic pass through the mountains of the Applecross peninsula and the name of a famous twisting, singletrack mountain road through the pass and mountains.
The road is one of few in the UK that is engineered like roads through the great mountain passes in the Alps. It features very tight hairpin bends that switch back and forth up the hillside and gradients that approach 20%.
It boasts the greatest ascent of any road climb in the UK, rising from sea level at Applecross to 626m and is the third highest road in Scotland.
It has become a popular must-do for drivers, motorcyclists and riders, especially those following the North Coast 500 route.
I had forgotten how gentle the first part of the climb feels yet how long that section goes on for. But I did remember the pain of the final section as the road snakes up a steep angles.
It is Sophie’s first ride of the Alpine-style climb and she is amazing. I follow behind with very tired Munro bagging legs but still relishing the challenge. The beauty of the surrounding mountains is breath-taking.
We return the same way, still chatting and laughing. How wonderful it is to realise that a person you have met through Facebook because of shared interests is just as warm and friendly as you imagine they will be.
Read about where we stayed when we were not in Fern the Campervan.