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Two Corbetts: Sgòrr nan Lochan Uaine and Sgùrr Dubh

Written by Fiona

August 01 2021

With fantastic weather forecast, my Corbett bagging friend Ben and I headed out for the two summits of Sgòrr nan Lochan Uaine and Sgùrr Dubh, in the south side of Glen Torridon.

A path to follow to start with.
A fabulous view of Liathach.
Temptingly cool lochans.

It turned out to be a very hot day with magnificent views, especially of the Munro ridge Liathach. I walked the ridge in 2017.

To start with the route heads south on an easy-to-follow path from the roadside. We soon reached a low white building, Ling Hut, which belongs to the Scottish Mountaineering Club.

The views became progressively fabulous, especially when looking back at Liathach and other great peaks in the Torridon area.

After around 4km, we headed off path and for the rest of the day our route was on rugged terrain with few trods to follow.

View from the summit of the first Corbett.

Rough terrain on the Corbetts

While Torridon is acclaimed fo its many Munros, including the Beinn Eighe range, I am becoming a huge fan of the Corbetts. Smaller in stature but frequently harder to reach, they give the best views of the Munros themselves.

Our first Corbett of the day was Sgurr nan Lochan Uaine. It seemed to take us far longer than normal to reach the summit at 871m, which sits above two large lochans and several smaller lochans.

The high temperatures and hot sun zapped our energy and we took lots of breaks for water and to rest.

top of Sgurr nan Lochan Uaine.

After a picnic lunch on the top of Sgurr nan Lochan Uaine, we headed away from the summit in a northerly direction. The route descended to a low bealach and close to a multitude of lochans.

We decided that we would take a paddle later after reaching the top off Corbett two, Sgurr Dubh.

The final climb to the 782m top was up a steep, rocky slope and over a scramble of more loose stones and rocks. It made our progress slow further. False summit after false summit finally led to a high point with a nice shelter cairn.

We rested for a while before aiming to descend the way we had climbed up. Except, with so many rocks and very little to identify on the ground, we ended up going downhill on a different route.

Avoiding high, steep crags, we zigzagged west and the south to eventually reach the area where the cool water of the lochans beckoned.

A paddle turned into a fully clothed submersion in the clear waters of a high lochan. It was amazing to finally feel chilled on such a hot day.

For the next section of downhill, we rejoiced in being so much cooler despite being dripping wet!

The mountain terrain was rugged and unforgiving with a mix of heather and stones. When we spotted the line of a dried-out stream, we decided this would be a good route to follow. Normally, you might descend alongside the stream or simply take a more direct route down the western flank of the steep mountain.

At first the going was much easier because we were simply walking down the eroded base of a dry waterway. The further we descended the higher the walls of the gorge grew.

Lower down, it felt as if we were immersed in a deep canyon and we did have to do a few slightly tricky scrambles over what would normally be waterfalls. There was hardly any moisture after a spell of hot and dry weather in Scotland.

At one of the taller ledges, we were thankful to see the high walls had disappeared and, at this point, we climbed out of the gorge and continued our descent of the mountain on the same previously inhospitable terrain.

It often seems to be the case that the later stages of a Corbett walk go on forever and usually on the toughest terrain. I think it’s likely that we were just tiring.

Finally, we could see the Ling Hut in the distance. The Walk Highlands description had suggested we would rejoin the path we took earlier in the day, but we had ended up making a more direct route downhill and over unforgiving slopes of heather and rocks.

I was relieved when we could walk again on a more obvious path, which returned to the roadside car park.

While this is not a long route, the two Corbetts are not easy and especially on a hot day. But the views were utterly breath-taking.

Distance: 14km

Total ascent: 1093m

Route: Strava and OS Maps.

Corbett bagging tally: 59 & 60.

 

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