Monday, January 07, 2008

45. Maol Chean-Dearg (247) 02/01/2008

Whilst staying on Skye and looking for a slightly less daunting task than climbing the Cuillin, we made the day trip to the mainland and found this hill which supposedly required 3-5 hours to climb. We set off from the road at a leisurely 10.30 and made good progress along the glen (with fingers crossed hoping that the weather would hold). We stuck our noses in the bothy on the way past and were soon leaving the main path, heading SW up the start of the climb. This was a mere stroll to start with, but as the shoulder of the hill loomed we saw that it would get more taxing. A small amount of scrambling ensued to attain this shoulder from where we had a great view of the rocky twin peak An Rhuad Stac, which looked like a tough cookie to climb. There was also a sharp final climb over large rocks, which was a bit tiresome, but we made it to the top by 2pm to be greeted with wide panoramic views of the whole of Torridon and the Damph Forest, including the lofty heights of Liathach. A little worried about the light, we weren't able to stay long which was a shame, but we were justified when clouds began to roll in only 5 mins into our descent. The steep bits took a little while to descend, so the last hour of walking was in near darkness, but by then we were on the broad track in the valley floor so it was fine. We were back at the car by 5, so that was 6.5 hrs in good conditions. Interestingly in his revised edition of The Munros, Cameron Mcneish reckoned on 5-6 hours instead, which is a much more reliable estimate.

Liathach and Torridon from the top.
The rocky twin peak

Our first sight of the summit


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