We were looking at a map of Scotland and listing the peaks we’d most like to climb. Not the tallest, nor the easiest to get to, but the most beautiful to look at, the most unique and ideally those that involve a narrow ridge or a steep scramble up.
With Marion’s shoulder surgery we’ve been a bit quiet this year, however before she was patched up we wanted to climb the best peaks in Scotland and planned a total of four summits over three days.
We started in Torridon probably the most beautiful area in the whole of the UK the sunset wasn’t bad.
After our bike packing adventure that I wrote about a while ago we set off to climb Beinn Alligin from the north aspect. To the back of this mountain massif lies a steep scramble that follows a fun ridge up. It was a beautiful route if loose and a bit hairy in places.
The final section was pretty rocky and loose and it was hard to see the clean line up.
Once on the ridge itself the cloud was swirling around, but between the passing mists we could easily admire the Horns of Alligin, these are three Lords of the Rings’esque peaks.
After a short scramble down from the horns, the scenery gets even better looking towards Sgùrr Mhòr, look closely and you can see a tiny Marion to give you scale of how huge this scene is!
On the slopes up to the highest point of Sgùrr Mhòr, we looked along the valley to see the true beauty of the Torridon area.
Day two we headed to An Tealllach peak number 2, we were going to try and scramble the full circuit along what has been described as the greatest ridge walk/scramble in the UK. We started out on yet another perfect day from the road in Dundinnell it was a slog up the track before we reached the first shoulder of this huge mountain.
After reaching the ridge the path started getting narrower and was headed towards a spiky line of peaks that form the scrambly section.
The route soon starts up steeply to gain a view of the first sketchy scramble. Looking up it looked a bit unnerving, but these things are always better when you start heading up.
Then after some severe scrambling/climbing we were on the rather exposed ridge itself, to the left of Marion in this picture is a drop of 1000m! The ridge is about 18inches wide in a couple of spots. I unashamedly bum shuffled in what was a strong breeze.
We posed for pictures without realizing quite the overhang we had been standing on, when we looked back it was more than a tad disconcerting, we had been standing on the very top of this immense pinnacle….
That was the best or worst (depending on your tastes) over with as we continued around the circuit.
With so much daylight we ran back down after a swim in the lake and in the river, yes Scotland can get that hot!!
We were headed for Stac Pollaidh in the evening light. After the drive north we pulled into the carpark beside the loch, put shoes on for boots and ran up with camera kit in my bag and a large packet of crisps for dinner.
It was getting on to 10pm as we admired the views from this unique eroded ridge. The mountain is famous for its tooth like spiked ridge. No where near a munro height but probably the most popular peak in the Assynt area of NW Scotland.
This is looking towards Suilven which was tomorrows target and iconic peak number four.
As the mid summer sun sank lower in the sky the shadows became more defined and the golden light made a remarkable scene. Best of all no one else was around!
Day three we hit Suilven. This peak is best attacked by bike for the first 5km from Lochinverewe, then lock the bikes up and climb on foot, Marion climbed it last year while I was suffering from shin splints but we both returned to scramble the harder Eastern peak.
As we approached the grade 2 scramble we pondered which way exactly the route went.
It was actually much better than it looked with just one climbing style move.
The exposure means it’s not for the faint hearted who don’t like heights.
The summit above this move was wide flat, empty and a great spot to chill out and enjoy lunch, away from the crowds on the easier western peak. On a sunny day over the weekend it was surprisingly busy. A group of older ladies complained about alack of 3G coverage, well that’s not really why we come to the mountains I muttered. I guess if it’s tweeted it didn’t happen regardless of your age!
After a fast cycle back out, we had done it and were headed back towards Ediburgh and the borders. The perfect way to spend the best weather of the year. We were spoiled by the weather gods, a few midges but nothing to complain about made it pretty perfect.