One place in Scotland that has always held a special place in my memory bank is the region known as the Torridon Hills. Hills is a something of a misnomer as they are a spectacular Mountain Massive. These were also my first taste of just how rugged and wild mountains can be…..
Sgor A’ Chadail and Liathach across Upper Loch Torridon
from near Shieldaig
I am not saying how many years ago (but it was along long time ago) that I got my first experience of the Torridons. I had been learning rock climbing and mountaineering skills in the Peak District with occasional weekends in either Snowdonia or the English Lake District and a love of mountains was formed. I was 17 just past my Driving Test and 3 of us headed north in an old van on a journey which I recall was just wet, wet and wetter. We arrived late at night so I had my first view of these mountains on a misty morning….as I crept out of our tent I was overawed by their shear size and magnitude*. It was tough but I will never forget reaching the summit ridge of Liathach, cold, hungry and wet. It was good grounding as a few days later we were climbing in the Cuillin Mountains on the Isle of Skye……and that is some place too! Both places that a return on many occasions was required, made and enjoyed with the same excitement as all those years ago.
The Cuillin from Sligachan Bridge
* For our American readers who no doubt think these mountains are pimples compared to their Rockies, I have to admit that they are smaller. But they are amongst the highest in Scotland most well over 3000ft and some over 4000. Inhospitable in bad weather, dramatic at others. All seem an incredibly long hike up and with age seem even higher!.