Jim Groark led a group up the finest peaks in the Coulin Forest late March, here's his tale of the weekend....
On Maol Cheann Dearg
I met John, Sam and Lynn at Annat, near Torridon, and set off up a very good track, gradually rising up to Bealach a Choire Ghairbh. The weather was clear and dry, with light winds, but Liathach across the Glen Torridon remained in a blanket of cloud for most of the day. After getting to the bealach, we decided to go up the Munro Maol Chean Dearg (933m) first. Maol Chean Dearg translates into “Bald Red Head”, which really doesn't give this hill justice. From the bealach we saw the first people on the hill that day, as most people come up from Strath Carron, and reached the summit with some fabulous views all around. After a brew, we retreated back to the bealach, where Sam decided not to do the Corbett An Ruadh Stac, and instead began back down the track to Annat. John, Lynn and I climbed up the rocky slabs and patches of scree (and occasional snow patches) up to the summit - a very pleasant scramble ! After a pause at the summit (892m), we went back down as the sun was dropping and there was an Alpine glow lighting the hills. The icing on the cake was a pair of golden eagles playing on the thermals above An Ruadh Stac, just after we had left the summit.
Evening light !
On Beinn Liath Mhor
After a night in the Torridon Youth Hostel, we met at the park below Liathach, and Victoria joined our happy crew. Today’s plan was similar to yesterday, we'll go up to a bealach, then go up and down two Munros. We walked in on another good path out past the Ling hut. Once again it was a dry day with a light wind. From the bealach we climbed Sgorr Ruadh (962m) – “Red Peak” first, from where we could see all the other peaks of the Coulin Forest, and far beyond. Then, after descending to the bealach we went up to Beinn Liath Mhor (926m), or “Big Grey Hill”, and right enough, it was huge! The Munro was at the nearest end to our bealach, but if we were to have continued along, the three tops of Beinn Liath Mhor stretch for over 3km. We all then went back down the track, no eagles today, but lots of red deer, and amazingly enough, a weekend returning home with dry kit !