Written January 2013
For this trip I decided to travel up to Scotland with my Dad to climb some Munros around Glen Torridon. My Dad had seen photos of the Torridon mountains that a family friend had taken during a holiday there, and he was keen to see the soaring castellated sandstone peaks for himself.
My original plan had been to get the train to Strathcarron in Glen Carron, then cross the Bealach na Lice on foot through the Coulin to reach the National Trust campsite in Glen Torridon. However my Dad decided he would prefer to drive up and we would share the cost of the petrol. The trip is best recounted by the lyrics of a song my Dad wrote about the trip, soon after we got back.
Friday 4th May 2007
We drove up in a single day from Bristol to Glen Torridon ...
1. To the North-Western Highlands we wended our way, Past Lomond and Glen Coe, and many a fair brae, Now the sun has gone down, it's the end of the day, We've reached the Loch Torridon shore
Saturday 5th May 2007
We climbed Tom na Gruagaich and Sgùrr Mhòr, traversing Beinn Alligin. On the mountain we chatted to a chap from Ireland who said he was camping on the shore of Loch Torridon with some friends. He invited us to join them in the evening by their camp-fire ...
2. Next day we wake up, to a bright shining morn, We climb up to Alligin, traverse each horn, Then down thro' the woodland, of pine and blackthorn, To the camp near Loch Torridon shore. 3. The shore of the loch is the even-time moot, The camp-fire is blazing, and sparks upward shoot, The company's singing, there's guitar and flute, Down by the Loch Torridon shore.
Sunday 6th May 2007
4. Next morning we climb above Torridon's glen At the head of the corrie, join two Gasgow men, Then Liathach traverse, o'er pinnacled Beinn, Back down to Loch Torridon shore. Chorus: A westerly wind there, foul weather can bring, On Torridon's summits, the mist it will cling, But below in the glenside, the cuckoo will sing, In woods, by Loch Torridon shore.
Monday 7th May 2007
We attempted an ascent of Spidean Coire nan Clach on Beinn Eighe, the third giant in the Torridon triumpherate. However we got beaten back just 300 foot before the summit by an icy squall. We decided to abort the walk and got back to the car at 4pm. As a consolation, Dad took me for a scenic drive around the Applecross peninsula. This included ascending zigzags to reach a pass that represents the highest road in Scotland at 1800 feet. We went to the nearby pub for a meal afterwards.
5. The third day was bitter, the cloud it was black, On ridge of Beinn Eighe, we were forced to go back, Down a deerstalkers' path, our boots they did clack, Cold rain on Loch Torridon's shore. Chorus: A westerly wind there, foul weather can bring, On Torridon's summits, the mist it will cling, But below in the glenside, the cuckoo will sing, In woods, by Loch Torridon shore.
Tuesday 8th May 2007
The forecast was not good for the rest of the week, and Dad didn't fancy walking in cold wet weather, so we decided to return to Bristol and drove back in a single day. This time we followed the faster A9 through the east highlands, rather than the slower and more scenic A82 that we'd taken on the way up.
6. Now the camp it is struck, and the car it is stowed,
We cross sodden camp-field, then out on the road,
But the robins sing out, from their sylvan abode,
"Come back to Loch Torridon's shore."
Lyrics from On Loch Torridon Shore By R.L. Revell