Steve Pardoe's Torridon Page, February 2002

Here are some pictures from a long weekend in Torridon with Steve C, Neil S, and our Guide, Robin Beadle. Most of the images have been cropped, and some also reduced in scale, to save bandwidth.

Saturday 9. February 2002: Beinn Eighe, Far West Gully (400m, SW I/II)

Conditions were barely wintry. We sweated buckets, and sank "up to the oxters" in soggy snow ; melt water was running down, there was lots of bare rock, and the crashed Lancaster bomber was fully exposed. We found no ice in the route at all, so it was well up to SW II, we thought. Lots of scope for jokes about bomber gear placements, though.

Robin, Steve C and Neil on the excellent path in Coire Dubh Mor, with Beinn Eighe on the right. The steep scree slopes were to be our descent route

Neil, Steve P, Steve C at the path junction, with Liathach behind them

Beinn Eighe's Triple Buttress, soaring above Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair

Heading up towards Far West Gully, also known as Fuselage Gully

A Merlin engine from the Lancaster bomber which crashed into the top of the gully on 14. March, 1951, during a training flight. The difficulty in recovering the bodies of the eight crewmen who died led to the formation of the RAF Mountain Rescue Team

Neil, Steve C and Robin about to start moving up the gully

Steve C waiting just below the main part of the Lancaster, as Robin gets some gear in...


Past the obstruction, looking down on the wreckage

Robin looking happy...

...and his three happy clients

Topped out!

Blang! My sparking pick
finds only quartzite. Beinn Eighe's
not in Winter nick

Sunday 10. February 2002: Liathach, Twisting Gully (180m, SW II)

This route seemed even wetter, and we were sloshing about in meltwater, but there was a short true ice pitch at about 2/3 height (I think this is where the "through route" sometimes appears). Only about a dozen axe hits' worth, though, poor value after a 4-hour b*stard-nasty walk-in in my unfamiliar plastics. Spindrift was sloughing off everything, and my feet were trashed. The descent via Liathach's south flank was a nightmare, six inches of fresh wet snow on steep heather, followed by what I can only describe as torrential mud. Great day, though, in retrospect, especially after swallowing a bit more 80/- in the Lochcarron Hotel.

Robin, Steve C and Neil during the walk-in, with the face of Coire na Caime behind them. The approach crossed a horrid boulder field, topped with just the wrong kind of snow

Steve P, Robin and Steve C, ditto. Twisting Gully is the deep one to the left of the brightly filled gully (No.7?) above Robin's head

Robin, ready to move off

The left wall overhangs somewhat, and was dripping onto us

Looking down the gully from near the start

Steve C, clipped to a buried axe, awaits his turn to move up

Steve P finishing the route, wielding those shiny new Grivels

Big thanks to Robin Beadle, for excellent Guiding, and for making the best of the conditions for us.
Robin's contact details (on our main server) are here.

Seen in Aviemore, whatever can they mean?

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