Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Torridon

Empty Country of Torridon
North of the Isle of Skye the rugged and mountainous region of Torridon is reached.  Here one finds big mountains and all but treeless glens.  It was another location I had seen images from and knew I wanted to visit.

I drove up from the Isle of Skye in the rain.  Make that pouring, heavy rain.  It actually turned out to be a good day to drive as photography was all but out of the question with only one good stop at a waterfall for ten minutes.  Lets just say good rain gear is well worth the price as it was the only way to stay dry.
The treeless route

As I arrived in the little village of Torridon the rain let up and I was able to set up my tent.  The town runs a little campsite.  I hear it is busy in the summer but at the end of October it was all but empty with just one other camper there.  I found a somewhat dry patch and put the tent up.

Then it was out to the glen and I caught some nice light at sunset.

I had three nights here and that would give me two full days to explore.  I had picked out a hike I wanted to do around Beinn Eighe to the Triple Buttress on the north side of the mountain.  It was about 9 miles round trip.  I spent a little time in the glen in the morning and left mid-morning spending the rest of the day on the hike.
Torridon Waterfall

This was a treeless hike.  Not one tree seen the entire way.  Just big mountains, streams, waterfalls, rocks and emptiness.  It was fantastic!  The weather was windy and mostly cloudy but I did get just a few minutes where the sun popped out along the hike.

When I reached the Triple Buttress, I found shelter from the howling wind on the leeward side of a rock to have a snack, drink some water, and look at the surrounding peaks.  Next trip I think I will backpack up for a night of wild camping here.

I spent most of the afternoon making my way back down to the car getting there right at sunset.  I photographed and took my time.  This was what I had been hoping for and this was a good day.  That night as I sat by my tent cooking Scotch Broth I was still in awe with the area.

There were several possible hikes I had seen in the area and (again just like Skye) did not have enough time to do them all.  I decided to do a hike north west of the village into the region under Beinn Alligin.  Here was a long valley between towering peaks.  There was a very small section of remnant forest here.  As in just a few acres and it was fenced to keep the deer out.  The rest was again all but treeless.
River Gorge

I followed a stream through the valley that had waterfall after waterfall.  The stream entered a small gorge and just kept getting more scenic.  I stopped for so many pictures that by lunch I had not even gone two miles.

I also found what I thought would be a great location for a sunset and planned to go back.  It was very overcast but I hoped the light might happen at sunset.

During an afternoon rain, I spent some time in the afternoon exploring one of those small sections of forest.  Really amazing that a forest might only be 4 acres.

As the day waned I hiked back up the Valley under Beinn Alligin to a wasterfall with a view west hoping for sunset, but it never happened.  It was just a gray sunset.  I hiked back to the car in the gathering dark still as content as one could hope for.  No it was not a sunset, but I was in the Scottish Highlands camping in the rain!!!

Loch Torridon
The next morning I was by the loch taking images in early gray light.  Then I went back up to the same waterfall hoping the clouds might break but again they stayed gray.

So I wrapped up my day time in Torridon in a light fog and mist.  I packed my wet tent up and headed north again.  I was off to find second breakfast in Ullapool.







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