I was brought up in the heart of the Torridon mountains in the North West Highlands of Scotland so mountaineering was part of my up bringing. My favourite mountain has to be Beinn Eighe. It is the first one my father took me up but also the one I lived beneath for many years. It is such a special mountain to me in so many ways with lots of different ways to challenge its great mass.
You can start your ascent from the east end at Kinlochewe and take in the pinnacles, known as the Black Carls. They make an interesting scramble in both winter and summer conditions. You can then traverse west along the ridge taking in the first Munro, Spidean Corrie Nan Clach. This is a really nice part of the ridge with amazing views all round.
Once you leave the trig point, you traverse along the ridge to the second Munro and the highest point of Beinn Eighe, Ruadh Stac Mhor. The views are amazing but the best is below, in the Corrie. To me this is one of the best views on Earth. Seeing it from the summit is great but the best way to see it is from the west end of Corrie Mhic Fhearachair. The triple buttresses rise from the loch to 1,000ft and it is like a cathedral. Truly magical.
The Corrie has an interesting history and from just beneath the buttress you can see the remains of a Lancaster bomber which crashed in the early hours of 14th March 1951. Sadly all eight military air crew lost their lives but this signalled a new beginning for the RAF Mountain Rescue team and also the start of the Torridon Mountain Rescue team – which I joined when I was 16 – and which have worked closely together since that fateful night.
Beinn Eighe will always be a special mountain to me. I am privileged enough to climb it for pleasure, to work on it as a mountain guide and also to rescue on it. The views from the top are incredible, but the most amazing part has to be the Corrie with it’s eerie atmosphere, stunning scenery and the history it holds.