(The Grey One)

Liathach – One of Scotland’s Finest Mountains

Liathach is considered by many mountaineers as one of the greatest mountains in Scotland. This impenetrable looking hill is rivalled only by An Teallach and The Skye Cuillin. Located in the heart of Torridon, its level of difficulty is beautifully matched with its breathtaking scenery. Giving spectacular views of Loch Torridon and mountains throughout The North West Highlands. Liathach has two Munros, Spidean a’ Choire Leith (1055m) and Mullach an Rathain (1023m). They are connected along an 8km ridge (crossing eight separate tops in total). The Am Fasarinen pinnacles is one of Liathach’s most identifiable features, this is a notorious section of scrambling, located approximately halfway along this ridgeline. A true classic, Liathach fully deserved its reputation as one of Scotland’s best mountains.

View some of the routes we can offer on this mountain

Private Guiding on Liathach from £260

Climb Torridon provides private guiding on Liathach and the surrounding mountains in Torridon. We are based in the North West Highlands of Scotland and are the local experts within this area. We pride ourselves on our knowledgeable, experienced and friendly guides, all of whom are highly qualified. If you are looking to complete a classic Liathach Traverse, explore a remote scramble (e.g. Meall Dearg The Northern Pinnacles) or enjoy a winter adventure, we would love to help.

See our ratios and pricing information

Liathach’s Spectacular Location

Liathach is located in Glen Torridon, a paradise for walkers, climbers and photographers. This is a very remote area of the North West Highlands of Scotland. The nearby village of Torridon is extremely small and has a limited range of accommodation including The Torridon Youth Hostel, The Torridon Hotel and a campsite. An alternative option is to stay in Kinlochewe, whereby The Kinlochewe Hotel is a popular choice for our customers. Many of our customers also stay in the village of Gairloch. Gairloch is slightly further to drive to the Liathach carpark (around 40 minutes), however it is a larger village with a greater range of facilities, accommodation, restaurants and shops.

Mullach an Rathain, Liathach

Routes on Liathach

The Classic Liathach Traverse

This is our most popular option and the most traditional traverse of Liathach. We start midway along Glen Torridon and follow an excellent track to make our way up onto the ridge. Some walking and easy scrambling leads us to the first of The Munros, Spidean a’Choire Leith. From the summit of Spidean a’Choire Leith, we continue along the ridge and over The Am Fasarinen Pinnacles, a real highlight for many. The Pinnacles involve grade II scrambling but a bypass can be used if preferred. Next a worn track leads over our second Munro, Mullach an Rathain, before descending back into Glen Torridon.

Bespoke Routes on Liathach

Most people experience Liathach using the traditional traverse described above, however there are some fantastic alternatives as well. For example, we can access the mountain from a northerly route. This option is popular with those wishing to include the summit of Meall Dearg (mainland Scotland’s most technical Munro Top) before scrambling along The Northern Pinnacles to reach Mullach an Rathain. The route then continues along the traverse in an Easterly direction. Another alternative start can be made via a scramble along the South Ridge of Mullach an Rathain.

We have extensive knowledge of the various routes along Liathach, so if you have any particular requests for the day please do just let us know.

Liathach in Winter

In winter Liathach offers many outstanding days out. The traditional traverse being a much sought after experience. In addition, the great corries on the northern flanks of the mountain hold many famous ice and mixed winter climbing routes, including Twisting Gully (II), George (III 4) and Poachers Fall (V 5)

Liathach Facts

How do you pronounce Liathach?

Locally, Liathach is pronounced with a soft “g” instead of a “th”. Therefore, phonetically it would be “Lee-a-gac”. You may hear a few variations on the pronunciation. In fact, according to the extremely comprehensive book entitled, The Place Names of Loch Torridon, it is “one of the most problematic place-names around the loch”.

What does it mean?

Liathach means The Grey One. However, has only been spelled this way for a relatively short amount of time. The former spelling of this mountain was Liaghaich, and its meaning is unknown.

Where is Liathach Located?

It is located in the heart of The Torridon Mountains, in the North West Highlands of Scotland. The nearest villages are Torridon (approximately 3 miles) and Kinlochewe (approximately 8 miles). Many of the customers we guide on Liathach stay in either Kinlochewe, at the Kinlochewe Hotel or campsite, or in the larger village of Gairloch, which has an excellent range of accommodation. The nearest city is Inverness (approximately 60 miles away).

Can I get to Liathach on public transport?

It is not simple to get to Liathach without a car. The nearest airport is Inverness (approximately 60 miles away). The nearest train station is Achnasheen (approximately 20 miles away). There is a train between Inverness and Achnasheen and then there is a bus from Achnasheen to Kinlochewe, but the service is infrequent, currently once a day. From Kinlochewe there is no public transport, however, there is a local taxi service. Due to the infrequency of the train and bus, careful planning would be needed.

How long does The Classic Liathach Traverse take to complete?

We generally find that when we are guiding Liathach most customers take between 7-9 hours to complete the traverse. This, of course, varies depending on customer speed, fitness and weather conditions.

How many Munros are on Liathach?

There are two Munros on Liathach, Spidean a’ Choire Leith (1055m) and Mullach an Rathain (1023m).

How many Munro Tops are there?

There are four Munro Tops on Liathach (please note, these are different from Munros). They are Stuc a’Choire Dhuibh Bhig, Stob a’Choire Liath Mhor, Am Fasarinen and Meall Dearg.

How high is it?

The highest point is the summit of Spidean a’ Choire Leith at 1055m.

How long is it?

According to our mapping app, Outdoor Active, the total distance of our guided Classic Liathach Traverse route is 8.2km.

What is the total ascent?

According to our mapping app, Outdoor Active, the total amount of height gain on our guided Classic Liathach Traverse is 1238 metres.

Do you need a rope for Liathach?

Yes, your Liathach guide will be using a rope to keep you safe during the scrambling section. This will be used in conjunction with helmets and harnesses. Although, a minority of mountaineers who undertake the scramble independently may choose not to use a rope. Many people who complete the classic traverse, whether guided or independent, will use a rope for safety purposes.

What grade is Liathach?

Liathach is a grade two scramble. A grade two scramble is generally considered to be a medium level of difficulty of scrambling. Grade two scrambles have the following characteristics:

  • Awkward climbing movements, whereby the use of hands is required for short sections.
  • Sustained scrambling, whereby hands are needed for balance for longer sections.
  • Significant exposure.
While a grade two scramble can contain any or or all of the above, these do not normally occur at the same time.

How difficult is Liathach?

There is no simple answer to this question. As with all mountaineering, the difficulty is very subjective and everyone will find different mountains more or less challenging. However, to give you a general idea, Liathach would be considered one of the most challenging mountains in Scotland. This is due to a mixture of the technicality of scrambling and the overall physicality (length and total ascent) of the day. We are often asked how it compares to other scrambles and mountains. Some comparisons are below, however please do keep in mind that everyone is different with regards to what they find easy and challenging.

  • The Aonach Eagach Ridge is a similar level of difficulty to Liathach overall. However, Liathach has a bypass path around much of the scrambling unlike the Aonach Eagach Ridge. Therefore, some of the difficulty can be skipped. It should be noted that the bypass itself is not straightforward and has a very reasonable degree of exposure.
  • Crib Goch is often considered easier than Liathach. The difficulty of the scrambling on Crib Goch is a full grade lower.
  • Striding Edge is considered substantially easier than Liathach. In fact, it would be a similar level of difficulty to the bypass path.
  • The CMD Arete would be considered easier than Liathach. While the CMD Arete is a physically demanding day, the scrambling is a full grade lower.
  • In comparison to the surrounding local mountains, Liathach can be considered one of the most challenging. It is harder than Beinn Alligin and Beinn Eighe, however An Teallach would be considered harder.
  • The Cuillin Ridge – A full Cuillin Ridge traverse is certainly more challenging. However, for those familiar with the Cuillin Munros, Liathach would be considered a similar level of difficulty to Sgurr Dubh Mor.

Is there a bypass path around the scrambling section on Liathach?

Yes, there is a bypass path. However, it is worth being aware that the bypass path is exposed. It is slippery and eroded with large drops. We have customers who are understandably nervous of the scrambling on Liathach and ask if we can guide them along the bypass to reduce the difficulty. Whilst this is something we can certainly do, please keep in mind this is still an airy and awkward path. If you are nervous of scrambling but wish to complete the Liathach Traverse, just let us know. Our guides are very understanding and will explain the differences in the two approaches in detail, in order to help you decide on the best route for you.

How can I find out the answers to other questions I have?

Please, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have at all. Whether you are looking to use us as a Liathach guide or you are planning on attempting the mountain independently. We are happy to do our best to answer any questions. We also update this page regularly with any questions we do get, in order to make this resource as comprehensive as possible.

Ratios and Pricing for Liathach

In order to provide the highest level of experience and safety we maintain low ratios for guided ascents. Below you can see the details. All our Liathach trips are privately guided, therefore you will not have to worry about the pace of others and will get a trip tailored to your individual needs.


* Due to the day length and the technicality of the routes we work at a maximum ratio of 1 guide to 4 clients for traverses in summer, 1 guide to 2 clients for bespoke summer routes and 1 guide to 2 clients for all winter routes on Liathach.
Ratio Summer Traverse Summer Bespoke
1:1 £260 £300
1:2 £150 per person £160 per person
1:3 £100 per person N/A *
1:4 £75 per person N/A *


* Due to the day length and the technicality of the routes we work at a maximum ratio of 1 guide to 4 clients for traverses in summer, 1 guide to 2 clients for bespoke summer routes and 1 guide to 2 clients for all winter routes on Liathach.
Ratio Mountaineering & Climbing Price
1:1 £320
1:2 £170 per person

What You Get

  • Personalised day based around your goals.
  • Fully qualified guide.
  • Use of technical equipment where needed including helmets, harness and ropes.
  • Kit List.
  • Comprehensive joining instructions including local information.


You should expect a full day out on the mountain. A Classic Liathach Traverse normally lasts 7 to 9 hours and contains more than 1000m of ascent. Therefore, a good level of walking fitness, as well as experience of hill walking in the UK, is highly recommended. In winter conditions Liathach is even more challenging and you should have some experience of winter walking.


You will need full hill walking equipment including sturdy footwear, waterproofs (jacket and trousers), food and warm clothing. Technical kit is available to borrow for your booking where required. Alternatively, you are welcome to bring your own subject to inspection by your guide to ensure its safety. A complete kit list is provided with each booking.

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