A bright start and glorious views at the top of the Torridon valley…

but plans to explore the cragging further south were scuppered by encroaching drizzle. Hints of a brighter sky out towards the coast were enough to prompt a diversion to Diabeig, and sure enough it was a different world.

There’s plenty of climbing in this little corner of paradise, but the big attraction is Diabeig Pillar, the 50m high cubic monolith of chiselled gneiss, which is home to three outstanding E2s, with the eponymous central line being labelled Scotland’s equivalent to “Left Wall”. We’d done this and one of its sister routes on a previous visit, but when it comes to 4* routes, there’s no hardship in a repeat visit.

We arrived to find a team on the route ahead of us, but they bailed after 10m or so and were rapping for their gear by the time we arrived.

The Pillar is simply stupendous – comparable in quality with Left Wall, but completely different in character. It’s perhaps more sustained, but at a slabbier angle, so you can take your time and savour the balancy, technical climbing and occasional runout. The sun even made a concerted appearance, prompting the first shirtless climbing of the trip

Dire Straits, up the right of the wall, is a bit easier and almost as good, and the setting above the bay would grace any climb.

By a happy coincidence John was staying in the village for some Torridon Munro-bagging and we were able to catch up for beers on the sea front.

Top tip for a local stopover – check out the “voluntary donation” camping area in Inveralligan. What a great spot.

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