North Glen Shiel skyline between buses (and a WH celebrity)

Munros: Aonach Meadhoin, Saileag, Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg, Sgurr Fhuaran, Sgurr na Carnach, Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe

Date walked: 20/09/2014

Time taken: 7.7 hours

Distance: 20km

Ascent: 2120m

Munros: Aonach Meadhoin, Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg, Saileg, Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe, Sgurr na Carnach, Sgur Fuaran.
Date: 20/09/2014.
Distance: 20km.
Ascent: 2120m.
Time taken: 7 hours, 40 minutes.
Weather: Sunshine and showers.

Back on the big hills again. I was last on the 5 Sisters in 1998 with my dad, and the weather wasn't great. For the last couple of years, it had been my intention to go back in good weather, and probably do the whole northern skyline of Glen Shiel. This fits in well with the bus timetable (for me at least), so I wasn't too bothered about getting the car this weekend. Unlike last month's Munro foray into the Cairngorms, this time I would be following a popular route used by many others on this forum.

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The bus left Inverness 20 minutes late as the door wouldn't open, and didn't make up any time, so I was a little tight for time right from the start.

Cluanie Inn:

There was a faint path up onto the 864m summit of Sgurr an Fuarail, and the weather stayed mostly good for the ascent, with decent views east and over Am Bathach. However the cloud descended on the summit and a shower came on. Not what I was hoping for!

On the way up Sgurr an Fhuarail:

Am Bathach:

Aonach air Crith and Maol Chinn-dearg:

Loch Cluanie:

Looking back from Sgurr an Fhuarail. Worried this is the last of the good weather:

Coire nan Eun:


There was little to see from Aonach Meadhoin, but some minor scrambling steps on the descent westwards to supply interest instead. The weather began to improve again after the col, where I stopped to chat to a couple of people.

Back to Aonach Meadhoin:


Ciste Dubh:


Walkers on the SE ridge of Sgurr a’ Bhealaich Dheirg:

I remembered the diversion off the main ridge onto the narrow summit arête of Sgurr a' Bhealaich Dheirg from my last visit. I went a short way beyond the cairn (awkward to pass, as it blocks the ridge) to find somewhere grassy to stop. The weather was quite pleasant now. Must use the north ridge of this hill for an ascent sometime - it would fit well with a night at Camban.

Summit ridge of Sgurr a’ Bhealaich Dheirg:



Across Glas-choire to Ciste Dubh:

Saileg and the Sisters:

Sgurr na Sgine, the Saddle and the ridge west:

Onward to Saileag, where the walking was mostly easy, aside from a couple of steep knolls which needed to be avoided.

Back to Sgurr a’ Bhealaich Dheirg:

Now I could see the head of Loch Duich and Morvich, as well as the eastern Sisters. Grassy walking down to Bealach an Lapain, and a short way up the other side, before the terrain became rockier.

Strath Croe:

East along Glen Shiel:

…and west:

Sgurr nan Spainteach is a succession of rocky summits, each one slightly higher than the last. Then there was a bit of scrabbling around on loose ground before ascending the strange double spur of Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe. Coming in the opposite direction, this had confused the hell out of us in the mist last time I was up here.

Sgurr nan Spainteach:


Up the glen:

Along Sgurr nan Spainteach to the eastern Sisters:

Saileag and Sgurr a’ Bhealaich Dheirg:

Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe and Sgurr na Carnach:

Cliffs leading to Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe:

Back to Sgurr nan Spainteach:


The weather forecast had suggested a longer spell of afternoon showers, but instead the weather got sunnier and the scenery better. I enjoyed the views directly down onto Glen Shiel, the road seeming to be almost at my feet at this point. I filled my water bottle from a rather grim pool - I had forgotten that my route would be exclusively on high ridges and only packed my usual litre.

Shiel Bridge and Ratagain:

Loch Duich:

Sgurr na Carnach and Sgurr Fuaran:

Back to Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe:

Loch Duich and the mouth of Glen Shiel:

Big Ben:

Sgurr na Carnach provided an impressive second lunch stop and a steep descent, then it was on to the final pull up Sgurr Fuaran. This was quite bouldery in places, and I was greeted by a guy with a dog at the summit. I had a feeling I knew who this was, as the dog looked familiar somehow...it turned out to be Collaciotach :) . He had done the same route as me, and intended to camp somewhere before heading home on Sunday. The route had been shorter than expected though, so he decided to skip the camping part. We walked off down to Ault a' Chruin together instead.

Last haul of the day to Sgurr Fuaran:

Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe and Sgurr nan Spainteach:


Back to Sgurr na Carnach:


The east ridge of Sgurr Fuaran:

Although there was too much cloud for a decent sunset, there was a lovely evening light as we passed over Sgurr nan Saighead. In fact, we ended up missing the actual summit as there was a contouring path around the back of the highest point. Not that it mattered, as we still saw the best of the impressive slabs on the Glen Lichd side of the ridge.

Sgurr nan Saighead, last of the 3000ers:


Beinn Fada:

Back to Sgurr Fuaran:

On Sgurr nan Saighead:


…looking to Sgurr na Moraich:

As time was moving on, we decided to miss out the 5th sister (Sgurr na Moraich) and drop directly down towards the path following the Allt a' Chruin. After a short amount of rough ground, this gave us an easy walk back down into Ault a' Chruin.

Sgurr an t-Searrach:

Sgurr an Airgid and head of Loch Duich:

Looking back up the Allt a Chruin:

We still had 40 minutes or so before the bus, so Colla tried to hitch back to his car. I decided to make it easier for him by getting out of the way, and went into the Jac-o-bite restaurant for a pint. I'm sure this used to be a ropey greasy spoon, but it is quite posh now, and I felt a bit out of place. The menu looked nice though, and I had a bowl of soup with my pint. The Kintail Lodge hotel would have been more appropriate, but I didn't have enough time to walk down there before my bus came.

When I came out for the bus, Colla had had no luck hitching. Unfortunately when the bus rolled up, it had the same a.rsehole driver on it as the morning one, and he wasn't about to bend the rules and let a dog on the bus. That left Colla to go back to hitching - hope you managed to get a lift without too much bother in the end.

Good to meet another forum member (one who's reports I have often enjoyed too), and a great day out on the higher hills again :D

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Comments: 16

An Cabar between the showers

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: An Cabar
Date walked: 07/09/2014
Distance: 14.5km
Ascent: 720m
Comments: 6
Views: 243

Hidden corries and a scramble in the heart of the Cairngorms

Attachment(s) Munros: Braeriach, Sgor an Lochain Uaine
Date walked: 24/08/2014
Distance: 36km
Ascent: 1580m
Comments: 3
Views: 389

Heading south...a long way south

Attachment(s) Grahams: Blackcraig Hill, Cauldcleuch Head, Windlestraw Law
Donalds: Blackcraig Hill, Cauldcleuch Head, Windlestraw Law
Date walked: 03/08/2014
Distance: 18.5km
Ascent: 1260m
Comments: 2
Views: 249

Another evening out: Luss Hills from Glen Fruin

Attachment(s) Grahams: Beinn a'Mhanaich, Beinn Chaorach, Beinn Eich, Cruach an t-Sidhein, Doune Hill
Date walked: 01/08/2014
Distance: 18km
Ascent: 1860m
Comments: 4
Views: 246

Evening excursion on Beinn nan Imirean

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn nan Imirean
Date walked: 31/07/2014
Distance: 10.5km
Ascent: 710m
Comments: 3
Views: 162

The sky's the limit on Pressendye and the Buck

Attachment(s) Grahams: Pressendye, The Buck
Date walked: 27/07/2014
Distance: 10.5km
Ascent: 705m
Views: 148

Beinn a' Chlachain from Inverbain

Attachment(s) Grahams: Beinn a'Chlachain
Date walked: 26/07/2014
Distance: 20km
Ascent: 1140m
Comments: 1
Views: 143

Blath Bhalg

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Grahams: Blath Bhalg
Date walked: 19/07/2014
Distance: 6km
Ascent: 310m
Views: 37

Southern Upland(s my) way part 2: The Galloway Traverse

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Merrick, Shalloch on Minnoch
Grahams: Cairnsmore of Fleet, Craignaw, Lamachan Hill, Millfore, Mullwharchar
Donalds: Cairnsmore of Fleet, Craignaw, Kirriereoch Hill, Lamachan Hill, Merrick, Millfore, Mullwharchar, Shalloch on Minnoch, Tarfessock
Sub 2000s: Craiglee (Galloway)
Date walked: 16/07/2014
Distance: 77km
Ascent: 4040m
Comments: 7
Views: 540


User avatar
Location: Inverness
Occupation: Civil Engineer
Interests: Walking, Scrambling, Cycling, Mountain Biking
Munro rounds: 1

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 187
Grahams: 167
Donalds: 41
Wainwrights: 79
Hewitts: 206
Sub 2000: 103

Filter reports



Trips: 38
Distance: 895 km
Ascent: 41385m
Munros: 9
Corbetts: 13
Grahams: 33
Donalds: 32
Sub2000s: 18


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Ascent: 52310m
Munros: 9
Corbetts: 23
Grahams: 37
Sub2000s: 26


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Ascent: 64050m
Corbetts: 8
Grahams: 16
Sub2000s: 19
Hewitts: 96
Wainwrights 16


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Ascent: 45165m
Munros: 5
Corbetts: 21
Grahams: 31
Sub2000s: 11
Hewitts: 18


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Grahams: 32
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Ascent: 35725m
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Corbetts: 36
Grahams: 14
Sub2000s: 5
Hewitts: 1


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Ascent: 37865m
Munros: 15
Corbetts: 22
Grahams: 19
Donalds: 3
Sub2000s: 6


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Ascent: 30550m
Munros: 22
Corbetts: 19
Grahams: 7
Donalds: 3
Sub2000s: 4


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Ascent: 32785m
Munros: 39
Corbetts: 6
Grahams: 4
Hewitts: 1


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Ascent: 27635m
Munros: 29
Corbetts: 7
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 2
Hewitts: 5
Wainwrights 8


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Distance: 839.4 km
Ascent: 47975m
Munros: 60
Corbetts: 6
Grahams: 2
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 1


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Ascent: 51905m
Munros: 68
Corbetts: 5
Hewitts: 5


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Ascent: 42245m
Munros: 46
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 3
Hewitts: 24


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Distance: 738.5 km
Ascent: 59035m
Munros: 45
Corbetts: 1
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 52
Wainwrights 23


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Distance: 512.5 km
Ascent: 42190m
Munros: 19
Corbetts: 2
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 55
Wainwrights 27


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Distance: 504 km
Ascent: 43786m
Munros: 23
Corbetts: 1
Hewitts: 49
Wainwrights 4


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Distance: 378 km
Ascent: 33525m
Munros: 12
Hewitts: 46


Trips: 43
Distance: 512.1 km
Ascent: 44205m
Munros: 19
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 2
Hewitts: 63
Wainwrights 6


Trips: 40
Distance: 476.5 km
Ascent: 40740m
Munros: 12
Corbetts: 2
Hewitts: 75
Wainwrights 17


Trips: 2

Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Last visited: Sep 30, 2014
Total posts: 4209 | Search posts

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