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The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.

The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.


Postby davetherave » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:36 pm

Munros included on this walk: Aonach Air Chrith, Creag a'Mhaim, Creag nan Damh, Druim Shionnach, Maol chinn-dearg, Sgurr an Doire Leathain, Sgurr an Lochain, Sgurr na Sgine, The Saddle

Grahams included on this walk: Biod an Fhithich

Date walked: 22/04/2011

Time taken: 18.5 hours

Distance: 35.5 km

Ascent: 3208m

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Date. Friday 22nd April 2011
Completed by. Dave, Julie and Wilson
Weather. Clear, sunny but windy on the Saddle, 2nd day poor
Time. 5.5 hrs + 13 hrs
Distance. 7.5 km + 28 km
Ascent. 1355 m + 1853 m
Hills.
Munro’s x 9
Corbett’s x 1
Grahams x 1


our route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



The Saddle,Sgurr Na Sgine,Creag Na Damh,Sgurr an Lochain,Sgurr an Doire Leathain,Maol Chinn Dearg,Aonach Air Chrith Druim Shionnach and Creag a Mhaim.

Sgurr a Bhac Chaolais

Biod an Fhithich

Starting from.

A87 roadside parking at NG 966 145

1st day of the holidays and we decide on completing the Saddle via the Forcan ridge. The weather predictions are all favourable, sunny with light winds. Seemed like the ideal conditions…

We make for the Bealach at the foot of the Greame Biod an Fhithich. The 600m climb had the 3 of us breathing hard right from the start, but once on the Bealach it was easy going to our first summit. From the summit we could see our next mission “ The forcan Ridge” The ridge that would lead us to The Saddle.
1 (3).JPG
looking down Glen Shiel

1 (4).JPG
Wilson heading for the Bealach

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Wilson topped out on Biod an Fhithich

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The Forcan ridge

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Looking back to Biod an Fhithich

By the time we reached the start point of the ridge at approx 6pm there was a change in the wind speed. Nothing to serious, but you certainly new it was there, and as we progressed along it became more prominent. Decided to remove Wilsons Bac-Pac to give him more freedom, this also removed the risk of it snagging and possibly affecting his balance.
I personally felt the ridge was very demanding. Total concentration was needed at all times, and with the wind speed picking up considerably we contemplated more than once about turning back. Three or four times we were pinned down and had to wait for the wind to drop before making our next move. But with time and care we were progressing well, I really felt that we were nearly there… Until I looked over what would probably have been the last Pinnacle.

We would have most likely, have had to down climb that part. That was not an option with Wilson. Decided to drop of the steep south side, down to the dry stane dyke and then climb back up to the ridge at the other side of that (nasty pinnacle). Then from there we carried on across the ridge to the summit. Phewww.
1 (17).JPG
resting on the Forcan ridge

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Biod an Fhithich

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Looking back along the Forcan ridge

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Looking west from The Saddle

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our descent from the ridge

1 (32).JPG
Looking back to The Saddle.

We had spent a lot of time on the Forcan ridge. There was no way now that we would have time to Bag Sgurr Na Sgine. So we decide to head back along the ridge and drop back down to the dry stane dyke and head for the bealach.

Tomorrow was now going to be a much tougher day than planned…

Had an awful nights sleep, wind and rain was out of control, but at least our wee Banshee held strong and kept us dry.

We were on our way just after 6am. Thick mist, wind and heavy drizzle. No views what so ever. This was going to be a very long day.

Not much to say about our walk along the South Shiel Ridge apart from it being fairly miserable with no views at all. Well nearly none, once we reached Druim Shionnach we did get a bit of sun making an appearance.
DSC00796.JPG

DSC00798.JPG

DSC00803.JPG

DSC00804.JPG

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The first of the sun

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DSC00809.JPG
final munro clearing.

DSC00810.JPG
final Munro clear. typical !

DSC00811.JPG

DSC00812.JPG


A note on Sgurr Na Sgine…. In bad visibility, when descending keep more SSW. We came across some very steep terrain when descending. When we reached safer lower ground the mist lifted for a moment, leaving us views of what we had contoured round. Looked like it was very steep crags. The OS map does not seem to show this type of terrain. Or was I imagining it with my short/limited view when the mist momentarily lifted!!
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Re: The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.

Postby bootsandpaddles » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:59 pm

Looks like a great expedition. Did Wilson enjoy scrambling?
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Re: The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.

Postby monty » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:14 pm

Nice one Davetherave. Another big walk. Shame about the weather and wind on day one. Some nice pictures though. Wouldn't have thought Wilson would be ok on the ridge but looks like he managed it ok. Well done. :D
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Re: The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.

Postby skuk007 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:09 pm

Nice report Dave, real shame about the second day's weather. Bet the views are greta from that ridge. You'll have to go back. :)
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Re: The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.

Postby LeithySuburbs » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:19 pm

Your quite the epic expert Dave (et al) :D . Glad I walked out from Fisherfield on Friday evening seeing what Saturday morning looks like in your pictures.
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Re: The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.

Postby Bruadair » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:23 pm

Fantastic achievement DtR......great report and cracking photo's.............love Wilson resting on Forcan Ridge.

Regards................B
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Re: The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.

Postby Gable Gable End » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:17 am

Echo your sentiments on sgurr Na signe descent. I got myself into a really bad situation having had a fall in the clag on that same bit. I also agree that the map is somewhat "inaccurate".

Shame about the weather on the trip!
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Re: The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.

Postby Alastair S » Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:37 pm

What a monster of a weekend - you sure know how to pack them in Dave 8)

Sod's law on the weather - a real weekender with fabulous days on the Fri & Mon :(

I'm amazed Wilson managed to do the Forcan ridge. Gives me hope for my up-coming attempt with some fellow WH'ers.
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Re: The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.

Postby CurlyWurly » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:23 pm

Spooky, I did the did the exact same walk as you but wild camped on A' Mhuing on the Thursday night. Got a really early start on the Friday morning but ascending Forcan Ridge took a huge amount of time. I managed to make it over to Aonach air Chrith before darkness so fortunately, only had to do the last couple of Munros on the Saturday in the clag. My intention was to hike back up over the Five Sisters but after a couple of hours in that weather, I jumped on the bus back home instead :)
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Re: The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.

Postby malky_c » Sun May 01, 2011 7:52 am

First day looks lovely. Lucky you did the most interesting hills then, rather than on the next day. I've never dropped off Sgurr na Sgine in that direction, but it certainly looks like you need to know where you're going.

Wilson is impressive. I think you're going to have him up the inn pinn before long :lol:
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Re: The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.

Postby Libby Smith » Sun May 01, 2011 10:50 am

Great reading brill photos,looks scary my hubbie is walking the ridge as i am writing this ..Glad its a lads trip dont think i could do the ridge !!!!
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Re: The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.

Postby rockhopper » Sun May 01, 2011 10:51 am

Great pity about the weather on day 2, Dave but lovely on day 1. The ridge looks a bit foreboding in your photo - must have been even harder with your overnight packs and no wonder it took longer than planned. Well done to you all for completing in that weather. :D
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Re: The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.

Postby davetherave » Thu May 05, 2011 9:10 pm

Yeah, the weather turned out rather poor 2nd day. But atleast it was ok/reasonable for completing the forcing ridge.

After completing the south ridge we rested for a day on skye. Then we climbed Blaven.

We then headed back to the main land. And from morvich we had another big route planned. The 5 sisters and then carried on the north ridge and camped at the foot of ciste dubh.

Must get that report in sometime soon. :lol:

Thanks again to all who replied.
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Re: The Saddle via The Forcan ridge and beyond.

Postby ChrisW » Thu May 05, 2011 9:27 pm

fantastic report dave, can't help but feel for wilson in 00798 but I'm sure he would rather be out than in (even in the clag) :D
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