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3 Brothers from Kintail

3 Brothers from Kintail


Postby BlackPanther » Wed May 04, 2011 12:56 pm

Route description: Brothers Ridge - Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg

Munros included on this walk: Aonach Meadhoin, Saileag, Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg

Date walked: 29/04/2011

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 11.3 km

Ascent: 1560m

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Just a few days after conquering Suilvan another great opportunity arose to run away from civilized world and get a taste of the great Scottish wilderness. I've had my eyes on Glen Shiel for a long time but I must admit - the steep slopes of both sides of the glen always made me feel uncertain if I would be able to get my bum up there :lol: We drove past these mighty Munros many times on the way to Skye and every time I had goosebumps when I looked up.
So far my only climbing achievements in Kintail area were three Corbetts (Sgurr an Airgid, Am Bathach, Sgurr Mhic Bharraigh) but that only increased my appetite for more. My husband, who had done most of Kintail Munros (all but 3 as far as I remember) kept feeding me with stories about how fantastic the views are and how lovely it is to walk along the ridge from one summit to another. With the landmark of Suilven achieved after three years of waiting the right time came to tackle another task.
And so it happened that the very moment when Kate walked down the isle, we were driving along Loch Ness and then up Glen Shiel to the car park at the foot of Bealach an Lapain which is the gate to Both the Five Sisters and The Three Brothers. We picked the Three Brothers Ridge rather then the Sisters as it looked a tiny bit easier - the five girls have to wait for another day :D

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The car park has been recently done up so there is plenty of space for crazy hill walkers to leave cars :D And even from the bottom of the glen there are nice views around.
The pointy top of Faochag and The Saddle (to the right):
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The path up Bealach an Lapain is boggy and very steep, fortunately after the dry recent weeks the boggy bits were easier to cross. And our efforts were quickly rewarded!
Looking west from the steep slopes:
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The view across the glen:
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Just as we passed the line of the forest we headed east as the ground there looked drier. We gave up the path and simply charged up the slopes, carefully picking our way up. Apart from the annoying steepness, there's nothing difficult about this part of the route...
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Just one more push :x :x
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And when I looked back...
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More nice views to the east:
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We're almost there...
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We landed on the ridge half way up between the bealach and the summit of Saileag - and immediately I was taken aback! Here they were, the Five Sisters, smiling happily in April sunshine:
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Close-up:
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And behind the Sisters - The Saddle presents The Forcan Ridge:
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More to the north - Glean Lichd:
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The top of the first Munro of the day was just a short walk away:
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Kevin with the Sisters in the background:
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Conditions on the ridge were good. Maybe a bit windy, but not even half as bad as on Suilven where we struggled to stay upright. The sun was pretty strong so again I had to apply the sticky sunscreen :? and we carried on to the summit of Saileag.
The cairn of Saileag and the Sisters:
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Looking east along the ridge to the next target:
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The long ridge of Ben Attow:
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The south ridge of Glen Shiel:
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After only a short break on the summit of Saileag we continued to Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg. This is the highest of the Brothers and the rockiest one. The route between the two Munros is not difficult though, with only a couple of points of easy scrambling. Very enjoyable!
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A glance back to Saileag:
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The rocky ridge:
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Another photo I will NOT show my dad :)
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That looks like a stroll...
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...or maybe not?
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Another rocky bit:
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Again, back to Saileag and the Sisters:
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On the minor top (911m) of Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg:
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The summit was now close:
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The main top of Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg is situated along the very narrow northeast ridge:
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A short scramble to the summit cairn:
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The Sisters are still in sight:
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At the cairn:
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The last of the Brothers was now visible:
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So we wasted no time and rushed on to the bealach between them:
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On our way to Aonach Meadhoin:
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The ridge gives a nice climb:
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And it didn't take us too long to finally reach the summit cairn:
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Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg from the east:
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Close-up to Sreath a' Ghlas-choire ridge:
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The "uglier" side of Ciste Dhubh:
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The next summit on the long ridge is called Sgurr an Fhuarail:
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Views towards Loch Cluanie:
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We considered continuing our expedition all the way to Ciste Dhubh, but we both hated the perspective of a long walk along the road back to the car park by Bealach an Lapain. The best solution, as we saw it, though maybe not the easiest one, was to simply return along the ridge. And that was what we did. It was getting windier but still, the climb was a delight for a mountain-mad cat :D :D :D
Descending ridge between Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg and Aonach Meadhoin...
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...then up to Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg...
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...along its ridge...
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...to the familiar view of The Sisters again:
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The bulk of Ben Attow:
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The southern ridge:
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Down the rocky western slopes of Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg...
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...with more lovely views around...
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...and up to Saileag :D
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The Sisters from Saileag in afternoon sun:
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At Bealach an Lapain:
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Eventually we arrived at the top of Bealach an Lapain. Now,for the last part of our adventure, we had to descend all the way down to the car park, on very eroded path. The descent was a knee-hurting experience but all in all - it was a fantastic day. Not to mention three Munros ticked in a single walk.
I was worried that the painful run down from Bealach an Lapain will damage my knees and ruin my plans for the rest of the long weekend, but I was lucky. Two days later we visited Assynt and...
...and it will be a subject of my next report. Meowww!
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BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3118
Munros:258   Corbetts:162
Grahams:110   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: 3 Brothers from Kintail

Postby skuk007 » Wed May 04, 2011 10:11 pm

Cracking report and stunning pictures.

I think I may have to consider this area for one of my 2012 visits up North, if only I could persuade the boss I need three holidays this year!
User avatar
skuk007
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1419
Munros:44   
Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:16   
Joined: Aug 24, 2009
Location: Bristol

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