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Tour of Kintail (Day 1) North of Loch Cluanie

Tour of Kintail (Day 1) North of Loch Cluanie

Postby snowdonia7 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:29 pm

Munros included on this walk: A' Chralaig, Càrn Ghluasaid, Ciste Dhubh, Mullach Fraoch-choire, Sàil Chaorainn, Sgùrr nan Conbhairean

Date walked: 03/07/2011

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 20 km

Ascent: 2100m

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A very short report to update my walks report for the year.

On Saturday night we set off from the roadside along Loch Cluanie for Carn Glusaid. After the quick blast up Ben Challum earlier in the day, a heavy pack and some late afternoon sunshine the climb to the summit had me sweating and as I was drinking the fluids I had brought with me I was concerned about remaining hydrated over the coming days (this was to prove somewhat prescient).

Arriving at the summit we were rewarded with a truly awe-inspiring panorame - I dropped my pack and dug out the camera; only to find that I had left it turned on and the battery had flattened; my blackberry was playing up so I had to make do with the memories (definitely the .

Although we had resolved to start early the next morning; however, the warm temperature and comfortable camping spot meant that we didn't get up until after 7.

From the off Neil was setting a blistering pace, which meant the first munro of the day Sgurr nan Conbhairean was in the bag.

Despite the weight of our packs we were feeling good and with fantastic visibility meaning that we didn't need to concentrate on navigation we dropped off the summit and headed for Sail Chaorain without pausing for breath. When planning the route I had suggested that we could avoid having to climb back up Sgurr nan Conbhairean if we dropped our packs at the bealach at 914m, before bagging Sail Chaorain then collect these on our return before heading on a bearing for the bealach at the foot of the east shoulder of A' Chralaig.

However, on returning to our packs the line to the bealach would mean dropping down a lot further than I had hoped and then climbing up some steep scree. We didn't fancy the old one step forward slide two steps back routine, especially as the temperature was now really starting to rise.

So we had to shoulder our packs and climb almost all the way back up to Sgurr nan Conbhairean to pick up the ridge to A' Chralaig :cry: .

The next peak was straight-forward enough allthough by now I had drunk most of the fluid I had been carrying with no prospect of a re-fill for some time, we had been moving much faster than we needed to and losing precious fluid at a rate we couldn't replace.

At least we were able to drop our packs on the bealach before the climb to Mullach Fraoch-choire, although dry as a bone this was a difficult climb and I was glad to start heading down.

Once we got back to our packs it was still morning and we had only really planned to come this far today - intending to then head for Camban bothy.

We decided that with so much time left we should try and get another couple of munros under our belts so the next day would be shorter. With the weather looking set fair we felt confident that another high camp would be in order.

But first we decided to break for lunch and headed down to Allt a Chomhlain were we could replenish our supplies of water. After a big meal the heat of the day took it's toll and my eyelids began to droop. Next thing I know Neil is waking me up and it was getting on for 4pm. :shock:

Whilst it had been nice to grab a nice mid-afternoon nap, a few wee beastieshad decided to make a meal out of me and my lower back was itching like crazy :(

I'm not sure what the other outes up Ciste Dhubh are like, but we chose an awful line; unrelentingly steep through heather; which with an expedition pack made for really heavy going, so much so that I had to stop at the summit to make some rice pudding :oops:

After that I felt a lot better on the descent to the bealach at 591m, where there was planty of water and we replenished all our water bottles.

The final climb of the day took us to the summit of Sgurr an Fhuarail; within easy striking distance of Aonach Meadhoin, which would be our first peak tomorrow. http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=15455&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

We found a nice little spot of grass just to the east of the summit for our overnight campsite and after erecting the tent we were able to relax in the late afternoon sunshine with fantastic views across to the south shiel ridge.

South Shiel Ridge in background.JPG
Basking in the late afternoon sun with the south shiel ridge in the background

The only drawback associated with the fine weather was the fact that the inside of the tent was so bright until after 11 o'clock so it was impossible to get to sleep, although I couldn't grumble about that after a day of such amazing views.

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