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Facing her fears and throwing up on the Brothers Ridge!

Facing her fears and throwing up on the Brothers Ridge!


Postby dogplodder » Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:37 pm

Route description: Brothers Ridge - Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg

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

Date walked: 13/08/2009

Distance: 11 km

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Had some new friends round for a meal and got talking about hills (as you do, if you're me, if the other folk show the least bit of interest! :D )

Originally from South Africa, they'd been living for a few years on Skye and had often driven the road through Glen Shiel so when I asked if they'd like to join me climbing the Brothers Ridge they were interested, though protesting they were out of condition. I had a look at the map and said I thought the worst of it would be the short steep climb up from the roadside to Bealach na Lapain and after that we'd be plain sailing. So we agreed we'd give it a go the following week.

We left one car at our planned exit point and the other in the parking area below Bealach na Lapain.

Zigzag path up to bealach
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The good thing is you gain height quickly!
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View west from climb to bealach
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Looking east along the ridge
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For folks who'd not climbed a hill in a while they did very well and we were soon up on the ridge.

First view of the Five Sisters from Bealach na Lapain
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Brothers Ridge from Hill of the Spaniards
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Reaching the top of Saileag
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View from Saileag down into Gleann Lichd with Beinn Fhada on right
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Saileag summit
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It was about this point that Murdina told me she doesn't have a head for heights if there's any narrowness or exposure. Mmm :( I'd not done this ridge before so didn't know exactly what to expect so couldn't reassure her there would be nothing that would take her out of her comfort zone. :? But she was a star and said she didn't want to turn back and would do her best to keep going. :thumbup:

Murdina facing her fears head on!
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Hope the brothers didn't get a complex about this but I couldn't take my eyes off those shapely sisters! :lol:

Sisters from the second brother
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Walking the ridge to the second brother did involve a few sections Murdina didn't much enjoy. :shock: But she was a real trooper. I walked ahead and Chris walked behind and she concentrated on putting her feet and hands where we told her and tried not to look down. Fortunately most of the ridge was wide and easily walkable.

The ridge between Saileag and Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg
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The dogs patiently waiting for the others to catch up
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Murdina dubbed him the rock rabbit for the nimble way he hops from rock to rock! :D
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Chris and Murdina reaching the top of Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg
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The true summit cairn of Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg is out on a narrow spur which bizarrely has a stone dyke along it. Chris took a pic of me and Jack at the cairn and seconds after pic was taken Jack was violently sick off the rock on which we were perched! :sick: This was probably due to him eating something disgusting that he shouldn't have eaten (but then he's a labrador with second name dyson :lol: ). I felt I ought to leave a note to other walkers arriving there apologising for the foul smell! :twisted:

Jack about to throw up at summit cairn :sick:
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View from top of Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg
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Understandably Murdina declined to walk out to the summit cairn but stayed on the relative safety of the ridge.

Walking back from summit
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Murdina was by this time quite keen to get off the ridge if there was a feasible escape route. So it was agreed she and Chris would go down via SBD's south east ridge, while Anthony and I went on to bag Aonach Meadhoin, brother number 3.

The guys studying the map while the dogs had their celebratory carrots :D
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We walked along the ridge together until we saw them off on their descent path, then Anthony and I powered on to the final brother and were in such a hurry we didn't even stop to take the usual summit pics. :o Then rather than continue over Sgurr an Fhuarail (which we figured would take longer) we followed a south easterly path down off Aonach Meadhoin which wasn't too steep to start with but got pretty steep before the end. He's much faster than me going downhill so I told him to go on ahead so he'd have time to get back along the glen for his car if Chris and Murdina hadn't made it back to theirs (which they hadn't).

I had one of those classic hill walking moments when you start to ask yourself why you do this. :wtf: I was edging along a narrow ledge with rock face above and steep grassy drop below and was out of the breeze long enough to suffer a sustained midge attack. :silent: All I could do was carefully take off my rucksack and fish out the Avon stuff to liberally squirt it on every exposed part of me, while balanced on this narrow muddy ledge. At that point it was a comfort to have the dogs alongside who always read rucksack coming off as a food opportunity so like to cosy up! 8)

Loch Cluanie from descent off Brothers Ridge
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By the time I got down Anthony had collected his car and it wasn't too long before the other two arrived having been delayed by deer fences. It had been a fantastic day and the icing on the cake was that Murdina had freshly baked muffins in the car! :thumbup: So we sat in the layby and enjoyed her wonderful homebaking along with our post climb cup of coffee and all was right with the world. :D

Murdina did agree to come out with me again and that time we climbed a Munro that didn't involve any ridge or exposure. So hopefully she hasn't been scarred for life! :D
Last edited by dogplodder on Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Wee touch of vertigo on the brothers' ridge

Postby PeteR » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:30 pm

dogplodder wrote:I had one of those classic hill walking moments when you start to ask yourself why you do this. :wtf:


:lol: :lol: :lol: I think we all suffer from these moments :D :D :D

A great report and pictures :D .... a group of hills I haven't tackled yet. Had kind of put these to one side for this year and leave them for 2012, but we'll have to see what sort of challenges I fancy in the coming weeks. Either way your post will be very useful in describing the route and the pictures giving me some visual pointers :D :D

I'm sure your friends enjoyed the experience too. If they're still speaking to you then you're ok :lol:
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Re: Wee touch of vertigo on the brothers' ridge

Postby dogplodder » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:11 am

PeteR wrote:I'm sure your friends enjoyed the experience too. If they're still speaking to you then you're ok :lol:


Still speaking to me Pete. But it's funny how this year whenever I've suggested a hill they've been working! :lol: :D
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Re: Wee touch of vertigo on the brothers' ridge

Postby tamw51 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:47 pm

looks absolutely cracking, yet to reach these parts yet but cant wait! great report! :D
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Re: Facing her fears and throwing up on the Brothers Ridge!

Postby dogplodder » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:38 pm

tamw51 wrote:looks absolutely cracking, yet to reach these parts yet but cant wait! great report! :D


It's a great wee ridge walk - you should definitely get yourself up there! :D
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Re: Facing her fears and throwing up on the Brothers Ridge!

Postby dogplodder » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:03 pm

I've noticed the walk report threads that run are ones that

(a) are by well kent folk
(b) are on spectacular or popular routes
(c) have catchy titles (notably Polly's kissing the cairn one - although Polly is also well known!)

I can't do much about not being known, or the route - but in the interests of my theory I've changed the title to see if it makes any difference! :D
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Re: Facing her fears and throwing up on the Brothers Ridge!

Postby ndhudson » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:25 pm

dogplodder wrote:I've noticed the walk report threads that run are ones that

(a) are by well kent folk
(b) are on spectacular or popular routes
(c) have catchy titles (notably Polly's kissing the cairn one - although Polly is also well known!)

I can't do much about not being known, or the route - but in the interests of my theory I've changed the title to see if it makes any difference! :D


Indeed, the title caught my attention!!! Really enjoyed this report, Dogplodder!!! And good job to Murdina for facing her fears. My "why the hell do I do this?" moments usually come when my feet are aching and I momentarily wonder "will it ever end!!!" :lol:
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Re: Facing her fears and throwing up on the Brothers Ridge!

Postby pollyh33 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:44 pm

Brilliant report again Dogplodder! Although after reading them, there's not a lot of plodding going on, mostly epic walking!!! :lol:

So glad that it wasn't Murdina who throw up, that would have been awful :( :(

Thanks for posting such a helpful account and photos of Brother's Ridge. Definitely looks doable for a newbie like me :D

Fantastic stuff :thumbup:
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Re: Facing her fears and throwing up on the Brothers Ridge!

Postby dogplodder » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:23 am

ndhudson wrote:My "why the hell do I do this?" moments usually come when my feet are aching and I momentarily wonder "will it ever end!!!" :lol:


Noticed you come from Utah... so where do you do your walking? 8)
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Re: Facing her fears and throwing up on the Brothers Ridge!

Postby dogplodder » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:37 am

pollyh33 wrote:Brilliant report again Dogplodder! Although after reading them, there's not a lot of plodding going on, mostly epic walking!!! :lol:


Believe me Polly I do plod. It's you that does the epic stuff mopping up the South Glenshiel 7 in one swoop in less than perfect weather. :thumbup: I did them in a 4 and a 3 and found the second 3 harder than the first 4 - but that was partly down to the weather I think.
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Re: Facing her fears and throwing up on the Brothers Ridge!

Postby ndhudson » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:13 pm

dogplodder wrote:Noticed you come from Utah... so where do you do your walking? 8)


Hi there! :wave: Yes, I live in Utah, but a very large part of my heart is in Scotland. We visit yearly, though if i had it my way, we would be spending 6 months there and 6 months here. (still trying to figure that one out) :lol:

Are you familiar with Utah?

We walk all over this beautiful state...High alpine hikes and climbs in the Wasatch and Uintah Mountains, long desolate desert wanders through the red rock of Escalante and Grand Staircase, and we do quite a lot of canyoneering through Zion and the surrounding areas. Winter brings a lot of the greatest snow on earth so we dust off the snowshoes and snowmobiles for a little backcountry snow fun as well. Utah is great for all kinds of outdoor adventures, very much like Scotland. Check out some of my trip reports in the "Outside Scotland Section".

We'll be visiting again next spring to do the WHW and also for the Kintail meet up. Seeing as you seem to fancy the Kintail area (and who wouldn't!), you should join us! :D
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Re: Facing her fears and throwing up on the Brothers Ridge!

Postby dogplodder » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:35 am

ndhudson wrote:Hi there! :wave: Yes, I live in Utah, but a very large part of my heart is in Scotland. We visit yearly, though if i had it my way, we would be spending 6 months there and 6 months here. (still trying to figure that one out) :lol:

Are you familiar with Utah?



No, not at at all, but enjoyed reading about your birthday trip and will read more of your reports when I've time! :D How do you swing it to visit Scotland every year? Have you family here?
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Re: Facing her fears and throwing up on the Brothers Ridge!

Postby dogplodder » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:46 am

ndhudson wrote:We'll be visiting again next spring to do the WHW and also for the Kintail meet up. Seeing as you seem to fancy the Kintail area (and who wouldn't!), you should join us! :D


Where and when is the KIntail meet up?

Now there's something, someone in Inverness asking someone in Utah a question about an event not all that far down the road from her. The wonders of the internet! :D :lol:
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Re: Facing her fears and throwing up on the Brothers Ridge!

Postby ChrisW » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:51 pm

Lovely report dogplodder with some stunning photos of those spectacular views, perhaps you should take your friend to the Cairngorms next time......its all just big rounded beauties :D
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Re: Facing her fears and throwing up on the Brothers Ridge!

Postby ndhudson » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:20 pm

dogplodder wrote:How do you swing it to visit Scotland every year?


Very carefully! :lol: :lol: :lol: Saving for the yearly trip is as much a part of our budget as food and petrol! And if push came to shove...I'd take the trip over food, or petrol!!! :lol:

dogplodder wrote:Have you family here?


No family, at least that I know of. The last of my clan, my great grandparents, immigrated from Clackmannan straight to little ol' Utah in the late 1800's. I have always had an affinity for all things Scottish and once I got the chance to visit, well...I was hooked!!! Scotland appeals to all my affections in just about every sense possible. Sometimes a place just speaks to you.

But don't get me started... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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