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Oh Brothers - well worth the effort

Oh Brothers - well worth the effort


Postby PeteR » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:08 am

Route description: Brothers Ridge - Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg

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

Date walked: 20/11/2011

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Catching up on walk reports due to work commitments last week, so this one is already a week old (Sunday 20 November 2011).

My original plan for the day had been to take an extra long drive into Glen Affric and start to explore the hills in that area. The forecast had looked pretty reasonable, but I had given into the temptation when my alarm went off at 2.30 a.m. to enjoy a few extra minutes under the covers – which meant I was a little later setting off than I had planned (3.45 a.m. :lol: :lol: ).

So I had the choice of the Cairngorms perhaps or a trip back to Kintail to continue my east to west stravaig of the north Glen Shiel hills.

Didn’t fancy the Cairngorms for some reason, so, Kintail it was. Boy, what a hard drive that was this time. I felt tired and I wasn’t really feeling that committed. Eventually I was parked up at the Cluanie Inn at a little before 9.a.m, but with no-one else seeming to be about walking I wasn’t filled with a great deal of enthusiasm to get going myself. After a bit of messing about though I finally decided that I would have a go at Aonach Meadhoin at least and see how I felt at the top if that one. If I fancied it I would continue, but if not then I would just return by the same route. A walk was a walk after all and better a shorter one that doing nothing at all.

Once suitably suited and booted I was slipping and sliding along the path that starts at the back of the parking area opposite the Inn (it was a bit boggy, but where have I heard that before recently......oh yeah, mostly every report :lol: :lol:). I must have looked like a right prat to anyone watching me from the Inn as I seemed to have no sense of coordination at all at the start of the walk and was slipping all over the place :shock: :oops: I must have looked like a real amateur :lol:
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Start of the route up Aonach Meadhoin

Eventually some semblance of head/ leg/feet coordination returned and I was then making pretty good progress up what was a fairly steep path....... which looked to be heading to steeper ground higher up :shock: :shock:

I soon had a choice, as the path seemed to split. On the left, a fairly decent, dry looking path and on the right what appeared to be the start of a bog-fest. So it was the left path then.......but as I discovered a little while later, left was wrong, as the path eventually petered out (or I lost it :lol:). Rather than traverse back to the right and hopefully pick up the path I had so easily dismissed earlier I decided to attempt to work my way up the pathless hill directisimo :shock: :? :lol: Knackering, absolutely knackering...... so I eventually saw sense (or the error of my ways) and traversed right as I should have done earlier.

And lo, a path........... :roll: :lol: Makes life so much easier on these steep ascents :crazy:

The saving grace of this hard slog up onto Sgurr an Fhuarail were the views back toward Cluanie and over the glen to the SGSR :D 8) :D I couldn’t complain about that now, could I (even with the cloud) :D :D
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The view back toward Cluanie as height was gained

Once at the top of the slog to the top of point 843 everything changed.......and much for the better :D :D :D The view toward the first Munro of the day was fantastic 8) 8) I found any sense of lethargy instantly lifted as the views open up. Suddenly I had a spring in my step and it was one “happy-chappy” making his way to the summit and enjoying the great views all round (despite the cloud) and deciding, as if any other decisions was ever really on the cards, that I was going to be doing all three of the Brothers today :D 8) :D 8)
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Destination Aonach Meadhoin - now that's more like it :)

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And some more :)

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The route walked so far

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Ciste Dubh

Oh, and from now on all along the ridge was an excellent path, which made for a much enjoyable walk along the heights :thumbup:

Sadly no O2 reception though, so couldn’t check in with MrsR (unfortunately no O2 reception all day, so I knew she would be a bit frazzled once I did get in touch). Soon though I was on my way to sample the delights of Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg and the scrambly little ridge to the summit cairn.
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Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg from Aonach Meadhoin

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Route to Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg

From Aonach Meadhoin Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg looked really close, but still there was a fair bit of descent before commencing the plod up to the summit. The ridge narrowed nicely in places but it really wasn’t long until I was on the summit plateau and making my way carefully to the cairn.
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Ridge to Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg

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And again

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View of the South Glen Shiel Ridge

The rocks were a bit slippery in places, so had to be a bit careful. In all truth though the ridge is a great little section and isn’t knife-edge-narrow, and there is a path along the top to follow too. A bit of care is required to climb up next to the cairn, but as long as people are careful then they shouldn’t come to any harm. The dry stone wall along the ridge did seem a bit out of place though. Not a job I would have wanted to do building that :shock: :shock:

Have I mentioned the views from this summit? Take a look...... :D :D :D :D :D :D
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View back to Aonach Meadhoin from Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg

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Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg summit cairn

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Ciste Dubh from Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg summit

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View back toward the main ridge

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Glen Affric - one for another day :)

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View down Glen Shiel

Not a bad place to hit the big 150!!

So, Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg was done and Saileg looked even closer than his neighbour had from Aonach Meadhoin. And the ‘Sisters’ were poking out behind him too :D :D :D
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Saileg and the 'Sisters'

By now my early morning lethargy was well and truly banished and I was really enjoying my stroll to the third and final Munro of the day - Saileg. As before the path was excellent, but again the drop down was further than at first I had imagined it would be when looking from the top of the Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg ridge. It took me a bit longer to reach the summit of Saileg than it probably should, but simply because I was just taking my time and strolling along. I knew I would be back at the roadside before losing the light, so why the need to rush :thumbup: :thumbup:
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A wee scrambly section on the way to Saileg

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The View back to Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg

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Summit of Saileg

It was a good wee walk to the summit and to say hello to the ‘Sisters’ from closer quarters :D :D After soaking in more views it was time to drop down to the Bealach an Lapain and back to the roadside. On the way to the bealach I met a chap heading up to Saileg. It seemed a bit late to me to be setting off up the hills, but I just assumed he was more adventurous than me :lol: :lol: :lol:

So I’m at the Bealach an Lapain...........
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Those Sisters again - You're next :) :)

.....and looking at the path down to the roadside :wtf: :wtf:

Steep......or what??? Well, steep actually :lol: :lol:
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What a route down to the roadside :(

Now I really slowed up. This path was clearly designed to test me, and everyone else who has ever walked up it :-x or walked down it :-x

Steep..........eroded...........steep..........boggy..............steep......... slippery..........steep. Oh and it meanders all over the place. Every time I thought I could almost touch the road and it would only be a matter of minutes more before I was touching tarmac and the blessed thing veered to the left, or veered to the right. It seemed to take me ages...............

And I slipped on my backside too on the way down and got a nice wet and muddy bum for the pleasure :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Oh, the joys :D :lol:

Eventually, after much slipping, much knee crunching and much cursing I eventually made it to the main road, with my muddy bum for all to see. It was just the case now of the 4.5/5 mile walk back along the main road to the Cluanie Inn :lol: :lol: :lol:
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The route back to the Car

Well, there’s no point making life easy is there........?

Eventually the head torch was required, but I made remarkably quick progress back along the road to the car. I can’t deny though that the orange glow of the lights outside the Cluanie Inn were a sight for sore eyes (or should that be legs) when I eventually got back.

So my east to west journey along the north glen Shiel hills continues. I know that means I possibly did these three back-to-front to some of you and I did wonder as I was walking them what the relative merits of one way over the other might be. Both directions have steep ascent and descent which make you work hard for the summit and for the main road too, but once on the ridge it’s just a perfect walk. I’m not sure I could say whether one direction is better than the other and the path onto or off the Bealach an Lapain is something from the pits of Hell. I guess I’ll just have to return one day and do the reverse route and see which on, if any, I prefer :D :D
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Re: Oh Brothers – well worth the effort

Postby MarilynMunro » Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:19 am

Another cracking day out for you, Pete and I've got to admire your commitment, 02:30 alarm, what does the 0 stand for ........ oh my god its early :lol:
You 've painted a good picture for anyone else tackling these, and the smiley count is still high
Know what you mean about the phone signals, I feel awful at times knowing the better half is freaking and I'm having the time of my life(mostly).

Cheers again
Jim
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Re: Oh Brothers – well worth the effort

Postby iainwatson » Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:28 am

well in peteR! your really getting through the hills at the moment

i'm dying to get back up here and finish the south ridge but not sure i'll have enough daylight time at this time of year :(
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Re: Oh Brothers – well worth the effort

Postby dooterbang » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:37 pm

Did these in winter so nice to see what they look like without snow.

Looks a fab day.

Great photos.

Thanks for posting.
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Re: Oh Brothers – well worth the effort

Postby dogplodder » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:45 pm

PeteR wrote:I’m not sure I could say whether one direction is better than the other and the path onto or off the Bealach an Lapain is something from the pits of Hell. I guess I’ll just have to return one day and do the reverse route and see which on, if any, I prefer :D :D


Enjoyed this Pete. :D I did the Brothers the opposite way to you and remember when climbing up to Bealach an Lapain being thankful I wasn't going down it. I would always rather go up steep and nasty than go down steep and nasty! :lol:
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Re: Oh Brothers – well worth the effort

Postby Jock McJock » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:45 pm

Great report. Can't wait to get in amongst the hills in that area. :D
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Re: Oh Brothers – well worth the effort

Postby LeithySuburbs » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:11 pm

Some really good clarity in these pics Pete :D . Cheers for the report :) .
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Re: Oh Brothers – well worth the effort

Postby Collaciotach » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:15 pm

Good report ma tha and you ve got in ahead of nine days of gales and torrential rain :lol:

Off to Gaor Bheinn (Glenfinnan) in the morning only takes me an hour so i ll rise at 7am :lol: :lol: .......hoping for a dryish day ......there is always hope :lol: :lol:
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Re: Oh Brothers – well worth the effort

Postby mountain thyme » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:10 am

well done ..good report.. did these this year too ..not great views when we did these
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Re: Oh Brothers – well worth the effort

Postby pollyh33 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:50 pm

Brilliant report Pete.

I remember standing in the car park at the Cluanie Inn and watching people climb up this one and wondering why they didn't seem to be moving!!! After reading the initial part of your report I know why!!! Good to know that once you've gained height you're rewarded with fabulous views( er hopefully) and really good path :D


Smashing stuff :D
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Re: Oh Brothers – well worth the effort

Postby PeteR » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:01 pm

MarilynMunro wrote:Another cracking day out for you, Pete and I've got to admire your commitment, 02:30 alarm, what does the 0 stand for ........ oh my god its early :lol:
You 've painted a good picture for anyone else tackling these, and the smiley count is still high
Know what you mean about the phone signals, I feel awful at times knowing the better half is freaking and I'm having the time of my life(mostly).

Cheers again
Jim


Cheers Jim. I think MrsR is getting used to the 'sound of silence' when I'm out but the relief is palpable when I do evetually get in contact.

iainwatson wrote:well in peteR! your really getting through the hills at the moment

i'm dying to get back up here and finish the south ridge but not sure i'll have enough daylight time at this time of year :(


Thanks Ian. The South Shiel Ridge :wtf: I'm still having nightmares about that one, but I'll be back one day too to right that wrong :lol:

dooterbang wrote:Did these in winter so nice to see what they look like without snow.

Looks a fab day.

Great photos.

Thanks for posting.


Cheers Dooterbang. I could well imagine this would be a good route in winter, so long as the cloud was up. Blue sky would be even better with the snow :D

dogplodder wrote:
PeteR wrote:I’m not sure I could say whether one direction is better than the other and the path onto or off the Bealach an Lapain is something from the pits of Hell. I guess I’ll just have to return one day and do the reverse route and see which on, if any, I prefer :D :D


Enjoyed this Pete. :D I did the Brothers the opposite way to you and remember when climbing up to Bealach an Lapain being thankful I wasn't going down it. I would always rather go up steep and nasty than go down steep and nasty! :lol:


Thanks dogplodder. Either way the steep is nasty, but I'll definitely be back to do the route in reverse :D

Jock McJock wrote:Great report. Can't wait to get in amongst the hills in that area. :D


Go for it Jock McJock. They're great hills :D

Collaciotach wrote:Good report ma tha and you ve got in ahead of nine days of gales and torrential rain :lol:

Off to Gaor Bheinn (Glenfinnan) in the morning only takes me an hour so i ll rise at 7am :lol: :lol: .......hoping for a dryish day ......there is always hope :lol: :lol:


Cheers Collaciotach. Hope you made your walk ok. From the forecasts it's not looking liking it's improving much :(

pollyh33 wrote:Brilliant report Pete.

I remember standing in the car park at the Cluanie Inn and watching people climb up this one and wondering why they didn't seem to be moving!!! After reading the initial part of your report I know why!!! Good to know that once you've gained height you're rewarded with fabulous views( er hopefully) and really good path :D


Smashing stuff :D


Cheers Polly. I think I was lucky with the weather the day I did these three :D Whenever you get to do them (Spring Kintail meet?) I hope the weather's good to you too.

As for the steep climb up, that's been my experience on all the north glen shiel hills so far. But it's been worth it every time :D
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Re: Oh Brothers – well worth the effort

Postby Del246 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:04 pm

Great pictures and report. The ridge walk looks great
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Re: Oh Brothers – well worth the effort

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:08 pm

Excellent stuff. These are great hills. We did them last winter (see my one & only blog, second part), the other way round. I hated the ascent to the Bealach, but the descent to the Cluanie was OK...with the added lure of a pint tempting you on all the way down!

Impressively early start! Nice one.
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Re: Oh Brothers – well worth the effort

Postby pigeon » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:14 pm

Great report again pete,a half 2 alarm :( ,that's dedication,eventually going to get up to this area in may,got rooms booked at hostel so a useful report for us,cheers fella :thumbup:
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Re: Oh Brothers – well worth the effort

Postby fipriestley » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:42 pm

Great report Pete! You were the only person our group passed on these hills and you were very encouraging, even though it must have been fairly close to the start of your walk :) Reading your account, I'm glad we went the other way although the final descent also made for muddy bums :lol:
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