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A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters


Postby andrewdoggett » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:18 am

Route description: The Saddle, Forcan Ridge and Sgurr na Sgine

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr na Sgine, The Saddle

Date walked: 31/03/2012

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 14.6 km

Ascent: 1588m

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So my family have arrived; big smiles to that... We've checked into the Kintail Lodge Hotel; our base for the weekend... We've met the crew and caught up with some old faces; and some new... Introduced the Monsters and the Wife... And the Aunt...

So over drinks naturally talk gets to what everyone is walking on the morro... We're off up the Forcan Ridge I say; anyone up for it...? Most people are off up the Sisters so it'll be just us then; but possible Mr & Mrs Graeme D... I get a few friendly warnings from the guys; not sure you should take the Monsters up there etc... They'll be fine I'm thinking...

So a few pints later; an early breakfast at 8 am... And we're off to the start...

The Saddle 001.jpg
The View from the Start in Glenshiel; The Forcan Ridge and The Saddle hidden behind the foothills...


And not long after that, we're off on the walk...

The Saddle 002.jpg
And the troops are off...


A gentle path to begin with that eases you gently into the hill, but before long you're 250 metres up and the views start to improve...

The Saddle 003.jpg
Fanny Flap and Monster Samba cut a pose with Glenshiel behind...


Not sure where the term 'pit stop' was introduced for the Monsters, but it motivates them... It means Fruit Shoots, Lollies, Sweets and all sorts of nasties... I mean goodies...

The Saddle 004.jpg
Fanny Flap and Monster Samba nearing the first 'Pit Stop' :)


So we're sat munching in the morning sunshine with the beauty of the Saddle or at least the lower Forcan Ridge behind us and we're all starting to get a bit excited about what's to come... The Monsters love a good scramble; 'Will it be harder than the Horns of Alligin?' they ask me... About the same I say; maybe a touch harder but you did the Horns easily...

The Saddle 005.jpg
All smiles at the first Pit Stop; Fruit Shoots & Lollies...


I run on ahead; wanting to get a shot back of the gang who are fairly flying toward the start of the ridge proper...

The Saddle 006.jpg
Not long to go before the Forcan Ridge...


And then it starts; gently at first, but there's a step change in steepness and the need for some hands in a couple of places..s All good fun :)

The Saddle 007.jpg
And so the scrambling starts...


And now it looks like the ridge proper is about to start... And with that comes the snow!! Today will turn out to be one of those days where we see most weather; snow followed by just the most glorious sunshine for the rest of the day... A perfect balance of conditions...

The Saddle 008.jpg
Errr; who ordered snow? That wasn't in the script...!!


Samba seems to think he's on a dance floor as he starts 'cutting some shapes' demonstrating a worrying level of fearlessness!!

The Saddle 009.jpg
Monster Samba cutting some shapes...


The scrambling continues and is set to get ever more interesting from this point to the summit...

The Saddle 010.jpg
And the scrambling continues...


Where did he learn this pose? Taking it all in his stride; loving the scrambling and not at all uncomfortable... In someways I wish he had a bit more fear; enough to keep the senses alive; but the boy just runs along as if it's a playground; and that continues all the way up...

The Saddle 011.jpg
Too cool for school...


A short video clip of one of the sections of the lower ridge; this clip was taken for the Dragon (Granny); I think I might get in trouble for this; but hey ho!!



More scrambling and then before we know it we're confronted with what seems like a cliff... Nigel had told us the night before to head left at this point so I descend and complete a reconnaissance mission to check this is the best route... It's steep and this is certainly no place for a slip...

The Saddle 012.jpg
Might I suggest no falling here...


I shout up that the route is okay, and Fanny Flap leads the Monsters down... We have to go first to slow them down!!

The Saddle 013.jpg
The final part of the ridge ahead to the summit of The Saddle...


Looking back as Mum and the Monsters clamber along...

The Saddle 014.jpg
Thanks for the tip Nigel... He said to go left... :)


More gorgeous ridge walking / scrambling... It's all like this; absolutely sensational; and good fun to boot :)

The Saddle 015.jpg
Oh yeah baby...


The Monsters are competitive creatures so we keep them apart on the Mountain when it's dangerous as they'll think nothing of pushing each other out of the way... It's Megan's turn to walk with Dad so she makes a pose for the family album :)

The Saddle 016.jpg
Monster Megan's turn to walk with Daddy... :)


And all too soon we're nearly done; a look back over the top of the ridge that we've just traversed... This has to be one of the finest ascents in Scotland!! :)

The Saddle 017.jpg
Family pose; nearing the summit; looking back at the traverse of the ridge...


We reach what I think is the true summit before the trig point; and from there there's a slight dip before you get to the trig point with still more fun scrambling...

The Saddle 018.jpg
Still more fun; climbing down from what I think was the summit of the Saddle before the Trig Point...


Monster Samba wants to be first to the top; and he makes a break for it... I'm puffing as I give him some encouragement and try and keep up!! The boy can motor, even with his little legs...



Bod (thanks for organising a fabulous weekend) had put the list of names on the Meet Forum and after Aunt came 'Meatball' and so in the pub before Alexandra had been formally christened 'Aunt Meatball'... It was her first trip to Scotland and her first Munro... Is there a finer one?? Maybe; Liathach springs to mind; Beinn Alligin; The Ring of Steall?? But this is definitely right up there... Absolutely fantastic, and there can't be too many people that can say their first Munro was up the Forcan Ridge to The Saddle!!

Well done Alexandra and welcome to my back garden...

The Saddle 019.jpg
Aunt Meatball at the Trig Point of The Saddle; what a munro for your first!! Well done Alexandra... :)


We stop for a spot of lunch and to just absorb the views before descending fairly steeply to the beallach that separates The Saddle from it's lower neighbour Sgur na Sgrine... Here Megan finds a big rock and starts posing for the camera... Bless her; she's gorgeous; I'm a little biassed; but I'll make no apologies for that... :)

The Saddle 020.jpg
Bless... Gorgeous! :)


The climb to Sgur na Sgrine is easy and nothing troubling though by now the Monsters; Samba especially are starting to get a little tired, so it's harder work for them... But they make it no problem... I check the trusty Satmap; and we climbed some 1500 metres so far; not surprising that they're a little tired then!!

The Saddle 021.jpg
The final stretch to Sgur na Sgrine...


The snow has long since stopped and the rest of the day we're just bathed with incredible sunshine and the views are simply sensational. In every direction...

We stop at the top for well over an hour... And on a day like today why wouldn't you... The final stats for the walk will be 8.5 hours but we will only have been moving for 4.5 of those, so we've spent plenty of time enjoying the scenery today!



We return via Faochag and the views all the way remain stunning...

The Saddle 022.jpg
Looking down Glenshiel...


We can see all the way up Glenshiel along the South Ridge and the Brothers are in sight also... From the summits we've been rewarded with views to Skye and as far as Torridon in the far north... Magic... :D :D :D

The Saddle 023.jpg
The view up the South Glenshiel Ridge...


I've got my iPod on now and don't hear the shouts from the kids as we start what is to be a long and steep descent from Faochag that's punishing on the legs...!



Looking back across to The Saddle and the side profile of The Forcan Ridge is clearly visible... One I think I'll definitely be doing again!!

The Saddle 024.jpg
Side view of the Forcan Ridge...


And that's it; I'm out of photos what with being limited to 25... It's been tough choosing my favourites...

Today was very special to me; and one I'll remember for as long as I live... I love the hills; and on days like this there's nowhere I'd rather be... Slowing it all down a touch; and sharing the experience with the people I love most in the world made it a truly magic day out... I couldn't be any happier... I'm lucky enough to be with an amazing woman and two great Monsters who I'm extremely proud of; not just for their achievements today; but for the outstanding spirited souls they are... Oh yes; it's fair to say we made some memories today... Perfect... :D :D :D

The Saddle 025.jpg
My Baby Girl; Monster Megan :)
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andrewdoggett
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Re: A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

Postby joonnifer » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:37 am

What a really lovely post! And what a trully amazing pair of monsters...not many youngsters could achieve a fraction of that! you must be very proud...and now have some fab pics of them to enlarge and put on the wall ...then those lovely memories will be with you daily :D
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Re: A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

Postby Ranger » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:00 am

Great report :D

The Saddle is an amazing viewpoint and the Forcan ridge just gets you reaching for your camera every other step.

Its great you all at good weather for your Kintail shindig.

I admire your confidence in your family to achieve those amazing things - I'd probably have bottled out and taken them the easy way up from the corrie knowing me but if they can handle the exposure and stay smiling, fair play to them at that age - more advanced than me! :lol: :)
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Re: A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

Postby iainwatson » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:26 am

excellent!

brilliant report and it looks and sounds like you all had a great day,

well done (again) to the monsters,taking it all in their stride on a ridge that scares most adults :lol:
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Re: A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

Postby monty » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:58 am

What an excellent report. Megan and Sam are truly amazing. Sam is so tough he eats teeth for breakfast :D and Megan is going to be great on the violin. :D Well done on Alex climbing a well feared ridge on her first Munro experience and Victoria for taking it in her stride and allowing Andrew to have all the glory :lol: What a great bunch of guys and girls. :D
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Re: A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

Postby lomondwalkers » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:32 pm

What a heart warming report!!! A day to remember for sure. I'm in awe of the Forcan Monsters, they made it look easy, and all with big smiles on their faces, massive respect to them both, and also Alexandra, what a way to do your first Munro!! Fabulous memories to look back on. Well done to you all :D
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Re: A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

Postby Graeme D » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:30 pm

Class! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: Sorry we couldn't join you - it was a close run thing but the Sisters just got the vote in the end. Another time!
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Re: A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

Postby victoriajarrett » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:59 pm

[quote="andrewdoggett"]So my family have arrived; big smiles to that... We've checked into the Kintail Lodge Hotel; our base for the weekend... We've met the crew and caught up with some old faces; and some new... Introduced the Monsters and the Wife... And the Aunt...


Ummm... Wife? When did that happen?!

A top weekend had by all :D A wee bit tired after driving back down south after a long walk but it was worth it.

Spectacular views and i'm so glad that Aunt Meatball got to see Scotland at it's finest...

Great report dad... :D
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Re: A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

Postby Scotjamie » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:49 pm

Excellent Andrew
A stirring WR that has everything
Hope you enjoyed lunch at Clachaig on the way home - nice to meet the monsters
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Re: A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

Postby Alan S » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:19 pm

Well done to you all :D Smashing pics 8)
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Re: A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

Postby jonny616 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:40 pm

Great stuff Andrew & well done to you're whole crew. Sorry we didn't meet at the lodge. I ran out of time meeting everyone.
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Re: A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

Postby IreneM » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:58 pm

Fantastic report and photos, Andrew - and your children are quite amazing! :D
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Re: A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

Postby yokehead » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:29 pm

Marvellous stuff, well done to you all and glad you had such a grand weather day. :D Kids confidence on the hill eh? I recall my 2 on the Ben More Coigach ridge, looking straight down to the sea. My wife was, ahem, a bit concerned for the kids safety (most of it confessed later). But they just romped it. Adults think too much! And the kids have more sense than some give credit for.

And on that vein, of course you realise you've now set somewhat of a challenge - if those kids can do the ridge...... :lol:
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Re: A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

Postby DaveB1 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:53 pm

Great report Andrew, your monsters clearly had a ball! Took my eldest (now 27) up Helvellyn when he was 5 he still remembers it and the photo of his smile is one I treasure. Dave
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Re: A Magic Family Day Out with my Little Forcan Monsters

Postby kevsbald » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:54 pm

Formidables - les enfants sont incroyable! Glad 'auntie meatball' and sister enjoyed. Good to meet you all. Going to take the Beolit 12 on my next camp Andrew - how can you possibly trump that?
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