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Long walk

Long walk

Postby Fidman » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:59 pm

Route description: South Glen Shiel Ridge: 7 Munros

Munros included on this walk: Aonach Air Chrith, Creag a'Mhàim, Creag nan Dàmh, Druim Shionnach, Maol chinn-dearg, Sgùrr an Doire Leathain, Sgùrr an Lochain

Date walked: 20/05/2012

Time taken: 174 hours

Distance: 26.75 km

Ascent: 2318m

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This is my first trip report and it must surely be one of the longest on the site. My walking pals have done all the Munros and have deserted me with a few left to do, so I set off to do the South Cluny on my own. Sunday 20th May. I had been in Kintail a couple of weeks before and the ridge had enough snow to look good in my photos.

12 05 20 - 01.jpg

I decided to take the simple route heading round the back of the first hill and picking up the stalkers path at the bealach. The direct route at the end of the old road looked a bit steep and it meant back tracking on the ridge. The route in the Munro’s book looked very wet to begin with. There had been a lot of snow mid week and it was a decent day, hence a fair bit of snow melt.

12 05 20 - 11.jpg

The walk along the road was quite long with gradual height gain to the bealach. The stalkers path was very good until it disappeared into deep snow, from here on I would be walking in snow. On several occasions the snow was knee deep and at one point the snow was so deep I had to almost crawl along, fortunately this was only a short distance and the walking became a bit easiernearer the top. I pushed on to the first top following a few footprints that had obviously been there for a few days.

Creag a’ Mhaim conquered I pressed on to the second Munro. The snow was quite wet having started to melt and was a bit slippery, so I took at my Leki pole and strode off with ambitious plans of doing the whole ridge.

12 05 20 - 12.jpg

Just before the second top I came across a very narrow section of ridge which in normal conditions would have been a hop skip and jump. However, walking on my own with not another sole in sight the demons in my head started to whisper in my ear. “This is looking a bit scary”. The ridge was narrow, the snow was melting and looked as though it could easily give way. Luckily I had taken my ice axe with me and I swapped it for the Leki and crossed the ridge as fast as I could. Number two done and heading onward to Aonach Air Chrith.

12 05 20 - 13.jpg

Unfortunately, another narrow ridge, only this one was much longer. The options were turn back and go over the wee ridge or press on, went for it and soon had the third hill of the day done. By this time I was pretty tired, partly because of the underfoot conditions but also because of the stress of tackling a couple of dangerous sections on my own.
12 05 20 - 16.jpg

I spent the walk between hill 3 and 4 debating whether to press on or call it a day. By the time I arrived at the top I had decided to call it a day, I was not making good time and the deep snow was very tiring. I head off very steep and quite slippy to begin with and picked up the stalkers path.

12 05 27 - 06.jpg

Part 2. Sunday 27th May, Here we go again, only this time 27degrees, bright sunshine and hardly any snow to be seen. I decided to pick up the stalkers path and head back to the top of Maol Chinn-dearg. I could not believe that all the snow had completely gone and the underfoot conditions were incredibly dry. I tried to take the same photos as I had the week before to record the difference a week can make.

12 05 27 - 08.jpg

The rest of the walk was fairly uneventful a cracking ridge with spectacular views. I started off with 3 litres of drinks and finished them all before I reached the last top. A word of advice, there is nowhere to get a drink on the ridge, there is a small burn behind the top between the last two Munros but I would not rely on it.

12 05 27 - 10.jpg

12 05 27 - 12.jpg

I met a retired Dutch teacher on Creag nan Damh and we walked off together heading on the north shoulder back to the road. Managed to get a lift back from a young couple in a camper van. A quick refreshment at the Cluny Inn, temperature in the car was 29 degrees.
Posts: 2
Munros:282   Corbetts:1
Joined: Aug 24, 2010

Re: Long walk

Postby mrssanta » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:38 pm

that was good, where do you plan to do the last?
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Mountain Walker
Posts: 3109
Munros:274   Corbetts:11
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:43
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: Long walk

Postby skuk007 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:58 pm

Nice one Fidman, why taken so long to start writing up your reports, only two to go :)

I see you've saved a cracker for last, good luck. When have you got that planned, surely your buddies will be joining you.
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Mountain Walker
Posts: 1419
Joined: Aug 24, 2009
Location: Bristol

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