walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge


Postby rockhopper » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:33 pm

Route description: South Glen Shiel Ridge: 7 Munros

Munros included on this walk: Aonach Air Chrith, Creag a'Mhaim, Creag nan Damh, Druim Shionnach, Maol chinn-dearg, Sgurr an Doire Leathain, Sgurr an Lochain, Sgurr na Sgine, The Saddle

Date walked: 11/08/2012

Time taken: 16 hours

Distance: 48.5 km

Ascent: 2890m

25 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Date walked: Saturday 11 August 2012
Time taken: 16hrs [Moving 12.5hrs,........Stops 3.5hrs for photos, more photos, even more photos, sunbathing, sunburning, food, drink, meeting people, gazing at the views…..etc etc]
Distance: 48.5km [Walk 36.8km, bike 11.7km]
Ascent: 2,890m

As we’d just returned from our summer holidays the previous Sunday, I hadn’t intended going walking this weekend. However, the weather forecast was just too good to miss – had a look at my plans, decided it was either Glenfinnan or Glen Shiel and in the end I opted for the latter.

Left Glasgow on Friday evening eventually arriving in Glen Shiel just after 10.30pm. I drove to where the track down from the Saddle meets the A87 to look for a spot to leave the bike – hidden by long grass, I locked it to the fence round the trees just down from the bridge over the Allt Mhalagain. I then drove back towards Cluanie to find a spot to park for the night – all the main car parking spots were busy but I got parked a wee bit west of Cluanie Inn.

The plan was to cover the seven munros and then see how I was getting on – I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to cover any more but at least this way I had the option and both this track and The Saddle track end up close to where I had left the bike on the A87 anyway.

Up rather early on the Saturday, I drove to the Tourist Information car park beside the Inn, got ready and set off walking around 4.45am. The forecast suggested it would be hot so I took my normal 1.5l water bladder and a 1l water bottle. I was hoping to get higher up before sunrise but this plan didn’t quite work out due to some cloud on the horizon. Although still pre-dawn, I didn’t really need to use the headtorch as the moon was out and there was enough light to see where I was going. Little traffic on the A87 at this point and I soon turned on to the track at the western end of Loch Cluanie – the off road car park was full.

It’s a nice easy track which climbs gradually and I was starting to be able to see more of the surroundings as the sky gradually lightened.

Low mist looking back towards Cluanie Inn

Image

Even at this time before the sun appeared I was getting very warm. Stayed on the track as it climbed and passed a wee digger which was being used to repair the surface – small piles of bitumen every so often which were to be flattened out. I had toyed with the idea of climbing southwards more directly up Creag a' Mhaim but decided that I’d just stay on the track and take it easy at this stage. Followed the track until I reached a wee cairn marking the start of the South Glen Shiel ridge path. Turned sharp right and began the ascent.

As the sky became lighter, the views were starting to open up. The path is easy to follow making for a straightforward ascent with less than 600m from when I left the main track.

Loch Loyne

Image

Sun rising

Image

There was some lower cloud on some of the hilltops nearby and I couldn’t see the top of Creag a' Mhaim for the same reason – started to get that “sinking feeling” of being in clag again but it was short lived. I wasn’t in the clag for long when it substantially cleared on nearing the summit.

Image

Image

With the views all around and the sun starting to burn off the mist, my early misgivings were soon forgotten – looked as though it was going to be a good day. I’d already stopped quite a few times – this was the start of the pattern for the day which was to have a lot more time than usual for stoppages.

Although this was just the first summit, I spent quite some time just gazing at the view and contemplating. The mist came and went, the sun was rising higher and I had that “on top of the world” feeling – makes up for all the trips in the clag and rain earlier in the year.

On my way again, the mist rolled in giving a faint brocken spectre

Image

And a little more mist

Image

Followed the track round above Coire nan Leac

Image

Views south to the Glen Quoich hills

Image

Back towards Glen Shiel

Image

Panorama of the way ahead

Image

Loch a’ Mhaoil Dhisnich towards Cluanie

Image

Soon arrived at the summit of Druim Shionnach

Image

Panorama towards Glen Shiel

Image

Misty back down the glen

Image

But somewhat clearer out towards Knoydart

Image

Could see clearly where I was going next

Image

Couldn’t get enough of the Glen Shiel views

Image

Inversion looking back SE

Image

Staying on the track, headed towards Aonach Air Chrith

Image


As I got closer, I could see the ridge which leads up to it from the north. Looked quite dramatic from this angle with the North Glen Shiel hills behind.

Image

Got to the summit of Aonach Air Chrith with the views becoming steadily clearer as the mist became more sporadic

Image

Next up was Maol Chinn-dearg – passed by Druim Coire nan Eirecheanach to the north on the way

Image

Started to ascend up towards it

Image

While over to the south I could see the road bridge on Loch Cuaich – it was a bit hazy but I could see the remnants of some low mist still hanging over it

Image

Onwards and upwards and not long before I got to the top of Maol Chinn-dearg

Image

Image

By now I was feeling the heat – the sun tan lotion wasn’t really staying on long before it got washed off with sweat ! Guess what we need it waterproof sun tan lotion from the other direction. I was conscious of keeping drinking as I was going but didn’t want to use up too much in case I ran out.

Zoomed shot southwards

Image

Mist still coming and going en route to Sgurr an Doire Leathain

Image

Steadily upwards until reaching the summit

Image

Then retraced my steps a bit to get a view of the ridge towards the NW

Image

The ridge zig-zags towards Sgurr an Lochain

Image

With a view northwards down to the lochan

Image

Panorama to the north again

Image

Before reaching the summit shortly thereafter

Image

Views down to Glen Quoich and north to Choire Reidh

Image

Image

Picking up the track, it then skirts round to the south of Sgurr Beag – I did have a think about walking up to its summit but decided instead just to stay on the track – I was already hot enough as it was without getting any hotter !

Image

A wee look to where I’d just been

Image

Straightforward walking to arrive at the seventh summit of the ridge, Creag nan Damh

Image

It was now decision time. As it was still only just after midday, I reckoned that it seemed too early to head back down. Granted I’d been on the go for around 7.5hrs but the time had passed very quickly. Lots of stops for views and photos, I was having a great time. So, quite and east decision really – keep going to the Corbett and onwards.

I had a clear view of the next part of the walk

Image

Granted Sgurr na Sgine and The Saddle did look rather far away but there was plenty of daylight left. The only thing at the back of my mind was the cycle back up Glen Shiel – although I had torches, I was hoping to complete it in daylight. The traffic is fast enough in daylight....didn’t much like the thought of it in the dark with me on a bike !

View towards Shiel Bridge

Image

I kept on the track towards Bealach Dubh Leac which then becomes the normal descent route north to the A87. Shortly after I reached that point I stopped for a long lunch break and change of socks – still experimenting to try to solve some metatarsal problems particularly in my left foot.

Then it was on towards the Corbett, Sgurr a'Bhac Chaolais – a case of “follow that dyke”

Image

Cairn at the top and good view of Sgurr na Sgine

Image

I think this is towards Gleann Dubh and further to Loch Hourn

Image

Sgurr na Sgine and its cliffs was certainly looking rather imposing but I could quite clearly see the track over to the left

Image

Looking back down the ridge

Image

I found the descent of the Corbett quite steep as I headed towards the bealach between it and Sgurr na Sgine.

Then passed under its crags

Image

Rising up the track, view backwards

Image

Definitely the way to go - round the crags and up to the summit

Image

The tack from here then heads down to the Bealach Coire Mhalagain with it small lochans

Image

The Saddle and Forcan Ridge became even clearer as I got down to the bealach

Image

View over one of the lochans to the north

Image

The track then winds its way up to the left beside a dyke before heading much more steeply up to the summit. I met another walker on this stretch who turned out to be “burnsider” on WH. Washed my face and had a wee drink in one of the small streams which runs down the hill side.

Reached the top of the steep part having lost and regained the track in some boulders and arrived at the circular trig point.

Image

Image

Image

I could see across the short ridge to the summit cairn so headed off towards it.

Image

View from the cairn

Image

Back towards the trig point with burnsider heading this way

Image

I had a brief chat with burnsider before heading back to the trig point. Sat down for some food and to air my feet. The sun was still strong, the views a bit hazy but I was extremely happy with how the day had gone. I had considered descending via the Forcan Ridge but quickly decided against it - I had read reports about ascents but not about descents so wasn’t sure about any downclimbs and I was also not sure how long it would take – so, it’ll need to wait for another day.

Self portrait

Image

Reluctantly I got ready to leave and started down – one last photo

Image

I met up again with burnsider and we made the descent together. Back down to the bealach, followed the dyke then joined up with the track to the ridge. It then goes round Meallan Odhar and beneath the Graham, Biod an Fhithich (also for another day.....).

Image

Long walk back down to the A87

Image

Burnsider had his camper van parked near my bike so we walked the last bit of the road together. If he had been going the same direction, he would have given me a lift but as he was going back to Shiel Bridge we shook hands and said our goodbyes. I recovered the bike, changed out of my boots (had left a helmet and shoes beside the bike) and started the cycle back up Glen Shiel. I found this quite hard going as there are several uphill sections with an ascent of 200 – 300m before the descent to Cluanie. Eventually ran out of water about 20 minutes from the end so no great problems. Got back to the car at about 8.40pm still in daylight – changed, quick cup of strong coffee and then drove back to Glasgow. I had met a few other walkers on the ridge but not as many I'd thought. Long day but very enjoyable.


South Glen Shiel Ridge 11aug2012 activelog.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6310
Munros:282   Corbetts:201
Grahams:59   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

Postby gammy leg walker » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:55 pm

Well done rockhopper,never one for doing things by half,adding the corbett,the saddle & sgurr na sgine is a fine effort.

PS......surprised you chose your route this way,would have made the bike ride easier reversing your route.
User avatar
gammy leg walker
Walker
 
Posts: 3225
Munros:261   Corbetts:7
Grahams:3   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:2   
Islands:7
Joined: Jan 30, 2010
Location: Central Region

Re: A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

Postby Bod » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:09 pm

My goodness rockhopper, that's a mighty fine effort there....glad you got such wonderful weather all the way through :D :D :clap:

We recently covered all these hills without the corbett over two separate days. Both wonderful days too, love the area :D
User avatar
Bod
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1511
Munros:282   Corbetts:47
Grahams:27   Donalds:20
Sub 2000:28   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:7   Islands:24
Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Location: Cowdenbeath

Re: A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

Postby rockhopper » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:10 pm

gammy leg walker wrote:PS......surprised you chose your route this way,would have made the bike ride easier reversing your route.
cheers gammy - good point - I was aiming to cover the 7 on the main ridge but wanted to keep the additional 2+corbett as an option depending on how I got on - if I'd gone west to east I'd have had to commit at the start whereas east to west kept my options open.....and the downhill to Cluanie at the end was good even though I got a face full of midges :lol:
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6310
Munros:282   Corbetts:201
Grahams:59   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

Postby nathan79 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:22 pm

Sickeningly good conditions, sickeningly lengthy walk, sickeningly awesome report.

It does make me want to go back and finish the ridge though.
User avatar
nathan79
Wanderer
 
Posts: 869
Munros:100   Corbetts:29
Grahams:13   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:14   Islands:5
Joined: Jan 24, 2010
Location: The Kingdom of Fife

Re: A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

Postby Alan S » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:24 pm

Absoloutley brilliant rockhopper 8) :D
Well done thats some walk
Love the pics especially the 1st one 8)
User avatar
Alan S
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1458
Munros:207   Corbetts:4
Grahams:3   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:4   
Islands:12
Joined: Nov 10, 2008
Location: Stirlingshire

Re: A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

Postby Stretch » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:43 pm

Magnificant, I salute you sir. What a stunning set of pics! I regret not getting this done when I was over, but when I come back for it I'm going to have you arrange this kind of weather for me!
User avatar
Stretch
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1714
Munros:146   Corbetts:8
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Jun 15, 2009
Location: Morristown, Tennessee

Re: A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

Postby MarilynMunro » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:47 pm

Cracking report, stunning phots and a great acheivement, hearty well done :clap: :clap:
Glad you were rewarded with stunning views for your effort, shame about the facefull of midgie's. :lol: :lol:
User avatar
MarilynMunro
Walker
 
Posts: 307
Munros:43   Corbetts:3
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:4   
Joined: Jun 18, 2011
Location: West Lothian

Re: A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

Postby jonny616 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:00 pm

Brilliant. Saturday was a stunner! i don't know how you manage on so little water i drank about 6lts on my 13 hour jaunt. Cracking photos :clap:
User avatar
jonny616
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1554
Munros:277   Corbetts:12
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:17
Wainwrights:8   Islands:7
Joined: Aug 19, 2009

Re: A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

Postby monty » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:32 pm

Excellent report Rockhopper. Done this one in reverse to you but car back to the Cluanie. Great set of photos. :D
monty
 

Re: A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

Postby mountain thyme » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:56 pm

nice one Rockhopper and some lovely pictures aswell. I done the 7 in reverse and hitched back to the cluanie. had a similar day to yourself weather wise and was sunburnt down the one side :)
User avatar
mountain thyme
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 979
Munros:36   Corbetts:218
Grahams:11   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:1
Wainwrights:1   Islands:14
Joined: Jul 22, 2010
Location: Glasgow

Re: A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

Postby jimandandrea » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:52 am

We did the ridge that day: slept in the Motorhome overnight and, in a fine spirit of the hills, a fellow walker let me take my van to the end and give me a lift back to start the walk. We started at 7.00am so you were well ahead of us. What a brill day it was - stunning views and an outstanding days walking. On the downside- the midge were biblical overnight - and in the morning. Loved the report. :clap: :clap:
User avatar
jimandandrea
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 337
Munros:261   Corbetts:6
Hewitts:98
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Mar 6, 2010
Location: Kendal Cumbria

Re: A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

Postby davgil » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:45 am

Great report rockhopper and well done on adding the last two.
I always enjoy reading about these long routes of yours.
Like jonny616 said I'm amazed you survived on so little water :lol:
I'd be taking at least 4 litres for that distance!
Well done again!
User avatar
davgil
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 166
Munros:121   Corbetts:5
Grahams:2   
Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:4   
Joined: Feb 16, 2010

Re: A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

Postby b-illie » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:33 pm

A stunner, rockhopper! I'm waaiiiting for the day I can do this! Thanks for sharing.
User avatar
b-illie
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 72
Munros:1   Corbetts:1
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: May 31, 2010

Re: A glorious day on the South Glen Shiel Ridge

Postby Johnny Corbett » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:29 pm

Another great report of a super walk, along with stunning photos. I'm up in this area right now and all the mountains are looking great :D
User avatar
Johnny Corbett
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 2940
Munros:18   Corbetts:206
Grahams:160   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:269   Hewitts:1
Islands:14
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Livingston

25 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Next



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: andy63, gammy leg walker, luskentyre, OpenC, sumbanana, whiskyalpha44 and 36 guests