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Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sisters

Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sisters


Postby PeteR » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:40 pm

Route description: Five Sisters of Kintail

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr Fhuaran, Sgurr na Carnach, Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe

Date walked: 07/10/2012

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The Five Sisters :D :D

For me they are up there with the best of hills Scotland has to offer :D :D When seen from the Ratagan Pass they look simply majestic 8) Yet, as I was to discover, they do not yield easily. Sisters they may be, but they clearly have high standards if you are thinking you can impress them. Personally I think they maybe were just humouring me – a mid-forties old codger :lol: Although they didn’t disappoint on the views front, despite the weather early on looking like it wanted to keep them under wraps :(

This was also to be the walk I emerged from the “nervous 190s” and hit the double 100. In the end though I was just glad to get out of these Sisters clutches alive :lol: :lol:

I was joined again by Stuart, although we were both complaining of bad nights sleep the night before. Not the best preparation for this walk me thinks. Otherwise planning was scrupulous and we arrived at the Fort William McDonalds just after opening for breakfast :D Suitably “nourished” we were parked up and walking just about 9 a.m. In hindsight probably a late start, as we had seriously underestimated the test that these “birds” were going to set two men of a certain age :lol:

The plan of action. Park up at Morvich and walk into the back of the Sisters via Gleann Lichd. At the Glenlicht Lodge we would then make our way into An Lapan and up onto the Bealach an Lapain. From there it would be a hop, skip and a jump along the ridge and back to the car :roll: :lol:

Can you hear those Sisters laughing :lol: :lol: :lol: There would no hopping, skipping or jumping :shock:

Glen Lichd. A lovely approach to the start of the ridge walk back to the car. Given the curve in the ridge this approach solved the problem of needing two cars or thumbing a lift back along the main road at the end of a long day :thumbup: As an approach it was a decent length, but not too long, so gave a good warm up before the hard work started. It was also pretty flat, so not a big energy burner (that was to come :shock: . And aesthetically the views were pretty good too :D
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Looking into Gleann Lichd at the start of the walk in

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Glenlicht Lodge

We were joined toward the end of this section by a fellow walker who caught us up on the way. Mark, from the Isle of Wight. Up in Scotland for a few days walking. I think he may have overestimated our capabilities as he asked if it was ok to walk with us for a while. All well and good on the flat, but he was way fitter than us, which was evident for all to see when we headed into An Lapan and the real work started

An Lapan (aka bog, bog and more bog :wtf: :wtf:)
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Looking into An Lapan!! This photo just does not do it any justice. Wet, boggy and in places steep - well, in places wet, boggy and steep!!

Probably the worst part of the walk. No, scrub that. This was the worst part of the walk :lol: The path from Glenlicht lodge was reasonable to start off with, albeit it was boggy. I knew the path would likely deteriorate and eventually disappear higher up. But man, was this section hard work :shock: Bog, more bog, river crossings, more bog, steep climbs on wet, boggy grass, followed by more bog. Then, more steep climbing on wet, boggy grass. Energy sapping, morale draining bog :shock: :shock: I must say I was a bit miffed at one point when our walking partner, Mark, asked me “You’re not going to peg it, are you?” :shock: :lol: Now, I may huff n puff up these hills, but I didn’t think I was that bad :lol: :lol: Soon after our lack of speed was tell as Mark took his leave and sped away from us – leaving Stuart and I to toil up onto the ridge. By the time we hit the bealach we were shattered :shock: :( Seemed these girls were going to put us through our paces if we were to stand a chance of a second date sometime :lol:
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Ah, the ridge at last. Looking toward Spainteach

Now all we had to do was walk along the ridge back to the car :roll: Took so long to get to this point the cloud had decided to come down and we were now looking at the prospect of the Sister’s being all coy on us. But I lived in hope that they would show us a bit of flesh as the day went on :D

First challenge was to get passed the Sisters guardian; the Spaniard, Sgurr nan Spainteach. A fair old hike in itself, as we made our way up over a number of minor rises and up onto the summit. At the top Stuart remarked how long we’d been walking for, yet we hadn’t even got to the first sister yet :lol:
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I spy with my little eye - a Munro.
Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe at last

Having got to the top of Spainteach you’d think it would be plain sailing from then on in. But the Spaniard has a sense of humour. While he gives you a good view of his charges he doesn’t just let you get your hands on those Sisters that easily :wink:

I’d heard about the scramble and as we made our way off the top I was struck by how easy the scramble had been :D Clearly my Aonach Eagach experience had done me some good.

Oh, no, hang on a minute, my mistake :lol: Seemed I was a bit premature on the scramble front........as the path fell off the end of the ridge :shock:
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The scramble down off Spainteach

A short moment of buttock clenching later and we were let lose to experience the delights of some Sisters :D :D
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And the view from below

A nice steep climb up to the first Munro of the day :D Took the path to the right of the cleft in the ridge below Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe. Probably one of the hardest “first” Munros I’ve had to get to on a walk before :shock:
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Spainteach in all its glory as we climbed up the side of the first Munro of the day

The reward? Just great views all round :D :D :D Even with the cloud drifting in and out
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View back along the ridge travelled, with the Brothers behind

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Cuillins

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Munro #2 - Sgurr na Carnach

Despite the views Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe gave us a bit of a chilly reception. Brrrrrrr, it was cold :shock: So, having enjoyed her delights for a short time it was off to pay a visit to sister #2, Sgurr na Carnach.

More steep descent, followed another steep climb up. Tough work, but ultimately rewarding. Stuart was a tad quicker than me up this one, as my left knee was starting to voice its dissatisfaction to me :( Eventually though I crawled to the summit. Sister #2, Sgurr Fhuaran (#3) been predominantly in clag for most of the day so we were sitting looking back at the route we had already travelled, including the Brothers and all the other great hills on view. Clag came and went as we sat there taking it all in.
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Misty view back from Carnach

Imagine the shock when I stood up to get myself ready for the off to turn round and saw all this behind me...... 8) 8) 8)
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Loch Duich

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Sgurr Fhuaran

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Applecross......I think

As much as my knee wasn’t happy with me, those views were something of a tonic. That was until we got walking again and my knee reminded me how it was feeling :(

Now it was time to tackle the big sister, Sgurr Fhuaran :D Yet more steep down, followed by steep up :( These Sisters certainly have something in common, that’s for sure The good thing is, they all deliver on the great views
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View back to Carnach from the saddle with Fhuaran

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View back along the ridge from Fhuaran summit

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Sunlight streaking through the cloud with view toward the Saddle and the Forcan ridge and a host of other magnificent hills

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Misty view to Affric

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View to Carnach from Fhuaran summit

By now though Stuart and I were both feeling it :shock: Did we visit the baby Sister, Sgurr nan Saighead and then her ugly Sister, Sgurr na Moraich? Or did we find our way down and back to the car? Time was moving on but we thought we’d give the baby a go and make our way down from there.
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Sgurr nan Saighead from Fhuaran

Despite both knees now screaming at me :( :( the drop down off Fhuaran and the initial walk along the cliff edge and up onto Saighead was excellent.
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View back to Fhuaran

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Saighead and her impressive.......cliffs

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Fhuaran as we bypass Saighead

On closer inspection though we decided Saighead was a bit of a floozy, so decided to bypass her and Moraich and head down off the ridge toward Sgurr an t-Searraich.

Initially this route seemed ok, but there were a few unnecessary (in my opinion :lol:) steep drops to navigate. Steep, boggy, gravelly, with a fair spattering of rocks :( Oh the joy :( Then we came to the final steep drop (oh, if only that had been true :( :lol:) before taking a right turn where we crossed the Allt a Chruinn and on to the path coming down from the bealach between Saighead and Moraich.

After an initial boggy section this path was a welcome pleasure :D Well(ish) maintained and fairly easy going, so we could make good progress :D Then, as the light was starting to fade we had the final steep drop of the day back down to the roadside. To be fair it wasn’t a bad section of path, but by now I’d had enough :(
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Loch Duich as the light starts to fade

Those Sisters had exacted a heavy price from me and my knees were damn sore :shock: It was some relief to finally be back on the road and heading back, as the light faded, to where the car was parked up at the Mountain Rescue buildings.

So, that was the Sisters. Well three of them at least. A tough, long, day. But a great day all the same :D :D :D :D And the weather had improved as the day went on, blessing us with cloud free summits and improving views all the way :D :D :D :D :D :D

Definitely a walk I’d like to do again, perhaps taking in the other two Sisters too :D :D Just don’t tell my knees :lol: :lol:
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PeteR
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Re: Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sis

Postby rockhopper » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:29 pm

Congratulations on the 200 Pete :clap: Looks an interesting way to approach these hills - a tough walk but very rewarding with the views - cheers :)
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Re: Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sis

Postby Bod » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:18 am

Yes Pete, 200 and well done! :D :D :clap:
Cracking hills those sisters, definitely amongst the best of our amazing mountains. Cracking route by the way avoiding requiring a drop off, top effort! :wink: :D :clap:
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Re: Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sis

Postby PeteR » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:41 am

rockhopper wrote:Congratulations on the 200 Pete :clap: Looks an interesting way to approach these hills - a tough walk but very rewarding with the views - cheers :)

Thanks rockhopper. Was glad the sun eventually won through on these hills and we got the views. Too good to be walking in clag in my opinion.
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Re: Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sis

Postby PeteR » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:43 am

Bod wrote:Yes Pete, 200 and well done! :D :D :clap:
Cracking hills those sisters, definitely amongst the best of our amazing mountains. Cracking route by the way avoiding requiring a drop off, top effort! :wink: :D :clap:

Cheers bod. Given the curve in the ridge this approach certainly makes it a doable circuit, so long as you can survive the walk into An Lapan :lol: Not sure I'd have wanted to be walking along the road back to the car.
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Re: Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sis

Postby Johnny Corbett » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:08 pm

Some lovely photos there of a cracking walk and well done on 200 :D
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Re: Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sis

Postby Fudgie » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:17 pm

Well done on getting to 200 :clap:

Think I'll just suffer the road though :D
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Re: Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sis

Postby Alan S » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:35 pm

Well done on 200 pete 8)
Your report and pics have put this one a little further up my list to get done 8) :D
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Re: Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sis

Postby mrssanta » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:26 pm

well done Pete :clap:
but I have to inform you that mid-40s is not in the least "old"
:lol:
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Re: Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sis

Postby rockhopper » Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:19 pm

mrssanta wrote:well done Pete :clap:
but I have to inform you that mid-40s is not in the least "old" :lol:
:lol: :lol: neither is 49....'cos 50 is the new 30 :wink: :lol:
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Re: Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sis

Postby pollyh33 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:36 am

Congratulations PeteR on reaching and breaching the 200 mark :clap: :clap:

And what hills to do it on !!!! Having done the Brothers and Sisters on the same day, I can honestly say there is nothing sisterly about them- they give all walkers a hard time regardless of your sex :crazy: :crazy:

Oh I have to agree with Mrs S and Rockhopper.....mid 40s is most certainly not old!!!! 49 is the best age to be!!!!
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Re: Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sis

Postby gammy leg walker » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:51 am

Stonking report Peter,still got these blighters on my list,may be a 2 car trick & link brothers & sisters.

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: 210 the end is in sight.

Age is only a number,you only feel as old as you want to feel,mind you I feel every year of my age just now.
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Re: Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sis

Postby dooterbang » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:40 am

Great set of hills to reach the 200 mark.

Well done Pete...your flying through these hills now.
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Re: Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sis

Postby ChrisW » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:15 pm

Congratulations Pete, brilliant effort and what a way to bring up the 200 :clap: Lovely photos throughout but that last one of Loch Duich in the fading light is a cracker :D
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Re: Two middle aged men.........and a hot date with some Sis

Postby Frigate » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:27 pm

Well done PeteR, great report and effort, congrats on the 200. Middle age - Pah, takes along time to forge and temper a precision machine.
Did the sisters myself fueled on rum, came down twice but luckily the Kintail Lodge broke my fall.
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