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The Saddle, Forcan Ridge and Sgurr na Sgine

The Saddle, Forcan Ridge and Sgurr na Sgine


Postby Dirk Winter » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:58 pm

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

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

Date walked: 07/08/2008

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One day after Bidean nam Bian (described elsewhere in this forum) we tried to tackle the Saddle and Sgurr na Sgine. Before you get too excited now I have to admit that we didn't climb along the Forcan Ridge but used the alternative route described on walkhighlands.co.uk which was the right selection for us.

We left the car park in Glen Shiel at half past 9 and walked up the stalkers' path which we shared with several other walkers. As usual we were not the fastest ones and sometimes we felt like Jeremy Clarkson overtook us in an Aston Martin Vanquish or so. Despite of that we reached the alternative route along the drystone dyke after a bit more than two hours.

After 3,5 hours and the final very steep ascent we reached the summit of the Saddle. During the ascent the wind had been quite strong in places, but on the summit it was surprisingly pleasant. So we stayed more than half an hour there, enjoyed the views towards Rum, Skye, Torridon and Ben Nevis and chatted a bit with two guys from Newcastle who were on a weekend climbing trip. After having heard their description of the ridge we were glad that we had taken the "boring" route.

The next aim was Shurr na Sgine. The day before we had left out a second possible munro so today we didn't want to miss another one. When we walked to the second munro we just met one couple (who had overtaken us on the way up to the Saddle), but apart from that we didn't meet anybody else on the route. Sgurr na Sgine didn't seem too remarkable to me, but we had nice views towards some remote glens and towards the Saddle and the Forcan Ridge.

The final descent from Faochag was very long and steep and when we arrived at the car park after 9,5 hours we felt our knees and every muscle of our legs (meanwhile we bought trekking poles). We were glad that the next day the weather didn't invite us to climb another munro and we could give our legs a little rest (just walked to Loch Cuithir).
Attachments
ForcanRidge2.jpg
Forcan Ridge from the Saddle
ForcanRidge3.jpg
The Saddle and Forcan Ridge from Faochag
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Dirk Winter
 
Posts: 59
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Re: The Saddle, Forcan Ridge and Sgurr na Sgine

Postby goth_angel » Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:11 am

Brilliant photos. I wouldn't have done the ridge either! :D
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Re: The Saddle, Forcan Ridge and Sgurr na Sgine

Postby Papagenos » Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:48 pm

What a shame you decided not to go up over the Forcan Ridge. Any reasons why?

I did it with friends from my walking club earlier this year and it is one of the best hill days I have had. Like many routes the hype is more than the reality. Yes, there is plenty of exposed scrambling but nothing complicated. The one tricky area a 10m step can be down climbed or avoided by a scree path to one side.

Like you we went on to Sgurr Na Sgine but came back down to the col and headed down the corrie back to the road. Following the river further down we came across wonderful pools where we cooled off in the late afternoon sun.
Attachments
Glen-Shiel-3.gif
The Tricky Bit!
Glen-Shiel-2.gif
The Forcan Ridge
Glen-Shiel-1.gif
The Forcan Ridge
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Re: The Saddle, Forcan Ridge and Sgurr na Sgine

Postby johnj » Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:56 pm

I think you would find Sgurr na Sgine is better approached from Bealach an Toiteil rather than coming across from The Saddle - that way you get an interesting Grade 1 scramble up the 'nose' - I would suggest that the direct route from Glen Shiel is a bit of a flog
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Re: The Saddle, Forcan Ridge and Sgurr na Sgine

Postby Dirk Winter » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:10 pm

Hi Papagenos,

we just don't like to walk along exposed routes. And when there's scrambling involved with it, this doesn't make it better. And if you read goth-angels answer you can see that we're not the only ones who wouldn't climb the ridge, even if it's such an exhilarating route.

I think the Forcan Ridge is not the right exposed scramble to start with. I'd rather try something like the Horns of Alligin first.

By the way, Nadine asked me to post some of her fisheye pictures, so here there are two of them.
Attachments
Saddle2.jpg
the Saddle and Faochag
Saddle1.jpg
view to the north
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Dirk Winter
 
Posts: 59
Munros:54   Corbetts:9
Grahams:5   
Joined: Aug 31, 2007
Location: Mainz, Germany

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