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Five Sisters of Kintail

Five Sisters of Kintail


Postby gman » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:49 pm

Route description: Five Sisters of Kintail

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

Date walked: 20/03/2013

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 26 km

Ascent: 1590m

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Plan was to cycle to the start of the ridge, so I stashed my pack at the start then drove to Shiel Bridge ready to get on bike. Did the same for brothers ridge, except this time the bike ride was all uphill d'oh.

Parked here:
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Then cycled to this bealach, the bus passed by as I was pedalling away so I could have caught that instead - great thing, hindsight!
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Hid bike & found pack then steep walk uphill. At the top, turn right for brothers:
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Or left for sisters:
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First big hill is Sgurr nan Spainteach but there are a few minor peaks en route. 3 Munros on the ridge, Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe is on the left here, Sgurr Fhuaran on the right and Sgurr na Carnach hiding somewhere in between:
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Back to Brothers ridge & Ciste Dhubh:
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At the top of Spainteach, there's a ridge at the left of Ciste Duibhe and one going diagonally across the front of this face, the one at the front is the one taken on this route. Munro No.2 Sgurr na Carnach on the right:
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Bit of a scramble going down Spainteach, these bits always look easy in the photos - blind panic not pictured :lol:
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Ridge across the front of Ciste Duibhe:
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Descent of Spainteach, bit of snow & wind approaching from Brothers ridge:
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Took longer than expected to get to the top of Ciste Duibhe, I blame the wrong type of snow :D Knee deep in places and a bit of a trudge to walk through. Nice icy bits elsewhere. Onwards with weather closing in:
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Sgurr na Carnach next then Sgurr Fhuaran:
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Descent of Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe:
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Sunny over there, snowy here - other side of Glen Shiel:
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Back to Spainteach & Ciste Duibhe from Sgurr na Carnach:
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And on to Sgurr Fhuaran:
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Loch Duich:
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Steep going down Sgurr na Carnach:
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And steep up Sgurr Fhuaran, cairn:
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Saddle:
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Ridge so far:
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And the rest of it:
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Too steep to go straight on to the north ridge so down the west ridge for a bit then cut across:
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Snow here was windslab on steep slope so all the avalanche alarm bells were ringing, stuck close to the rocky bits:
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Back on the ridge, Sgurr nan Saighead:
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Descent of Sgurr Fhuaran, could see where avalanches had occurred so care needed:
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Over to the Cuillin:
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Rest of the ridge
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Beinn Bhuidhe, looks like it would be a good scramble but running out of daylight:
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So bypassed to the left:
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Down to the burn, there's a good path on the other side:
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Which leads back to the start:
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Re: Five Sisters of Kintail

Postby Fudgie » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:14 pm

That looks a cracking day out :clap: Tempted to head up this way on Saturday but the winds forecast are putting me off.

Well done :thumbup:
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Re: Five Sisters of Kintail

Postby balgonie » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:21 pm

some fantastic photoshoots planning on heading that way myself in the summer period looks great :D
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Re: Five Sisters of Kintail

Postby gman » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:41 pm

If you're heading up there, the bus leaves Shiel Bridge at the back of 7 - I was behind it on the way home after picking the bike up.
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Re: Five Sisters of Kintail

Postby Lenore » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:49 pm

Waaaaaaah think this must be the best set of photos of the Sisters I've seen so far!!! :clap: :clap: I love them, my first munros :) I'm glad you didn't run into any trouble; you can see in some of your pictures where some of the top layer of snow has shifted, that's scary stuff...

Beinn Bhuidhe's definitely worth including some other time when you have more light.

Thanks for sharing, I love your report!
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Re: Five Sisters of Kintail

Postby smike » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:11 pm

Fabulous, I can't wait to explore this area - cracking report!
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Re: Five Sisters of Kintail

Postby mr_ash_37 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:16 pm

Fantastic report, thanks for sharing. Detailed with stunning pics.
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Re: Five Sisters of Kintail

Postby PeteR » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:59 pm

Super photos gman :D I found this group tough in the autumn, so can only imagine how tough it must habe been with the wrong type of snow :shock: Good effort on your part :D
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Re: Five Sisters of Kintail

Postby quoman » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:20 pm

Stunning gman pic's are fantastic.. was up there yesterday to do Carn Ghluasaid,Sgurr nan Conbhairean and Sail Chaorainn only got the first two done.the weather turned bad.
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Re: Five Sisters of Kintail

Postby Stretch » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:51 pm

First class report!! Love the pics, brings back some good memories of my day on this route.
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Re: Five Sisters of Kintail

Postby mrssanta » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:53 pm

oooh lovely pictures, so much snow and moody lighting
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Re: Five Sisters of Kintail

Postby gman » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:06 pm

Cheers, photos look better a couple of days later - abiding memory was choking for a pint on the walk back down but having a 3hr drive instead :lol:

Just looked up the battlefield marked 1719 on the map before the start, so that's how Spainteach got its name.

"The mountain in Glen Shiel on which the battle took place is called Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe, it has a subsidiary peak which was named Sgurr nan Spainteach (The Peak of the Spaniards) in honour of the Spanish forces who fought admirably in the battle."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Glen_Shiel
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Re: Five Sisters of Kintail

Postby simon-b » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:52 am

A great ridge, gman. I did this last summer, it looks sensational in your pictures, under snow. You probably picked a good descent route considering the conditions. I went over Sgurr na Moraich and came down its west flank, that was rough enough in warm, dry weather. Well done for avoiding any avalanches.
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