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South Glen Shiel ridge

South Glen Shiel ridge


Postby weaselmaster » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:44 pm

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

Date walked: 05/07/2013

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 28.8 km

Ascent: 1856m

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Having deferred this long-awaited walk from yesterday due to adverse weather conditions, and knowing this was the last opportunity to give it a go on this holiday as it was the last day Mrs Weasel could provide a lift to the starting point, using the 2 car trick I awoke to strong winds whipping the trees all around in the garden and rain lashing against the window at breakfast time. Hardly the most auspicious conditons to be making a start on a ridgewalk. MWIS predicted 45-55mph winds and a less than 10% chance of clear summits :roll: With heavy heart and not inconsiderable anxiety about getting blown off half way along we set off, I parked my car in the layby at the end of the walk and we all headed along past the Cluanie Inn to begin from the old military road.
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P1020983 by 23weasels, on Flickr

By this time the weather had cleared, rain had stopped and there was even a wee glimpse of blue sky...astonishing. The initial going was easy up the track and we gained an altitude of over 400m without having to struggle through heather. We walked around the conical form of our first hill, Creag a'Mhaim and started an easy ascent up the path.
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P1020984 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Behind us rose the North Cluanie Hills I'd been up on Saturday,
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P1020985 by 23weasels, on Flickr

over to our left, Loch Loyne glimmered sliver like molten lead

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P1020987 by 23weasels, on Flickr

and we got views south to the Loch Quoich hills which glowered darkly back.

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P1020989 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I was in a pretty foul mood, mostly due to anxiety about the safety of being on the ridge if big gusts of wind caught us, but although we sometimes had to stop and pause while a gust passed over us, the conditions weren't too bad at the top of Ca'M, which relieved me a little.

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P1020990 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The next hill, Druim Shionnach, is reached by a broad ridge which narrows towards its summit and walking the couple of km along there were views down to coire nan leac, with ciste dubh and the Brothers visible to the north.

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P1020991 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020992 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020993 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020994 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020995 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020997 by 23weasels, on Flickr

It did get a little rough and rocky here and was possibly the scariest place with the wind blasting across us.

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P1020998 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020999 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030001 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Having reached the top we looked along the ridge to Aonach Air Chrith which has a wonderfully notched ridge heading northwards. Looked interesting!

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P1030002 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030004 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Over the other side of the road the Brothers and Sisters ridges looked inviting.

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P1030006 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We headed round a'Chioch coire towards the third top of the day.

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P1030008 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030011 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The north ridge looked even more fun the closer we got to it - one for another day!

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P1030012 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030013 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030015 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030016 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Next along the line was Maol Chinn-dearg which was about 3 km further on. We could see the clouds gathering to the west and knew we were not going to finish the walk with clear skies :(

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P1030017 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030018 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030021 by 23weasels, on Flickr

There's a wee rocky bit to get over then it's back onto the ridgewalk.

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P1030022 by 23weasels, on Flickr

To the south, Loch Quoich came into view, with its hills closer than I'd have imagined.

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P1030023 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking back towards Aonach Air Chrith
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P1030024 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit MCD
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P1030025 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The mist was starting to descend, cutting our view of the tops of the next hills in the group. We walked to Sgurr coire na feinne

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P1030029 by 23weasels, on Flickr

and along to the next Munro, Sgurr an Doire Leathain

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P1030030 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030031 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sgurr an Lochain was next

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P1030033 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Coire an Lochain
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P1030034 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030035 by 23weasels, on Flickr

This was a big hill, unfortunately obscured from view by clag, but showing a few scary looking craggy drops...

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P1030036 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030037 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030038 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030040 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We headed on to the last of the day, knowing that this was a bit further walk, with a drop of 300+ metres to the bealach. Passed some rocks that had been compressed and folded back on themselves sometime in the dawn of time...
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P1030041 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Am Fraoch Coire
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P1030042 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We could see some of Creag na Damh through the clouds, though the top remained swathed
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P1030043 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030044 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Finally we made it to the top - seven in a day - and a pretty easy day at that - had been a relatively effortless time - at least up til now

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P1030046 by 23weasels, on Flickr

There's a wee scramble up a rocky crag after the summit - only difficult if you had a dog with you, methinks.
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P1030048 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Conditions worsened somewhat now with the mist rolling in, and we were about to begin the most gruelling part of the day, the descent back to the road.

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P1030049 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030050 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We could see the raod wending along the floor of the glen, I even fancied I could see my car, but did it ever seem to get any bleeding closer? :roll:

There are a few stream crossings and boggy parts along the way. After what seemed like several years we got close enough to the road to believe that we might one day reach it. The path passes a wooden post - hint - keep to the right of this and it takes you along a fainter path to a wee bridge, go straight on and you are faced with a final - and considerable - river crossing. We learned this the hard way :crazy:

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P1030052 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Finally we made it back to the car and drove to the Clachan pub in Dornie for a well earned pint. Good day, with much better visibility and overall conditions than the forecast predicted :D
User avatar
weaselmaster
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1768
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Location: Greenock

Re: South Glen Shiel ridge

Postby skuk007 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:48 pm

Another epic walk, 7 in one day :clap:

Well done for getting out there, it would have been easy to leave it for another day with that weather you spoke of over breakfast. Turned out nice for most of the day by the look of it. :)
User avatar
skuk007
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1419
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Re: South Glen Shiel ridge

Postby rockhopper » Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:08 pm

Phew - have just been reading all your reports from your break up there. That was certainly some week you had ! Pity about the weather but looks like you had a good old time and made the most of it - very enjoyable - cheers :)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6310
Munros:282   Corbetts:201
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Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:2
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Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

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