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Sgurr na Sgine - and there's life in the old dog yet!

Sgurr na Sgine - and there's life in the old dog yet!


Postby dogplodder » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:12 pm

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

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr na Sgine

Date walked: 26/09/2013

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The first few photos were taken in May when Pete and I came to check out the first part of the route up Faochag. We parked just east of the Mhalagain bridge and walked in by the obvious gate.

Gate at roadside
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Being May the gorse was blooming in all its glory.

Glen Shiel looking north west
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The path leads to the river where boulders offer an option for crossing if you can't be bothered to detour east a short distance to a footbridge (which isn't visible until you reach it). When I came back in September with Rob and Mary we took a more direct line from the gate to the bridge, avoiding the water-logged path.

Whenever my black lab Tess finds water she goes into automatic retrieve mode, finds a handy stick and makes it clear by furious tail-wagging she wants it thrown. If you oblige this will go on until you finally give up from boredom or exhaustion... because she herself has never been known to voluntarily give up. :eh:

Tess at river with stick
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Bridge over Mhalagain with Faochag ahead
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From the bridge you head south west towards the deer fence, where there's a gate. This is the first of two fences, the second having a stile to climb, but with a handy dog size gap at the foot which isn't that obvious but my hill savvy hounds found it.

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After the fence the gradient steepens and is steep pretty much all the way to the top.
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Pete turned back about here and the dogs were torn about who to follow and kept looking back for him!

Jack
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She's still got that stick :angel:
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My male lab Jack isn't fussed about retrieving but sometimes out of sheer badness he decides to take her stick off her. Just to remind her males rule. :twisted:

Gimme that stick!
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I didn't finish the climb in May - never intended to - but came back with Rob and Mary in late September and it was interesting to see the difference in vegetation and growth. The path was also more muddy the second time round following a rainy spell.

Higher up, different camera, Biod an Fhithich and a balmy day in late September
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Nearing top of Faochag
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I had been in two minds about taking Jack with me for this climb. At nine he's slowing down and has arthritic joints. But a new tablet from the vet seems to have helped so I decided to give him another chance. There was one short scrambly bit on the lower half of Faochag where he needed a bit of encouragement, but apart from that he took it in his stride. But whenever he gets a chance he always lies down to rest, whereas Tess (a few months older) never bothers to lie down. 8)

Well earned rest at the top
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Sgurr na Sgine from Faochag
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Mary, Rob, Saddle and Forcan ridge
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Easy ridge connecting Faochag with Sgurr na Sgine via its north west top
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Pools at col before path steepens up Sgurr na Sgine useful for rehydrating the dogs (Rob's pic)
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Again there was one rocky step where Jack needed a little encouragement. The nervous tail-wagging tells you he's worried. I went up first, called him and when he jumped I grabbed his collar to give some extra lift and he was up. On the way down the same but this time I broke his landing to save him jarring those painful joints.

Sgurr na Sgine summit
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Me photographing dogs (Rob's pic)
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The photo I took - and yes, Jack looks tired.
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Beinn Sgritheall and Skye
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Ladhar Bheinn and Knoydart
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View north east to ridges on both sides of the glen
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South Glen Shiel ridge
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We decided to return by the stalker's path from Beallach Coire Mhalagain. We should have retraced our steps over the north west top from where a path leads down to the lochan, but when we saw the lochan from the col thought we'd be clever and avoid any reascent by traversing the grassy slopes directly to it. It looked a more direct route but in practice the steep wet grassy slopes interspersed with boulders made for slow going and we'd have been quicker sticking to the higher route.

When we reached the lochan at the bealach the dogs went in for a swim and Tess was asking me to throw sticks for her like she hadn't just climbed a mountain!

Lochan at Bealach Coire Mhalagain
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From there we followed the rough path along the wall to the start of the the Forcan ridge at which point the path improves, leading to the col between Meallan Odhar and Biod an Fhithich and back down to the road. We then had a short walk east along the road to where the car was parked, when Tess was delighted to find someone's discarded sandwich which she bolted down including its cling film wrapping. And no, nothing untoward happened to her digestive system - but that's labradors for you! :lol:

The next day Jack was stiff but nothing major and I was so pleased for the old boy that he'd managed to add another Munro to his tally. They're both great hill companions and I think it's sad that the dog's life span is so much shorter than ours and they have to retire from it long before we want them to. :?
Last edited by dogplodder on Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sgurr na Sgine - and there's life in the old dog yet!

Postby jupe1407 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:56 pm

Cracking report. Love the labs!

If it can be chewed, they'll eat it :lol:
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Re: Sgurr na Sgine - and there's life in the old dog yet!

Postby rockhopper » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:18 pm

A great day for it second time round - has been a good time to get out and about recently - cheers :)
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Re: Sgurr na Sgine - and there's life in the old dog yet!

Postby dogplodder » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:36 pm

jupe1407 wrote:Cracking report. Love the labs!

If it can be chewed, they'll eat it :lol:


Yep, that's them, Dyson on legs. :wink:
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Re: Sgurr na Sgine - and there's life in the old dog yet!

Postby dogplodder » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:39 pm

rockhopper wrote:A great day for it second time round - has been a good time to get out and about recently - cheers :)


I love the hills in autumn - rich mellow colours and no midge. :D
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Re: Sgurr na Sgine - and there's life in the old dog yet!

Postby PeteR » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:50 am

Really enjoyed that dogplodder :D

Some great photos, especially of the dawgs :D

I remember the descent off Faochag :shock: Not sure how much more I might have enjoyed the slog up it though, so well done to you all for that. It's a cracking hill Sgurr na Sgine, if a little overlooked by the Saddle next door. A bit of a shame really, but if the therapy sessions ever remove the memories of descending Faochag I might well return.
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Re: Sgurr na Sgine - and there's life in the old dog yet!

Postby dogplodder » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:22 pm

PeteR wrote:

I remember the descent off Faochag :shock: Not sure how much more I might have enjoyed the slog up it though, so well done to you all for that. It's a cracking hill Sgurr na Sgine, if a little overlooked by the Saddle next door. A bit of a shame really, but if the therapy sessions ever remove the memories of descending Faochag I might well return.


To be honest it wasn't that bad and I'd still rather go up it than come down! :lol:
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Re: Sgurr na Sgine - and there's life in the old dog yet!

Postby shredder » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:54 am

Well done Jack the lad - how many Munros has he done? :wink:
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Re: Sgurr na Sgine - and there's life in the old dog yet!

Postby The Rodmiester » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:46 pm

Hi dogplodder, looks like you had a great weather day on a fine hill, great year so far for the hills. Lovely photographs to go along with your report :D
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Re: Sgurr na Sgine - and there's life in the old dog yet!

Postby dogplodder » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:36 am

shredder wrote:Well done Jack the lad - how many Munros has he done? :wink:


Good question as I didn't know off top of my head but after counting them up Jack's tally stands at 60 and Tess has done 69.

Here they are on Jack's first two - the observant will know which ones! :D

January to June 2006 062-large.jpg


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Last edited by dogplodder on Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sgurr na Sgine - and there's life in the old dog yet!

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:07 pm

Amazing Munro bagging dogs - with their faithful humans :lol:

Thanks for posting both sets of photos - the seasonal colour change is lovely - and as usual thanks for the route hints, this is still on my to do list - like an awful lot more :lol:
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Re: Sgurr na Sgine - and there's life in the old dog yet!

Postby dogplodder » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:39 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:Hi dogplodder, looks like you had a great weather day on a fine hill, great year so far for the hills. Lovely photographs to go along with your report :D


Yes it's been a great weather year for the hills. With looking after mum (90) have been limited in getting out - but this only added to the pleasure when I did! :D
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Re: Sgurr na Sgine - and there's life in the old dog yet!

Postby dogplodder » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:25 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Amazing Munro bagging dogs - with their faithful humans :lol:

Thanks for posting both sets of photos - the seasonal colour change is lovely - and as usual thanks for the route hints, this is still on my to do list - like an awful lot more :lol:


This isn't the WH recommended way to do it - which is up the stalker's path and over to Sgurr na Sgine via the Forcan ridge and Saddle then down from Faochag. But when we did Saddle one of the young girls was crippled with knee pain so we decided to stick together and come off with her. I thought then I might reverse it to do Sgine and save the steep descent - which I think worked out well. :D
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