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South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]


Postby HighlandSC » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:59 pm

Route description: South Glen Shiel Ridge: 7 Munros

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: 26/06/2010

Time taken: 11 hours

Distance: 25 km

Ascent: 1900m

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Date - Sat 26/06/2010
Title - South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]
Munros - Creag a' Mhaim, Druim Shionnach, Aonach Air Chrith, Maol Chinn-dearg, Sgurr an Doire Leathain, Sgurr an Lochain, Creag nan Damh
Route - East to West. We had a car at each end.
Weather - Good. A bit grey and hazy. No rain. Warm-ish southerly breeze.
People - Me / Mike (sid0995) / Chris / John (also bumped into sparra legs on the ridge)
Time - 11 hours
Distance - 25km
Ascent - 1900m
Max Altitude - 1021m


south glen shiel ridge - route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


south glen shiel ridge - route profile.jpg


A small group gathered last Saturday to have a bash at the South Glen Shiel Ridge. It was a fantastic long day out on an excellent route. A great day was had, it really is a fantastic place. As if it's not hard enough on the legs, we took an unusual descent route which made it a tad more epic than we were looking for! After working our way along the entire ridge to the last Munro on the W side we took a direct line NW from the summit down the gulley and followed the Alt Fas-allt (suitably renamed by us - it's unprintable here!) until it joins the path about 1km from the road. Do walk the ridge - I'll certainly be back again. But do not take this route off unless you're looking for a tough going knee breaking midge infested epic! Much better to exit another way such as down the path from the Bealach Duibh Leac. I spied numerous likely camp spots on the ridge - I'm having thoughts of a return sometime to spend the night up there, maybe string a route together to include the Forcan Ridge. We met a couple of runners half way along the ridge who'd started from The Saddle - after a hard day out the day before followed by a beer session and then todays route they were feeling the pain - and the thirst - they were very low on water and there's not really anywhere to get any up on the ridge so Mike donated a litre to their cause. Fair play to some of these runners - they fair stretch themselves! I couldn't bear the thought of running such epics! Another group we met, the women had recently run the West Highland Way race.

Oh, and if you're the solo walker wearing orange that finished around the same time as us then sorry we left you to walk that road all the way back! We were driving along it thinking of you all the way :shock: Our packed car and lateness to be elsewhere meant we had to abandon the plan of coming back to rescue from that walk back to the Inn! Anyway....

We had 2 cars between us and after leaving one at the West end of the ridge we made our way back to begin from just East of the Cluanie Inn. After a 6km march up the track we started ascending the path on the SE side of Creag a' Mhaim

Looking back to the Inn
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Some rays were lighting up Loch Cluanie
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Ascending Creag a' Mhaim. There's a well worn but quite good path all the way up. There's a couple of walkers ahead of us
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Creag a' Mhaim summit
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W along the ridge
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It was a bit dull and hazy today but we still had fanastic views.

E along Loch Cluanie
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On we went toward Druim Shionnach. As with most of the route, the terrain is easy going, but some bits require a bit more care.

Looking back E toward Creag a' Mhaim
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Onwards to Druim Shionnach
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After a quick break on Druim Shionnach summit we marched on toward Aonach Air Chrith...

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You can spot the Cluanie Inn from most parts of the ridge
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Aonach Air Chrith summit - the high point of the ridge at 1021m. Looking W back to first 2 Munros
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The descent from Aonach Air Chrith is a little narrow, steep and rocky but it's easily passed with care.

Leaving the summit of Aonach Air Chrith
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The short rocky section
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Looking S across to Gleouraich
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Looking on to Maol Chinn-Dearg
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Maol Chinn-Dearg summit
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We had a decent break and some food here - joined by the 2 runners. They were on good form considering they're epic so far - they forced some food down, gulped our donated water and were off again...doing the ridge in the opposite direction to us...
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Looking NE over Glen Shiel
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S to Loch Quoich
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On we go to Sgurr an Doire Leathain

We met the group with the recent WHW runner here - they'd started from the opposite end and this was their last summit before descending from there. After some banter and taking pics for each other we left them to their lunch and pressed on
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Next stop: Sgurr an Lochain

There was a nice short scrable en route - I think there was a bypass path to it? If so we weren't interested in it..
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Coire Lochain
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Across to Knoydart
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Soon enough we reached Sgurr an Lochain summit

Thanks to this couple for taking pics for us
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They politely declined our offer of jelly babies and whisky and were on their way
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Following some whisky, food and a short rest we began the attack on the final Munro summit of the day - Creag nan Damh

Tired legs and the lure of the bypass path made it an easy choice to skip the ascent to the 896m top Sgurr Beag. We continued on to Creag nan Damh:
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Looking S from the drystone dyke at Bealach Fraoch Choire - across to Sgurr a' Mhaoraich and Buidhe Bheinn
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The small lochan with Sgurr a' Mhaoraich rising in the background
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We made the final push and soon enough we're on the last summit of the day- Creag nan Damh
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A few pics and we were off - rain was threatening and a few specks of water fell - thankfully that's all there was to it.

Now came by far the hardest part of the day - time to pioneer an unusual descent route :wtf: - the descent from hell as mentioned at the start of the report....3 days later I look back and laugh - it wasn't so funny at the time! Pics don't really get across the physical and mental pain endured, but they give a flavour. Each step needed so much care....and the midges :shock: ..... all good fun :lol:

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Looking back as I reach the road
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Thankfully this is the only bit of road we had to walk! The joy of finally setting sights on that car!. I can only imagine the pain of those who've had to walk the 10km back up the road from here.
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The End!
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Last edited by HighlandSC on Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

Postby mountain coward » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:33 am

Thanks for that - we were hoping to do that last week but had some car trouble... i.e. someone coming the other way put a stone through the windscreen. As we were staying at Letterfearn, it took 3 days of late mornings waiting around for insurance-type calls to sort out so we didn't get to do the ridge :( But you've put some great and detailed photos out which will be very useful for me :D

I defo won't be descending the way you did though - I plan to find the path down from the pass - anyone know if it's obvious from the ridge? I've seen the lower bits when I did Faochag...

Oh and we will be taking the bus up to the start - there's one at a reasonable hour in the morning...
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Re: South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

Postby monty » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:29 am

Hi HSC,
Thats a great report there. excellent pictures of the route and the odd scramble or two. Me and Danrun are doing this in late August so it great to see the terrain. :lol: :lol: Thanks for the warning on the descent although I think we will be doing the forcan ridge first, weather dependent with the options of wild camping on the ridge if we feel the need i.e. knackered :lol:
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Re: South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

Postby HighlandSC » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:15 pm

Thanks Monty. Enjoy whatever you do - but going by the state of the 2 runners we met (who seemed hardcore/extreme light weight packs) they were a bit weary to say the least after doing the Forcan and then meeting us in the middle of the ridge. They weren't looking forward to the rest of it but cracked on regardless! Good luck and I look forward to hearing about it :D
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Re: South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

Postby HighlandSC » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:17 pm

PS - terrain under foot is great 95% of the way - you'll be whizzing along!
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Re: South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

Postby kevsbald » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:45 pm

Well done, Scott. I always wondered what the 1st four peaks looked like. I gave up halfway along on a dreadfully cold and wet day back in 2006, having had no views. It was a good call as a passing party who were ascending were to later lose one of their walkers in horrendous conditions, resulting in a fatality. And just think you did more than 2% of the entire Munro count in that walk. Another 48 of those and you'll compleat!
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Re: South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

Postby kinley » Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:05 pm

Great trip - it's quite an effort - you had a better day than we did.

Amazing how low Loch Quoich is - must be approaching Pre-hydro levels. That N arm is really just the River Quoich. A lot less than Dec 08:

Image

Links just for interest:

Loch Quoich 1903

Overlay on Google Earth
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Re: South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

Postby gammy leg walker » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:17 pm

Fine report MC the 1 of the runners you met on the ridge was sparra legs from this site
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Re: South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

Postby maddjock » Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:48 am

great report HSC... still gutted I couldnt make it, although by the time I got home MWIS was predicting thunder and lightning for you... didnt feel so bad then...
what time did you get back to Inverness?
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Re: South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

Postby Paul Webster » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:51 am

Where was the hot-dog? :o
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Re: South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

Postby HighlandSC » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:17 pm

Some interesting info there kinley, cheers.


maddjock wrote:great report HSC... still gutted I couldnt make it, although by the time I got home MWIS was predicting thunder and lightning for you... didnt feel so bad then...
what time did you get back to Inverness?

Yep we pondered the forecast thunder and ligthning..risk seemed low enough and on the day there was no concern. The sky was threatening at times but we got no rain, thunder or lighning :)
We finished at 8pm, about 11 hours total but I'm sure we added an extra hour with the dodgy descent route!. Back in Inverness around 9.30pm.

gammy leg walker wrote:Fine report MC the 1 of the runners you met on the ridge was sparra legs from this site

Oh right, yeah i know the name, he must of being the one of the 2 guys running we gave water to?

Paul Webster wrote:Where was the hot-dog? :o
Ah the hot dog, noted by it's absence! It had major car problems and gutted to miss it. I believe he was spending the day with the mrs in car dealerships whilst receiving messages from the team on the hill. I've heard a claim the expedition wasn't official and will have to be redone ASAP with the hot dog on the hill.
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Re: South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

Postby LeithySuburbs » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:55 pm

Whisky and jelly babies - my kind of lunch :D . Great detail of this route I'm looking forward to. Hazy days like that always look better in reality than a camera can represent.
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Re: South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

Postby HighlandSC » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:10 pm

It made a very tasty lunch indeed :D You're spot on about the hazy day - not ideal for the camera, but in reality it was top notch, brilliant views and really atmospheric....and with lightning forecast we were keeping a close eye on the sky...the threat was everywhere, but luckily it never happened :)
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Re: South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

Postby LeithySuburbs » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:14 pm

I got caught in a thunderstorm on the golf course a couple of weeks ago :? . A little unnerving I can assure you, to be in a big field full of tall trees and a bag of metal poles.
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Re: South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]

Postby DonnyW » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:47 pm

A couple of years back.. I lost my favourite camera in a thunder storm and in that area too.. I didnt realise it but my rucksack wasnt quite shut and within moments its bottom filled with water in the heavy downpour. Guess where the camera was.. it never took another photo :( Nice report though ..it cheered me up :D
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