South Glen Shiel Ridge [Kintail]
by 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: 1900mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
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
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 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
Some rays were lighting up Loch Cluanie
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
Creag a' Mhaim summit
W along the ridge
It was a bit dull and hazy today but we still had fanastic views.
E along Loch Cluanie
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
Onwards to Druim Shionnach
After a quick break on Druim Shionnach summit we marched on toward Aonach Air Chrith...
You can spot the Cluanie Inn from most parts of the ridge
Aonach Air Chrith summit - the high point of the ridge at 1021m. Looking W back to first 2 Munros
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
The short rocky section
Looking S across to Gleouraich
Looking on to Maol Chinn-Dearg
Maol Chinn-Dearg summit
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...
Looking NE over Glen Shiel
S to Loch Quoich
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
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..
Across to Knoydart
Soon enough we reached Sgurr an Lochain summit
Thanks to this couple for taking pics for us
They politely declined our offer of jelly babies and whisky and were on their way
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:
Looking S from the drystone dyke at Bealach Fraoch Choire - across to Sgurr a' Mhaoraich and Buidhe Bheinn
The small lochan with Sgurr a' Mhaoraich rising in the background
We made the final push and soon enough we're on the last summit of the day- Creag nan Damh
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 - 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 ..... all good fun
Looking back as I reach the road
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.
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...
- mountain coward
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. 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
by HighlandSC » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:15 pm
by HighlandSC » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:17 pm
by kevsbald » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:45 pm
by kinley » Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:05 pm
by gammy leg walker » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:17 pm
by maddjock » Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:48 am
what time did you get back to Inverness?
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- Joined: Jul 7, 2008
- Location: Inverness-ish
by Paul Webster » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:51 am
by HighlandSC » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:17 pm
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?
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.Paul Webster wrote:Where was the hot-dog?
by LeithySuburbs » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:55 pm
by HighlandSC » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:10 pm
by LeithySuburbs » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:14 pm
by DonnyW » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:47 pm
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