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Sisters with lots of wind

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:11 pm
by Fife Flyer

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This was a kind of last minute day out, Tommy (tommyatr) sent me a text on Thursday asking if I fancied hitting the hills on Friday, so after a quick check of the forecast I could see that the options were rather limited :(
The forecast was for a nice dry day in the NW, however the wind would be a major factor. I fancied and wanted to do the Forcan Ridge, but with a wind speed of 30mph and gusts up to 50, that idea was kicked into touch. Next on the list was the Sisters and knowing that we would have 2 vehicles this seemed like an ideal opportunity, so the Sisters it was 8)
Tommy was going to be camping in his van overnight and I suggested an 8.30 meet at the start, which seemed like a good idea until you factor in the travelling time - just under 3hrs 30min. So another early rise with the usual "hardly any sleep" was on the cards.
I arrived at the start much earlier than arranged and there was no sign of Tommy's van, so I drove to the other end just before Morvich in case we had got crossed wires, wasn't there either :roll:
So I headed back to the start point & as if by magic Tommy's van was there, he had met a fellow Walk Highlander Richard (silverbullet) at Cluanie, so we were going to be the 3 amigo's and 2 dogs. Tommy had brought one of his dogs Daisy and Richard brought his dog (I think it was a collie) called Solo.
After quick introductions we set off, there is no chance to get the legs warmed up, it was literally straight up and the straight up continued and continued, relentless is an under statement :lol:

Image Nice path to start off with

Image Gaining height rather quickly

Image Water feature

Image Solo waiting patiently for us

We were happily following a well trodden path, but on checking the GPS we noticed we were well to the west of where we should really be :o After a quick discussion, which was also a good excuse to get our breath back, we opted to leave the path and head up in a NNE direction with a view to getting back to where we should be. Great idea, but in practice traversing uphill wasn't very easy as there are large gully's to negotiate :lol: That plan was binned, we decided to just head directly up, our only slight concern was intercepting the ridge to the west of the first Munro :lol:
The rest of the ascent up tufty grass and the occasional loose rock wasn't the most pleasureable, especially as the gradient seemed to be almost vertical :lol: At least we would reach the ridge quicker :lol: :lol:

Image Going up

Image Indicates the angle of the gradient

Image Richard looking up and thinking the same as me, the top isn't getting any nearer

Image Looking SW

Image Nearly there

Image Daisy & me waiting on the ridge

We eventually reached the ridge and what a relief, firstly a decent path and secondly it was almost flat :lol: Now we could make progress :wink:

Image The way ahead, looks easy

Image Looking back

Image The way ahead

Image Looking back

The initial part of the ridge was great, we could see all three summits, admittedly with a wee bit of a drop between each one. The wind seemed to be strengthening, the main concern were the gusts and as usual they were unpredictable, not good when walking on a ridge.
There were a few scrambly bits up and down, nothing difficult and then the final push up to Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe :clap:

Image First sight of the summit cairn

Image Summit pose

Image Next two targets

Image Loch Duich

Image Zoomed

After a bite to eat, we set off on the descent down to the bealach, like most bealach's the wind was ferocious they are like wind tunnel's :roll: It was as quick as we could start ascending just to get a bit of shelter. The wind luckily was either coming from behind us or from the right, but it was still really hard going.

Image The summit cairn on Sgurr na' Carnach

Image Solo leading the way


Image The way up to the final summit

The slog up to the summit was a real struggle, I was certainly out of breath when we reached the top :lol: After another bite to eat we set off down, Richard had decided to leave us and head up to the final sister, so we said our goodbyes. Hope you managed to get back to your car OK, was great meeting you, just a shame we couldn't chat a bit more, the wind kind of ruined any chance of conversation :(

Image The way back to the vehicle

Image Nice deep gorge

Image East cliffs on Sgurr na Saighead

Image The way down


Image The way down

The route down was straight forward, the path initially traversed the side of Sgurr nan Saighead then it was a matter of heading towards the main path down that could be clearly seen on the other side of Allt a' Chruinn. Once we reached the main path we made great progress and it was made even better because we were kind of out of the wind.

Image Ferel goats

Image Goats again

Image Looking down on the A87

Image Loch Duich

Image Nearly back at Tommy's van

Image Daisy cooling down

We arrived back at Tommy's van in under 7 hours, which considering the conditions was excellent. A HUGE thanks to Tommy for suggesting a day out, look forward to hooking up again soon :wink:

The Sisters ridge is a great walk and it made a change to actually have clear day and actually have views 8)
As for my next outing that will have to wait for a week or so 8)

Re: Sisters with lots of wind

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:42 pm
by martin.h
Glad you managed that Martin, its a great day out and you got the great views again, shame about the breeze tho' :lol:
We missed the last sister when we did this walk, I wonder how many people do that.

We travelled through Glen Shiel on our way home this morning, cloud was well down, twas raining and blowing a hoolie, what a difference 24hrs makes.

Thanks for sharing.

Re: Sisters with lots of wind

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:47 pm
by Silver bullet
Hi mate,
Good report excellent photos :clap: . I Was fortunate enough to get a lift off the party we met on Sgurr Fhuaran who ended up just in front of me at the Jacobite.Had a great day and cheers once again.

Re: Sisters with lots of wind

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:09 pm
by Petr Dakota
Well done ! ...and great views :clap: 8) :clap:

Re: Sisters with lots of wind

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:13 pm
by dooterbang
I nearly had wind looking at those steep asents :shock: !! I did all of Kintail in winter so I think the snow may have made it easier to get up high. Looked a good day out once up high, albeit a tad blowy :)