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Weasel's Saddle Tops

Weasel's Saddle Tops

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:35 pm

Munros included on this walk: The Saddle

Date walked: 02/10/2015

Time taken: 6.25 hours

Distance: 18.4 km

Ascent: 1480m

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Holiday time again - 10 days of hills in the northwest and the chance to finish off my Munro Tops. I was joining up with Allison on Friday night, but first of all had an appointment with two outstanding Tops on the Saddle. Iall'd planned these several times, including on the winter mountaineering course we did, but somehow they were put off repeatedly. This time would clinch them, surely!

i had lecturing commitments in Glasgow on Thursday afternoon so drove up to Kintail afterwards, arriving at Shiel Bridge with enough light to pitch the tent. I nipped along to Kintail Lodge for a fine plate of fish & chips then back to the tent for a quiet night. The weather had been peachy all week, and I was hoping for a fine day for The Saddle. However, as I emerged from the tent and surveyed the sky, it looked like I'd be in for some clouds later on. There was still a pinky tinge of dawn as I set off along the track from the campsite. My route would follow the track through Gleann Undalain then turn south up the side of Sgurr a'Gharg Gharaidh, running along the undulating ridge towards the Saddle summit, and taking in my two Tops en route. I hadn't decided which way to come down - there was no point coming over the Graham Biod an Fhithich as I'd simply have to do it again with Allison...I therefore planned to drop down the north-facing spur from the Saddle's summit back into Glenshiel Forest.

ImageP1100507 by Al, on Flickr

Spotted a few folk that had been wild camping down by the river as I walked briskly along the track - the midges must have been awful down there - they were bad enough at the campsite. Up hill and off the track - there's a marker cairn and a faint path, although this was quickly subsumed by deer tracks. I reached the 683m point then made my way up and down over the ensuing knobbles until the flattish top of Sgurr Leac nan Each was attained. From here on in, things start to narrow a little and there's an ever increasing drop on the left side. Not long to reach the second top, Spidean Dhomhuill Bhric. Clag was fully down by now and it was chilly out of the sunlight. I thought about just heading back the way I'd come, as my mission had been achieved, but I was interested to see what the narrow section on to the summit was like - it looked tortuous on the map.

Up to Sgurr a'Gharg Gharaidh
ImageP1100508 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100509 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100511 by Al, on Flickr

Sgurr Leac Nan Each
ImageP1100512 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100514 by Al, on Flickr

Spidean Dhominull Bhric
ImageP1100515 by Al, on Flickr

7 to go!
ImageP1100516 by Al, on Flickr

A path threaded its way along the narrow ground, over a couple of very narrow sections, although no difficulties, just exposure. The mist made the experience more threatening, never quite knowing what would loom round into view. After a few hands-on moments I was at the trig point and sat and had a quick snack at the summit cairn. What to do...I was unsure of the wisdom of going over the northern spur as it would mean descending through crags and I was aware of being on my own. Deciding to return the way I'd come, I travelled back over the narrow ridge, which seemed less scary and quicker second time round. I'd recommend investigating the ridge out to Dhomhuill the next time you head up the Forcan Ridge - well worth a wee visit!

Getting narrower
ImageP1100517 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100518 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100519 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100520 by Al, on Flickr

I paused for lunch on Sgurr Leac nan Each - the air was utterly still and thick with milky white mist - I watched a squadron of Crane Flies perform a balletic routine - wonderfully graceful as they hovered, pirouetted and bowed.
I decided to cut down into the glen rather than go over all the other undulations, so dropped from the next bealach, following the stream. There were a lot of deer around the hillside, and I was aware of being in stalking season. However there were no signs of stalkers. I followed the river and met up with a track that led me back to my outward route. Stopped off at the petrol station to refuel and pay for my night's camping before turning the car northwards and driving up through Lochcarron to Torridon, where Allison and Craig had been spending a belter of a week in great sunshine. Not enough hills though :lol: After dinner we had a think about how the next week might go - the forecast was not favourable with rain predicted from the Monday onwards...

Gleann Undailain
ImageP1100522 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100524 by Al, on Flickr

saddle2.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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Re: Weasel's Saddle Tops

Postby basscadet » Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:36 pm

Shame about the Clag Al, but wi 10 days, you must of got some fine weather eventually :)
Look forward to the other installments :D
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