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Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Forcan Ridge in amazing weather


Postby Fife Flyer » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:17 pm

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

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr na Sgine, The Saddle

Date walked: 16/10/2015

Time taken: 7.3 hours

Distance: 13 km

Ascent: 1400m

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The plan was to utilise the spell of decent weather that has been lingering over Scotland for over a week 8) As my options are starting to decrease with every outing I opted to try the Forcan Ridge, I contacted Tommy (tommyatr) as I knew he was planning to clock up his 100th Munro on Forcan 8)
We agreed on Friday and as the week progressed the forecast was improving, could this be too good to be true, especially as my track record in Kintail isn't overly impressive, only had one decent day :(
I advertised in the 'meets' section that we were heading to Kintail and I managed to get a couple of "bites", David (kaiserstein) and Paul (Captain Haddock), I sorted out the travel arrangements and we agreed to meet at the 'Commando Memorial" at 8am. The plan was going along swimmingly until I got a text from Tommy informing me that he was stuck in Glencoe as traffic was being held up because of a road accident :( :( Tommy estimated he would be about an hour late and had already decided to tackle something in Glencoe, so now we were down to 3 :(
We arrived at the start point a fairly big layby and things were looking rather promising, hardly a cloud in the sky and the temperature was perfect for walking and importantly too cold for the wee bitey things :lol:
We made an assumption that there looked like a short cut just across the road from the layby, mainly because there looked like a path across the grass which could possibly join up with the main path further up. After about 100m we reached a fence and a very damp boggy area, so we decided to abandon that plan and retreat back to the road :lol:
After a short walk along the road the main path appeared and off we set uphill, the path was excellent and not too steep.

Image Looking back

Image Good path uphill

Image First peek of the ridge

Image Looking down Glen Shiel

Image Looking across to the Sisters

After a couple of pauses on the ascent, purely to take photographs it wasn't long before we reached the bealach. By this time we were glad it wasn't any hotter as we were overheating a wee bit. On reaching the bealach we could see the ridge and it did look rather interesting 8) We followed the path which took us towards the ridge and let the fun begin :wink:

Image Action shot crawling up the slabs

Image Action shot number 2

Image Dave posing, Glen Shiel behind

Image Paul posing

Image Follow the path

Image Still going up

Image The Ridge

Image Dave having fun

Image Paul taking care

The Ridge itself is as easy or as difficult as you want to make it, there are exposed narrow paths but any of the difficult scrambling bits can be avoided. Having read a few WR's we knew there was going to a 30m descent to negotiate if we fancied it. I must mention that David being a 'compleatist' did the walk a year or two ago, he did say the weather conditions were slightly different. I won't describe the Ridge hopefully the numerous photo's I took will do the talking and demonstrate what a fantastic walk this is :wink:

Image David looking down

Image David leading the way

Image Looking across towards the Kyle

Image Looking across to the Sisters

Image David thinking of going off-piste

Image Penny for your thoughts

Image David following the ridge

Image Action shot

Image Paul following David

Image More action

Image Flying

Image Paul having a break to pose

Image Hide and seek

Image Paul appearing

Image Pose

Image Before

Image Elegant

Image Down

Image David surveying the way ahead

Image Me propping up a rock

Image Squishing down a narrow chimney

Image The awkward descent if you fancy it

Image David having a scramble

Image Another narrow bit

Image Path very obvious

Image Paul & David following the ridge, I took the lower route to take action shots

Image More high level action

Image Final high level shot

Image Looking back, the ridge does look impossible to cross

Image The way ahead

Image More posing

Image Follow the path

Image Not far to the summit now

Image Looking back from the summit

Image The Saddle summit pose

Image Looking SW, nice little lochan

Image Looking NW, another lochan

Image Looking west

And now the descent of 300m down to the bealach before the final ascent of Sgurr na Sgine. The path was easy to follow and once the bealach was reached it was onwards and upwards. There are a few boulder fields to cross along with a few more small descents and ascents before the summit is reached. We met our first human being on the bealach who we had seen in the distance in front of us, so we stopped for a chat, he was heading in the opposite direction to go along the shoulder before the final descent. It was a bit of a trudge up to the 2nd summit, but after a continuous plod we eventually arrived. The views of the South Glen Shiel Ridge were amazing and I still couldn't fathom out how there are 7 Munro's along it :lol:

Image The descent down to the bealach

Image The way ahead to the 2nd summit

Image Looking back to the Ridge, the shoulder for the final descent is on the right

Image 2nd summit

Image South Glen Shiel Ridge

Image Looking East

Image The shoulder that leads to the descent

And now it is time to head back to the car, the first part takes you back down to the bealach. Once the bealach is reached you then follow the path to the right which takes you along a long shoulder. The shoulder is a wee bit undulating with a slight incline at the end, then the descent begins for real. From this point you can see the road and cars looked absolutely tiny and previous WR's warned us about the steep descent, so we were expecting the worst. We found the descent nowhere near as bad as some folk have said, maybe the dry conditions clouded our judgement, but the path kind of zig-zags down, although steep, not overly steep. The shoulder has about 3 or 4 large flattish stages before reaching the bottom, I would imagine the bottom area can be a bit of a bogfest after a spot or two of rain :lol:
It was good to reach the flat ground as the knees were certainly complaining, there is a burn to cross before you reach the road and the short walk back to the car.
The Forcan Ridge is an amazing and superb walk, apologies if I posted too many photo's. I hope they demonstrate that the Ridge can be as hard or as difficult as you want to make it. I appreciate we were really lucky with not only the conditions, but also the weather.
Many thanks to David and Paul for keeping me company, I hope you both enjoyed the day as much as I did :clap:
Not sure what is next, it may even be yet another visit to Kintail - Ciste Dhubh, maybe as soon as next week :wink:
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Re: Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Postby Gordie12 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:34 pm

That looked brilliant FF - great report and photos.
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Re: Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Postby dav2930 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:04 am

Can't have too many photos of the Forcan! :lol: Some of them are really great with some nice poses. :clap: The ridge is longer than I seem to remember, but I do remember the steep descent. One of the classic ridges of Scotland and The Saddle is a fine mountain - looks like you all had a great day in some lovely weather. :clap:
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Re: Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Postby Guinessman » Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:30 am

Great report looks like a trip I'm going to have to repeat. I was last on there 1999. It certainly was a fantastic day weather wise. I was over on Carn Ghluasaid ,Sgurr nan Conbhairean and Sail Chaorainn on that day walking in a t shirt all day long.
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Re: Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Postby kaiserstein » Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:56 pm

Cheers Martin it was an awesome day. Cracking photos. Been a while since I was up a Munro but I don't think I'll leave it as long again. :D
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Re: Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Postby simon-b » Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:27 pm

One of the best routes to any of the Munros, Martin. Your pictures definitely make the ridge look impressive.
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Re: Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Postby Beaner001 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:00 pm

Cracking action shots on the Ridge Martin, well done it looks like a great day, i can't wait for this trip :clap:
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Re: Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Postby Petr Dakota » Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:10 pm

Great route and great photos from the great area ! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Looking forward to do it 8) :D ...as it's on my list since last year :shock: :D
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Re: Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Postby JimboJim » Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:25 pm

Great walk, great pics, Martin. Saw the forecast and came so close to giving you a shout for this one, but done a lot of travelling recently and a big cycle the day before left me spent! If only ....... :(

All the best.

Jimmy
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Re: Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Postby martin.h » Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:56 pm

Another great report Martin, that ridge looks quite exciting, do you follow the crest of the ridge all the way?
We're looking forward to it when we get the chance to give it a go, maybe next June :D
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Re: Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:09 pm

Too many photos of Forcan Ridge? Is that possible? :lol:

I must go and do it again some time, it's so much fun, even if it requires bum-shuffling here and there.
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Re: Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Postby prog99 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:25 pm

martin.h wrote:Another great report Martin, that ridge looks quite exciting, do you follow the crest of the ridge all the way?

Yes although the tricky downclimb can be bypassed. You can also see the occassional bypass path in the photos.
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Re: Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:13 pm

Gordie12 wrote:That looked brilliant FF - great report and photos.

Thanks Gordie :wink:

dav2930 wrote:Can't have too many photos of the Forcan! :lol: Some of them are really great with some nice poses. :clap: The ridge is longer than I seem to remember, but I do remember the steep descent. One of the classic ridges of Scotland and The Saddle is a fine mountain - looks like you all had a great day in some lovely weather. :clap:

Thanks, totally agree 8)

Guinessman wrote:Great report looks like a trip I'm going to have to repeat. I was last on there 1999. It certainly was a fantastic day weather wise. I was over on Carn Ghluasaid ,Sgurr nan Conbhairean and Sail Chaorainn on that day walking in a t shirt all day long.

Thanks, I would definitely do it again, however the weather certainly helped :wink:

kaiserstein wrote:Cheers Martin it was an awesome day. Cracking photos. Been a while since I was up a Munro but I don't think I'll leave it as long again. :D

Thanks Dave

simon-b wrote:One of the best routes to any of the Munros, Martin. Your pictures definitely make the ridge look impressive.

Thanks Simon, agree with your first comment :wink:

Beaner001 wrote:Cracking action shots on the Ridge Martin, well done it looks like a great day, i can't wait for this trip :clap:

Thanks Matthew, make sure you have decent weather :wink: PS: I do like the occasional action shot :lol:

Petr Dakota wrote:Great route and great photos from the great area ! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Looking forward to do it 8) :D ...as it's on my list since last year :shock: :D

Thanks Petr, you will love it when you get round to it :wink:

JimboJim wrote:Great walk, great pics, Martin. Saw the forecast and came so close to giving you a shout for this one, but done a lot of travelling recently and a big cycle the day before left me spent! If only ....... :( All the best. Jimmy

Thanks Jimmy, shame you didn't feel up to it, I know exactly where you are coming from :lol: :lol:

martin.h wrote:Another great report Martin, that ridge looks quite exciting, do you follow the crest of the ridge all the way? We're looking forward to it when we get the chance to give it a go, maybe next June :D

Thanks Martin, the majority of the scrambling is optional, you will love it :wink:

BlackPanther wrote:Too many photos of Forcan Ridge? Is that possible? :lol: I must go and do it again some time, it's so much fun, even if it requires bum-shuffling here and there.

Tongue was really in cheek with the photo quantity, Flickr is so much easier to use for WR's :wink: It is one I will return to, but the list is getting longer :lol:
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Re: Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Postby The Rodmiester » Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:37 pm

Superb hill, superb weather, superb photographs :D :)
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Re: Forcan Ridge in amazing weather

Postby Jaxter » Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:16 pm

I saw your post and was actually about to see if you could put up with another person but was put off by the long travel and went up to Lawers instead. Wondering if I made the wrong decision - looks like an absolute belter of a walk!! Amazing photos. :clap:
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