Flying bird and dying swan over the Forcan Ridge
by Mountainlove » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:56 pm
Route description: The Saddle, Forcan Ridge and Sgùrr na Sgìne
Munros included on this walk: Sgùrr na Sgìne, The Saddle
Date walked: 20/08/2016
Time taken: 8.5 hours
Distance: 11.3 km
Ascent: 1417m10 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Some mountains require sunny days with a clear sky and in my opinion the Forcan Ridge is one of them. I had arranged to meet Hugh for the walk and as usual the hardest part was to find the starting point. Once the car was parked we got the gear together and set off just before 9 am into the sunny morning . Crossing the gate we found a path which soon frazzled out , I was confused ? For such a famous hill, this was weird, surely there should be a proper path? We followed some tracks along a deer fence and thought that at least we were going in the right direction.
The view from the car park
Hugh on the 'path'
Further up the hill we eventually managed to find the proper path and looking back realized that the main path was much further away from the car than we had expected. Never mind at least the ‘wrong’ path had led us up the hill straight away- much better anyway! The higher we climbed the better the views got and it became apparent, that it would not be a day were speed records would be broken by Hugh, as I slowed him down too much
Impressive views towards the west
At the start of the ridge looking back
The ridge ahead
Across the valley clouds topped the tops of the Brothers ridge, but we were drawn to the ridge in front of us. It looked impressive!
For those who don’t like scrambling a path led away from the ridge and curved around the left hand site of the mountain, but there was no way that we would bypass all the fun.
Time to put the walking poles away and start the climb.
Hugh after the first part, with part of the ridge behind him
Into the distance
Posing with views towards the east
Sgurr na Sgine on the right in the distance
Impressive knife edge rocks
Happy to be on a mountain again
Oh those views
Oh how much fun it was to do a good scramble again. Nerve wracking even right from the start and with amazing views. Personally I loved the trickier sections, while Hugh was a bit more vary of them. Yet it all equaled itself out, as he was far faster on ‘normal’ ground. At least we were able to get some action shots.
Real fun is laying ahead
Tackling the ridge
The summit in the distance
Me in action
Further up the mountain we reached a point where a rope was tied around a rock. Upon further inspection we looked down the other site. A steep abyss gulp. We did not need any further discussion and took the bypass. The bypass however has special enough as we had to squeeze through a narrow gap in the rock and tread lightly on some dodgy wet ground. Once we reached the other site we looked up at the ‘wall’ and decided that we did the right thing!
When we were just about to leave we saw 2 other hill walkers who had arrived at the same point. We could not believe our eyes when one of them took the abyss route without any bother. This was something I had to watch (in slight envy) He later on explained to us that he was a keen rock climber which explained a lot!
The wall from the other side, as usually not looking half as bad on a photo as it did in real life. The bypass is on the right.
Looking towards the top again
The last scramble before the top
Chatting along with the two other hill walkers who introduced themselves as Craig and Doug we walked to the top were we all sat down and marvelled at the amazing views towards Skye, Rum, Ben Nevis and as it felt the whole mountain ranges of Scotland – what a view!
Towards Skye and Rum
Views back along the ridge
Beinn Sgritheall in the distance
With Craig and Doug
Once the two had left it was time for some summit shots. Aiming for flying bird over the summit cairn, I was not sure that Hugh quite managed it...needless to say it was hilarious to watch
Once we successfully, or shall I say rather unsuccessfully tried some flying poses over the cairn we moved on along the old stone wall down to the bealach which separates the Saddle from Sgurr na Sgine.
On the way towards Sgurr na Sgine on the right
Down at the bealach
Towards the other direction
On the way up
The climb up Sgurr na Sgine was by far not as exciting as the ridge has been, but the views certainly made up for it. Once we reached the cairn , the Glen Shiel Ridge was laying in front of us, it looked pretty close, but neither of us would have fancied climbing another 7 hills at that point. I know that some might not agree, but I think to truly enjoy the Glen Shield Ridge and the Forcan Ridge, you need to divide them into 2 days. We lingered at the second cairn for a while, until Hugh was keen to head back and so we made our way towards Faochag. We had looked at different options to get down, but the walk across and down the hill looked the easiest at that point.
Views from the top of Sgurr na Sgine towards the Glen Shiel Ridge
Faochag is to the left
Towards the Saddle
The summit cairn
Enjoying some food
The Forcan Ridge
Towards the 909 top of Faochag
The lump of Sgurr na Sgine
The Forcan Ridge again
Views down towards the road
The walk down
A lovely wee mountain worth a climb at some point (Pap of Glen Shiel? )
The walk up to Faochag is certainly pleasant and it is a far better view point than Sgurr na Sgine had been. The road below seemed so close, yet we would have to loose some serious height . All ways which lead up will have to go down and so the endless downhill climb started. I called it the never ending story, as the road and cars did not seem to get any closer regardless how far we walked.
We finally after what felt like hours we reached the burn. Crossing it I felt the first rain drop and a minute later, a torrential downpour started. Yes I had been dreaming about a cold shower, but that was maybe a bit too far. Soaked we got to the car and looked back to the hills, now hidden away by a wall of rain- that was lucky.
The lovely burn
The rain ...about one min later is was pouring
The Forcan Ridge certainly held the grandiose it had promised and I was glad that I had waited for the perfect day to climb it.
by Guinessman » Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:05 pm
by skawt100 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:34 pm
The Forcan Ridge is definitely in my top 3 walks. The ridge is so good you almost forgive the horrific descent. Did you do any walking on the Sunday? We did Beinn Fhada on the Saturday but had a day in the clouds on Sunday on The Brother's Ridge.
by Alteknacker » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:51 pm
Must admit, when I was up there I never thought to try to fly....
by Borderhugh » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:50 am
by The Rodmiester » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:14 am
by Mountainlove » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:47 am
@ skawt100 - yes that was my car at the Shiel Bridge Campsite
I did not climb any hill on the Sunday. Did you at least had a dry day? I remember it did not rain when I left in the morning. Ben Fada must have been lovely on the Saturday as well.
@ Alteknacker- I am glad the day turned out the way it was...and flying is harder than it looks
@Borderhugh- thanks for your company again! Regarding those trig point poses... if you do make some some equally funny ones
@ The Rodmiester- Many thanks and glad I made you laugh
by FromDownSouth » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:53 am
@Hugh - LMAO at your "Dying swan" pose
- Posts: 42
- Joined: May 3, 2016
by Cairngorm creeper » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:43 pm
by Mountainlove » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:13 am
@Cairngorm creeper- Brilliant that you had a good day as well! Wise regarding the rope on that bit!
by linco9664 » Sun Aug 28, 2016 3:58 pm
by Huff_n_Puff » Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:35 pm
Walkhighlands community forum is advert free
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?