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(Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk

(Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk


Postby Cairngorm creeper » Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:52 pm

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr na Sgine

Date walked: 17/08/2016

Distance: 12.2 km

Ascent: 1164m

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I find Faochag fascinating as it rises from near sea level as a perfect come shaped mountain, an individual amongst the lines of ridges. The knowledge that Sgurr na Sgine lays hidden behind it just adds to its appeal. Far too imposing to be just a descent route for The Saddle. Combining a longed for walk up Faoshag with a ridge scramble up to the summit of Sgurr na Sgine made a near perfect day, add in the sunshine, the views, the completely unspoilt Coire, and reaching our 100th Munro, who says you can't have it all :) .
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The route
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07:55 Faoshag here we come.
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Faoshag Meallan Odhar and Sgurr na Forcan

The path crossed the stream, up and through a gate then began its uncompromising climb upwards. Mainly through grass and heather going round or over rocky outcrops. By the time we reached the fence and at about 300m it felt like we had been ascending for a long time. The path follows the edge of the slope, making it feel a bit exposed as you look down into Coire Toitell.
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A small plateau, good spot to rest
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With great views across Kintail
As you gain height, you see hints of a grassy top, but a bit higher and the smaller rocky top peeps above it. The cone narrows, with an increasing numbers of boulders and the path again wanders around rocky outcrops then up a grassy dome to the summit and a superb viewpoint.
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11:00 Faoshag summit. Looking towards The Five Sisters.
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The ridge leading to Sgurr na Sgine
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Jeremey Jetboil boiling letting of some steam with as we admire the The Saddle
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More summit views.

11:25 we set out on the ridge to Sgurr na Sgine but rather before the ascent we turned left to cross a delightful, unspoilt Coire, to reach the NE ridge.
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Our route up Sgurr na Sgine
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The Coire with Lochans, bubbling burns, a bit bouldery and no evidence of human traffic.

Having crossed the Coire we climbed up the steep grass to gain the ridge, but kept getting pushed upwards and realised we would be too high on the ridge, so retraced our steps and gained the ridge just below a grassy knoll.
More steep and exposed grass, then some very vegetated rock :( . But once on the crest it was excellent scrambling on mainly clean rock.
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Hard very vegatated start.
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Superb spiky crest
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Some narrow sections and a bit of hand traversing
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Needed to be careful of loose lichen
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The scrambling was sustained and the lack of bypass paths gave it a real sense of adventure, the ridge led directly up to the summit :) but was sadly over far too soon :( .
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13:40 Sgurr na Sgine.
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Toasting our 100th Munro with a cup of fruit tea
We met our first other walkers of the day, a couple from Fort Willaim, who like us had been blessed by a great week of sunshine in Kintail and Skye. Another guy came and went, and we just sat around drinking tea.
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14:15 and time to move
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The Forcan Ridge from Sgurr na Sgine
We followed the standard route down.
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Impressive views on the descent
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along the ridge to Faochag
.
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We then descended to Coire Mhalagain
crossing the Coire to follow the Forcan Ridge bypass path along the dyke to Meallan Odhar. In the Coire we met the Joss, who was undertaking an impressive feat. He had walked, backpacking, from Lands End and was on his to John O'Groats averaging over 20 miles a day, to raise money for the Snowdrop Trust (which support children with terminal illness).There is more about Joss on here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/josstrekslejog. Joss was on his way to the Sheil Bridge campsite and great company until we parted ways just past Meallan Odhar.
We continued down to the road.
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Final views of Faoshag. And back to the car for 18:30.
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Cairngorm creeper
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Re: (Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk

Postby BobMcBob » Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:55 pm

Splendid! I opted out of Sgurr na Sgine when I did the Forcan ridge and now I have the perfect route to do it properly. Thanks for sharing that, I'd have had no idea otherwise.
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Re: (Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:03 pm

BobMcBob wrote:Splendid! I opted out of Sgurr na Sgine when I did the Forcan ridge and now I have the perfect route to do it properly. Thanks for sharing that, I'd have had no idea otherwise.

We were going to do as a follow on from The Saddle, but were glad we didn't as it made an excellent outing with Faochag and gave us the time and energy to find our way and enjoy the wild terrain. I am sure you will enjoy it.
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Re: (Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:50 pm

Congratulations of the 100th - an interesting route and wonderful photos. :clap: :clap:
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Re: (Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:12 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Congratulations of the 100th - an interesting route and wonderful photos. :clap: :clap:
Thank you for the encouragement. I think it will be a long while, if ever before we make 200,
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Re: (Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk

Postby IanEzzi » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:00 pm

D'oh, we did a similar route as a prelude to the South Glen Shiel ridge, except we took the other ridge (the one on the right hand skyline in your photo) which was much less exciting close up than it appeared from afar. Wish we'd taken your ridge instead!
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Re: (Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:27 am

[quote="IanEzzi"]D'oh, we did a similar route as a prelude to the South Glen Shiel ridge, except we took the other ridge (the one on the right hand skyline in your photo) which was much less exciting close up than it appeared from afar. Wish we'd taken your ridge instead![/quote
Good going to do that and the South Glen Shiel ridge :clap: Funny how ridges are often no where near as narrow/exposed as they look from a distance. Route finding across the coire to the NE ridge may be a bit time consuming if you have a long day ahead.
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Re: (Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk

Postby IanEzzi » Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:09 pm

Route finding across the coire to the NE ridge may be a bit time consuming if you have a long day ahead.


Good point, in an effort to avoid the ascent of Sgurr a bhac Chaolais we tried to sidehill it, through a boulderfield held together with moss. Didn't save a single bloody meter of ascent either as we had to head straight up eventually to avoid any more near twisted ankles! :roll:
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Re: (Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk

Postby malky_c » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:20 pm

Lovely looking day, and an interesting ridge to have a go at sometime :D
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Re: (Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk

Postby litljortindan » Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:40 pm

The Whelk certainly one of the most impressive roadside sights. Wonder how your scramble compares to Forcan ridge, not that i'll be going there any time soon.
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Re: (Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:30 pm

great to see a different route up Sgine. Will try it next time I'm around there! (hopefully next spring!)

Tim
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Re: (Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:48 pm

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:great to see a different route up Sgine. Will try it next time I'm around there! (hopefully next spring!)

Tim
malky_c wrote:Lovely looking day, and an interesting ridge to have a go at sometime :D

I think you should enjoy it, as you might of guessed, we sure did. :D
litljortindan wrote:The Whelk certainly one of the most impressive roadside sights. Wonder how your scramble compares to Forcan ridge, not that i'll be going there any time soon.

I couldn't agree with you more about 'The Whelk'. The ridge was shorter than The Forcan Ridge, a bit less exposed and no tricky down climbs or sections as hard as the 'bad step' but the scrambling on it is sustained and we thought it was a bit harder than the main section of the Forcan Ridge with no obvious by pass paths.
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Re: (Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk

Postby jmarkb » Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:00 am

It gets Grade 2 in the SMC Highland Scrambles North guide.
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Re: (Sgurr na Sgine via NE Ridge) The Knife and The Whelk

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:35 am

jmarkb wrote:It gets Grade 2 in the SMC Highland Scrambles North guide.

Thanks Mark, I should have included that.
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