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Lucky 7 - The South Glen Shiel Ridge.

Lucky 7 - The South Glen Shiel Ridge.


Postby JimboJim » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:06 pm

Route description: South Glen Shiel Ridge: 7 Munros

Munros included on this walk: Aonach Air Chrith, Creag a'Mhaim, Creag nan Damh, Druim Shionnach, Maol chinn-dearg, Sgurr an Doire Leathain, Sgurr an Lochain

Date walked: 16/08/2016

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 24.8 km

Ascent: 1818m

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The South Glen Shiel Ridge. It sounds good and looks good, but would our experience match up with 'the hype' though that is not really the right word, for it. It's funny how one talks about a big day and then, all of a sudden, "that's it, we're going for it, tomorrow!" And, so it came to pass :) Myself and Charles, elected to take one bike, drop it at the west end, drive back to the Cluanie Inn and also, keep open the option of getting the bus, or hitching a lift back. Being my turn to drive, it would be my privilege and pleasure, to do the cycling, which would "only" be about 5-6 miles, or so :-D
Usual early, very early start , but a lovely drive, aside from some thick fog now and again, from Fort William, through to Cluanie. From the Inn, to the lay-by at Malagan, was an eye opener for me. Almost all downhill. Very handy, except ......... I'd be required to go in the opposite direction :shock: To quote one former England manager, "Do I not like that."

Anyway, no point wondering what sort of state I might be in by the time we're off the ridge, let's get on with it!
As we returned to the Cluanie Inn, we came across a road accident, where two young boys, had seriously smashed up their car. Fortunately, both were out the upturned vehicle and wandering around, if rather dazed. Very lucky not seriously injured, or worse. We gave a bit of first aid and called an ambulance. (That was a bit of a fiasco - how many Cluanie Inn's are there in Scotland? "It's on the A87, between Invergarry and Kyle of Lochalsh!" And, I don't know how many times, Charles had to repeat "Cluanie Inn" and spell it out. Aaaargh!

Finally, knowing that help was on the way, the lads being ok, we left them, with another couple who stopped and made for the starting point for the walk, where we were accosted by a million midge's, all hungry after a night without food. Lucky for me, Big Jasper has tastier blood, or else they don't like alcohol, so they mostly fed on him :lol: As we had lost some time and to evade the midge's, we made good speed up the track, though not as fast as another guy, who quickly caught up and kept us company for a short while, till we got onto the flat and made off towards a small gully on the ridge. We walked on a little, then opted to aim for it, too. It was hard going, through heather and tussocky grass. Might have been better carrying on a wee bit further and joining ridge low down?
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1st summit, Creag a' Mhaim, looking over to Spidean Mialach and Gleouraich.

We were both relieved to make it onto the ridge, where progress to the summit of Creag a' Mhaim, was much easier going, though seemed to belie its lesser height, with a few false dawns on the way, although the sense of excitement began to increase, as surrounding mountains began to emerge. I think we were somewhere about 2 and a quarter hours to the summit, where we could just about see the chap, who had overtaken us, on the second summit, along with another who appeared, from somewhere. There were some great views to Gleouraich & Spidean Mialach, as well as the lengthy ridge, which lay ahead.
As we set off for number two, Druim Shionnach, we could see the other walker advancing towards us, pretty much at the same speed as the other guy had departed. What's he at, we wondered? Wasn't too long till we met and he explained, he had started on No.2, first, not by design, I might add :) Anyway, we soon parted and made towards the narrow approach to the summit, but in all truth, I don't recall it register as anything too tricky, for either of us. That stretch only takes about half an hour :)
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Let the counting lessons begin. I think this is 2?

The next summit, Aonach air Chrith, does however, look further off, a bit higher and more rugged, but all the more enjoyable for that. Even then, it only took us about three quarters of an hour, but perhaps we were trying our best to outrun, the speedster, who was now hot on our heels having collected No.1 and returned back over No.2! Sure enough he joined us at the 3rd top, introducing himself as, Lawrence, who was enjoying a few days doing hills in the vicinity. We were more than happy for the company and Lawrence, seemed to enjoy having us along too, enjoying plenty banter, marvelling at the beauty of the hills and our luck with the weather.
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Rocky descent off #3, then out to Maol Chinn-dearg, Munro number 4.
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Big Jasper, summit Aonach Air Chrith, with ridge thus far, stretching behind.
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The hill-billy, bro's? :) Aonach Air Chrith.

As described, the drop off the third summit is also a wee bit tricky, but again, is fairly straightforward with a bit of patience, concentration and bum shuffling across a few rocks. No damage done to anyone's under carriage and we were soon flying along to No.4, Maol Chinn-Dearg and before long we were honoured with a flypast by a couple of jets, "F- somethings" I think, but of who's airforce? Perhaps, any of you aeronautical experts might advise :)
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Loch Quoich and one of the jet's.
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Scary when one can look down into the glen to see one of them fly by.
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The fly past. Anyone identify the pilot :)
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Below Spidean Mialach
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Glen Quoich Bridge and hills to the south.


The route to Sgurr an Doire Leathain isn't exactly a thriller, but it does offer increasingly spectacular views of the hills to the west, such as the Saddle and Sgurr na Sginne, as well Loch Quoich and the bridge, which I presume is called, Glen Quoich Bridge? I think by now, Lawrence had well and truly proved his mettle and had us burned to a cinder, however me and Big Jasper, did our best to seem nonchalant and unfazed and am sure he never noticed our near exhausted state :lol:
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Sgurr an Lochain, from No.5
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A look back along the ridge to No.1, away in the distance.
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The Saddle and Forcan Ridge, look spectacular.
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Big Jesper.

As said, the next summit, No. 6, Sgurr an Lochain, has a fine appearance, but although it looks nearer, it took us 45 mins to knock this one off. Tiredness definitely, hitting the other two :) Quite glad by now to be eyeing up the final summit, though it is a more complicated looking lump and a steadily increasing slog, as myself and Charles finally caught up with Lawrence, who may well have had a three course meal, cigar and bottle of champagne, by the time we caught up :D We by-passed the top of Sgurr Beag. It had taken us maybe just over 6 and three quarter hours up till now. Walkhighlands describes this last stretch as "likely to be a trial for worn-out limbs." I don't think Jaf, or me could raise enough energy to discuss that argument :)
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Fashion guru's, or what? Lawrence and I coming off No.6, faces red as the t-shirts :)
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The Saddle rises beyond the final summit, Creag nan Damh, in the foreground.
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Panorama South-SW.
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Another of Creag nan Damh. Saddle and Forcan Ridge behind.
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Final summit, Creag nan Damh. Saddle and Forcan Ridge behind.
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Happy, or what?
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Anyway, we had a bit more grub, fluids and photo's of the spectacular surroundings before considering which way to descend. Big Jaf, had plotted a descent route, dropping steeply, north off the final summit of Creag nan Damh, over Sgurr a' Chuilinn, then down to my awaiting bike. Lawrence and myself were more for sticking to the WH's route. I could see the logic of Jaf's suggestion, but if I/we could have seen the terrain, which we eventually covered, I doubt if we would have taken these first, tentative steps down the steep slope :?:
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Hazy view of Eilean Donan from Creag nan Damh.

It proved to be really thick, tussocky grass and deep heather. Any time we may have saved by directness of route was probably lost, stumbling and falling about, as the lay-by, only slowly began to look closer. By this time, Lawrence had broken clear of the jungle and was already trying to hitch a lift back to his car. About half an hour later we sprachled onto the road and trudged back to the lay-by, completing the trek in about 8 and a half hours. Would we have been quicker going the 'other' way? Who knows, but it would surely have been more fun and I wasn't for going back, to give it a try.
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Big Jesper, soaking up the surroundings.
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And Big Jesper, soaking up pint # umpteen :)

Lawrence, by now was also trying to reassure an elderly couple, that their overdue son, doing the same route, had probably not come to any harm, though we had not seen him en route. We meantime, prepared to catch the bus, as we thought we were on time, however after waiting till after 5pm, we began to think we must be late and I began seriously (well, I wasn't really serious, but I had to make it look as though I was serious) to contemplate the prospect of that ride uphill, back to Cluanie :( We also kept the worried couple of parents company, with further efforts to phone their son and give some reassurance, while Lawrence himself, was even considering going back up to have a look for him. To be honest, I couldn't have contemplated that.
Luckily for me, the elderly chap, kindly offered to give Lawrence and I, a lift back to Cluanie, so I could pick up my car, then return back to pick up Charles and my bike. As luck would have it, we were hardly in the car before the service bus, appeared. Never mind. Saved the price of a pint, which I was desperately in need of :lol: Luckily, not long after getting back, the anxiously waiting parents heard from their son, who was obviously well behind us on the route. feeling more content to hear this we slowly raced back to the Cluanie Inn, for refreshment and food. A rather inadequate orange juice for me and a few bumper pints for Big Jasper :sick: The food was great! As we were talking through the events of the day, it all seemed to revolve around 'luck.' The lucky young fella's in the crash, the weather, views, doing the ridge, getting a lift, etc, when who should appear, but the two victim's of the accident, having just got back from the medical centre at Kyle of Lochalsh and collected by their relieved parents. They were naturally very grateful for our assistance. I only hope they were insured.
Another random day, as they say :)
Attachments
Lawrence_576_800_553_768.jpg
Hope to walk with you again someday, Lawrence, ........ if you ease back on the throttle :)
Last edited by JimboJim on Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:41 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Lucky 7 - The South Glen Shiel Ridge.

Postby JimboJim » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:41 pm

And a few more :lol:
Attachments
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"Aye, still miles to ***** go!"
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Big Jasper leads the way home, via Sgurr a' Chuilinn. Wouldn't recommend it!
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Ridge back to #5, Sgurr an Doire Leathain.
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Now able to count on two hands :)
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Me. Sgurr an Doire Leathain.
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Loch Cluanie
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The ridge looking back from #5.
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First look at the Saddle and Sgurr na Sginne.
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Big Jaf, No.4
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Ridge out to Sgurr an Doire Leathain, from Maol Chinn-dearg.
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A look back at No.3
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"It went that away."
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"We're exactly somewhere on this map!!"
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Loch Quoich.
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Some folk have time for sight-seeing =D Sgùrr a' Mhaoraich, Ladhar Bheinn, among others.
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On Aonach Air Chrith. The Cluanie Inn, way below.
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Aonach Air Chrith.
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Sgurr a Mhaoriach, with Ladhar Bheinn in distance.
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Look back to Creag a' Mhaim and Druim Shionnach, from #3.
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Nice ridge walk out to Aonach Air Chrith, the 3rd Munro.
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A look back at No.1 Lawrence probably at/near the top :)
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West towards the Five Sisters .... of Kintail :)
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Creag a' Mhaim.
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Jaf, summit No.1
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The start for us. Fair part of ridge in background.
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Re: Lucky 7 - The South Glen Shiel Ridge.

Postby Alteknacker » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:52 pm

This brought back a lot of very happy memories! It's a great ridge, clearing by a country mile the key criterion of great views 360 degrees. I had a bit of difficulty following for a while, since I did it in the opposite direction :roll: .

Glad you had a good day for it - and it looks like it was pretty hot too - but you don't mention dehydration... The views too good, huh...???
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Re: Lucky 7 - The South Glen Shiel Ridge.

Postby Gordie12 » Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:42 am

Looks like you got a brilliant day for this one, some good pics of your day. It's always a bit strange to hear a jet then remember to look down to see it - amazing to see them coming through sometimes really narrow glens.

One day, I'll get round to these.
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Re: Lucky 7 - The South Glen Shiel Ridge.

Postby JimboJim » Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:28 pm

Alteknacker wrote:This brought back a lot of very happy memories! It's a great ridge, clearing by a country mile the key criterion of great views 360 degrees. I had a bit of difficulty following for a while, since I did it in the opposite direction :roll: .

Glad you had a good day for it - and it looks like it was pretty hot too - but you don't mention dehydration... The views too good, huh...???


Just had a wee look for where your username, might be derived, Alteknacker. Nice one .... depending on which definition one chooses :D Anyway, thanks for feedback. I'm sure equally pleasurable going E to W. Don't remember dehydration being an issue, though pretty sure we were just about run dry by the time we were on last summit. Made refuelling in the Cluanie Inn, all the more pleasurable, despite me being stuck on the softy's :lol:

Gordie12 wrote:Looks like you got a brilliant day for this one, some good pics of your day. It's always a bit strange to hear a jet then remember to look down to see it - amazing to see them coming through sometimes really narrow glens.

One day, I'll get round to these.


Go for it Geordie .... and make sure you get a fine day, like we had :) Yes, it's a spectacular sight, whenever seeing planes, flying through the glens, especially jets! Most times, I never get lucky enough to fire off a photo! Maybe just as much thrill for the pilots, seeing us treking across hills, above them :shock:
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Re: Lucky 7 - The South Glen Shiel Ridge.

Postby falling monkey » Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:12 pm

What luck you,ve had with the weather ,that looked a big day out was tiring just reading it.Only managed a couple of hills since we went out that day in glen etive ,weeks on at work weather great as soon as I,m off weather sucks or I get called in on overtime. Anyway nice report maybe catch up with you another time. Stephen
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Re: Lucky 7 - The South Glen Shiel Ridge.

Postby teaandpies » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:42 am

Gordie12 wrote:Looks like you got a brilliant day for this one, some good pics of your day. It's always a bit strange to hear a jet then remember to look down to see it - amazing to see them coming through sometimes really narrow glens.

One day, I'll get round to these.


It was my intention to do more 'highlight' walks thus year but that didn't happen....I'm already looking forward to next summer for those longer days.
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Re: Lucky 7 - The South Glen Shiel Ridge.

Postby dav2930 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:36 am

A highlight of any Munro bagger's career, especially in weather like that! Good effort, well done :clap:
I was also lucky with the weather when I did the ridge 17 years ago almost to the day (Sept 27th). Don't know if there was a bus service then but I just walked all the way back up the road, which wasn't very pleasant with all the waggons trundling past! :crazy:

Your report made a good read with a fine collection of pics. An eventful day, what with the upturned car and the worried parents! I guess you can do without events like those :roll: - still, at least you got a free lift :lol:
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Re: Lucky 7 - The South Glen Shiel Ridge.

Postby JEfoundmybootsagain » Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:08 pm

Well done and some great foties. Was on this ridge May 02 going same way as yourselves. Was an absolutely baking hot day. So much so that Myself and Dave my walking buddy had drunk all our water and our final summit Juice as well. As no water up top we had to come down after Aonach air Chrith, dropping steeply into Coire nan Eirecheanach and back to Cluanie. Hope to go back and try again soon.
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Re: Lucky 7 - The South Glen Shiel Ridge.

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:08 pm

JimboJim wrote:Just had a wee look for where your username, might be derived, Alteknacker. Nice one .... depending on which definition one chooses :D Anyway, thanks for feedback. I'm sure equally pleasurable going E to W. Don't remember dehydration being an issue, though pretty sure we were just about run dry by the time we were on last summit. Made refuelling in the Cluanie Inn, all the more pleasurable, despite me being stuck on the softy's :lol:



I didn't know there were 2 meanings ??!!?? - it's German, and as far as I know, there's only one meaning - old crock! What's the other one???

Always good to have a sip of liquid at an establishment of cultural, historical and architectural interest at the end of a long walk, even if it's just a softy... :D

BTW I forgot to say first time around: AMAZING pics of those jets. The adrenaline levels in the pilots must be sky high (no pun intended) when they're flying at that level.
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Re: Lucky 7 - The South Glen Shiel Ridge.

Postby JimboJim » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:12 pm

[/quote]
I didn't know there were 2 meanings ??!!?? - it's German, and as far as I know, there's only one meaning - old crock! What's the other one???
[/quote]

Cheers, Old Crock :) The other definitions, I came across, ranged from old old man, elderly gentleman, old person, old geezer, old sod, old fogey, eccentric, or old fart! I'll let you decide where old crock fits in that spectrum, most of which I could also apply to myself :lol:

Ta for compliment nabbing jet pics. Not good, but good for me! And, yes, me and Charles do like to scoff a pint, when we can. In fact, can I put round word for anyone wanting to be our driver, which would enable us to scoff much more :D

Thanks, JE. That must have been frustrating to run out of fluids and have to abandon the ridge halfway. Although we had it sunny, the heat wasn't too severe. Good luck on your return.

Brave walking back that stretch of road, Dav. A lot of big, fast moving traffic, as well as it adding another 6 miles to your day.

Cheers, Stephen, yeh, we got lucky with weather and it was a tiring hike, but it will be waiting for you next summer :) Had been meaning to give you another shout sometime, so be on guard :D I'll get round to doing a report on BT some day.

Thanks all.

Jimmy
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Re: Lucky 7 - The South Glen Shiel Ridge.

Postby Jaxter » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:14 pm

Your weather couldn't have been more different to the day I did this so it's nice to see what I missed :lol: :lol:
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Re: Lucky 7 - The South Glen Shiel Ridge.

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:09 pm

Fab pics - its a brilliant walk :clap: :clap:
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