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Heat wave over on Druim Shionnach

Heat wave over on Druim Shionnach


Postby Cairngorm creeper » Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:08 am

Munros included on this walk: Creag a'Mhaim, Druim Shionnach

Date walked: 19/09/2016

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 14.8 km

Ascent: 963m

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Today we needed a walk we could manage from home and this short section of The South Cluanie Ridge, at the near end of Kintail, has been on our radar all summer as an option for a day when conditions were not right for a more challenging route.
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The route

The sun was shinning at 8:50 as we set out down the track looking for the start of the stalkers path leading up to Druim Shionnach.
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Druim Shionnach

The path was, in fact quite obvious once we reached it, and had a small cairn marking its start. Kintail is one of the most scenic areas in the highlands and there were great views all around as we followed the path upwards.
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Looking toward Anoach Air Crith
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Am Bodach and Sgurr an Fhuarail
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Along the Glen to the Five Sisters.
About half way up we reached Loch a Maoil Dhisnich.
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Loch a Maoil Dhisnich
From here the path was less distinct and it was a matter of trying to find the best route on a ridge that was a lot wider and convoluted that it looked on the map, or from below. Route finding would be quite tricky in poor visability or in winter conditions. Some books had mentioned that there was a grade 2 scramble on part of the ridge. There was only very short rocky section that we found and couldn't easily identfy the scrambling route up. We made a small diversion up a very easy 6m wall.
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A very short scramble
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Then steep loose grass and rock to regain the path
Shortly after this we saw a crag to our right which may have had scrambling on it but it was rather of route so we gave it a miss. The views beyond the Sout Shiel Ridge to the south began to open up
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Anoach Air Crith
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Autumn chill in the air
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12:00 and brewing up on the summit
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Chilly enough for the noodles to need reheating
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On our way to Creag a Mhaim
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This section of the ridge felt more exposed than photos suggets
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13:37 Summit Creag a Mhaim
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There was a good path leading from the summit and amazing views south to Ben Nevis.
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South to Ben Nevis
But seeing the wind farms and the artificially low Loch Cluanie was a stark reminder of the industrialisation of the Highlands.
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Renewable energy
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Scenic descent
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Some nice slabs
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A nice path but it did go on and on. Glad to reach the level
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But still miles to go.

I have to confess to getting bored with long descents and I would be very fed up with this path if we had walked the length of the ridge. It would also make a tedious start to a long day as it takes you right round to the south side of Creag a Mhaim.. I noticed from walk reports that most people take a short cut up the ridge, seems very sensible. We finally reached the car at 16:15. This short section of the ridge made a worthwhile and fun walk despite the long descent and it was a nice start to Autumn.
Attachments
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More views across to south West
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Cairngorm creeper
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Re: Heat wave over on Druim Shionnach

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:07 pm

We did a similar route to yours a couple of years ago (with the addition of Aonach Air Chrith), but in opposite direction, we used the track to ascend the ridge and descended to Loch a'Mhaoil Dhisnich. I actually like the idea of splitting SGS into parts, not because I couldn't do it all in one go, but there are many interesting features and "sidekick" ridges to explore :D
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Re: Heat wave over on Druim Shionnach

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:46 pm

Another interesting route, thanks - ideas for the future here :D I'm due a return trip to these hills as the last time I was carrying a non functioning camera. We walked in the way you walked out and were so engrossed in blethering on a boring track that we almost missed the start of the climb up :roll: :roll:
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Re: Heat wave over on Druim Shionnach

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:00 pm

BlackPanther wrote:We did a similar route to yours a couple of years ago (with the addition of Aonach Air Chrith), but in opposite direction, we used the track to ascend the ridge and descended to Loch a'Mhaoil Dhisnich. I actually like the idea of splitting SGS into parts, not because I couldn't do it all in one go, but there are many interesting features and "sidekick" ridges to explore :D

I agree with you about exploring all the ridges and coires, although a walk all along the top most be spectacular splitting it up makes for lots of interesting and fun walks. We went up Anoach Air Crith last year and down Maol Chinn dearg, another good route and fun scramble.
Huff_n_Puff wrote:Another interesting route, thanks - ideas for the future here :D I'm due a return trip to these hills as the last time I was carrying a non functioning camera. We walked in the way you walked out and were so engrossed in blethering on a boring track that we almost missed the start of the climb up :roll: :roll:

Kintail is well worth many return trips, it was worth splitting up the ridge just to have an excuse to keep going back :lol: blethering sounds is a good strategy for the track :lol: it did seem to go on a bit.
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Cairngorm creeper
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Re: Heat wave over on Druim Shionnach

Postby simon-b » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:36 pm

That looks a nice ascent route. This report was interesting as for many of us Druim Shionnach is just the second Munro of seven, and not an individual mountain that stands out itself in memories. So it's good to see the hill getting some attention as more than just a summit on the ridge. Your route shows it's a fine mountain, CC.
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Re: Heat wave over on Druim Shionnach

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:56 pm

simon-b wrote:That looks a nice ascent route. This report was interesting as for many of us Druim Shionnach is just the second Munro of seven, and not an individual mountain that stands out itself in memories. So it's good to see the hill getting some attention as more than just a summit on the ridge. Your route shows it's a fine mountain, CC.

Thank you Simon. We are lucky to live close enough and have the time to explore individual mountains, it is surprising what gems are hidden away from the more popular routes :D
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Cairngorm creeper
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Posts: 664
Munros:139   Corbetts:20
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Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Nr. Grantown-on-Spey

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