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Kintail Sisters: of legends and Spanish injustice

Kintail Sisters: of legends and Spanish injustice


Postby 2manyYorkies » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:48 pm

Route description: Five Sisters of Kintail

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr Fhuaran, Sgurr na Carnach, Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe

Date walked: 07/07/2018

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 13.2 km

Ascent: 1437m

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At the April WH meet (unofficial of course, other meets are available ...), a plan had been hatched to meet in Kintail in July and walk the Sisters' Munros, a plan laced with cunning logistics and quite a lot of amber nectar. Nevertheless, 'twas my privilege to meet up with Walk Highlands legends Bod and Val, and the one and only Gammy. Together with IainW and Michelle, and cars left at both ends, we set off on a gloriously warm July morning, midge free in the sunshine.
In tribute to my ascent to the bealach on my Brothers walk, after the initial ascent by the forest, once more I missed the ongoing path to the Bealach, realising the mistake when we got to the burn crossing, then doubled back in a sort of traversing ascent until we picked up the path; in the rain and clag that's sort of understandable, in the bright sun it was just dumb... :lol: :lol: . That ascent was hard work, a decent slog in the hot sun, necessitating many banter stops, in themselves a delight after my previous two days of solo walking. :D
Ascending to the Bealach an Lapain:
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Towards the Saddle and Forcan ridge:
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Panorama of the South Glen Shiel ridge:
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According to that wacky funster Mr Webster, on reaching the Bealach an Lapain the days hard work is over, and it's a breeze from there on. How we laughed. Or I did anyway. Quietly. To myself. This is a wondrous walk and we had the best circumstances for it, but it's a tough old day, totally different in character from the grassy Brothers, the other side of the Bealach.

Ascending from the Bealach an Lapain to the Spanish Peak, leaving Brothers behind us:
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The first summit to climb is the fabled Spanish peak, Sgurr nan Spainteach, named in honour of the plucky bunch of 300 Spanish amigos who fought alongside Jacobite soldiers against Government troops in the battle of Glen Shiel, before surrendering about 9pm as it was getting near dinner time. That was 299 years ago, and the last time foreign troops were involved in fighting on these islands, footie fans aside.
The long ridge leading to Sgurr nan Spainteach summit:
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And herein lies the injustice in my eyes at least, my chums at Wikipedia describe Sgurr nan Spainteach as a subsidiary peak of Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe, the first official Munro on the ridge, but personally I don't see why Sgurr nan Spaintech itself is not classed as a Munro, rather than a top. It's 990m, and has sufficient prominence (looks pretty prominent to me):
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Sufficient prominence to waylay even the most hardened of WH legends:
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With a necessary downclimb to get to the next summit:
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Looking back, yes, more prominence, surely worthy of Munro status:
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Just look at that that Tom Bhuide, Bein Tuilachean and Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, that's prominence for you. Yes, well may you be shuffling your feet nervously and staring at the floor - when it comes to Munro justification you need to mumble an apology to the Spanish mountain I fear. I blame Brexit. Y viva l'Espana.

Anyway, rant over, we moved on to the first Munro of the day, Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe:
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Stunning views into a distant Knoydart:
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Being Sgritheall in the distance, cloud covered Cuillin far right:
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Loch Duich:
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Team photo:
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We enjoyed the rugged nature of this walk, enough hands-on to keep us wary yet entertained :lol: :lol:
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As weren't going to break any time records we enjoyed the opportunity for posing:
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Looking back along the ridge:
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The ever-so-prominent Spanish peak:
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On top of the third Munro, Sgurr Fhuaran, getting a tad weary now, England had just gone 2-0 up against Sweden, five Scotsmen and women and one Welshman not too bothered:
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A distant Ben Nevis:
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This was Munro number 116 for me, and the last in a good run over the spring and summer of 2018. I have no complaints (apart from not being able to count the Spanish peak - did I mention that?). As with any of these routes, they seem to put a downhill bit in at the end, just to have a laugh at 58 year old knees, but at least on this occasion the way ahead had suitable drama:
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Our plan was to follow the ridge initially then miss out the last two sisters, just sticking to the WH route.
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Looking back up to the steep descent off Sgurr Fhuaran:
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The Clan Chief and his Queen:
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Despite the dry conditions there was still some slippy stuff coming down to meet the decent path by the Allt a Chruinn.
A bunch of tired but happy troopers, the hard stuff nearly over:
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Eventually we crossed the burn and hit a very welcome path, that took us all the way back to the village and the main road. We were treated to a final light show over Loch Duich:
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All things considered, one of the very best mountain days for this humble walker, great route, great weather but most of all great company. And that was extended into the evening at the Cluanie, teaming up with Debs, Rod and Mother T for a glass or three of the proverbial. And I won't mention the poor lad who drove into the car park with his mountain bike on his roof rack, forgetting there was a maximum height barrier ..... of course we didn't laugh. :shock: :shock: :wink:
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2manyYorkies
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Re: Kintail Sisters: of legends and Spanish injustice

Postby gammy leg walker » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:02 pm

Nice write up JW, a fantastic day, a fantastic walk with fantastic company, fantastic
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gammy leg walker
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Re: Kintail Sisters: of legends and Spanish injustice

Postby Bod » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:11 pm

Great report, a wonderful account of our special weekend together in Kintail. Wonderful when a plan comes together, must hatch another one :) :) :)
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Bod
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Re: Kintail Sisters: of legends and Spanish injustice

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:21 pm

Cracking report, and some superb pics. It certainly looks like you had a great time, and some great weather.

I still have these to do.

I agree completely with your tirade on the Spanish Peak - other official Munros I'd adduce as a waste of space are Carn a'Choire Bhoidhiach and Carn an t-Sagairt Mor.

I was started on the route of only ascending hills with a 150m drop all around (200 of the Munros fit into this classification apparently), but then I realised that this would exclude many of the Cuillin Ridge Munros - Arrgghhhh!!! Heresy!!!

So I'm back with the vagaries of Munro classification, but with my own spin: 150m drop all around, unless the hill is especially characterful, in which case it might be included.... Hmmmm!
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Re: Kintail Sisters: of legends and Spanish injustice

Postby Chris Mac » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:33 pm

Incredible photos of a stunning area, lots of smiles during the walk too, looks like you had a right laugh! :D :clap:

A cracking day out on some spectacular hills, I would have joined you for this one if I didn't have a prior commitment that weekend, kind of gutted that I did now... :(
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Re: Kintail Sisters: of legends and Spanish injustice

Postby The Rodmiester » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:44 pm

Excellent report on a fantastic day on wonderful hills. Superb photographs and a fine catch up in the evening. 😁😁
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Re: Kintail Sisters: of legends and Spanish injustice

Postby malky_c » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:52 pm

You may not have got the extra Munro you so wanted, but you did get Gammy doing mid-walk situps, so it can't all be bad :lol: . Looked like an enjoyable day out in decent weather 8)
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