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Eastern Europeans and a Scot on the Forcan Saddle

Eastern Europeans and a Scot on the Forcan Saddle


Postby Beaner001 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:57 pm

Route description: The Saddle, Forcan Ridge and Sgurr na Sgine

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr na Sgine, The Saddle

Date walked: 12/05/2019

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 13 km

Ascent: 1350m

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I have been rather dormant in terms of visiting the site and writing reports on the very few walks I have done. The weight is piling on and the get and go to actually get out is not there. Even the dogs are wondering what the hell is going on :shock:

I write this report with glowing reference to 5 wonderful Eastern European's I met on this walk. 3 Poles (Daniel, Kalina & Wojciech) 1 Czech (Jana) & 1 Slovakian (Agata & her dog Dash).

I had started this walk with only the dogs and I wasn't sure if we'd take on the Forcan ridge, I was going to make a decision when I got to the foot of it it was the ridge of the boulder track traversing below the Saddle and up the stones to the summit.

I followed the path up to stalkers path leading up to the col between Biod an Fhithich and Meallan Odhar.

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The stalkers path heading up to the col


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Looking back down to Glenshiel and the A87


I took a left at the col and kept on, the path traverses to the right hand side of the summit of Meallan Odha and snakes to the cairn indicating the start of the Forcan ridge.

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Top of the col


Here I bumped into Danial and Jana, Daniel said to join them and their 3 friends whom were just starting the ascent of the ridge. Of course I said yes and one of their friends had a dog too.

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Foot of the Forcan


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The cairn at the foot of the Forcan ridge looking towards the A87


The start is quite easy and it was good to have the reassurance of some company. We soon caught the other three and introductions were done. The dogs said hello and got on with the task in hand. Agata had Dash on a long leash as he was not the best on ridges. My two are quite experienced and probably more stable than their owner :lol:


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The girls coming over the first rocky section


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And again with Agata and Dash this time too


Daniel and the others wanted some pics straddling the rocky outcrop :shock:


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Daniel straddling the rocky outcrop


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Me and Roy with Lochy looking on


We made good time and had a stop for lunch up before the tricky down climb section I was waiting for. I knew there was a path to the left which we'd have to go down as the dogs could no way manage the down climb going by the reports and pictures i'd read up on. We managed the down climb along the left no bother and got up onto the knoll at the other side and awaited the others. Once they'd gotten over the down climb we all had some well deserved lunch.


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Waiting for the others coming over and down the steep section


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The path that avoids the down climb can be seen bottom right


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Lochy with the sisters behind him


There was nothing for it but have a last push to the summit of the Saddle at 1010m is quite a viewpoint.

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A knife edge ascent


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Me ascending the knife edge


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Hands on


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Way forward to the saddle summit


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Going up


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A Roy's eye view on the ridge


The neighbouring Munro of Sgurr na Signe looked stunning, i guess it is always in its partners shadow. We had another bite to eat and started getting to know eachother. They had all become friends through a facebook page for polish and neighbouring countries hillwalking in Scotland and the respect and admiration they'd showed for our country was really lovely to hear. These people had come here for a better life and were embracing it here and adding to the economy and paying their way. Daniel was a truck driver doing a route from Glasgow to Aberdeen, Kalina had her own business, Jana a student in Liverpool, Agata a cafe manager that was training to join the fire brigade and Wojciech was working in Glasgow. It was really nice to get to know the background of this friendly bunch. Agata's dog Dash was 10 years and what a wee corker he was. He was really fit for his age. Hope mine can be as lean as him when they are 10. Few years yet mind.


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Up top


Soon it was time to descend to Bealach Coire Mhalagain and drop into the bouldery terrain and the drystone dyke. Once accross a boggy section we started the reascent up to the ridge where i started to tire a bit. The rest seemed to be a bit fitter, the hellish thing is they had done the South Glenshiel Ridge the day before. Christ when i did it with Electricfly a few years ago i could hardly walk the next day :lol: Good on them. Wojciech even had time for a couple of tins of lager, if i wasn't driving i could have chinned a tinny.


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Looking at the Forcan ridge from the side


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Agata, Kalina, me, Jana


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Sgurr na Signe


The route contours over to the northwest top then the second munro of the day Sgurr na Signe. The summit is perched above a steep face and the horsehoe of the mountain clearly shows the way round and down back to the Glen below.


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Sgurr na Signe summit


We had a quick stop then walked back along the the horsehoe and started the descent.

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Looking back at the Saddle from the the descent at Faochag


Each person going their own pace, the girls zoomed off ahead with me next and then Daniel and Wojciech. We had a few stops on the descent as it was tough on the knees and eventually all met up again at the river Allt Mhalagain to dook our sore feet in the cold water. The dogs had a splash about too. Soon it was time to say bye and i headed off back to the car where i picked up a father and son whom had just finished the south glenshiel ridge and gave them a run back up to their car just east of the Cluanie inn.

All in all a cracking day with probably the best company i have had on a hill in ages. What a credit these people were to their countries and an asset they are to Scotland :D
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IMG_9859.JPG
Daniel and Jana
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Beaner001
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Re: Eastern Europeans and a Scot on the Forcan Saddle

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:57 am

Love of the hills knows no nationality boundaries, eh? :thumbup:

Nice one.
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Re: Eastern Europeans and a Scot on the Forcan Saddle

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:35 pm

Good to see international cooperation is alive and well and living in the mountains :D :D

Some cracking photos there and well done to you all for trusting the dogs could manage - well done dogs for managing :clap: :clap:

Biggles and Bertie saw this and aren't speaking to me for not trusting them :roll: :( :(
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Re: Eastern Europeans and a Scot on the Forcan Saddle

Postby Grisu » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:52 pm

Nice report and pics, enjoyed reading, thanks!
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Re: Eastern Europeans and a Scot on the Forcan Saddle

Postby Chris Mac » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:59 am

Great report with some superb photos! :clap:

Looks like you, your new friends and the dogs all had a blast and got a great day for it. I can't wait to get up those hills especially the Forcan Ridge, even more so now, cheers!
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Re: Eastern Europeans and a Scot on the Forcan Saddle

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:55 pm

Ohh... Brings back memories. I remember scrambling down the "bad step" which in the end wasn't too bad at all :lol: :lol:

An estimated number of 800.000 Poles live in the UK. About 50% of them already acquired the settled status. I don't know how many of them live in Scotland, but I can hear Polish quite often when on the hills :D
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Re: Eastern Europeans and a Scot on the Forcan Saddle

Postby Beaner001 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:25 am

Alteknacker wrote:Love of the hills knows no nationality boundaries, eh? :thumbup:

Nice one.


Right on :thumbup:

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Good to see international cooperation is alive and well and living in the mountains :D :D

Some cracking photos there and well done to you all for trusting the dogs could manage - well done dogs for managing :clap: :clap:

Biggles and Bertie saw this and aren't speaking to me for not trusting them :roll: :( :(


It really wasn’t as hard as I expected, the dogs were tearing on ahead and did the route finding :clap: saved me a job really. My two ain’t speaking to me today as I took the clippers to them last night as their shedding was getting beyond a joke :shock:

Grisu wrote:Nice report and pics, enjoyed reading, thanks!


Thanks very much :D

Chris Mac wrote:Great report with some superb photos! :clap:

Looks like you, your new friends and the dogs all had a blast and got a great day for it. I can't wait to get up those hills especially the Forcan Ridge, even more so now, cheers!


Yes the great company really made it twice as enjoyable, highly recommend the ridge :thumbup:

BlackPanther wrote:Ohh... Brings back memories. I remember scrambling down the "bad step" which in the end wasn't too bad at all :lol: :lol:

An estimated number of 800.000 Poles live in the UK. About 50% of them already acquired the settled status. I don't know how many of them live in Scotland, but I can hear Polish quite often when on the hills :D


Wow that’s some stat, the bad step would be precarious in wet but in dry looked not too bad. The bypass route was simple enough :lol:
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Re: Eastern Europeans and a Scot on the Forcan Saddle

Postby Silverhill » Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:24 pm

Where else but in the hills can you bump into random strangers and have a really good time in each other's company :D
I hope you will re-find your mojo this year.
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Re: Eastern Europeans and a Scot on the Forcan Saddle

Postby Graeme D » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:19 pm

Great report and nice to see you back out and posting TRs! :D
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Re: Eastern Europeans and a Scot on the Forcan Saddle

Postby Colin1951 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:28 pm

Lovely report. Poles and Czechs and Scots have been friends for centuries, though...all outward looking nations
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Re: Eastern Europeans and a Scot on the Forcan Saddle

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:52 pm

Great stuff. So often its the people that we meet that make a day so memorable.

A long time since I did the Forcan ridge. I have a horrible feeling its nearly 3 decades! :shock:
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