Kintail Sisters: of legends and Spanish injustice

Route: Five Sisters of Kintail

Munros: Sgurr Fhuaran, Sgurr na Carnach, Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe

Date walked: 07/07/2018

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 13.2km

Ascent: 1437m

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:

Towards the Saddle and Forcan ridge:

Panorama of the South Glen Shiel ridge:

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:

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:

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):


Sufficient prominence to waylay even the most hardened of WH legends:

With a necessary downclimb to get to the next summit:


Looking back, yes, more prominence, surely worthy of Munro status:

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:


Stunning views into a distant Knoydart:

Being Sgritheall in the distance, cloud covered Cuillin far right:


Loch Duich:

Team photo:

We enjoyed the rugged nature of this walk, enough hands-on to keep us wary yet entertained :lol: :lol:

As weren't going to break any time records we enjoyed the opportunity for posing:



Looking back along the ridge:

The ever-so-prominent Spanish peak:

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:

A distant Ben Nevis:

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:

Our plan was to follow the ridge initially then miss out the last two sisters, just sticking to the WH route.


Looking back up to the steep descent off Sgurr Fhuaran:

The Clan Chief and his Queen:


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:

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:


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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Comments: 6

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Views: 617

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Attachment(s) Munros: Inaccessible Pinnacle, Sgurr Mhic Choinnich
Date walked: 31/05/2017
Distance: 10km
Ascent: 1175m
Comments: 16
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Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn Tarsuinn, Cir Mhor
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Ascent: 1500m
Comments: 5
Views: 1144

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Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn a'Chrulaiste
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Distance: 6.5km
Ascent: 580m
Comments: 10
Views: 1543

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Distance: 15.5km
Ascent: 1326m
Comments: 1
Views: 767

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Ascent: 1395m
Comments: 5
Views: 1984

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Distance: 14km
Ascent: 1130m
Comments: 9
Views: 2101


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Location: York (ver 1.0)
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Any
Mountain: Beinn Eighe
Place: Torridon
Gear: Arcteryx Softshell
Ideal day out: Ridge walking

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Wainwrights: 90
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