walkhighlands

South Glen Sheil ridge, west to east

Route: South Glen Shiel Ridge: 7 Munros

Munros: Aonach Air Chrith, Creag a'Mhàim, Creag nan Dàmh, Druim Shionnach, Maol chinn-dearg, Sgùrr an Doire Leathain, Sgùrr an Lochain

Date walked: 01/05/2024

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 28.5km

Ascent: 2127m


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I spent a long weekend up in Glen Shiel doing a few walks, but had saved the South Glen Shiel Ridge for the day which looked most promising on the weather forecast. The gales and hailstones of the previous day had cleared to leave blue skies and not a breath of wind. Perfect.

I tackled it from west to east, the opposite direction from the route described on WalkHighlands, but otherwise followed the same path. Having left my car near The Cluanie Inn, I had decided that an early morning cycle downhill on that A-road before the traffic built up was a better option than an uphill cycle at the end of a long walk. The 11km cycle was covered in about 25 minutes. The downside of this was slightly more ascending on walking it this way, but otherwise it all worked it well doing it this way around, with a short drive back down to pick up my bike at the end.

From the bottom of Glen Shiel, at a gate marked "Pathway to The Saddle" I followed the path to a footbridge over the burn, and then you are quickly ascending the zig-zag path towards the ridge. The path was easy to follow and at the top you then follow the path left, alongside a dry-stone dyke until it soon comes to the first summit (when doing it this way around), Creag nan Dàmh.

The walk to Sgùrr an Lochain involves a short simple scramble downwards in this direction, before you get to your second Munro. It is a short walk, along the broad ridge at this stage to the third summit, Sgùrr an Doire Leathain, the highest point of which juts out a little onto its ridge northwards. The walk at this stage was a straightforward affair in the good weather (pictures below), with glorious views in all directions. It was hard to know where to look, and I was so glad I had held off until the clouds and wind had cleared, so that I didn't miss any of it.
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Start of the ridge - dry stone dyke
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Summit 1 - Creag nan Dàmh
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Summit 2 - Sgùrr an Lochain
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Summit 3 - Sgùrr an Doire Leathain

There is a longer walk to the next summit, Aonach air Chrith, with some lumpy rocks near the summit. I clambered over them to get up, because I had missed the path that diverts past them to the south. It was easier to spot from the other side if you are headed west, but half the rocks were easy enough to clamber over.

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The ridge towards Sgùrr an Doire Leathain
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Heading east, Loch Cluanie ahead
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Summit 4 - Maol Chinn-dearg
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The ridge heading towards Aonach Air Chrith

After about 3km you come to the 6th Munro of the day, Druim Shionnach. From the summit here there is the narrowest, rocky ridge section of the day. Again, with no wind today and dry rock beneath my feet it was a simple affair to shuffle along it, but a path diverts to the side if conditions are less favourable. Grassy slopes lead from here to the 7th Munro of the ridge, Creag a' Mhaim, with the comforting thought that it is all downhill from here.

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Summit 5 - Aonach Air Chrith
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Summit 6 - Druim Shionnach
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The narrowest part of the ridge at the summit of Druim Shionnach
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Summit 7 - Creag a' Mhaim

Zig-zagging down the clear path you eventually come to a road that feels longer than it should be as it curves you back to the A87 at The Cluanie Inn. I took about a million photographs, and particularly enjoyed the views south to Glengarry and Loch Quoich. I had been planning the logistics of this for a while, and loved every minute of it. A 5 star walk.

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On the home straight, approaching The Cluanie Inn

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Date walked: 20/04/2024
Distance: 16.5km
Ascent: 1150m
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Distance: 20.1km
Ascent: 1120m
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Distance: 16.5km
Ascent: 1700m
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Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn a' Chaisteil (Auch), Beinn Chaorach, Beinn nam Fuaran, Beinn Odhar, Cam Chreag (Auch)
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Paul4Jags


Activity: Mountaineer
Pub: Tennents
Place: Glasgow

Munros: 182
Tops: 44
Corbetts: 11
Fionas: 3
Donalds: 1
Islands: 15
Long Distance routes: West Highland Way    Forth & Clyde and Union canal towpath    John Muir Way   



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Statistics

2024

Trips: 3
Distance: 75.8 km
Ascent: 4380m
Munros: 9

2023

Trips: 2
Distance: 36.6 km
Ascent: 2820m
Munros: 7

2021

Trips: 1
Distance: 22 km
Ascent: 2193m
Corbetts: 5


Joined: Apr 13, 2019
Last visited: May 27, 2024
Total posts: 10 | Search posts