Monday, May 14, 2007

Creag nanDamh(274),Sgurr anLochain(131),Sgurr an DoireLeathain(122),MaolChinn-dearg(168),Aonach air Chrith(109),DruimShionnach(160)&Creg a'Mhaim(218)

Walk date: 11/05/07
My Munro #'s: 120 to 126

Pronunciations - translations - heights:
Creag nam dav - rock of the stags - 918m
Skoor an lochan - peak of the little loch - 1004m
Skoor an dira lehan - peak of the broad thicket - 1010m
Moel chan dyerack - bald red hill - 981m
Oenach ayr chree - trembling hill - 1021m
Drim heenanach - ridge of the fox - 987m
Crayk a vaim - rock of the large round hill - 947m

Duration - 08:00-16:30 to bike, back to car at 18:00
Distance - 22.4km to bike, 40.3km back to car
Total ascent - 1971m
Weather - a little cool in morning, then wind dropped but had light snow/sleet for rest of day.
Team - solo
Other hikers: 3 whilst on tops, 2 ascending as I descended

So long it had to go to two pics, taken route in red:

Hiking Expedition '07 - Glen Shiel area - Day 7 (Fri 11th)
Wow! Now, that's what I call a day out, and with a munro list so long I almost couldn't get them all in as a title! Fantastic, to be on the top of your seventh munro only six and a half hours after setting out. Anyway, after an early rise I drove up to The Cluanie Inn and dropped the bike off just before the bridge at the end of the loch. Noticing as I did with some worry that the south ridge had had a dusting of snow overnight! Ach well, I thought, I'll get up there and see what it's like with the option of dropping down via one of the many escape routes if necessary.
Parking down at the same carpark I'd used for The Saddle (down at Malagan Bridge), I set off across the grass towards Allt Mhalagain, anticipating having to follow it upstream in order to avoid too adventurous a crossing. However, I immediately found the wide and very solid bridge I had completely missed on The Saddle day! This path then steadily rises and moves through some boggy sections before hitting good rock. After a tame river crossing a sharp turn SE from a cairn marks the final push up onto the ridge.
The start of the south ridge, seven munros coming up:
The good paths continue but its a further 1.5km on top before the first munro is received, Creag nan Damh, itself being not much more than a gentle mound. Continuing on it's a little disturbing to find a drop right down to 729m before any height is gained again, but this is sweetened by discovering the non-Munro Sgurr Beag can be bypassed by a solid 'cynical-bagger's' path on its south side.
That's one, Creag nan Damh:

Non-Munro but impressive Sgurr Thionail to the south:
The bagger's path round Sgurr Beag:
Onwards and a fair climb gets you onto Sgurr an Lochan before repeating the process for Sgurr an Doire Leathain with its slight NE detour to the actual summit.
That's two, Sgurr an Lochan:
Some impressive features even in cloud:
That's three, Sgurr an Doire Leathain:
A huge snowbank clung here to the corrie slopes and I found myself thinking that the time for white-out was upon me, but the grass all around thankfully stayed green as I progressed. Maol Chinh-dearg soon comes and goes as the half-way point, but the best is next up with Aonach air Chrith. This is the highest peak of the day and takes a fair bit of fun effort getting up, the approach being narrow, rocky and steep. The use of hands came into play for me, but it really is fun and nothing that a walker used to heights wouldn't enjoy.
That's four, Maol Chinn-dearg:
Loch Quoich looking fine to the south:
I can see the pub from here! The Cluanie Inn below:
Wet but steady weather toward the day's end:
That fun route up Aonach air Chrith:
That's five, Aonach air Chrith:
After that my thirst was up and Druim Shionnach and Creag a' Mhaim, flat and wide and a solid mound respectively, came easy.
That's six, Druim Shionnach:
Some rocky routing toward Creag a' Mhaim:
That's seven, Creag a' Mhaim:
On a high from having all seven in the bag, I wasn't quite prepared for the effort involved in closing the day's proceedings. First of all was the drop in height from Creag a' Mhaim. This is on a good path, but I found it a punishing descent on tired knees. Next up was a 5km drudge on the private road taking you back to the A87. Why they can't allow the public's cars to this point is beyond me. To avoid this, it might be possible to drop off Creag a' Mhaim to a point further down the road, but that would be a rough descent over tough heather.
Loch Loyne and that bloody paved road:
Nevermind, after reaching my bike, I fuelled up on much needed refreshments and then made my very slow way back on the car on my trusty but sadly knackered steed. No matter at the end anyway, as I was still bouncing from increasing the week's tally by 50% (14 to 21) in a single day!!
A surprise at the end of the day was this bloody toe!

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Blogger Lisa Rullsenberg said...

OWH! That toe looks poorly - I hope it got a good bathing.

21 May 2007 at 20:40  
Blogger eric said...

Hey Andrew,

I’ve been visiting your blog for a couple months and this post absolutely took my breath away - your country is a place of striking beauty. I especially like the cairn that stands atop Sgurr an Doire Leathain. Keep up the good work and take care of those feet!


21 May 2007 at 21:34  
Blogger Scott said...

Sorry to hear about the foot. Hazard of the trade, I suppose.

Hey, I've been to The Cluanie Inn! I was surprised when I read that in your blog. Lovely place. I had a nice Cardhu there! If it's the same place I'm thinking of, you're near the landward side of Skye, on the western coast. Right? (The seven sisters, is that right?)

22 May 2007 at 01:12  
Blogger George Walks said...

Lisa - it's fine; I never even noticed there was an injury until I took my boot off, just a shock to see blood that's all!

Eric - much obliged and welcome aboard. From your fishing trip photos I definately can repay the compliment. Remember, weekends are never for shopping!!

Scott - it's the very same Cluanie Inn. A very nice place and very welcoming after a hard day's slog. It's great country around there hey? I take it you saw Eilean Donan castle?

Cardhu is a fine malt, the selection in the pub is excellent. I was thirsty so had a Red Cuillin real ale instead. Wonderful!!

PS - It's the Five Sisters on the north side, but only three of them are Munros. The south side has seven Munros, but then it's just called The South Ridge!

22 May 2007 at 22:08  
Blogger Scott said...

Yes, one can't visit the area, coming all the way over the Atlantic, without the obligatory stop at Eilean Donan. We also had a nice excursion on Skye and saw the old Clan MacDonald castle and land... very nice.

My wife, God love her, just came back from a trip to Canada and brought me a Macallan Fine Oak 18 year, my finest acquisition to date. Very nice, indeed!

23 May 2007 at 02:25  
Blogger J.J said...


And also apologetic - please forgive me but I have tagged you. I needed to find people who lived in far flung places - and that means you on my links list.

No pressure.

23 May 2007 at 08:33  
Blogger George Walks said...

Thanks muchly J.J. for tagging me, I appreciated the nod. However, as you can see I've been too busy to get to that one myself. Apologies from Munro land!

10 June 2007 at 17:24  

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