Monday, May 14, 2007

Glen Shiel Hills: Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe (105), Sgurr na Carnach (134) and Sgurr Fhuaran (70)

Walk date: 08/05/07
My Munro #'s: 111, 112 and 113

Pronunciations - translations - heights:
Skoor na keesta ghoo - peak of the black chest - 1027m
Skoor na kaa-nach - peak of stones - 1002m
Skoor ooaran - meaning obscure - 1067m

Duration - 09:00 - 16:00
Distance - 11.8km
Weather - low wind but with moments of moderate precipitation
Team - solo
Other hikers: 3

I just kept to the three Munros, then back for beer:

Hiking Expedition '07 - Glen Shiel area - Day 4 (Tues 8th)

These three hills are the Munros of the Five Sisters of Kintail. I'm afraid as I cynical bagger I just took these in and plainly ignored the two lesser tops! With the weather forecast being better (low wind and light precipitation), I had psyched myself up to do one of 'the big Glen Shiel numbers', but I still needed it to go well in order to win the battle of the mind!

No worries as it turned out. Parking up at the car park for the Battle of Glen Shiel site I had a honest morning's clim ahead of me, moving from 130m to over a thousand in less than 2km! I accidentally started on the path toward the battle site (consisting of a small ruined stone structure), but it didn't matter as any height gained was a good thing (although a more direct route would be up along side the metal fence enclosing the forest). Once above the forest, take whichever line you fancy, but head roughly toward Bealach na Spainteach and Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe.

Height is soon gained above the forest:

Bealach na Spainteach & Sgurr na Spainteach to the east:

Once on the top, an actual path is a welcomed site, and continued stomping soon enough brings you to the rather bulbous cairn of Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe, which I saw at least partially without cloud. The path continues off the peak to Bealach na Craoibhe, offering no problems on the wide back, but beware of a split in the path heading westward down the slopes! Cloud coming in at this point meant that apart from the odd sneak at bealachs there were no more views for the rest of the day.

Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe and its bulbous cairn:

Looking back at Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe from Bealach na Craoibhe:

Rather funky lichen in Bealach na Craoibhe:

Digging in for another big ascent, I ended up being actually surprised to look up and see the cairn of Sgurr na Carnach right in front of me! Having tapped it, I kept my pace down the continuing good path to Bealach na Carnach, at a couple of points needing to use my hands but with nothing that could be called scrambling.

Sgurr na Carnach, and not just a pile of stones. Honest:

A rare view down to Loch Duich:

With Sgurr Fhuaran being the highest of the Sister Munros, I did expect a big ascent again, and in this case I was not disappointed. However, I was still very much in the mood for it even when some hail came along to say hi. I dug in and soon enough the cairn was there saying hello.

Sgurr Fhuaran, lonely in the mist:

My return route at this point was simply to retrace my steps, and then with an option to continue on to Saileag and Sgurr a' Bhealaich Dheirg, which for a while I did intend to do, but a number of gentle but steadily-soaking falls of hail/hail-show and cold rain in combination with slow-going initial effort on Sgurr nan Spainteach made me opt for a quick descent to the car, clearly visible some 900m below! And if the quick descent option gives you time enough to check out the beer and food at The Kintail Lodge Hotel that evening, well...

Some of that cold-variety precipitation:

The Sisters across Loch Duich from the Ratagan YH:

The Ratagan YH, a welcomed sight at the end of a long day:

Ratagan from the road to the pub, and everwhere else:

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Blogger Scott said...

Wow, you've been rather busy.

18 May 2007 at 00:57  
Blogger George Walks said...

And I still have half the week still to write up! Cheers.

18 May 2007 at 16:32  

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