Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Forcan About In South Glen Shiel

First of all let me say how pissed of I am with all the manky skanks using the great Scottish outdoors. Sharp eyed blog readers may have noticed Molly holding a plastic drinks bottle in the photo with the dog. That had been left at the crag by a previous visitor along with cigarette butts and chocolate bar wrappers. It's the same story on the hills, on our last walk one we discovered more butts, tissues and cling-film.
Rant over, on with the recent activity.

First of all I climbed my first Severe route, the cheeky wee Left Bay Groove at Pinnacle Crag, where Sol and I were savaged by Midges. We really will have to try some other climbs at different venues now.

I went walking again. Two routes in South Glen Shiel.

Todd and I did The Saddle and Sgurr na Sgine which includes the Forcan Ridge. Mostly fag butts. A really good, enjoyable approach path which winds its way up from the road along Meallan Odhar.

Followed by some very interesting 'put those poles safely away now' scrambling.

We descended the Saddle just after the trig point

and then climbed Sgurr na Sgine where we looked back at our achievement.

We then headed back to the road along the knee breaking Faochag north ridge.

After nacking his knee, Todd was unable to join Saunders and I as we tackled the other seven Munroes on the South Glen Shiel Ridge. You really need to drop a car at the end of this one or chance thumbing it back up the hill, it's a fair distance to walk on a busy road.
Saunders had never climbed a Munro before, although he told me a story about a fairly hefty lassie he knew when he was in third year who was called Munro, I told him that this didn't count.

Another excellent if lengthy path led us right to the top of the first Munro in just under two hours ( need to check timings with Saunders who may have logged walk on GPS ).

His wife, not the Munro lassie, had promised him a new pair of strides if he completed all seven so we hastened on.

We took photos at the all the summits but you know how one can start to look like all the others so here's one with a nice view from Munro number 4 Maol Chinn-dearg down to the bridge and Loch Quoich.

By this time I was missing Basher and Norma's veggy wraps and Saunders had to give me one of his rolls.

For number 5 Sgurr an Doire Leathan you bear right for the summit so then have to double back to continue along the ridge. Beware, as in the mist it's very easy to follow a path onto Maoile an t-Searraich.

And so... After a brief detour in the thickening mist and a re checking of the map and our fitness we tackled what I thought was the best part. A very interesting walk and scramble through the mist up to Sgurr an Lochain with an equally impressive ridge walk and scramble up to Creag nan Damh, number seven on the day.

It wasn't quite over yet, heading for the bealach theres a cracking wee crag you climb over just to end the ridge with smile on your face.
A thoroughly enjoyable walk with a wee bit of everything, you have to do it. I guesstimated that we were back at the car in 8 1/2 hours. No cigar but Saunders gets a new pair of trousers.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Hills and Crags

Well we did the next Munro on the list, a fairly direct assault on Ben Klibreck. A lot of trudging through grass and heather following the route from the SMC guidebook.

Not trail until you gain the ridge where you get a bit of a breather and nice views.

Then come the boulders and the mad dutchman.

No views at the top where the cloud was refusing to blow off.

This week we had another nice evening at Pinnacle Crag where I led some V Diffs and Sol and Molly took turns seconding.

We also did the chimney which Sol really enjoyed especially when he found a good way of climbing it. Molly went for a different technique.

We then re-visited Tapered Groove and did a better job leading-seconding than we did top roping.

The sun just kept shining as Sol seconded.

And Molly found a wee friend.