South Glen Shiel Ridge - 3 June 2000.

Seven munros, six guys and a dog.  Impressive?  You bet!

Now changed to show the full resolution pictures here as dial up modems become antiquated, and a realisation that the file sizes are actually pretty small!

Route for Glen Sheil Ridge

Creag a'Mhaim 947m (OS33 087077), Druim Shionnach 987m (OS33 074084), Aonach air Chrith 1021m (OS33 050083), Maol Chinn-dearg 981m (OS33 032087), Sgurr an Doire Leathain 1010m (OS33 015199), Sgurr an Lochain 1004m (OS33 005104), Creag nan Damh 918m (OS33 983111)

The South Glen Shiel Ridge is deservedly regarded as being one of the best of Scottish mountain ranges. It extends for 14km and has seven Munros in its length.  This makes it a long way!  Only once does the ridge drop below 800m, so it is a lofty highway. Strong walkers can traverse the whole ridge in a day, if they have consumed enough whisky the night before, but wimps may prefer to drink Pimms and take two days. The north flank of the ridge is well seen from the A87 road through Glen Shiel; it is a succession of fine rocky corries carved along the hillside. The south side is a long uniformly steep grassy slope dropping to Glen Quoich.

We started the walk from the Cluanie Inn where the midgies were hotching.  The route went east from the inn to the junction of the old road from Cluanie to Tomdoun.  We walked up this road for 6km to a point about 1km beyond its highest point. There a stalker's path was followed W then NW virtually all the way to the summit of Creag a'Mhaim.

A broad grassy ridge leads down to the first col, and on the way up to Druim Shionnach there is one surprisingly narrow section of ridge before the flat summit is reached. Navigation all along the ridge is simplified by having cliff-bitten corries on the north side, and bare grass slopes on the south.

The next 3km section of the ridge to Aonach air Chrith is bounded by the slabby crags of Coire an t-Slugain. Beyond the crest of the ridge it  is narrower, but the traverse to Maol Chinn-dearg is perfectly easy.

The next Munro, Sgurr an Doire Leathain, is 1.5km north-west along the main ridge with its summit on a grassy spur about 100 metres north of the ridge.

The next corrie is the only northern one on the ridge to hold a lochan, hence the name of the shapely Sgurr an Lochain, not the highest peak on the ridge, but the most distinctive.  By this point I was suffering, but was persuaaded to go on.  Sgurr Beag (896m) is the next peak, a smaller one as the name implies, and not a Munro. Drop to the next col, the lowest on the ridge at 726m and climb the last Munro, Creag nan Damh.

In pain we returned to Glen Shiel by heading NE down a steep but quite easy ridge leading to the lower part of Am Fraoch-choire. In the corrie a stalker's path is reached at about 400m, where Mark exposed his body to the refreshing waters of a little burn.  The route was then followed down to the plantation in Glen Shiel near the site of a 1719 battle.

So there!

The night before.  Planning.

Earnest Hemmingway not pictured.

Hey ho, let's go.

Come on guys, the hill awaits.

Of we go, up the abandoned road from the Cluanie Inn.

The ridge in front of us, from the top of number one, Creag a'Mhaim, the Crag of Terror.

The top of Druim Shionnach,  number two, looking South....

and looking East...

or is this one looking East?

Looking back to Druim Shionnach.

Top of Aonach air Chrith, the Ridge of Trembling, again looking East.  

Finally a picture looking West.  The walk to Maol Chinn-dearg (the Bald Red Head) beckons.

The fourth munro, Maol Chinn-dearg, looking  South towards Loch Quioch.

And to the North and West - more hills (including some of the Five Sisters of Kintail)!

On the way down from the fourth peak.

Just as well we came down the other side.

The top of Sgurr an Doire Leathiain, number 5.

Where we have been.

South, to Loch Quoich, with the back of Gleouraich on the left and Sgurr Mor way over on the right, just before Sgurr na Ciche at the end of Loch Quoich.

Still got all that to go, and then some.

The picture does not do justice to this gorgeous view of Glen Quoich.

Looking back again, on the way up Sgurr an Lochain, number six.


Loch Cluanie on the left, South Glen Shiel Ridge, and Gleouraich and Loch Quoich to the right

The top of Sgurr an Lochain. Only one more to go.

Surely that isn't the next one?  Bugger!!

And the top of Creag nan Damh. Seven in a row.  Just done all the hills behind.  Are we not men?

Relaxing on the way down.

Entertainment laid on too.

The South Glen Shiel Ridge in all it's glory.  Well that was easy, what's next?

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  Site last updated : 22 November 2008.