Winter Mountaineering Course - Scotland


ROCK CLIMBING - CUMBRIA (Lakes) (1 to 4 days),
SNOWDONIA (3 to 5 days)

NAVIGATION Courses - CUMBRIA (Lakes) (1 or 2 days)

Friday, 5 February 2010

The South Shiel Ridge

A later entry, did this a couple of weeks ago - A BIG winter day out, 24 km and 7 Munros.
We parked at Cluanie Inn and walked up the tarmaced access road in the dark.

Navigation didn't start well as we couldn't find (by headtorch) the small track that climbs upwards to Loch a Mhaol Dhisnich and we lost 20 minutes seeking it out.
Once found it's a very good footpath up to the Loch, where we took the navigation decision to scramble up to Druim Shionnach (987m) for our first munro. The winter wind was biting on the top and we donned warm clothing and crampons, then armed with ice axes headed over to Creag a Mhaim (947m) before returning back and onwards to Aonach air Chrith (1021m)

The long ridge winds on to Maol Chinn-dearg (981m) and Sgurr an Doire Leathain (110m) - phew, 5 munros so far - but a fantastic winter day. There are only a few places to easily drop down off this long ridge but once you've climbed all the way up you want to make the most of it. Map reading is very easy (unlesss the mist drops when you'll need compass skills and micro navigation on the broader parts of the ridge)

We crunched on over the snow to Sgurr an Lochain (1004m) and felt the final summit of Creag nan Damh (918m) was within reach. It feels a long way to it, your legs are tired and you seem to drop height too far whilst the mountain summit never gets closer - it's getting late in the day and the winter sun is dropping. We summitted and started the decent and were in the woods close to the road as the sun finaly dissapeared.

Note - we had 2 cars which helped enormously. Also we found a second track up to the col between the first 2 summits. Finding tracks first time and knowing the short cut would probably save 45 minutes. It's probably best to avoid a 24km 7 munro route during the shortest days - but a fantastic adventure.

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