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Glen Shiel

9th & 11th May 2000

I seem to be lucky with the weather during my spring visits to the highlands. These pictures are from the best days of a week based at the Morvich campsite at the head of Loch Duich. the first walk was over the eastern part of the North Glen Shiel Ridge over the three Munros (Aonach Meadhoin, Sgurr a' Bealach Dheirg and Saileag) setting out from a lay-by just west of the Cluanie Inn. I had intended to go over the South Glen Shiel Ridge later in the week but this day proved to me that it would be best put off that route until I was a little fitter and the weather a little less hot.
 


From Aonach Meadhoin (1003 m - middle ridge)
Sgurr a' Bhealaich Deirg (1031 m - peak of the red pass) behind me on the right,
The Saddle (1010 m) in the centre and the South Glen Shiel ridge starting on the left.

 


Beinn Fhada (1032 m - long mountain) and Sgurr nan Ceathremhnan
(1151 m - peak of the quarters) from the North Glen Shiel ridge.
Summit cairn of Sgurr a' Bhealaich Dheirg (1031 m) on the right.
 

On the 11th there was again no cloud but it was a little breezier. I Walked up Am Bathach and Ciste Dhubh and returned by the valley of An Caorann Mor. The start was a little to the east of the Cluanie Inn this time. Through a rusty gate onto the lower slopes of Am Bathach (the byre) and I discovered that even "wee hills" have worn baggers' paths on them. Both hills have no path down the other side though, what boring lives some baggers must lead - out and back by the same path.
 


From the summit of Ciste Dhubh (982 m - black chest)
SBD on the left, then Saileag, and The Five Sisters of Kintail starting in the centre.
Ladhar Beinn, The Saddle and The Cuillin of Skye left to right in the background
 


Bliss! By a cool mountain stream below Ciste Dhubh

On the way up here was a small cairn to be kicked down. There is no need for all the piles of stone people keep building, I prefer my hills in a fairly natural state and don't want reminding every 100m or so that someone has been here before me. The summit was a great place to enjoy lunch listening to the larks and the odd airliner flying over at 25,000 feet. My way off Ciste Dhubh was down some very steep grass slopes into the SE corrie. I was glad it was so dry; a slip on wet grass would have had serious consequences. A little further down I spent ages sitting by a cool, clear stream, dreaming of days gone by when the glens would have been full of trees. Having delayed for as long as I could I returned to the path and the road to make my way to the bar at the Invergarry Hotel to celebrate with some Orkney Dark Island Ale.

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