Sgurr a Bhac Chaolais. August 2008.

Date: Saturday 23rd August 2008
Distance: 11km
Ascent: 1240m

Alarm off at 0500 – looked out the window – and actually it seemed there would be sunshine. No snooze alarm this weekend. 😯

In transit further NW so planned a short walk, thought Glen Shiel would be nice. We’d climbed Buidhe Bheinn in March from Kinloch Hourn, thought linking it with Sgurr na Sgine would be a decent short walk.

Parking is at the NG 971 139, the foot of Allt Mhalagain. There is new deer fencing all around so use the (locked) gate at the foot of the Allt at the RoW sign (or you’ll have to climb – no stiles).

Easy enough walk up the track running up to the Bealach Duibh Leac. Views develop back to the 5 Sisters ridge

We cut off at NG 964 118 and headed straight up the slope towards the summit (equally using the track to the bealach and then walking the ridge would be easy).

This was interesting – spider with young on its back:

The W end of the S Shiel ridge should present itself but it was all in cloud:

Golden Eagle sailed over the summit as I approached. From the summit nice views of Sgurr na Sgine:

As we left the summit nearly stood on a ptarmigan, bet it was already hacked off enough by the eagle.

There is a path of sorts following the wall that runs down Bhac Chaolais and over towards Sgurr na Sgine, but about 100m above the bealach this route becomes very steep, if doing again I’d cut L (SW) on easier angles and cut back to the bealach.

Sized up Sgurr na Sgine – knew from walks to Buidhe Bheinn and Druim Fada that the S side is benign. There’s a rock cleft running from near the top previous reports mention it’s tempting from above but rotten. Looks uninviting from below.

We just followed the wall until grassy strips presented themselves to ascend steeply from about NG 942 109. The Forcan and Saddle stand out across the slightly lower top.

From here we walked out along Faochag (the whelk) which has great views of the Forcan ridge.

Faochag from Sgurr na Sgine:

Forcan from Faochag:

Pano from Faochag:

Absolute knee-jangler of a descent though 900m steep down.

Interesting view to the Graham Biod am Fhithich and the end of Glen Shiel.

This was an enjoyable half day. Given a full day I’d consider combining the Graham, 1 or both munros and the Corbett as a great loop. If combining Sgurr a Bhac Chaolais then the horseshoe of Buidhe Bheinn via it’s W ridge (from Kinlochhourn), round to Bhac Chaolais, and then off the SW ridge of Sgurr na Sgine back to KLH would maintain the great SW views. Got both these routes on the list.

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