Date: Wednesday 12th September 2012
Although we’ve revisited more than half the munros there are areas we’ve never been back to – the N Shiel Ridge in particular has seen no revisits at all. In some ways this reflects our preference for the coastal strip and Loch/sea views which most of these hills lack, but the hills above Loch Duich have been in our sights for a while.
The possibility of an improving day had us planning for a loop at the west end of the ridge via Glen Lichd.
Parked up at the Morvich car park – NG 961 211 – and set off west on the road for 500m to turn S on the Right of Way through Glen Lichd to Alltbeithe.
The 3 westerly munros of the N Shiel ridge can be done from Glen Lichd – we were after a more limited loop of Sgurr Fhuaran and the western end of the ridge.
We had decided to try the stalkers path from NG 988 186 running up to the N ridge of Sgurr Fhuaran. We could see faint evidence of the zig-zags as we approached along the glen.
The stalkers path seemed to peter out at about 500m but the terrain was easy enough to ascend over a little crest at NG 983 175 and onwards to the headwall. It had briefly looked like the day would clear – then the clag came in.
A couple of walkers passed above us on the ridge as we ascended. Once on the ridge line the munro track can be followed to the summit of Sgurr Fhuaran.
Had some lunch at the summit – first taste of winter as it snowed on us. Numb fingers is something I don’t miss from winter – even less welcome is fingers waking up from being numb.
A very minor scramble ascends Beinn Bhuidhe – which is a nice wee viewpoint.
We’d wondered about heading down to Searraich but decided to head over to Sgurr na Moraich instead. A faint track runs down from Beinn Bhuidhe to the bealach with Moraich and then a fainter track runs up this hill.
We’d spotted a track running from the bealach between Beinn Bhuidhe and Sgurr na Moraich so we backtracked to pick this up. This was a mistake as the “track” is a munro red route line – 1.5km of slippy mud, soupy mud and slippy rocks. In retrospect we should have dropped straight off the NW nose of Sgurr na Moraich and headed for the NTS constructed path at about NG 953 198.
From there 1.5km back to the car at the MR post. A couple of walkers had been just behind us on descent – spotted them just before Shiel Bridge hitching back to the start in the gloaming. Glen Shiel taxi duties were performed.
Quite a nice route, even if the weather was a bit mixed. I suspect a winter loop of Sgurr na Moraich, Beinn Bhuidhe, Sgurr nan Saighead and Sgurr an t-Searraich is on the cards sometime.