Sunday stroll for 2 ticks in North Glen Shiel. November 2015.

Date: Sunday 2nd November 2015
Distance: 14.4km
Ascent: 1300m

Forecasts were contradictory for Sunday – BBC and Met office suggested widespread sunshine while MWIS suggested clagmageddon SE of the Great Glen and up the west coast.

We played it safe and headed for inland Glen Shiel in the hope of sunshine and views.

Harassed in the car by a late surviving deer ked….parasite season seems prolonged in 2015.

Parked up at Lundie about 30mins pre-dawn and started up the Old Military road to pick up the stalkers path from the transmitter round An Cruachan and up Carn Ghlusaid.

We’ve neglected North Glen Shiel – it’s 10 years since we visited these hills on a misty, windy day. I’d forgotten what a fine path there is up Carn Ghlusaid for making rapid uphill progress.

Pre-dawn was lighting Loch Cluanie.

Loch Cluanie pre-dawn:

Dawn flowed downhill lighting up the deer grass orange.

Carn Ghlusaid ascent:

Dawn:

Good views across to Creag a Mhaim from the ascent.

Creag a Mhaim at sunrise:

Spotted a pair of adult Golden Eagles circling around just to our south.

Golden Eagle:

The whole day was punctuated by a flow of fieldfares crossing the ridges on a southbound migration.

Fieldfare:

Lots to look at as the sun rose.

Creag a Mhaim:

Reached the 750m mark for a view of mist on the munro summit.

Mist on Carn Ghlusaid:

The eagles came back for a second pass – one of them flying by with stoops and climbs.

Golden Eagle:

To the south the Ben was poking up over a cloud layer that seemed to be driving in from the SW. That said, with many peaks down towards Ardgour looking cloud free the forecast Clagmageddon didn’t seem to be occurring everywhere.

Ben Nevis:

South over Loch Cluanie:

We arrived at Carn Ghlusaid’s summit in a variable mist patch. Some intermittent views. Didn’t linger too long as it was pretty parky in a fairly strong breeze.

Sgurr nam Conbhairean:

Pretty much a hands in pockets wander across the 998m top to ascend the second munro.

Misty bealach:

Must have been decent views from the Ben.

Ben Nevis over cloud:

About a 150m climb from Glas Bealach to the munro summit. We were inspected by a pair of ravens along the way.

Conbhairean from Glas Bealach:

Ascent from Glas Bealach:

Sat down for a bite to eat behind the cairn. Certainly heading into wintry season now as the wind chill was biting even behind a wind break. Nice views from the summit. With Applecross and Torridon in clag that part of the forecast was bang on.

South Shiel Ridge from Conbhairean:

There’s a big hydro road in from Ceannacroc into Coire Sgreumh – have had a loop in from the east on the route-list for a while. Certainly looks very doable.

Coire Sgreumh:

For some reason the lower munro seemed to be holding on to a mist cap.

Carn Ghlusaid still misted:

Glen Affric was beginning to see some sunshine as we finished our food – a different angle on the Affric big hills from our usual.

Sail Chaorainn and on to Affric:

Started back down the hill. With a long drive home we decided not to head out to Sail Chaorainn, quite happy to reverse route given the ease of ascent.

The day was clearing and brightening so we didn’t hurry, great views were savoured.

A’Chralaig:

Gorm Lochan:

West to the Saddle:

H and Ben Tee:

Carn Ghlusaid had finally cleared completely so we wandered back to the summit.

Carn Ghlusaid:

Spotted a brief movement in some rocks and realised that there was a group of ptarmigan gathered around. Little heads peeking at us going by. Eventually they tired of our photography and wandered away.

Ptarmigan:



Better hill views from this hill now the mist had cleared.

Sgurr nan Conbhairean from Carn Ghlusaid:

West from Carn Ghlusaid:

Sgurr Fhuaran:

H on Carn Ghlusaid:

Headed back for the stalkers path to descend – it drops along a little spur before zig-zagging downhill.

Carn Ghlusaid descent:

The path drops you back down very quickly. A lovely afternoon and much warmer in the glen than on the tops. Slowly, slowly back to the car……hard to leave the NW on such a cracking day.

Loch Cluanie:

A great walk – we’d forgotten how good this ascent is. Probably revisit it in somewhat less than 10 years this time. 🙂

Got home to find that we’d managed to pick up a tick each during the walk…in November.

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