Sunday 8 September 2013

Sgurr nan Conbhairean and Sail Chaorainn.

Loch Cluanie from Lundie (NH145104)

We attempted pretty much this route in April Carn Ghluasaid and Sgurr nan Conbhairean but due to the weather we missed out on the last Munro.

So, on a day when the weather was in complete contrast to the last time we were here, we headed off from Lundie at about 10am, up the Old Military Road and then onto the wiggly stalkers path...

Rafe and Jim - The stalkers path - ascent of Carn Ghlusaid

Loch Cluanie and Glen Shiel from the ascent of Carn Ghluasaid (NH137114)

Loch Cluanie and Glen Shiel from the ascent of Carn Ghluasaid

The views opened up, clear and sharp.

Glen Shiel hills from the ascent of Carn Ghluasaid

Looking south over Loch Cluanie from the ascent of Carn Ghluasaid

Once on the summit plateau of Carn Ghluasaid, we headed for Creag a'Chaorainn in glorious sunshine.

Rafe and Jim - Creag a'Chaorainn from Bealach Coire Bodach nan Gobhar

Last time we were here, we were slogging through snow and visability was pretty poor, everything above 900m in cloud and the snow showers just made it worse...

Looking back to Carn Ghlusaid from Creag a'Chaorainn

This time, it felt like the whole of the north of Scotland was in our sight.

West from Creag a'Chaorainn

Perhaps it was...

Loch Cluanie and Glen Shiel hills from Sgurr nan Conbhairean

Onwards, north over the Munro of Sgurr nan Conbhairean and then into new territory beyond.

North to Sail Chaorainn from Sgurr nan Conbhairean

The ridge from Sgurr nan Conbhairean to Sail Chaorainn

We stopped for lunch amongst some rocks on the ridgeline below Sgurr nan Conbhairean, with views west across Gleann na Ciche to Mullach Fraoch-choire and its ridge Na Geurdain - another of our hill days from the spring, it had a touch of snow to spice it up!

Na Geurdain Ridge and Mullach Fraoch-choire
from our lunch spot near Sail Chaorainn

After a sarnie, we continued north to pick up our second Munro of the day, but our first, first ascent - Sail Chaorainn, 1002m, Munro 133.

Sail Chaorainn summit - looking west

Following the usual photo session we turned south, to retrace our steps along the ridge...

Jim and Rafe returning south along the Sail Chaorainn to Sgurr nan Conbhairean ridge

Jim and Rafe on the slopes of Sgurr nan Conbhairean - views south

Before contouring around Sgurr nan Conbhairean and making a bee-line for the stalkers path on Carn Ghlusaid and our descent route.

South west from near the summit of Sgurr nan Conbhairean

Jim and Rafe - Bealach Coire Bodach nan Gobhar

As usual, a bee-line's on the open hillside wasn't all that walker friendly - it was a touch tussocky underfoot, slightly damp in places and somewhat slippery at times...

Contouring around Creag a'Chaorainn with Carn Ghluasaid ahead

But once back on the stalkers path we made good time back into Strath Cluanie, enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun.

Descending towards Loch Cluanie on the Stalkers path

West - Loch Cluanie and Glen Shiel from the stalkers path

Route: Car park at Lundie on A87 (NH145104), follow the Old Military Road W for 500m, take the obvious stalkers path N at NH137103 ascending to Carn Ghluasaid plateau. Contour W then NW, Creag a'Chaorainn (Munro Top 87, 998m), W then N, Sgorr nan Conbhairean (Munro 44, 1109m), N along ridge  to Sail Chaorainn (Munro 133, 1002m), return S along ridge, contour around the west of Sgurr nan Conbhairainn and Creag a Chaorainn to head of Coire nan Clach (NH140124) continue to contour until meet stalkers path and return to start.

Statistics:  Distance: 15.8km  Ascent: 1300m  Time: 7 hours

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