Colin's Munros


The 5 Sisters of Kintail: Sgurr Fhuaran, Sgurr na Carnach & Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe
Map 33 or 414N, 1st May 2004 & 23rd Sept. 2008

Route 1: 7¼ miles; Ascent 1550m=5085'; ~8hrs.
Route 2: 7.1 miles walking; Ascent 1750m=5740'; ~9hrs.
Route 3: 12.1 miles walking; Ascent 1765m=5785'; ~11hrs.

Route: This is an excellent day's walking along a high level ridge. It helps to have transport between Eas-nan-Arm Bridge and Shiel Bridge or Morvich to have sensible end points. For walking between the end points it is 4.6 miles from Eas-nan-Arm Bridge to the A87 bridge at Shiel Bridge, and another 1.5 miles round to the south end of Morvich. This makes Route 3 a little shorter (link above), quieter and safer as the A87 is a busy road.
There are several alternatives given in the GPS links above for the NW end of this ridge at Morvich. The two with more ascent include the Corbett Sgurr na Moraich. There are also two alternatives for descending to the A87, about a mile apart, to different car parks at the SE end near the Eas-nan-Arm Bridge. One is a very fast, pleasant, pathless descent to Eas-nan-Arm over good terrain; the other ensures a complete traverse of the ridge over two days by going as far as the western end of the other half, which is the Brothers of Kintail traverse.
Leaving a car at the SE end and cycling downhill to the NW end is a good option for the lone walker. The silly start described in the table below for 1/5/04 was because I had to walk down the A87. It is rather contrived to minimise the distance on the A87, but is not recommended because of the exposure involved.
A road-free circular alternative is to park by the Mountain Rescue Post at Morvich (NG96052106) and walk SE up Glen Croe, passed Glenlicht House, then south towards Bealach an Lapain or other suitable point on the ridge. That is the gpx Route 3 above.
The walks can be done in either direction. With motor transport along the A87 start at the higher east end to save 170m of ascent.
The routes here and on the next page are optimal for dividing the ridge from Shiel Bridge to Cluanie Inn into two roughly equal walks.
Weather: The weather was good on both occasions.
Times: The timings below are slow as a result of exertions the previous day.

Rte 1
Rte 2
 Description Ht.Asc.Distance Grid Ref.Mob.
 —0705 EITHER: Park at battlefield E of Eas-nan-Arm Bridge (or,
better, by forest 1.2 mi E of Eas-nan-Arm Bridge over R.Shiel)
 0.0 milesNG993134
 —0740 Cycle W down A87 passed Shiel Bridge to Kintail Lodge Hotel    5 6.4 milesNG93771960 
 —0830 Depart Kintail Lodge hotel on foot    5    00.0 milesNG93771960 
 —0845 NE on A87, take turn-off to Morvich, and go to
first metalled road by post box after Ault a'Chruinn bridge
   5  150.8 milesNG94682037 
 —0910 Ascend road, then take track left behind last house.
Follow path SE beside All a'Chruinn (to right of fence) up to stile
1601801.2 milesNG95002004 
 —0925 Continue path to max altitude before it re-enters the gorge,
(when ridge comes into view at end of path marked on map)
3703901.5 milesNG95331975 
 —0950 Pathless ascent of slopes E to height of hill opposite 5755951.8 milesNG95831977 
Ridge SE to C Sgurr na Moraich
(or continue path SSE to its by-pass of Beinn Bhuidhe)
8768852.4 milesNG96561932Orange
 —1110 S to bealach 735 3.0 milesNG97131852 
 —1125 SSW to Beinn Bhuidhe 86910203.25 milesNG96951819 
 —1130 S to col 832 3.33 milesNG97021808 
SE to T Sgurr nan Saighead 92911173.7 milesNG97451780Orange
1020  OR: Park at N end of Eas-nan-Arm Bridge over R.Shiel
(in loop of old road)
130   00.0 milesNG99211322No Orange
1130 — Walk (or cycle) W down A87 to bridge at Achnangart
(Much better to continue further west to Shiel Bridge if possible.)
  20 2.45 milesNG96251496 
  — Cross R.Sheil, follow path N on E bank of river to Allt a' Bhuilg   10 3.8 milesNG95741697 
1345 — Ascend Allt a' Bhuilg to Bealach Buidhe
(A poor choice of ascent with danger of slipping into deep ravine)
8158055.2 milesNG97601740 
1400 — Head NNW to T Sgurr nan Saighead 9299205.7 milesNG97451780Orange
14151225 THEN: S to Bealach Buidhe 815 3.95 milesNG97601740 
S to M Sgurr Fhuaran 106713654.5 milesNG97841670Orange
15101315 S to Bealach na Carnach 865 4.7 milesNG97771631 
S to M Sgurr na Carnach 100215034.95 milesNG97701589Orange
15401350 S to Bealach na Craoibhe 845 5.25 milesNG97751548 
SE/E to M Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe 102716855.83 milesNG98391496Orange
 1445 E to Bealach nan Spainteach 925 6.0 milesNG98681491 
E to T Sgurr nan Spainteach 99017506.3 milesNG99171502No Orange
Either: E along ridge to Bealach Lapain 725 7.5 milesNH00991452No Orange
 —1645 Poor wet peaty zigzag path S down to parking at A87 180 8.15 milesNH00931352 
 —1700 If necessary, walk W on A87 to battlefield car park 130 8.95 milesNG99561329 
1805 — Or: Descend directly to just N of Eas-nan-Arm Bridge, bearing
due S towards NW corner of forest by burn – an excellent way
down (or up), though steep: dry, no peat bog, steady gradient
130 7.75 milesNG99411334No Orange

Previous Top Next