Grand days with the dog on the hill. The South Clunnie Kintail. The Saddle a classic .

I don’t have a dog now but I have friends who let me look after them now and again. A great photo came up recently of my Dog Teallach on the South Clunnie in Kintail. A grand outing in summer and even better in winter. When we did it frequently we always did The Saddle and Sgurr Na Sgine. It was early starts and mostly up the Forcan Ridge on the Saddle to start. The Forcan ridge in summer is a great scramble and opens your eyes to this underestimated mountain. There are climbing routes in the Corries and lovely ridges giving unsurpassed views on a good day. In winter it’s majestic wee route and shows what a big mountain it is.

The Saddle and Sgurr Na Sgine classic

The Saddle is the finest of the Kintail peaks and one of the most magnificent mountains in the Highlands. Its ascent via the Forcan Ridge is a difficult but classic scramble; the scrambling can be avoided if needed and the walk still has fantastic views. The normal walking route takes you onto the far shoulder of the Saddle where nearby there is a big wall. I have been told it is can anyone fill in the gaps?

End of a long day for these young team members.

What a grand hill the Saddle is. When you add these two it gives a classic 9 Munro day in the summer a wonderful experience. My dog did it at least 10 times he loved these hills and to see him in his prime in the photo below brings a tear to my eye. Leaving early was a secret in summer getting on the tops before the heat came up. Even more important in winter where daylight is short. We always took the young troops on these days and it would be a test piece for many. Teallach would check the party regularly going to the back then waiting on the summit getting food from other Munro baggers. He was well trained never chased anything and did a stock test as a young puppy. He knew when to be patient and a had a hill sense that undoubtedly saved my life on a few occasions. You cannot take a dog out in my view on the big mountains unless they are well trained. Looking back he probably did 150 hill days a year including call outs. I doubt there are many other dogs at that time who were out on the hill as much?

Teallach waiting for us to catch up enjoying the view.

I will always have special memories of these days. Kintail and these great hills. There are so many ways up these hills and by only visiting these areas do you see the beauty of these places.

The Saddle – how I enjoy the scrambling never to hard but such fun on the Forcan ridge.

Sgurr na Sgine : ‘peak of the knife’

Sgurr a’Bhac Chaolais : peak of the hollow of the narrows’

Creag nan Damh : ‘peak of the stags’

Sgurr an Lochain : ‘peak of the small loch’

Sgurr an Doire Leathain : ‘peak of the broad oak grove’

Maol Chinn-dearg : ‘bald red head’

Aonach air Chrith : ‘ridge of trembling’

Creag a’Mhaim : ‘rock of the large rounded hill’

The Forcan Ridge the views of the Corries and glens are classic.

Once your past the Saddle and Sgurr na Sgine to me this is some of the best ridge walking in the UK.

Steve Fallon writes “the South Glen Shiel Ridge is a superb range of peaks stretching for 13km in a continuous chain. More peaks lead westwards, ending with The Saddle and its famed north-eastern spur, The Forcan Ridge.” Steve’s website is a great source of information.

So many great days with so many folk I did the South and North Clunnie plus a few others as training for my attempt on the Tranters Round. Of course my trusted companion would be Teallach.

As always comments and photos are welcome.

Classic updated version by The Scottish Mountain Trust.

Reference: SMC App, Scotlands Mountain Ridges – Dan Bailey. The Munro’s SMC publications.

Scotlands Mountain Ridges

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in mountain safety, Mountaineering, Munro Society, Munros, Views Mountaineering, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

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