M218 | 947 m. | 3107 ft.
Translation: Rock of the large rounded hill
Pronuncation: crayk a vaim

The day before Frank and I walked Creag a’Mhaim we had arrived in Scotland. Our journey had taken us from Glasgow via Crianlarich, Ballachulish, Fort William and Spean Bridge to the Glengarry Hotel. There we had spent a good evening and had slept off the effects of the pints consumed. The next day, 19 May 2007, we left the hotel and drove to Loch Cluanie at the west end of which we parked our car close to the Cluanie Inn.

The rain was coming down at us in the form of curtains and blustery showers, very much depending on whether there was a lull in the wind or whether it was gusting. The mood was not too enthusiastic but at least we managed to put on our raingear without getting drenched. So, finally, we left the Inn and headed for the bridge spanning the River Cluanie. From there we followed the road which leads to the pass between Glen Cluanie and Glen Loyne. The going was good on the tarmac and gravel surface and we continuously made progress reaching the flat beallach in due time. At the foot of the southeast ridge of Creag a’Mhaim we located the path leading up the hill without any problem. Soon we were climbing up the very good path gaining height quickly. The wind had picked up again and the rain was getting stronger. It was a rather squishy climb and the earth was slippery in places. Then, we reached the more exposed summit ridge of Creag a’Mhaim and were battered by wind and sleet.

It was definitely not an outing for great views on an easy stroll – Sir, No, Sir. We touched the summit cairn of Munro No. 1 of our 2007 holiday and headed on to Druim Shionach over the broad ridge connecting the two hills. We battled on and got to the summit of the second Munro. In the relative lee of some banks of rock below the summit we paused for a short while only to realize that we wanted to be off the hill asap, since it was no fun being up there. Frank and I headed down the broad, grassy north ridge of Druim Shionach which has some rocky outcrops.

The wind coming from the west toppled us over several times. The wind chill was considerable and we felt quite cold. In one or two siuations we almost felt as though the wind was about to rip off our clothes. After having battled against the elements for a few hours we were glad to reach the relative calm of the surroundings of Loch a’Mhaoil Dhisnich, only to find that the outflow was unpassable due to the gushing water flowing from the Loch. A few metres further downhill, however, we were able to jump across the stream and then regained the path which led us all the way down to the road we had used for access a few hours earlier. At the Cluanie Inn we threw our rucksacks and plastic skins into the car and headed on down Glen Shiel to Skye, the destination of our trip. So? Two Munros well-earned in rather appaling weather conditions which we encountered on the hill-tops. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger! 😉

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Total distance: 16212 m
Max elevation: 988 m
Min elevation: 204 m
Total climbing: 1020 m
Total descent: -1027 m
Total time: 04:57:59

Description The mountains on the south side of Glen Shiel form a continuous chain 15 kilometres long, its seven Munros linked by a high ridge which gives one of the best long high-level traverses in the Highlands. The north side of this ridge consists of a series of fine corries separated by spurs, most of which give easy access from Glen Shiel onto the several peaks of the South Glen Shiel Ridge, as these mountains are collectively known. The south side of the ridge above Glen Quoich is a long and continuously steep hillside which does not offer any attractive routes of ascent. Consequently these mountains are almost always climbed from Glen Shiel to their north, using some good stalker's paths up the corries and projecting spurs. Although it is possible to traverse the entire ridge in an excellent long day, the following descriptions treat it in two halves, the eastern section of four peaks and the western section of three.The best way to start the eastern half of the ridge is to walk from Cluanie Inn up the old road which used to lead to Tomdoun. From a point 1 kilometre beyond its highest point follow a stalker's path up the south-east ridge of Creag a'Mhaim. From there the traverse continues west without any difficulty, following the ridge-crest over Druim Shionnach and Aonach air Chrith to Maol Chinn-dearg. The descent goes north-east down an easy grassy spur, at the foot of which an old stalker's path leads to the A87 road in Glen Shiel about 3 kilometres west of Cluanie Inn.