It was clear that neither the weather forecast nor the morale favoured another trip onto the Glen Shiel ridge to visit the famous Forcan Ridge after the previous day’s escapeade. After a very leisurely breakfast we parted ways, though not before discovering that “Glen Shiel Chocolates”, which inhabits the old Shiel Bridge petrol station, was only open two days a week. After some indecision myself and Declan decided to try running up Beinn Sgritheall; given we were at the end of the long road to it across the Glenelg peninsula.

The drive, which goes over the Ratagan Pass, was spectacular, climbing through forest and then giving views out towards Sleat on Skye and Knoydart, providing eye-catching views during the ear-popping descent. At the end of the fairly lengthy road we parked-up by the shore in Arnisdale. The cloud was clinging to the hills at around 800m, but it was otherwise dry. The ground, however, was not, and the first 100m or so of climb was up an alleged path which passed through thick bracken. With plenty of enlarged streams to negotiate, we didn’t make the fastest of starts.

Eventually we reached the summit of Bealach Arnisdail, where we met the only other walker on the hill, who remarked on our garb (shorts and t-shirts) compared to his “all the waterproofs [he] owned”. From here the composition of the mountain changed from mud to rock (it’s a wonder the mud supports it!), and the steep slope climbed up boulders almost all the way to the summit (974m), marked by a cairn and a Vanessa trig pillar which had been broken in two.

▲ The ruined trig pillar at the summit.

After a short scramble the descent off the summit was pleasantly runnable to around 400m, where we turned (at a lochan) onto a path which descended steeply through birks and bracken. We saw some rolls of deer fencing, and speculated that they must have been dropped by helicopter. The last 100m or so of descent was along a path which was predominantly a river, so reaching the tarmac was a relief, though it would have been slightly more pleasant running had it been less undulating. We returned to the car to find it being overflown by drone. Compared to the way up to Glen Shiel our drive back to the Central Belt was uneventful.

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