Today I found myself with the horrible combination of a good weather forecast and no climbing partner! I’m heading back home on Saturday and with the weather on the turn again it was potentially my last chance at a decent day out before I leave.
Forcan Ridge in Glen Shiel is a grade I/II mountaineering route. I’d read a bit about it and seen plenty of good photos but had never managed to make the drive across. With continuous grade I/II ground, and an abseil off Sgurr nan Forcan it seemed like a good day out, and a great option for a solo mission in the hills!
|Great Visibility on the approach to the ridge.|
The snow line in the valley was at about 500 m, meaning that the approach up the track was reasonably fast, however the freezing level seemed to be a good bit higher, and as I approached the ridge I was beginning to wonder if it would be an exercise in trudging through soft snow.
|Getting going on the ridge, great views!|
Thankfully the freezing level seemed to be hovering somewhere around the start of the ridge, and the higher sections had plenty of good neve, which was excellent for moving on. It was all coming together nicely, great conditions on the ridge, and fantastic visibility, as I approached the abseil off Sgurr nan Forcan however, a few snow flurries began to move through putting an end to the views for the rest of the ridge!
|Into the whiteness! Poor visibility for the abseil off Sgurr nan Forcan.|
After arriving at the summit in poor visibility I dropped out of the cloud and down towards Bealach Coire Mhalagain. The descent traverses the slopes below the ridge giving a great perspective of how long the ridge actually is, something not seen from the head on approach.
|The ridge onto Sgurr nan Forcan viewed from the side. The ridge continues out of sight and up to The Saddle, which is the main summit.|
The route definitely lives up to its hype as classic alpine style ridge, and was a great way to spend potentially the last day of good weather on the trip.