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Five Sisters of Kintail
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The Five Sisters of Kintail

Location: North of Glen Shiel, Western Highlands

Length: 12km / 5.5 miles

Ascent: 1515m / 4970ft

Time: 8 hours


There are no technical difficulties and generally the going is good underfoot; however, it is a long way, and there are a few sections of strenuous ascent.


Summer conditions may be expected from May to September and winter conditions from October to April.


  Glen Shiel dawn


Red-grey volcanics and gneiss provide sound walking and a little bouldery scree.

Flora and Fauna:

Dotterel and great black-backed gull may be seen, also red deer and stoat. Sea pinks (thrift) and least willow grow in this area.


This is a high mountain classic, packed with interest, of no technical difficulty and with a wonderful position.

It is a linear walk which requires pre-arranged transport.

Looking back from the Glenelg road over the Shiel Bridge and the head of Loch Duich, it is easy to see why the Five Sisters of Kintail are so named.

  Five Sisters reflected in Loch Duich


Rising in a line from an unbroken high mountain shoulder, five fine peaks raise their heads skywards, each connected by a ridge of swooping curve - this is the archetypal mountain range, an artist's dream, a wonderful ridge walk.

Of course, the reality isn't quite that simple, and the peaks and connecting ridges actually weave a slightly snaking route around the elbow in Glen Shiel to the south and the corries that fall northwards to Gleann Lichd.

This only serves to make the route more interesting, however, and allows for a whole array of peaks to be viewed at any one time. Also it will  be observed that the Five Sisters form only the western half of a 13km ridge which starts above the Cluanie Inn.

  Early evening and the Five Sisters skyline

So for the topography: in terms of quality, if not quantity, this expedition lacks nothing and is a worthy inclusion as a most enjoyable ridge walk offering superb panoramic views from a marvellous vantage point.

The summits:

The Gaelic for the 'Five Sisters' is 'Beinn Mhor', meaning big mountain.

Sgurr nan Spainteach - 990m / 3248ft

Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe - 1027m / 3370ft

Sgurr na Carnach - 1002m / 3287ft

Sgurr Fhuaran - 1068m / 3505ft

Sgurr nan Saighead - 929m / 3047ft

Sgurr na Moracih - 876m / 2874ft

  Five Sisters from the River Shiel

Tel: (44) 17687 75337 Skype: Activus Outdoors: Skype Status

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