Area: Glen Shiel to Loch Hourn and Loch Quoich
Munro: Sgurr a’Mhaoraich
Date walked: 25/09/2008
Time taken: 4 hours
Distance: 15 km
Sgurr a’Mhaoraich sits on its own in the remote area to the North West of Loch Quoich. There are tremendous views all around from the summit to The Saddle, South Shiel ridge and Brothers and sisters ridge’s to the North, Sgurr mor and Gairich to the South with Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach to the West
In September 2008 I took my canoe, tent and walking kit up to loch Quioch for 4 days of walking, canoeing and some away from it all solitude to recharge my mental batteries. I wasn’t to be disappointed. There are five Munros around the Loch and I had planned to bag four of them before the week was over. The fifth Munro, Sgurr Mor on the South West of the Loch, was going to be saved for a second visit or bagged in conjunction with the Glen Dessary Munro’s at a later date. Once I got to Loch Quoich dam I continued driving around the loch for 5 kilometres and crossed the steel bridge. Another 1 km along the road there is a good grassy area where I parked the car and pitched my tent (The area on the OS Explorer 1:25000 map is called Sheepfold which is the term for a livestock pen or enclosure). I then consigned my mobile phone to the glove compartment for the duration of the stay. Ah peace at last.
It was a quiet uneventful night and I woke up bright and early ready for my first Munro in the area. I remember it being cold and slightly overcast but otherwise the weather was fine. There was little wind to mention and therefore plenty of midges around so I had to use my midge net and keep my arms and legs covered up. I didn’t expect many midges at this time of year but the summer conditions must have meant for another late hatching for the final batch this year and I was to be there food. Not if I can help it though.
After a good breakfast and some pottering about down at the Loch side, I was ready and set off walking around 10am. A quick 600m stroll along the road back towards the bridge then sharp left off the road and onto the track heading up the hillside. The track meanders its way upwards at a steady climb basically following the ridge up Bac Nan Canaichean heading slightly NNE to the summit of Sgurr Coire nan Eiricheallach at a height of 891 metres. I then followed the ridge NE with slight ascent and descent then E until the final climb to Sgurr a’Mhaoraich summit.
The underfoot conditions were dry and made for a good walking pace and the route was quite straight forward. This was proving to be a very enjoyable walk with great views of the surrounding hills with fantastic scenery in all directions. There were great views out to Loch Hourn, and back along the multiple Munro’s of the South Glen Shiel ridge. I continued West to the Munro top and then descended to Meall an Uillt Bhain and then down Allt Coire Nan Chamh to pick up the stalker path for 1.5kms to the road and then walk the last 3kms back to the tent. It would be easy enough to retrace your ascent if you are not too familiar with walking off track over wild terrain.
I didn’t see any other walkers or stalkers and the solitude was refreshing. What a great start to the week.