Glamaig and Marsco


Glamaig (Sgurr Mhairi) (775m)


Beinn Dearg Mhor (731m)
Marsco (736m)


1700m (5,575ft)


15km (9.5m)


walking : 6:30hr*, running : 3:10hr
 *Naismith's rule : 4km/h distance + 600m/h ascent

Main route summary

The granite covered Red Cuillin peaks tower above the inlets of Loch Sligachan and Loch Ainort. The views from the summits are wonderful, particularly across to Skye's Black Cuillin.

Terrain can be quite challenging for most hillwalkers as the scree makes for tough ascent, but also tricky uphill route finding. But the scree also allows fast running descents - hence the incredibly tough and popular Glamaig Hill Race from Sligachan Inn.

start/finish Sligachan Hotel
(grid ref : NG485298)


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easy Some steep scree running, otherwise striaghtforward difficult
easy Fairly straightforward, but testing in mist testing
easyA good workout !long day
ok Magnificent ! stunning
meanings Glamaig :
  'greedy woman'
Sgurr Mhairi :
  'Mary's peak'
Beinn Dearg Mhor :
  'big red hill'
Marsco :
  'seagull peak'
main route outlineprint route
Getting there
  • At Sligachan on the A87, the A863 heads west towards Carbost. On this road, just behind the hotel there is a long layby with ample parking for several cars. Do not block the access to the Mountain Rescue building. If there is no room, then there is no objection to parking in the hotel car-park.

  • From the hotel, cross the River Sligachan using the old bridge, then turn immediately right uphill following a right-of-way sign. The path branches - take the right fork, then follow the path for 2.5km in the direction of Marsco.
  • As the path approaches the Allt na Measarroch, fence-posts indicate a sharp turn left (east). On a narrow path, follow the posts for just over 1km, then at a suitable drop down to the Allt na Measarroch, cross it and strike directly uphill ahead.
  • Thick heather is crossed at first, but the terrain easies as ascent is gained and grass covered slopes are reached as the ascent steepens.
  • There are no difficulties, just a sustained thigh-workout to reach Marsco's northern shoulder and the cairn on the summit. Superb views in all directions !

Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach
  • Leave Marsco's summit and head south-east and drop 100m to a small grassy col.
  • Turn northwards and mainly down steep grassy slopes with occassional patches of loose gravel, aim towards Mam a'Phobuill.
  • Once the burn in Coire nan Laogh is crossed, fence-posts and a faint path are picked up to follow to the next bealach.
  • Ciche na Beinne Deirge towers directly ahead, covered in boulders and scree. Try to aim directly for the bealach behind this peak - the loose boulders require effort and some care.
  • Beyond the bealach, a faint path continues uphill to Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach's summit, picking its way higher up through more boulders.

Beinn Dearg Mhor
  • A faint path heads north-west from Beinn Dearg Mhor's summit.
  • Shortly thereafter, another path can be seen heading westwards, this is an alternative descent via down Druim na Rhuaige.
  • Keep northwards and on a fine but bouldery ridge continue along Beinn Dearg and drop to Bealach Mosgaraidh.
  • The path is now more obvious and it continues uphill, twisting as it climbs north-east onto Beinn Dearg Mhor's bouldery summit with its large cairn.

  • Continue northwards on a path over more boulders and scree and drop around 150m.
  • If in mist, the change of direction north-west to Bealach na Sgairde may not be obvious.
  • At Bealach na Sgairde, Glamaig looms high above, its scree and boulder clad slopes intimidating.
  • There's nothing too difficult ahead, just pull yourself onto the summit, the cairn and trig point are on the north-western end of the summit crest. The views are superb, but a detour is recommended to An Coileach for the wonderful views over the lochs and sea below.

Return to Sligachan
  • From Glamaig's summit head west-south-west on pathless ground and drop down a very steep hillside with quite a bit of boulderfield to battle. There are some scree runs for a bit of fun.
  • On grass and through heather, cross the Allt Daraich and return to Sligachan.

© 2017 Steven Fallon