Sail Mhor from the south

Sail Mhor from Ardessie

Hillwalking route Up Sail Mhor from Little Loch Broom

This fairly direct approach up Sail Mhor from above Little Loch Broom, takes a bit of a detour to avoid craggy northern faces and makes for a delightful afternoon's hillwalk.

Route outline


Sail Mhor

Ascent 850m (2780ft)
Distance 9km (6m)
Time 3:40hr
Start/finish Waterworks by Ardessie
Grid Ref : NH051897
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Overlooking the southern shores of Little Loch Broom, the dome-shaped outline of Sail Mhor sits in fair isolation from the nearby peaks and ridges of An Teallach.

This hillwalking route takes a fairly direct approach up Sail Mhor. However as this Corbett has craggy northern faces, a detour around the back is made in order to ascend easier slopes. Paths are few, but terrain is never challenging and navigation is straightforward.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to Ardessie

Ardessie start

Ardessie start

Around 12km south of Ullapool, the A832 branches off the main A835 at Braemore junction. This road climbs over moorland and drops to Dundonnell at the southern tip of Little Loch Broom.

Around 4km further on, are a few houses that make up Camusnagaul and Ardessie, where there are also some waterworks. Below the waterwork's buildings is a layby with space for around 5 or 6 vehicles.

2. Sail Mhor

Path heading up from Ardessie

Path heading up from Ardessie

A path begins by the layby, aside which is a sign declaring 'No access to local tourist attraction' ! This is to discourage people wandering up here with the goal of viewing the waterfalls on the Allt Airdeasaidh - the path for the waterfalls begins on the eastern side of the burn.

So begin hiking up the path. The path is well-constructed, climbs fairly steeply and ends abruptly by some drains and ironwork at around the 100m contour.

Above the path, aim south-west and climb up a gentle slope through grass and heather while crossing occasional bog and soggy ground. Ascent steepens for a short section, above which a line of old fence-posts is crossed. Ahead a wide grassy ledge can be seen climbing above heather pitted with rocks and below some crags - aim for this.

The grassy ledge, reaches an elevation of around 550m , above which the steep slope begins to ease - at this point turn northwards and climb directly up the fall-line of Sail Mhor's south-eastern shoulder.

The route passes under some sandstone tors, and continues on towards a minor rocky summit , where dominating the view ahead is the grass-covered summit plateau of Sail Mhor.

Looking to Beinn Ghobhlach from Sail Mhor

Looking to Beinn Ghobhlach from Sail Mhor

Sail Mhor's broad summit is reached where there are two cairns standing around around 150m apart - the smaller south-westerly one is indicated on maps to be the highest point. Stunning views from both cairns !

Looking to Beinn Ghobhlach from Sail Mhor

Looking to Beinn Ghobhlach from Sail Mhor

3. Ruigh Mheallain and return

Wall leading to Ruigh Mheallain

Wall leading to Ruigh Mheallain

Beyond the drains at 100m, the route so far has seen no footpaths, but that's about to change !

From the small southwesterly cairn on Sail Mhor's summit, turn south-west and follow the line of the crest downhill. An obvious path forms picking a line through rocks as it descends. The path drops to a wide grass-covered bealach between Sail Mhor and Ruigh Mheallain where the remains of an old wall are met.

From the bealach, follow the wall southwards and uphill to the summit of Ruigh Mheallain - a superb place to view the massif of An Teallach ahead and where some weird erratic boulders rest.

Leaving Ruigh Mheallain, continue southwards for 100m or so, then turn east and drop down thick grass to more level ground below. Aiming for the fence-line met earlier, head north-east, tracing occasional deer-trods through grass.

Beyond the fence-line, retrace your steps back to the roadside, perhaps detouring on the way to the Allt Airdeasaidh to get a sight of the waterfalls.

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Alternative and nearby routes »

Fisherfield Big 6

The 5 Munros in Fisherfield, along with the Corbett Beinn a'Chlaidheimh (which used to be a Munro), are affectionately known as the 'Fisherfield Big 6'. Although most hikers backpack in and bag the peaks over two or three days, it is quite feasable to bag them in a day, particularly with the help of a bike on the track in.

Peaks : 5 Munros, 1 Corbett, plus option of more !

Ascent : 2905m (9530ft)
Distance : 44km (27m)
Time : 12:15hr


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