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Walk 3118 - printer friendly version

Sgor na h'Ulaidh from Achnachon, Glen Coe Walk

Author - Peter Smyly

Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km

Ascent - 3900 feet / 1182 metres

Grade - mod/hard

Start - OS grid reference NN118565
Lat 56.662304 + Long -5.0723976
Postcode PH49 4LA (approx. location only)

While most mountain walkers in the UK are likely to have heard of the Glen Coe valley in Scotland, few are likely to instantly recognise the name of one of its Munros, Sgor na h'Ulaidh, let alone know how to pronounce it (if they are English).

If this mountain was in England, it would be on every hill-walkers want-to-do list (if they had not already climbed it) as it would be the highest peak in the country at 3,258 feet. Instead, this peak hides behind the Bidean Nam Bian massif and is only likely to be visited by those wanting to tick a box on a list of Munros. This is a pity as this is a fine steep and rugged mountain in itself. It does not easily link up with any other summits, making it less attractive than Munros which do. It has a fine, rocky summit and on its northern slope it has a rather interesting scramble on the way down, though some will prefer to avoid it.

Start by parking the car off the road near to Achnachon before reaching the Glen Coe valley, if approaching from the west. Follow the path up the Gleann-leac-na-muidhe valley bearing south-west alongside the river Allt na muidhe. With the walk's main objective in view to the right, there follows a pathless ascent up grassy felllside of around 2,000 feet to gain the ridge that leads to it. Once you have reached the crest of the Aonach Dubh a' Ghillnoc ridge, you pass over the minor top of Stob an Fhuarain. The route now goes down into a dip before the final climb up to the top of Sgor na h'Ulaidh, a rocky summit with, on a clear day, a view of Ben Nevis itself slightly east of north. As with the ascent, there is no path down and so it is a matter of picking your way down the slope to the north. Depending on your route choice, there is one unexpectedly different section comprising steep rocky slopes where the use of hands as well as feet is essential. This section will either be viewed as awkward or a challenge depending on your perception. Or it can be avoided altogether by a detour to left or right.

If you do not wish to repeat the outgoing route to return to the car park, a variation can be done by including the Corbett, Meall Mor, on the way back though this would entail some additional ascent. If you did attempt the scramble and found it the least bit challenging, seeing the Aonach Eagach ridge across the Glen Coe valley on the return route puts things into perspective.

Walk 3118 Route Map

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