Sgurr a' Mhaoraich

Sgurr a' Mhaoraich from Loch Cuaich

Hillwalking route up Sgurr a' Mhaoraich from Loch Cuaich

Above the centre of Loch Cuaich, grass-covered slopes rise to meet with the undulating skyline of Sgurr a' Mhaoraich. Stalker's paths, ridges and crests are followed to reach the Sgurr a' Mhaoraich's summit with its fine views, particularly toward the Rough Bounds of Knoydart.



Route outline


Munros

Sgurr a' Mhaoraich

Ascent 835m (2730ft)
Distance 8km (5m)
Time 3:20hr
Start/finish Loch Cuaich
Grid Ref : NG994035
Terrain
easy hard
Nav
easy hard
Effort
easy hard
Scenery
ok fab


On grass-covered ground and in the main pathless, the quickest and easiest route to bag Sgurr a' Mhaoraich's summit is to make a direct ascent from the roadside above Loch Cuaich.

The route can be extended to form a horseshoe circuit, following a path along the crest of Sgurr a' Mhaoraich's eastern shoulder and descending a stalker's path down to the road around 2km east of the start-point.



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Route description


1. Getting to Loch Cuaich (Loch Quoich)

The old road above Loch Cuaich

The old road above Loch Cuaich

From Invergarry in the Great Glen, head westwards along the A87 for 8km to a junction by the shores of Loch Garry. Take the unclassified narrow road that is signposted towards Kinlochourn. Follow this road for around 18km to the Loch Quoich dam.

Continue following the road as it traces the northern shore of Loch Cuaich (Loch Quoich on older maps) to cross a bridge over the inlet of Glen Quoich. The road then progresses further passing a patch of forestry then a small hydro building. Around 500m further on from the building is a small parking area by a gate on the south side of the road.

Depending on how low the water level is in the loch, the old road and the remains of a bridge all used in the build of the dams on Loch Cuaich may be seen.


2. Sgurr a' Mhaoraich

Nearing the top of the Leac nan Gaidhseich

Nearing the top of the Leac nan Gaidhseich

On the opposite side of the road to the car-park, a stalkers track heads northwards. Begin up this track, pass under a line of pylons and meet with a fence-line on your right. Around 1km after leaving the roadside, the track meets with a burn flowing eastwards downhill. Follow the burn upstream over soggy grass-covered ground climbing around 300m to reach a flatish area just above a gully. Now on top of the Leac nan Gaidhseich , an impressive erratic boulder can be seen balanced precariously on the skyline ahead.

With more pleasant terrain underfoot, aim in a generally northwards direction up the wide crest of Sgurr a' Mhaoraich's southern shoulder. Occasional faint paths can be found travelling through heather and over grass and rock.

The summit of Sgurr a' Mhaoraich

The summit of Sgurr a' Mhaoraich

Further up, just before reaching Sgurr a' Mhaoraich's summit, the eastern arm of the mountain is met approaching from the right on which is an obvious path to follow. A large cairn sits on the top of Sgurr a' Mhaoraich , from where fine views can be savoured on clear days.

The summit of Sgurr a' Mhaoraich

The summit of Sgurr a' Mhaoraich


3. Return options

View to Knoydart from Sgurr a' Mhaoraich's summit

View to Knoydart from Sgurr a' Mhaoraich's summit

The most straightforward return is to about-turn and retrace steps back to the roadside. However, there are fine alternatives to extend the route.

Possibly the finest of these begins from Sgurr a' Mhaoraich's summit by retracing a short distance to pick up an obvious path heading south-east. A little steep ground is encountered briefly, after which the path turns eastwards and follows the crest of a grassy ridge. Over a distance of around 1km the crest drops gently to reach a bealach , beyond which the ground rises and the path climbs up to the summit of Sgurr Coire nan Eiricheallach , crossing the remains of an old wall on the way.

Continuing south-eastwards from Sgurr Coire nan Eiricheallachand after losing around 100m of height, the path merges with the top of a stalkers path , which in turn is followed down Bac nan Canaichean and under the line of pylons to reach the roadside around 2km east of the start point.

Looking along Sgurr Coire nan Eiricheallach

Looking along Sgurr Coire nan Eiricheallach

Another return route alternative is to head northwards from Sgurr a' Mhaoraich's summit and drop to Bealach Coire a' Chaorainn, then turn eastwards and pick up a path leading to the head of Glen Quoich. It's been a long time since I took this route, the detail of which is long lost.

Looking along Sgurr Coire nan Eiricheallach

Looking along Sgurr Coire nan Eiricheallach





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Alternative and nearby routes »


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