Thursday, 11 November 2010

An elevated view from the Big Heel

As I was staying at the hostel named after this hill, climbing Sail Mhor (Big Heel) seemed very appropriate.

Getting out just as it was getting light, a short walk along the road starts the day, then the best route climbs alongside the beautiful Ardessie falls.  The early sun was catching the top of Sail Mhor, but this side of the hill was in cold shade.

Higher up the angle eases into a hanging river valley, then there's a steady ascent on short heather and stony ground to the summit of the hill.  Sail Mhor is a Corbett and though at 767 metres lower than many of the hills nearby, is a superb viewpoint

To the west I looked down on Gruinard Bay and my paddle of the previous day. I'd set out from a beach in the left hand side of the bay and paddled clockwise. Gruinard Island is prominent in this view.

To the north, the view extends over Little Loch Broom, Beinn Ghobhlach and the entrance of Loch Broom up to the Assynt Coigach hills.

Beyond Little Loch Broom and Cailleach Head are the Summer Isles - a fantastic sea kayaking location.

Turning around, the view is just as good! The outliers of An Teallach are on the left and beyond are some of the hills of the Fisherfield Forest. 

I was well wrapped up, but even so it was pretty cold exposed to the wind on the summit.  After around 15 minutes of taking in the view I headed back down the hill, going first to the smaller "top" in this picture.  The whole walk took a little over five hours, perfect for a short day.


  1. Ian, a fantastic set of pictures. It is fantastic to see this area I visited many years ago from a different perspective. Thanks.

    David A

  2. Thanks David,
    Sat on the summit, I was thinking that it's been too long since I paddled in the Summer Isles - must put that right soon!