The old counties of Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland, and Caithness, forming Scotland is north west peninsula, contain some of the country is most spectacular scenery, and boast many of the most shapely and challenging hills in the British Isles. Stack Polly, Suilven, and Ben Loyal have been favourite postcard peaks for generations and many visitors come to the far north just to enjoy the unique scenery with its knobbly gneiss moors, jutting peaks, rugged coastline, and unspoilt communities. For these visitors, the far north provides almost endless possibilities. Attractions include boat trips to interesting offshore islands with impressive sea cliffs and colonies of sea birds, fascinating antiquities tracing Scotland is history from stone-age man to the shameful clearances, and a number of low-level scenic attractions such as Britain's highest waterfall and some of the best beaches in the UK. For the more adventurous visitor, the hills offer a wealth of challenging and enjoyable outings, from simple half-day walks to demanding multi-day expeditions, and all in the most wild and lonely terrain that Scotland has to offer. This guide, selectively covering the whole northern peninsula from Ullapool northwards, will be a valuable aid for any visitor to the area, giving information on camping and accommodation, road access, local bases, topography and climate, as well as 62 walking routes varying in length from 3km to 56km.
Introduction Topography Climate Plants, Birds and Animals Bases Getting There Roads within the Area Using the Guide Maps Essential Equipment Mountain Bikes Gaelic and Norse Place-names Assynt and Coigach Route 1: Ascent of Ben Mor Coigach from Acheninver youth hostel Route 2: Ascent of Ben Mor Coigach from the Achiltibuie road Route 3: Ascent of Cul Beag from Drumrunie Route 4: Ascent of Cul Beag from Linneraineach Route 5: Cul Beag to Stac Pollaidh link route Route 6: Ascent to Stac Pollaidh's main col from Loch Lurgain Route 7: Traverse of Stac Pollaidh's summit ridge Route 8: Ascent of Cul Mor from Knockanrock Route 9: Ascent of Cul Mor from the A835 via An Laogh Route 10: Ascent of Cul Mor from Linneraineach via south-west face Route 11: Cul Mor to Cul Beag link route Route 12: Suilven approach from Elphin Route 13: Suilven approach from Lochinver Route 14: Suilven ascent from the north-east Route 15: Suilven ascent from Inverkirkaig Route 16: Suilven approach from Little Assynt Route 17: Traverse of the Suilven summit ridge Route 18: Canisp ascent from Little Assynt Route 19: Canisp ascent from Loch Awe Route 20: Canisp to Suilven link route Route 21: Breabag ascent from Benmore Lodge Route 22: Breabag ascent from Allt nan Uamh Route 23: Breabag to Conival link route Route 24: Ben More Assynt and Conival ascent from Inchnadamph Route 25: The Oykell Horseshoe from Kinlochailsh Route 26: Glas Bheinn and Beinn Uidhe ascent from Loch na Gainmhich Route 27: Beinn Uidhe to Conival/Ben Mor Assynt link route Route 28: Ascent of Quinag from the east Route 29: Ascents of Quinag from the north Route 30: Ascent of Quinag from Tumore Route 31: Quinag to Glas Bheinn link route Route 32: Ascent of Meallan a Chuail and Beinn Leoid from Kinloch, Loch More Route 33: Ascent of Beinn Leoid from Kylestrome via Glen Dubh Route 34: Ascent of Beinn Leoid and Meallan a Chuail from Loch na Gainmhich via Eas a Chuall Aluinn Route 35: Beinn Leoid to Beinn Uidhe link route The Far northwest and Reay Forest Route 36: Ascent of Ben Stack from near Lochstack Lodge Route 37: Ascent of Ben Hee from West Merkland Route 38: Ascent of Meallan Liath from Achfary via Lone Route 39: Ascent Meallan Liath from Aultanrynie Route 40: Meallan Liath to Sabhal Beag link route Route 41: Ascent of Meall Horn and The Sabhals from Achfary via Lone Route 42: Direct ascent of Meall Horn from Lone Route 43: Meall Horn/Creagan Meall Horn col to Arkle link route Route 44: Meall Horn/Creagan Meall Horn col to Foinaven link route Route 45: Ascent of Arkle from Achfary Routes 46 and 47: Link routes from Arkle to Foinaven and Meall Horn Route 48: Ascent of Foinaven from the north-west Route 49: Beinn Spionnaidh and Cranstackie from Carbreck Route 50: Ascent of Ben Hope from Strath More The East Route 51: Ascent of Ben Loyal from Ribigill Route 52: Ascent of Beinn Stumanadh from Loch Loyal Route 53: Ascent of Ben Klibreck from Vagastie Route 54: Ascent of Ben Klibreck from Altnaharra Route 55: The full traverse of Kilbreck ridge from Crask Inn Route 56: Ascent of Morven from Braemore Longer Mountain Traverses Route 57: The Assynt Horseshoe Route 58: A Reay traverse Route 59: A long ascent of Cranstackie Interesting Low-Level Walks Route 60: Eas a Chual Aluinn Route 61: The Culnacraig coastal path Route 62: To Sandwood Bay and Cape Wrath Other Routes Appendix A: Sources of information Appendix B: The peaks (by height) Appendix C: The peaks (alphabetically) Appendix D: List of walking routes
Andy Walmsley was born in Preston, Lancashire on December 18th 1959. From an early age mountains always held a fascination for him, and early family holidays to mountainous areas of Europe and Britain began a deep affection for the wild places. Having been active in sports such as cycling, caving, and fellwalking for many years, Andy began his exploration of the Sierra Nevada in the 1980s whilst visiting relatives in Granada and this book is the result of all his explorations from that time until 2004. Despite a serious motorcycle accident in 1981, in which he lost his right arm, Andy remains an active mountain-goer. He took up the arduous sport of fellrunning in 1985 and still competes in mountain events all over the British Isles. In 1989 he set a record of 15 hours and 5 minutes for the traverse of all the Sierra Nevada's 3000m peaks, the 'Integral de Los Tres Mil' which still stands today.
'This compact 160 page guide covers the area to the north of a line from Ullapool to Bonar Bridge, but excludes the lowlands north of Dunbeath and east of Thurso. The 62 walks described cover various approaches to the five Munros as well as most other hills, supported by sketch maps, distance and height gain. It provides information on most villages and their facilities as well as accommodation, campsites and parking, all linked to walks nearby. The reader is left in no doubt that even the shorter routes can be challenging. Longer traverses include the Assynt Horseshoe from Quinag to Canisp by way of Conival and Ben More Assynt, while the low-level walk to Sandwood Bay is lovingly portrayed. The sparkling text and excellent colour photographs provide a sound basis for planning several walking holidays in Caithness and Sutherland - just remember to take waterproof boots and midge repellent.' (Hazel White, Cairngorm Club Journal 2004)