Beinn Dearg wall Gleann na Sguaib
Lochan in Gleann na Sguaib Gleann na Sguaib
Near Ullapool and Loch Broom is rising an important mountainous unit topped by Beinn Dearg, 1084m, and from where the surname "Deargs" comes. The mountain has the allure of a vast undulated plateau suddenly interrupted on the South and on the East.
Beinn Dearg is the southernmost of the summits, and part of a triangle formed by the 2 other highest, Cona' Mheall (978m) and Meall nan Ceapraichean (977m), in the middle of which lie a set of little "lochans".
Further north are found two other Munros, Seana Bhraigh (926m) and Eididh nan Clach Geala (927m), the last one involving a significant diversion to be visited.
The whole mountainous unit is severely eroded by a well visible glaciar erosion, which sculpted deep and severe shapes, in the bottom of which lie beautiful and remote lochs.
Near its more famous neighbour An-Teallach
, this is one of the wildest mountainous parts of Scotland, and hiking in this area provides an exhilarating feeling of adventure rarely felt at this degree anywhere else in the country.
Looking back to the trailhead
Little Loch Broom Little Loch Broom
The mountain is situated in one of the most remote regions of the northern Highlands, at the south end of Loch Broom, one of the many loch (and biggest) which tear the NE coast.
This place is located just some 10km before the town of Ullapool, pretty little harbour, and largest "city" (if we can call it so) in the whole region.
Ullappol is served by an autobus line, and one can ask the bus driver for a drop in front of the trailhead. By car, Ullapool is reacheable from almost all places via Invernees. As for the rest of the way, it differs according from where we come from, as follows.
Gleann na Sguaib
Gleann a' Chadha Dheirg
Gleann na Sguaib Gleann na Sguaib
Deargs pass lakes Beinn Dearg summit
The usual route starts from the South end of Loch Broom, near Inverlael, where is located the trailhead. A forest track crosses a little forest, at the end of which start a path leading into Gleann na Sguaib. Unfurtunately, due to water and hikers erosion combined, the trail is a quite deep trench into which walking in the rain can be problematic. As we elevate, the path becomes steeper and under the cliffs of Meall nan Ceapraichean, we meet a little loch. Further up, at a large pass, lie a couple of other little lakes. This place is the "hub" between the three main Munros.
Beinn Dearg, the main, is usually visited first, as it is from far the tallest one. One amazing feature is the little stone wall running to the top, where we find a large cairn.
Cona' Mheall, because of its attractive shape, is generally the second visited. Its ascent is also a way-and-back from the central place with the little lakes.
The fittests will also include Meall nan Ceapraichean, reacheable on the north side from the same location. The hike involves a walk on large and sometime instable, boulders and the progression is not so fast.
In the low season, at this stage, generally most of the day is spent, and it is adviseable to return the same route.
But in the high season, if we have time, Seana Bhraigh (926m) is just a bit further on the ridge, and Eididh nan Clach Geala, the northernmost, can conclude the tour. At this stage, the return is not made anymore by the ascent route, but around Lochan a' Chnapaich, a large mountain lake that we can also visit if time allows. The descent trail meets back the ascent route about half distance in Gleann na Sguaib, climbing down from the north hillside of the long valley.
Gleann na Sguaib
More water than land Sunset at Little Loch Broom
One will find many accomodations (B&B, guesthouses, etc) in this region.
A practical one for example is the Camusnagaul
guesthouse on the shore of Little Loch Broom, a very convenient location to climb many other mountains of the regions.
A couple of campsites
near Ullapool too, as well as the Northern Lights
Gleann na Sguaib