An Teallach, Liathach, Suilven, Slioch, Stac Pollaidh, Fionaven, Beinn Alligin etc etc etc -The list of iconic mountains that stand proud in the North West Highlands is a long and impressive one with some amazing hills in this part of the country. So when I was flicking through my Corbett book to find a quick half day hill and found Sail Mhor, I was looking forward to the views of all the iconic mountains that lay around it perhaps more than Sail Mhor itself!!!
However, as soon as I drew up at the parking spot near the Ardressie falls, my eyes were drawn to the free standing mountain immediately to my south!! I immediately questioned why I hadn't heard of this mountain before and why it was only given a short write up in the book (no hint of its grandeur was given in the walk description either!).
The weather was ok but a little hazy, but the tops remained clear throughout the day. The walk in was worth the 3hr car trip alone! The Ardressie falls continuing to give interest for the first couple of kilometres. It was also my first mountain trip with the new camera so there were lots of stops and experimenting with shots etc etc.....
The path soon levelled out and the Allt Airdeasaidh quietened down. At this point the shapely peak of Sgurr Ruadh dominated the southern skyline and as I headed west across the pathless moorland, height was gained and the rest of An Teallach came into view. Perhaps not as dramatic as the view from the south, but with the hills of Fisherfield (in particular the corbetts of Beinn Dearg Mhor and Beag) as a back drop, I was left thinking this was one of the best mountain views to be had!!
I didn't head to the bealach but struck west gaining Sail Mhors southern ridge. The going was steep but not too prolonged, despite the amount of times I stopped to look at the views over my shoulder!!
There are two tops one slightly lower with a little tor near its summit and from here a short hike NW gains the summit. There are two summit cairns and I believe the smaller of the two ( the southern one ) is the highest. However the views from the northern cairn probably edge those from the southern one. Spread out immediately to the north and west is the lower lying moorland glistening with lochans all the way till is confluence with the Atlantic.
Standing here the mountain drops steeply away and you get the feeling your stood at the bow of a huge boat! All the way up this mountain feels like it should be moved north across Loch Broom to be stood with the likes of Stac Pollaidh, Suilven and Canisp!! And standing at the summit of this mountain island confirmed this for me. On a better day with less haze the iconic mountains of Assynt would enhance the views further, however it was not to be for me today. Additionally the views to the Summer Isles and across the sea up and down the west coast would have been spectacular onaclear day- just another reason for another visit! :)
A great day in the hills and I am still wondering why this hill is not as well know as others!! Perhaps not exactly a secret given it commanding position but certainly not as well know as it should be!!!.... ;)
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...