A North West Coast Fantasy - Sun, Sea, Sand...& Swimming!!

Route: Sail Mhor, from Ardessie

Corbetts: Sail Mhor

Date walked: 23/08/2015

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 6.5km

Ascent: 780m

Seeing that swimming is being incorporated into some walks, championed by the inventively entertaining Mountainlove (Maja) in her recent trip reports, I thought I would follow suit and add a swim into my little adventure. Spolier Alert: My swim was more Baywatch (without the cleavage!) than Maja from Atlantis and her amazing Thermarest Lilo :lol:

Not only would I be swimming on this mini adventure but I would also be climbing a Corbett in 70 - 80mph winds, summit camping in 50mph winds, viewing a beautiful sunset, wakening (did I actually sleep?!) to a glowing pink sunrise, cycling with two Italians, running along stunning sandy beaches, and walking down the road in my flip flops with "tap aff".

Once again the NW Coast allured me with visions of possible sunsets/sunrises, so I hatched a plan that would take in multi-activities. First on the list would be climbing the Corbett Sail Mhor, this was a short walk and only a 20 minute drive before reaching my camping location at Grunaird Bay. Left Glasgow 7.30am and was walking 11.30am.

Instantly you come across a wonderful gorge & waterfalls, kept thinking I needed to wash what hair I had left :)


Some agility shown to get this shot, Mountainthyme (Theresa) failed doing this at the recent meet up :wink:


Sail Mhor - I'd be ascending the right hand gully, descending the far left one. It was steep, made worse by the wind!

Bealach - views to An Teallach & Fisherfields.

Sat at the shelter cairn for 30 minutes, my eye following the landscape out to sea. Viewing The Summer Isles once more, but from a different perspective. Ben More Coigach was in clear view, the location for a camp I did a few weeks back...great views, but way too windy to get the camera out!!

My route down...

Lost in the jungle!

The walk out - great views of Little Loch Broom.

Brilliant little walk this, one to do again and again! If not used to steep pathless terrain I would advise to take the longer route to reach the summit which is detailed in the WH route description.

Got in the car and drove the short distance to Grunaird Bay...

Grunaird River

My camp spot would be on the summit of Creah Mhor. This was only 50m from the car, albeit up a steep slope.


Stunning! The wind was only 50mph at this low height :)

My car!

A cyclist pounding up the hill! I would do this the next morning, the start of my cycle.

With the tent up I hung around, eating food, drinking beer (one bottle - I'm a lightweight!)...cutting my finger and standing in the deepest bog ever! Back down to the car for the first aid kit and some dry trainers, thankfully I'd a normal pair with me. My two pair of trail runners now soaking! Changed socks and trousers too.

And then the sun dived under the cloud and beamed its golden rays, the landscape surrounding me instantly coming to life. A kaleidoscopic visual treat 8)

My attention then turned West to take in the sunset...





Half Moon!

Fading light & Campsite...


As usual I hardly slept. The wind was ferocious outside, the noise was deafening! My wax ear plugs slightly dampened the constant reverberations. I lay thinking allsorts of nonsense whilst waiting to see if I lucked out with a sunrise...would you beleive it :D

The Sky Was Pink...


Stood for a couple of hours taking it all in. I then got packed up and took all the gear to the car. Stuck on the cycling gear, and then it started to rain!! I sat in the car for over an hour contemplating driving to Kinlochleven as was forecast for a dry morning. But then it dried up, and I got on my bike...to Melon Udrigle!

Looking back to Grunaird bay

After a most wonderful sweeping rolling cycle, with a tailwind, I reached Melon Udrigle.

Melon Udrigle has a lovely giant beach, its popular with campers and motorhomes...cyclists too :wink:

The route back to Grunaird Bay.

Whilst shooting the above photo I heard a noise which sounded like bike chains being hammered, it took me by surprise as I really didn't expect any other cyclists to be around at this early hour on a Monday! Turns out to be two Itilian lads, now living in London, a third of the way into a 400 mile+ cycle. They'd got a train to Inverness and started from there. We all cycled together back to Grunaird Bay, chatting about the Alps, the Belach Na Ba (which they did the day before), and the amazing Scottish Scenery. They now headed up the coast, Ullapool the next stop. The next few days would see them head to Durness, John O Groats, and back to Inverness. Nice lads, hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip :D :clap:

Here they come...

Numero Uno

Numero Due

A quick change and I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering along the four sandy beaches/bays that make up Grunaird Bay, the sun managed to breakthrough the surrounding grey cloud.

The main beach next to the car park.

One of the smaller beaches. Should I go in...


Yes!!! Red shorts on for that authentic David Hasselhoff vibe, plus this was on the 2s timer :wink: :lol:

After a swim it was time to follow the coast line....

My camp location top right hand corner.




Seals - enjoying life :)

Now onto the fourth beach which is same size as the first. Brilliant views from here, a must visit!!




And finally...probably the best views in and around the Bay. Everything just opens up, sensational 8)


From here I took a path through some woodland and walked the 1.5km back down the road to the car park, flip flops on and tap aff :lol: . Met a nice old fella at the car park from the Shetlands, I was jealous of his tales of travel and his Norwegian girlfriend...who still lives in Norway, "costs a fortune" he quipped, but worth every penny :wink:

Left the Bay at late afternoon and enjoyed my 4.5hr drive home, the clarity on all the mountain ranges I viewed incredible...I could see for miles! Even Glasgow has a sunset on my return :shock:

The NW Coast provides a stunning backdrop for all kinds of activities, I will be back :) 8)

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Comments: 6

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User avatar
Location: Glasgow
Occupation: Mental Health Nursing
Interests: Hillwalking, Running, Cycling, Cinema, Music. Comedy.
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Kintail Lodge
Mountain: Stac Polly
Place: Assynt
Gear: Balaclava
Camera: Panasonic Lumix TZ40
Ideal day out: Early Start. Ridge Walk. Scrambling. Plenty of Ascent. Love long days in the hills and epic walks.
Ambition: complete a round.

Munros: 229
Corbetts: 30
Grahams: 17
Donalds: 10
Wainwrights: 18
Hewitts: 16
Sub 2000: 5

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Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Last visited: Aug 27, 2015
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