Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

In the heart of Ardgour

In the heart of Ardgour

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:09 pm

Route description: Sgùrr Dhomhnuill via Ariundle Oakwoods

Corbetts included on this walk: Sgùrr Dhomhnuill

Date walked: 08/08/2020

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 19.6 km

Ascent: 956m

5 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

This walk was done one week before our "madness" expedition to Garbh Bheinn & Grahams and we could say, we were just warming up to the hard task :lol: Sgurr Dhomhnuill on its own is not a difficult climb. It can be made tougher by continuing to the 803m top and descending via Druim Garbh, but on this occasion, we didn't bother and opted for the easier route up and down the SW ridge.
We were badly attacked by keds from the early stages of this walk, they seemed to think we were deer and did all they could to hitch a ride on our clothes, skin and especially hair. At some point I was on the very edge of losing it. Midge repellent doesn't work on them, they somehow wriggle themselves into every gap between clothes and skin, arghhhhh.... At least they don't bite very often, but still they did a good job spoiling our day!

Track_SGURR DHOMHNUILL 19,3KM.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Starting from the car park Ariundle Oakwoods, we assumed we'd enjoy a lovely quick walk-in on a good track:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 001.JPG

Our "target" hill on the horizon:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 004.JPG

The initial walk through the forest is a very pleasant experience indeed (or it would be but for keds!), even when the track shrinks to a path which is a bit eroded and stony in places. The route even included walking over a wobbly-looking bridge...
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 007.JPG

...but once the path emerged out of the forest, we could now see our target right in front of us and... I was ready to miaow! The ridge looked fantastic!
Panoramic view of the Ardgour peaks from the northern entrance to the Ariundle Oakwoods, the summit of Sgurr Dhomhnuill can't be seen from here but Sgurr na h-Iginn, the lower top, is the pointy peak on the left-hand side:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 014.JPG

But before we could reach the ridge, we had to walk past the old mines:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 020.JPG

Looking for the best spot to cross Allt Feith Dhomhnuill:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 034.JPG

The ground on the other side of the burn was wet but as soon as we started gaining height it dried out enough to make walking enjoyable. Keds were still doing their best to drive us crazy but we tried to ignore them. They seemed to like Kevin more than me, maybe they didn't like the smell of my sun-cream (I use a lot of it due to UV allergy)?
Up we go! it's getting interesting!
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 044.JPG

Abandoned mine shafts across the glen:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 042.JPG

The views are splendid from early stages of the ridge, especially looking back down to the glen with the Ariundle Oakwoods and the Strontian River. Beinn Resipol dominates the western horizon:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 046.JPG

I was surprised to see a herd of cows half way up the mountain, but they probably walked up here for the juicy, green grass:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 049.JPG

The bumpy ridge was relatively easy to follow, getting more rocky higher up but no scrambling required. The summit was now in sight, but we intended to climb the lower top, Sgurr na h-Ighinn, first:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 057.JPG

We took a short break on one of the bumps, to catch our breath and record a few panoramas. Garbh-Bheinn across the glen was so tempting... No wonder we gave in to this temptation a week later!
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 066.JPG

The ridge yet to tackle:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 067.JPG

Looking back west to Beinn Resipol past one of many small lochans on the ridge:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 074.JPG

Approaching Sgurr na h-Ighinn:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 075.JPG

Sgurr na h-Ighinn might look intimidating from below and it can be skirted to the left hand side when going up, but I'd recommend adding it to the walk as it is a great viewpoint and provides some rocky fun:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 084.JPG

After a couple of false summits, we eventually reached the point where we could see the true top of Sgurr na h-Ighinn... Garbh Bheinn, the Monstahhhhh, to the right:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 088.JPG

Kevin nearly there... One of the false tops behind him:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 156.JPG

Lucy on the summit of Sgurr na h-Ighinn, posing with Ben Nevis on the horizon:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 099.JPG

Not far to the true summit now! I was so excited to climb our first NEW hill this year (Subs and Tumps don't count!):
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 100.JPG

Zoom to Ballachulish and Beinn a'Bheithir:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 089.JPG

Panoramic view to Sgurr a'Chaorainn (Graham) and Beinn na h-Uamha (Corbett). We had already climbed Beinn na h-Uamha and we have a sneaky idea for a route to reach the Graham. Probably next year before the stalking season starts for good.
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 105.JPG

The final stage begins... Looking very scary, but the devil is not as black... as a panther :lol:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 110.JPG

Looking back to Sgurr na h-Ighinn from the grassy ramp half way up the final climb:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 115.JPG

We easily avoided all wet rock (a faint path can be followed most of the way up) and reached the summit, happy to celebrate our first new Corbett in 2020!
Lucy celebrating her 113th Corbett, Kevin busy photographing:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 179.JPG

One could spend hours sitting on the summit of Sgurr Dhomhnuill, just trying to identify hills on the horizon! At least there was a refreshing breeze here and keds didn't bother us as much. No wonder Kevin was mesmerized:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 180.JPG

We were indeed in the heart of Ardgour. In every direction,we could see countless mountain tops, so many of them yest unclimbed (by us of course :lol: ). View due east along Glen Scaddle was particularly impressive:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 116.JPG

A wider pano:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 139.JPG

Panoramic snap of the north-western peaks including Gulvain and the Glenfinnian Munros:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 138.JPG

Beinn a'Bheithir once again:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 121.JPG

Garbh Bheinn dark and moody as always:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 173.JPG

Kevin mentioned something about a circular over Druim Garbh but I didn't fancy it. i think it is possible but we'd have to descend half way back to the 682m col then traverse on grassy ledges below Sgurr Dhomhnuill to the NW col, Glas Bhealach. The descent straight to Glas Bhealach looked to steep for my liking. Maybe next time we'd do the circular route, but on this occasion, we decided to stick to the safer ground.
The shallow gully we used to avoid re-ascending Sgurr na h-Ighinn:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 147.JPG

The return walk was just as enjoyable as the climb itself, with all these fantastic Ardgour mountains around us! Shame it takes so long to drive here from Inverness, or we would visit more often.
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 149.JPG

One last look at the magnificent cliffs surrounding the upper glen to the south of Sgurr Dhomhnuill. There is another Graham here, Sgurr nan Cnamh, also on our to-do list:
2020-08-08 sgurr dhomhnuill 148.JPG

We are slowly chewing through the Ardgour/Moidart mountains but at this pace it is going to take several years at least... Which is fine by me. It's such a superb corner of the Highlands and coming back here to climb hills is pure pleasure - and indeed a privilege.

I still have two delayed August reports to write, one from a steep yet entertaining Munro and one from a certain Graham duo, one of my favourite walks. Suffice to say that on the latter trip we took nearly 900 photos! Reducing them to 40 snaps to put into a TR will be an impossible task :lol: :lol:
User avatar
Mountain Walker
Posts: 3695
Munros:260   Corbetts:172
Sub 2000:56   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: In the heart of Ardgour

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:54 pm

This area has been very high on my wish list for the last couple of years, since we glimpsed it en route to Mull, so many thanks for this report I'm sure it will come in very useful in the future. :clap: :clap: :clap:
User avatar
Posts: 1061
Munros:271   Corbetts:19
Grahams:9   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:19   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:1   Islands:19
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: In the heart of Ardgour

Postby Collaciotach » Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:07 pm

taobh a- muigh mo dhoras ....right outside my door Sgurr Dhomhnuill :wink:
User avatar
Mountain Walker
Posts: 1824
Munros:282   Corbetts:178
Grahams:33   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:23   
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Gaidhealtachd an Iar

Re: In the heart of Ardgour

Postby Sunset tripper » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:53 pm

That looked like a great day apart from the beasties!

Its a great area but as you say not too handy from Inverness. There are good campsites at Strontian and Resipole which I have used while in the area or on trips to Mull. Breaks it up a bit.

All the best. :D
User avatar
Sunset tripper
Posts: 2486
Joined: Nov 3, 2013
Location: Inverness

Re: In the heart of Ardgour

Postby litljortindan » Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:44 am

Great detail as usual. I've had this hill in mind since, erm, 1994 so possibly due a visit. Looks well worth the effort despite those annoying flying/biting things.
User avatar
Posts: 2048
Munros:123   Corbetts:63
Grahams:28   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

5 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?

Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MarkColyer, NickF, rabmid and 100 guests