If you want to discover all Scotland’s finest mountains, you’ll need to look further than just the well-worn list of Munros. We set out to share our pick of the 10 finest Corbetts, but with so many great hills to choose from, we’ve ended up with 20!
Adjacent to the Munro of Meall Chean-dearg, An Ruadh-stac is in no way overshadowed by its higher sibling. It makes up for the marginally lower height by being incredibly rocky, glittering with quartzite, and provides a memorable scrambly ascent.
The Rum Cuillin must rank amongst Scotland’s finest ranges, bar none. It’s magnificent peaks share some of the jagged character of the nearby Cuillin of Skye, but are more amenable to scramblers. With stunning views of mountain and sea throughout, their traverse is one of the most memorable of hill days.
The “wizard’s mountain” is hidden behind the more celebrated peaks of Torridon, but when seen from off the west coast Baosbheinn is revealed in its full magnificence. It offers remoteness as well as classic sandstone architecture and incredible views to Skye.
Beinn Airigh Charr
Accessible as a wonderful day’s hillwalk from Poolewe, Beinn Airigh Charr lies on the fringes of the remote Fisherfield Forest and offers incredible views into this vastest of Scotland’s wild places.
Beinn an Lochain
Despite being almost fifty feet short of three thousand feet, Beinn an Lochain managed to find a place in Sir Hugh Munro’s original list. No matter, whatever its status, this is a magnificent member of the Arrochar Alps.
Beinn an Oir
The steep, scree-girt cones of the Paps of Jura offer a challenging and memorable hill round, ranking amongst Scotland’s most distinctive groups of peaks. Beinn an Oir – the Mountain of Gold – is the highest but actually also the easiest to ascend.
In Torridon all eyes are drawn to the three great peaks on the north side of the loch and glen, but to the south Beinn Damh offers a wonderful prospect over the region. Although it shares the sandstone terraces and cliffs that make Torridon’s mountains so unique, the ascent along its ridge lacks scrambling and offers perhaps the finest introduction to the region.
Beinn Dearg (Torridon)
Yet another Torridon peak on the list? We make no apologies. The Corbett Beinn Dearg hides behind Liathach and Beinn Alligin, and only just misses out on Munro status. It’s a magnificent mountain in its own right, and its full traverse is a challenging scramble.
Beinn Dearg Mor
Beinn Dearg Mor (and its neighbour Beag) are just possibly the remotest of the Corbetts, usually accessed either by a long approach from the north or a stay at Shenavall bothy. Such is its majesty that it is sometimes mistaken for its great neighbour An Teallach, whilst its summit area must rank with the most spectacular places in Scotland.
The main rival to Beinn Dearg Mor for being the remotest Corbett, Ben Aden is almost surrounded by higher peaks in the heart of Knoydart – but it’s as rugged, rocky and characterful as any of them. The ascent is regarded as a real prize by many hill baggers.
Away up on the north coast with a magnificent setting above the Kyle of Tongue, Ben Loyal‘s distinctive outline has led to it being dubbed the ‘Queen of Scotland’s Mountains’.
Whilst Goatfell is the peak for which Arran is famous, it’s the hidden peak of Cir Mhor which is the finest on this island’s wonderful range of granite peaks. It has almost the perfect mountain form as a conical wedge of rock.
Clisham (An Cliseam)
The finest peaks in Assynt are so diminutive in height that the best known don’t even make Corbett status. Cul Mor and its neighbour Cul Beag do make the grade, and both provide memorable excursions up what appear from some angles to be great isolated citadels of rock.
Another mountain that only just misses out on Munro status, but is magnificent Foinaven any lesser for that? A full traverse of its great ridge of glittering, shifting quartzite screes is an expedition that will live in the memory forever.
The finest mountain in the rugged ranges of Ardgour – a wonderful area that has a complete absence of Munros. Garbh Bheinn appears enticingly in views from the lower end of Loch Leven around Glencoe and Ballachulish – perhaps it’s time you took a closer look?
Mam na Gualainn
Little known by name and somewhat unjustly overlooked, we reckon a traverse of the ridge of Mam na Gualinn – rising above the north side of Loch Leven – matches up to any of its greater neighbours for a fine hill day.
This is not just one but three great Corbetts, and the round of the peaks is a true Scottish classic. From every angle and viewpoint around them the peaks of Quinag are enticing and full of character, it’s impossible to pick out any one of them as their magic is as a group.
Streap means climbing in Gaelic, and it’s exactly what this fine peak inspires us to set off to do. Just 5m short of Munro status, it’s rugged ridge makes for a great hill day.
Probably the best known of the Corbetts (with Arran’s Goatfell), the remarkable outline of the Cobbler has for a great many folk inspired their first ever hillwalk. It’s not just a mountain for beginners though, as its three peaks are dramatic and rocky. The ascent to its highest point – the pinnacle on the central peak – is reserved for scramblers with a real head for heights.