Sgùrr na Càrnach

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Sgùrr na Càrnach
Sgurr na Carnach from Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe.jpg
Sgùrr na Càrnach from Sgùrr na Ciste Duibhe, with Loch Duich behind
Range: Glen Shiel Hills
Summit: 3,287 feet NG977158
57°11’18"N, 5°20’58"W

Sgùrr na Càrnach is a mountain in Ross-shire, which reaches a height of 3,287 feet at its summit, and so it qualifies as a Munro. It is on the northern side of Glen Shiel, 15 miles south-east of Kyle of Lochalsh. Its name means "Peak of the Stony Place", which is an appropriate description of the summit.


Sgùrr na Càrnach is one of three mountains and two tops which together make up the Five Sisters of Kintail, the other two mountains being Sgùrr Fhuaran and Sgùrr na Ciste Duibhe, and thus forms part of one of the best views in the Western Highlands. It reaches a height of 3,270 feet and is classed as a Munro.

From 1891 to 1997 Sgùrr na Càrnach was ranked as just a "Top" of the nearby Munro Sgùrr Fhuraran, and was not given separate Munro status until the 1997 revision of the tables by the Scottish Mountaineering Club, which promoted Sgùrr na Càrnach to being Munro in its own right, as it was decided that with 440 feet of topographic prominence it had the required characteristics of a discrete mountain.

The summit of the mountain is rough and boulder-ridden. The mountain has extremely steep slopes to the east and west, the western slopes descend sharply to Glen Shiel while to the east the mountain falls precipitously into Coire Domhain. The mountain has a main north to south ridge which connects to Sgùrr Fhuraran (north) and Sgùrr na Ciste Duibhe (south). There is a minor north-western ridge which descends sharply to Glen Shiel, however this is rarely used as a means of ascent because of difficulties crossing the River Shiel in the valley and of the unremitting steepness of the ridge itself.


Because of Sgùrr na Càrnach's central position of the three Munros which make up the Five Sisters of Kintail it is invariably approached along the ridge from either Sgùrr Fhuraran or Sgùrr na Ciste Duibhe as walkers complete the full Five Sisters ridge walk. A direct ascent is possible up the north-west ridge, though for such a remote place a single ascent of one of the five sisters alone would be a waste of effort.

The best starting place for this direct ascent is Achnangart Farm (grid reference NG963148) where there is parking space in an old quarry, a direct ascent up the hillside should not be attempted as there are steep crags higher up. The walker should walk a mile north to the base of the northwest ridge and ascend steeply but safely from there. The most common ascent starts further up the Glen (NH009135) and climbs to the Bealach na Lapain before crossing Sgùrr na Ciste Duibhe to reach Sgùrr na Càrnach.

The view from the top of the mountain gives a fine end on view of Loch Duich to the north and an aerial prospect down into Coire Domhain to the east.

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Sgùrr na Càrnach)


Munros in SMC Area SMC Section 11 - Glen Affric and Kintail

A' ChràlaigA' Ghlas-bheinnAn SocachAonach MeadhoinBeinn FhionnlaidhBen AttowCarn EigeCarn GhluasaidCiste DhubhMam SodhailMullach Fraoch-choireMullach na DheiragainSail ChaorainnSaileagSgùrr a' Bhealaich DheirgSgùrr FhuaranSgùrr na CàrnachSgùrr na Ciste DuibheSgùrr nan CeathramhnanSgùrr nan ConbhaireanToll CreagachTom a' Choinich