Sàileag with the Five Sisters of Kintail behind
|Range:||Glen Shiel Hills|
|Summit:|| 3,136 feet NH017148 |
Sàileag is a mountain amongst the Glen Shiel Hills, the great range of high hills where Inverness-shire and Ross-shire meet near the west coast. Sàileag itself stands on the north side of Glen Shiel, in Ross-shire, and reaches a height of 3,136 feet at its summit, and so it qualifies as a Munro.
Its name is Gaelic and means "The Little Heel" in reference to its shape.
Sàileag stands just to the east of the famous Five Sisters of Kintail, a high ridge group of hills and is connected to it by the Bealach an Lapain (2,379 feet). It is part of the North Glen Shiel Ridge, which also includes two other Munros (Sgurr a' Bhealaich Dheirg and Aonach Meadhoin) and with a height of 3,136 feet it is the lowest of all the six Munros on the northern side of Glen Shiel, making the mountain's translated name of "The Little Heel" quite appropriate. Sàileag seems to have lost three metres of height in recent years, many older guide books have its height as 3,146 feet in comparison to the 3,136 feet of the newer Ordnance Survey maps.
Sàileag is mostly grassy although its northwest face is steep and craggy as it drops to the Allt an Lapain. The mountain is formed by the junction of three ridges, the eastern ridge connects to the neighbouring Munro of Sgurr a' Bhealaich Dheirg while the western ridge connects to Sgurr na Ciste Dhuibhe, the most easterly Munro of the Five Sisters of Kintail. The northern ridge is rocky and descends to the head of Gleann Lichd where it connects with the lower slopes of Beinn Fhada. Sàileag's southern slopes which drop to the A87 road in Glen Shiel are clothed in the trees of the Glenshiel Forest below the 500 metre contour, these southern slopes have a reputation of being some the most uniformly steep in Scotland. A traveller going down Glen Shiel in 1803 commented of the slope, "an inclined wall, of such inaccessible height that no living creature would venture to scale it".
The most common starting place for the ascent of Sàileag is the car park on the A87 road at grid reference NH008135 where there is a considerable gap in the trees which allows easy access to the mountainside. The climb to the top of the Bealach an Lapain is steep and unrelenting on grassy slopes. From the Bealach it is a further 750 feet of ascent east to reach the summit. The highlight of the view is a fine vista of the Five Sisters of Kintail and a good aerial view down Gleann Lichd. An ascent of Sàileag is invariably combined with some or all of the other six Munros on the northern side of Glen Shiel.
- The Munros, Scottish Mountaineering Trust, 1986, Donald Bennett (Editor) ISBN 0-907521-13-4
- In the Hills of Breadalbane, V.A. Firsoff, no ISBN
- The Munros, Scotland's Highest Mountains, Cameron McNeish, ISBN 1-84204-082-0
- The Magic Of The Munros, Irvine Butterfield, ISBN 0-7153-2168-4
- Hamish's Mountain Walk, Hamish Brown, ISBN 1-898573-08-5
|Munros in SMC Area SMC Section 11 - Glen Affric and Kintail|
A' Chràlaig • A' Ghlas-bheinn • An Socach • Aonach Meadhoin • Beinn Fhionnlaidh • Ben Attow • Carn Eige • Carn Ghluasaid • Ciste Dhubh • Mam Sodhail • Mullach Fraoch-choire • Mullach na Dheiragain • Sail Chaorainn • Saileag • Sgùrr a' Bhealaich Dheirg • Sgùrr Fhuaran • Sgùrr na Càrnach • Sgùrr na Ciste Duibhe • Sgùrr nan Ceathramhnan • Sgùrr nan Conbhairean • Toll Creagach • Tom a' Choinich