Slioch

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Slioch
Ross-shire
Slioch from Loch Maree.jpg
Slioch seen from the shores of Loch Maree
Summit: 3,218 feet NH004688
57°39’53"N, 5°20’53"W

Slioch is a mountain in Ross-shire that stands at 3,218 feet and is therefore duly listed as a Munro. It is in Wester Ross, five miles north of the village of Kinlochewe.

Slioch towers above the south-east end of Loch Maree to give one of the best known and most photographed sights (from the A832 road) in the Highlands.

Its name is from the Gaelic Sleaghach, which means "The Spear" (from the word "sleagh"), and the reason becomes clear when Slioch is viewed from Lochan Fada to the west.

Geography

The mountain is composed of Torridonian sandstone on a base of Lewisian Gneiss and has steep crags on three sides and allows easy access for the walker only from the south-east, where the large open corrie named Coire na Sleaghaich has two ridges on its flanks which the walker can utilise.

From the west by the shores of Lochan Fada rises the subsidiary top of Sgurr an Tuill Bhain ("Peak of the White Hollow") (3,061 feet) which dominates the skyline, appearing as a slender peak, and this gives the mountain its name.

Wild goats are often seen on the mountain.

Ascent

Slioch is climbed almost exclusively from Incheril, under a mile east of Kinlochewe. Starting from here involves a flat three-mile approach walk north-west along the banks of the Kinlochewe River and Loch Maree before any climbing begins. An impressive 300-foot-high waterfall is passed as it comes down off Beinn a' Mhuinidh to join the river. When the foot of Gleann Bianasdail is reached the climbing begins: it is a one mile walk up the glen to a path that goes left and heads for Coire na Sleaghaich and then up the south-east ridge of Slioch passing two small lochans, known to many as the 'twin lochans', to reach the summit of the mountain. The return journey can be varied by taking in the subsidiary top of Sgurr an Tuill Bhain and then descending south into the corrie to join the uphill route.

The summit has twin pinnacles: the southern top has a trig point with a height of 3,215 feet whilst the northern top is situated on the edge of the cliffs and is a finer viewpoint. In recent years it has been elevated by three feet by Ordnance Survey measurement, making it the highest point on the mountain.

Slioch's isolation from other mountains makes the view from the summit top class; it takes in the wilderness of the Fisherfield Forest to the north with its five Munros. The Torridon Hills and Loch Maree are also well seen.

The Fisherfield Munros from the Slioch summit.

References