Geo-Trips :: Cùl Mòr from Knockan

Cùl Mòr

A walk from Knockan Crag, Assynt, Sun, 6 Sep 2020 by Julian Paren

The Walk Highlands website provides a suggested itinerary for climbing Cùl Mòr, and this was mostly followed for this Geotrip. The walk uses the Stalkers Path from Knockan that crosses Meallan Dìomhain and climbs Cùl Mòr by the North East ridge. The walk then heads North West along the spur over Sron Gharbh until the terrain descends abruptly at a nose. This point provides a memorable view over Loch Sionasgaig and Stac Pollaidh. The return is made along the spur to the bealach separating Cùl Mòr and Creag nan Calman. The full route then heads out and back from the summit of Creag nan Calman to the bealach from which a grassy descent is made to the outward path, but involving a short re-ascent of 30 metres over Meallan Dìomhain. We decided instead to contour Meallan Dìomhain and join the outward path lower down. This was probably a mistake as one of the party found the contouring tiring on the ankles. As NC1911 had only been visited once before, a detour was made to Loch a Phollain Riabhaich, to photograph this prominent feature close up. The entire walk was in perfect weather and time was reserved for just sitting and staring at the Assynt landscape. My Garmin 62s gave the route as 16.2 km and we spent a leisurely 7.5 hours in the hills.

My greatest surprise was to discover later that the NW spur of Cùl Mòr had only been visited once for Geograph. It provides a viewpoint that must rank with Scotlands very best.

On the map below, the grey line is the GPS track from this trip. Click the blue circles to see a photograph taken from that spot and read further information about the location. The blue lines indicate the direction of view. There is also a slideshow of this trip. ( )

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NC1809 : Cùl Beag from the path to Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Cùl Beag from the path to Cùl Mòr
Just a bit of cloud on the summit in the early morning.

NC1810 : Stalkers' Path towards Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Stalkers' Path towards Cùl Mòr
An excellently constructed path.

NC1811 : Cairn on the stalkers path for the approach to Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Cairn on the stalkers path for the approach to Cùl Mòr
The way is never in doubt but cairns can be reassuring.

NC1711 : On the path up Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
On the path up Cùl Mòr
Hereabouts OS Mapping discontinues the line of a path, but the way forward is... more

NC1711 : Shoulder of Cùl Mòr over the plateau of Meallan Diomhain by Julian Paren
Shoulder of Cùl Mòr over the plateau of Meallan Diomhain
The summit area of the lesser hill is quartzite covered.

NC1612 : Small way-marker for the route to Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Small way-marker for the route to Cùl Mòr
Discreet, but hardly necessary except if you want to slavishly follow how others... more

NC1612 : Pink sandstone blocks beside the path up Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Pink sandstone blocks beside the path up Cùl Mòr
Suilven steals the view the further you head up the path towards the summit of... more

NC1612 : Beside the path up Cùl Mòr from Knockan by Julian Paren
Beside the path up Cùl Mòr from Knockan
Suilven, Canisp and Quinag draw the eye at the start of the steeper section of the... more

NC1612 : Below the steep section of the NE ridge of Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Below the steep section of the NE ridge of Cùl Mòr
Suilven, Quinag and Canisp lie to the north. The walkers are on the normal path... more

NC1611 : Looking down the east ridge of Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Looking down the east ridge of Cùl Mòr
From here upwards the route steepens and the boulders become larger and more... more

NC1611 : Boulder field, eastern ridge of Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Boulder field, eastern ridge of Cùl Mòr
The path to the summit enters the boulder field but disappears for a section where... more

NC1611 : Summit cairn, Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Summit cairn, Cùl Mòr
The shadowed Stac Pollaidh can be seen beyond the cairn. The ridge leading to... more

NC1611 : Summit view, Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Summit view, Cùl Mòr
Looking towards Suilven.

NC1611 : Summit shelter and cairn, Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Summit shelter and cairn, Cùl Mòr
No need for getting out of the wind on this glorious September day.

NC1512 : Looking towards the nose of Sron Gharbh by Julian Paren
Looking towards the nose of Sron Gharbh
The small plateau as seen from a local summit. Stac Pollaidh, Loch Sionasgaig and... more

NC1512 : Coire Gorm of Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Coire Gorm of Cùl Mòr
A fine mountain coire feature with great cliffs.

NC1512 : Minor summit cairn, Sron Gharbh ridge, Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Minor summit cairn, Sron Gharbh ridge, Cùl Mòr
The high point before the abrupt nose that terminates this ridge of Cùl... more

NC1512 : On the nose of Sron Gharbh by Julian Paren
On the nose of Sron Gharbh
The ridge drops exceedingly sharply beyond this point. One of the great... more

NC1512 : Cùl Beag from Sron Gharbh of Cùl Mor by Julian Paren
Cùl Beag from Sron Gharbh of Cùl Mor
A view over steep terrain to the neighbouring mountain, Cùl Beag.

NC1511 : Summit view, Creag nan Calman by Julian Paren
Summit view, Creag nan Calman
View in the direction of Cùl Beag.

NC1511 : The cliffs of Creag nan Calman by Julian Paren
The cliffs of Creag nan Calman
Looking forward to Sron Gharbh, a spur of Cùl Mòr, with Stac... more

NC1511 : Flank of Creag nan Calman by Julian Paren
Flank of Creag nan Calman
The Outer Hebrides were just visible to the naked eye beyond the watery world of Assynt.

NC1311 : Three lochans below Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Three lochans below Cùl Mòr
Part of the view from the nose of Sron Garbh. To the left is Loch an Doire Dhuibh... more

NC1010 : Stac Pollaidh from Creag nan Calman of Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Stac Pollaidh from Creag nan Calman of Cùl Mòr
In the foreground are two lochans: the nearer is Loch an Doire Dhuibh and behind... more

NC1311 : Lochan Gainmheich below Cùl Mòr by Julian Paren
Lochan Gainmheich below Cùl Mòr
Viewed from above from the nose of the Sron Garbh ridge of Cùl Mòr.... more

NC1611 : Descending towards Meallan Dìomhain from Creag nan Calman by Julian Paren
Descending towards Meallan Dìomhain from Creag nan Calman
An easy descent over grass beside a burn.

NC1611 : Cùl Mòr viewed while contouring around Meallan Diomhain by Julian Paren
Cùl Mòr viewed while contouring around Meallan Diomhain
A grassy route back from Cùl Mòr to Knockan can be had by traversing... more

NC1711 : Eight ptarmigan on Meallan Dìomhain by Julian Paren
Eight ptarmigan on Meallan Dìomhain
See if you can spot them all!

NC2012 : Towards the head of Loch Veyatie by Julian Paren
Towards the head of Loch Veyatie
Loch Veyatie and Cam Loch provide the interest in the view from the Stalkers' Path... more

NC1911 : Loch a' Phollain Riabhaich by Julian Paren
Loch a' Phollain Riabhaich
Seen by many passing on the excellent stalkers' path up Cùl Mòr, but... more

All images © Julian Paren and available under a Creative Commons licence external link.

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