A rough and rocky hill in a quiet backwater above the head of Loch Creran, Beinn Sgulaird makes an excellent shorter Munro day - but with a start at sea level it's still one with plenty of ascent. Standing apart from the neighbouring Etive and Glen Coe peaks, Sgulaird is a bit of a loner, and hard to incorporate into a manageable or logical larger round. Most walkers will be content with the standard linear up-and-back route, and this is one of those rare Munros on which that is probably the most enjoyable way to do it.
metres / Distance
NN0084845046 Follow the farm track uphill past the houses at Druimnavuic. Beyond the felled forestry the track zigzags left and then back right.
NN0145144571 Turn off at a cairn marking a footpath which climbs the steep lower part of Beinn Sgulaird's long west ridge. On nearing a minor summit (point 488m on the map) the path skirts just right of the top, traversing northeast above broken crags before cutting back right to descend to a little col.
NN0254444993 Cross a fence on the bealach and continue on the clear path, at first just to the right of the ridge crest, making a long, steady, and occasionally soggy, climb up to the first main summit on the ridge. As height is gained the ground becomes more rocky and interesting. Cross a little col to reach the top of the next rocky summit (point 863m on the map). Descend steep rubbly ground into a lower col before a rocky climb onto the summit of Meall Garbh.
NN0476845187 Another rough, steep descent leads to a further col on the ridge. From this point follow the well-defined south ridge, a long enjoyable ascent on slabby granite and boulders. Before the top there's a tiny section of easy scrambling, best done just to the left of the crest. The cairn on top marks one of the finest viewpoints in the west highlands.
NN0529846081 Any circuit from here would be long and contrived, so it's probably best to return how you came, enjoying the sea views on the way.
Future proofing... could be wise. I didn't think it looked interesting enough to repay all the backtracking, but maybe that was unfair? Like a lot of folk on the hills I'm not collecting Munros, let alone Corbetts, but if we did ever start then I guess we may come to regret never having done it when it would've been easy. Then again, would a return trip be a bad thing?
Less backtracking than just returning the same way as you recommend! I combined Sgulaird with the Corbett a few weeks ago - it was straightforward to cut across and down to the bealach between them from a low point on Sgulaird's ridge. Having beeem out to the Corbett, I cut backtracked part way and then cut down to the track down from the bealach which gave a pleasant way off,
Or you could choose an epic day out up the north face of the hill via a short grade I-ish gully in dodgy avalanche conditions with 9 unroped people, 4 who had never used an ice axe till that day! Memorable day out especially after driving up from Glasgow that morning with a Tenant's lager induced hangover following a Four Tet gig in the Barras the night before.
Means I have to go back and do the Corbett another time though....