A small but prominent peak at the western end of the An Teallach range, the Corbett of Sail Mhor has a huge maritime view over Little Loch Broom and the western seaboard. Starting with the fantastic cascades of Ardessie Falls, then crossing pathless but straightforward ground, the out-and-back route described here is the quickest way up.
metres / Distance
NH0517289606 From the roadside parking follow the verge briefly east (take care for recklessly fast traffic). Cross the road bridge over the impressive falls then turn right up rock steps to gain the muddy path above the east bank of the Allt Airdeasaidh. The path now runs upstream beside a series of idyllic cascades and pools (keep small kids and dogs away from the edge of the slot sections). Above the open falls the burn runs through a deep wooded gorge, and the path stays safely up on the east side. At about the 300m contour the trail descends slightly to re-join the burn above the gorge.
NH0488588417 Cross a side burn, and then a bouldery landslip area above the main burn. Now intermittent, the path continues upstream on the east bank to a point where several burns converge on the main stream. Ford it by boulder-hopping (no one point seems particularly better than another for this, and it'd always need some care in high water conditions).
NH0453087602 A small cairn marks an indistinct path beside the side burn leading west towards the broad col between Sail Mhor and the small satellite peak of Ruigh Mheallain. The path soon fades into rough grass and bogs, but the general gist is obvious. Before reaching the pass bear slightly right to cut the corner, soon reaching Sail Mhor's south ridge.
NH0317087947 Studded with rounded sandstone outcrops, but sadly requiring no scrambling, the ridge offers a short, sharp ascent. There's a clear path to follow here, and feral goats can often be seen. A cairn marks the high point, but it's worth continuing over the stony summit a short way to a stone walled windbreak on a point overlooking Little Loch Broom. This may not be the biggest of hills, but its view of the northwest coast is truly spectacular.
NH0340388784 It's possible to complete a circuit over Ruigh Mheallain, or alternatively the little unnamed southeast top of Sail Mhor; but it's least bother to return the way you came.
Start/Finish: Roadside parking on the A832 in Ardessie, just west of the bridge over the falls, NH051896
Nearest town: Ullapool
Terrain: A rough, muddy path to start. Beside the upper burn this becomes less well-defined. There's a washed-out boulder slope to negotiate at one point, and the crossing of the Allt Airdeasaidh could prove challenging in high water. After the burn crossing, boggy path-free ground leads to the col, from where the sough ridge is steep and rocky, but with no scrambling.
Seasonal variations: A good short day for limited winter light. The south ridge of Sail Mhor could be fun in the snow.
Yep. We had a wander over it a few years ago, saw the goats at a bit of distance, they were very wary of us and scarpered, unlike the ones on Slioch or around Shiel Bridge. Loads of them, so many we could smell them despite the distance.
It is indeed a good objective for a short day. It is worth noting that is also possible to ascend (or descend) the west side of the burn. There is a newly constructed path that leads from the parking spot to a water intake about halfway up the falls (presumably built by Scottish Water). Above this there is a fainter path up the side of the burn which gives much better views of the upper falls than the path on the east side, and avoids any need for a river crossing when water levels are high.
If you go up this way there is a slightly offbeat variation that crosses the obvious shelf on the E side of the hill - at the far end of this is a shallow rocky stream gully that gives some easy scrambling before steep grass leads towards the SE top.