Dun da Ghaoithe, Mull Walking

Mull's only Corbett, Dun da Ghaoithe is a dramatic seaside hill with huge views encompassing both the mainland and the island's rugged interior. A shorter ascent is possible from Scallastle, but the extended circuit descried here is a better route with more in the way of ridge walking.

Dun da Ghaoithe - a nice bit of ridge walking high over the sea  © Dan Bailey -
Dun da Ghaoithe - a nice bit of ridge walking high over the sea

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NM7267934989 Follow the track for Upper Achnacroish, immediately taking the right fork where it splits. The track zigzags steeply uphill through woods, then crosses open ground to pass the farmhouse. Beyond a locked gate and stile the track winds uphill, passing a forestry plantation and then climbing more steeply to the transmitter station on Maol nan Uan. This may not be pretty but the sea views more than compensate.

NM7026935844 Beyond the first transmitter the track continues up a broad grassy ridge with an outlook across the huge bowl of Dun da Ghaoithe's eastern corrie. Dun da Ghaoithe is the right hand of the mountain's two peaks, though from here the lower but sharper Mainnir nam Fiadh looks the more attractive. A steady plod soon brings you to a higher transmitter mast.

NM6916135231 Leave the track behind now and strike west up pathless grassy ground. Beyond a broad minor top the ridge gets narrower and rougher underfoot. Pass through some distinctive rock bands, then climb more steeply up onto the well defined crest that leads to the massive cairn on the summit of Mainnir nam Fiadh.

NM6761535357 Follow the broad grassy ridge north-northwest along the corrie edge for the short descent into a slight col, and then the easy climb onto Dun da Ghaoithe. This translates as Fort of the Two Winds, and it's well named. The summit is often said to have the best views of any on Mull; I'm not going to argue.

NM6723836217 It is possible to descend the east ridge, Maol nan Damh, but its initial craggy slope is not obvious from above. Instead head roughly north, before bearing right onto the broad northeast ridge, Beinn Chreagach. This gives an easy descent, with an occasional little outcrop to negotiate. As the ridge loses definition trend east down rough tussocky ground. A very vague trail descends the left bank of a burn past a waterfall, then drops through open woodland to join a muddy track near the Scallastle River.

NM6961637527 Pass through Scallastle farm to reach the A849. It's not just a long easy road walk through Craignure and back to the start point.

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Further Routes

by Dan Bailey UKH

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