The highest among a chaos of rugged hills in the wild heart of Ardgour, Sgurr Dhomhnuill is a steep-sided pyramid that offers typically challenging West Highland walking. Cut off from the 'mainland' by Loch Linnhe, this area has the feel of an island, and most people use a ferry to get here. With no higher ground for a long way in any direction the peak is a superb viewpoint, an outlook spanning all the way from Rum to Ben Cruachan, Mull to Schiehallion. Inland are the more celebrated peaks of Lochaber, well seen from here but a world away in terms of popularity. If the lack of well-worn paths here is anything to go by, comparatively few people bother with Ardgour - a major plus point in its favour. The absence of 3000-footers must have a lot to do with it, but the Munroists' loss can be your gain. Various routes are possible. The walk described here gives a logical three-peak circuit, with a long but beautiful approach through the Ariundle Oakwood National Nature Reserve ( http://www.nnr-scotland.org.uk/ariundle-oakwood ), one of the largest remaining fragments of native Atlantic oak woods in Scotland.
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Distance: 11.31 miles (18.20 km)
Total ascent: 1,080m
Steepest Gradient: 38% (1 in 3)
Time: 6 – 8 hours (Walking)
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SummitsSgurr Dhomhnuill 888 m
Ariundle Oakwoods NNR car park, NM825633
An easy track in the woods, but up on the hills the paths soon dwindle and there's plenty of rough going. Expect bogs, rocky bits and complex knobbly ground that'll be hard to navigate in mist. There are optional scrappy scrambly bits in places, and a steep descent on Sgurr Dhomhnuill's northwest flank.
In snowy or icy conditions the descent of Sgurr Dhomhnuill's northwest flank needs particular care and shouldn't be taken lightly. It might be better to reverse the route direction so that this section is taken in ascent instead.
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: Northwest Highlands – Met Office: West Highlands
Corran ferry times: http://www.lochabertransport.org.uk/TransportinLochaber/PublicTransport/Ferries/CorranFerry.aspx Bus from Fort William to Strontian http://www.shielbuses.co.uk/index.html
The Corbetts, SMC
OS Explorer 391 (1:25,000), OS Landranger 40 (1:50,000)
Bunkhouse at the Ariundle Centre http://www.independenthostelguide.com/selected-accommodation.php?area=767
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Strontian (0845 22 55 121)
by Dan Bailey UKH
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