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Cul Mor

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The highest Corbett in Assynt, and one which provides very good value. It lies on the west of the A835 road north of Ullapool, and is guarded on three sides by steep, craggy ground; only on the east side (conveniently!) are its defences lowered. Start from a small lay-by 500m north of Knockanrock.

The crag lying above the road here, Knockan Crag, is a geologist's dream, as it is one of the best examples of the local great discontinuity in the geological strata - a small visitor's centre can be visited just south of the starting point for today's walk. The initial section of the walk used to be boggy, but an excellent piece of pathwork has transformed an old stalkers' path into a pleasant walk. Go through the gate and down the hill to follow the path, which slowly rises northwards. In just under 2 km the path fades into the hillside, which is now the broad ridge of Meallan Diomhain. Small cairns amongst the rocky hillside suggest a route to that easterly outlier of Cul Mor.

The two tops will be visible ahead unless misty, when a bearing would be useful. Drop down from Meallan Diomhain and heading NNW across a small coire towards the north-east ridge of Cul Mor. Turn west then south-west to climb the north-east ridge. A boulder field below the final slope can be awkward but soon leads to clearer slopes just below the fine summit, with a nicely-repaired trig point nestling inside a wall. Suilven lies directly north, Stac Pollaidh to the west, and Cul Beag to the south-west.

From the summit of Cul Mor descend west down sandstone outcrops before turning south down short grassy slopes to gain a col at 750m. This shows well the effects of erosion on a loose substrate, with eroded rocks lying openly on a sandy surface. Head straight up the short slope ahead leading to Creag nan Calman, the other top of Cul Mor at 828m.

The views from this top are if anything even more spectacular, with steep gullies diving down to the flat ground between Cul Mor and Cul Beag. To descend, head ESE then east, down the east ridge, to enter the shallow coire between the two tops. Descend just south of the burn issuing from the coire and cross over to climb up to Meallan Diomhain and so gain the way home.

The ascent may obviously be done in the other direction if wished, climbing Creag nan Calman first, while some may even wish to ascend the coire directly to the col between the two tops, though some would suggest this is missing much of the action!


Maps: OS Sheet 15 'Loch Assynt, Lochinver & Kylesku'
Distance: 10 km
Ascent: 700 m
Time: 4 hours
Food & Drink: To the south Ullapool has a good choice of watering holes, while the Altnacealgach Inn on the A837 lies just east of Ledmore Junction to the north (Tel: 01854 666260).


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