About 6 hours Difficult
This walk requires a good level of physical fitness and is not recommended for anyone with leg or foot problems.
Footwear that supports your ankles is advisable.
This route offers the best chance of seeing a number of Glengorm’s upland species – including, of course, the charismatic Golden eagle. The walk begins with a fairly steep ascent up onto the ridge overlooking Balimeanach. From here, the view reveals itself layer by layer as you work your way through the terraces to the highest part of the formation. Hen harriers can be seen below, as you look down on them quartering the marshy plateaus. Short-eared owls, Ravens, Kestrels, Merlins and Peregrine falcons are regular sights, and you may also be lucky enough to see a Red grouse (not very common in this area).
Some of our largest Red deer stags live on this part of Glengorm, and you will see separate groups of males and females outside the rutting season. Skylarks fill the air with their legendary song and a variety of small birds (such as the Wheatear and Meadow pipit) are readily seen. Views from this vantage point cover a vast area that reaches to Ben More, Loch Torr, The Mishnish Lochs, Loch Frisa, Ardnamurchen, Rum, Coll, Tiree and the Outer Hebrides.
Many small upland plants grow on the rocky outcrops, and beautiful orchids can be discovered peeking out from among the grass and heather. You will cross crystal clear burns and patches of rock, many of which play host to colourful patches of Lichen in white, blue or yellow. The walk along the ridge continues for approximately 1.5 miles, before turning east towards ‘S Airde Beinn. This majestic outcrop, nicknamed The Volcano, is an ancient volcanic plug. The plateau that must be crossed to reach it contains a variety of marsh plants, but can make for difficult walking. This area is a great place for spotting Golden eagles as they ride thermals produced by the exposed rock faces surrounding you. The climb to the summit of ‘S Airde Beinn is steep but fairly short and you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Nevis range on the mainland. ‘S Airde Beinn is a ‘Marilyn’, and approximately 295m in height. You will also see that the depression at the summit contains an eerily quiet loch. This is inhabited by Ferox trout, a variant of the common Brown trout. It also supports a diverse range of invertebrate life, with several species of damselfly and dragonfly patrolling its margins.
- Although the distance is not particularly large (approx. 8 miles) the terrain is very hard going.
- There are bogs, rock outcrops, steep hills and hidden ditches to contend with… but the views are sensational!
- Weather appropriate clothing, proper walking footwear and plenty of snacks are essential for this route.