Situated at the south-east end of Loch Maree, Slioch is the massive 'castle' like hill from the car park at Slatterdale. Being on the opposite side to the road the access is via a 4+km walk in and out from Incheril on the outskirts of Kinlochewe. Which is not made easy by the roughness of the meandering path weaving along the edge of fields and crossing rough stream beds.
I'd been meaning to climb this for a couple of years, but not felt I was ready for it. A long walk in, and a steep climb. It proved to be as rough as any hill I'd done so far, with a big dose of additional rough. At 12 miles and nearly 1200m of ascent it was going to be a big day.
Walking in to Slioch
Abhainn an Fhasaigh
Leaving the car park the views opened out with Loch Maree directly ahead. Cloud swirled around the high tops. Recent dry weather had left the boggy patches sunken and cracked, each one broke my attempt to stride out. Having made sure I'd drunk plenty on the journey over I now needed to avail myself of the facilities behind a stand of gorse. Later on rocks in the middle of the path provided more trip hazards on narrow terraces that felt more like sheep trails. Crossing a bridge where the rotten surface boards all bounce was best quickly forgotten about. The next bridge was worse; some boards were missing entirely, the rest rotten at each end where they rested on the main spans. Abhainn na fhasaigh ran deep and rocky below.
Below Sgurr Dubh heading to Slioch
I followed the river upstream for a bit and realised I'd missed a path junction as I really wanted to head for the shoulder of Sgurr Dubh to get into Coire na Sleagaich. So I left the river and bashed through bog mytle and heather to find the right path.
This was no old stalkers path climbing easily, being instead steep, rocky and deeply eroded in places. Progress was tough, but the view over my shoulder to Beinn Eighe and the Torridon giants was superb.
The way to Slioch, from Coire na Sleagaich
Beinn a Cheacaill between Beinn Eighe and Liathach
When you eventually reach the trig point, it's not the summit which is across a shallow dip and a little more ascent. However, the views from the trig really make all the effort worthwhile.
Loch Maree from the summit of Slioch
Looking back to the trig point on Slioch
Looking north west I could just make out the Western Isles. The Fisherfield tops are difficult to see from elsewhere but here they were laid out for all to see. A fantastic view of hills for future adventures.
Sgurr an Tuill Bhain - the way back
A' Mhaighdean - Fisherfield