Bienn Enaiglair is just shy of being a Munro (by 24m). We didn’t see a single soul during our walk last week, and I think it was a combination of being overlooked in preference of a Munro, and the weather forecast. It was meant to rain all day, but a bright morning gave us confidence to give it a go and actually the weather ended up perfect – no rain and it wasn’t too sunny/hot either. A nice 17 degrees which is perfect for walking.
We followed the directions on https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/ullapool/beinn-enaiglair.shtml and started at the carpark at the junction between the A835 and A832. Immediately we were stuck – after going through the gate, the land was just a boggy mess of ferns and heather. The instructions stated, “Go through the gate on the left here giving access to the moorland. Cross a metal footbridge and then follow the marker poles up the boggy ground.” Took us a good ten minutes to see the metal footbridge; it was covered in ferns. The path was not great, this clearly wasn’t a popular walk as sometimes it was just some crushed grass which disappeared and reappeared maybe 10 metres later. It was mostly followable, and with the aid of GPS and https://www.opencyclemap.org/ which had the path clearly marked we could work our way back onto the path if we meandered bit off it.
The first 2 hours of the walk is a wonderfully gentle uphill walk to the base of the mountain. You go left to a small loch and then up in between the mountain and another small one along a pretty river with a few lovely waterfalls, before turning left again to get the base of the summit. The path changes between complete lack of path / boggy moorland, good paths and wide gravel tracks. The summit path was impossible to find, so we used GPS to get us there. The ascent was much better marked out and wasn’t too strenuous. The top is marked by a cairn and the view is absolutely exceptional. Best view I’ve ever had in the Highlands, truly stunning. The wind is quite extreme at the top, so we didn’t stay long. The photos don’t do it justice – I was keen to get out of the cold wind!
Once we got to the bottom of the summit we continued along the path to go right around the mountain instead of going back where we came. The path was much better here for the most part, and was also a gentle descent. The final part before it met back up with the old path was tricky as the path became non-existent again, however the way forward was obvious so we just clambered over heather until we found path-like bits.
In total it took 5 hours 30 minutes. I would describe the walk as gentle but long. No steep bits and no scrambling over rocks / tricky climbs. A few boggy bits to navigate and sometimes tricky to find the path but the view is well worth it.
Mountain difficulty: easy/medium
Mountain views: 10/10
Location: 20 minutes drive from Ullapool