SPIDEAN MIALACH SCOTLAND
Bargain-hunting Munrobaggers seeking out two fine summits for the price of one while not wanting to compromise on scenic mountain views should look nae further than Spidean Mialach and its close neighbour Gleouraich. Situated roughly 40km from Fort William in the northwest Highlands, the peak of Spidean Mialach (pronounced ‘speedyan meealloch’) stands just four metres short of 1000m and yet is considered one of the least demanding ascents in the area.
Aesthetically, this Munro’s two faces boast an arresting contrast. Its northern side comprises steep, craggy slopes of corries and ridges, while gentle grassy slopes melt down its southern face. Lying in prime deer-stalking country, Spidean Mialach translates in Gaelic to ‘peak of the deer’ and, fittingly, it is a network of stalker’s paths that offer the best ascent routes up its south-facing slopes.
From reaching the summit – which is marked with a slender cairn and a rocky windbreak – a 2.5km ridge runs west to its slightly larger neighbour, Gleouraich. The descent from here provides some very fine and rewarding views towards Loch Cuaich below. Tackling this route in reverse, and so finishing with Spidean Mialach, is just as agreeable. Either way two secluded Munros can be bagged in a fairly easy-going but fulfilling day’s hillwalking.
The view west from the summit of Spidean Mialach across Loch Cuaich just after sunrise, with first light hitting the mountains of Gairich, Sgurr Mor and Sgurr na Ciche, deep in neighbouring Knoydart.