I’ve read several reports that say Moruisg is a boring hill – even the SMC Munros Guide calling it “not a very exciting mountain”. But I beg to differ. I think people who have called it boring have either got wet feet – it is very boggy – and fed up, or are mesmerised by it’s bigger, grander neighbours. Either way, I think it is a lovely hill, and like many smaller hills provides a great vantage point to view the larger neighbouring hills.
We tackled this in a day of clear blue skies and high temperatures and had a fairly easy day.
The advantage of Moruisg over many others in the area is the short walk in as you can start the ascent directly from the A890. The path starts by heading across a field, crossing the River Carron, under the railway line and then simply plodding uphill.
The ‘simply plodding uphill’ does go on for quite a bit mind, as you’re ascending about 800m in about 3km. But we were in no rush so took it slowly. Neil was delighted to spot the infrequent train on it’s way back to Inverness from Kyle. To me, the presence of the train was a bit intrusive, reminding me that we were in a not particularly remote spot.
There is a path of sorts that follows the burn, Alltan na Feola, but it disappears frequently as people have tried to avoid the boggy sections. My advice is don’t bother as the entire hill is boggy on this north-western flank! The Gaelic name translates as ‘Big Water’ and as there are no large lochs on the hill, personally I think it refers to the fact the whole hill is like a giant sponge.
The grassy slopes gradually steepen and we took many short breathers to admire the view back and snap photos. By sticking close to one of the wee burns we got fine views of several wee waterfalls in the gulley on the steeper sections.
We skirted to the north of a small craggy section and emerged onto the top with an easy plod to the main summit.
This summit is on the eastern rim of a large coire called Coire Toll nan Bian. This corrie is considered Moruisg’s best feature.
We enjoyed the superb traverse round the rim of the corrie,
From the southern end of the corrie we ascended the slopes to the summit of Sgurr nan Ceannaichean.
This hill lost Munro status in 2009 when it was resurveyed and found to be 913m. According to WalkHighlands, “The mountain formerly graced the Ordnance Survey maps at 915m, just beating the metric munro equivalent of 914.4m. But, following scrutiny by amateur hill sleuths John Barnard and Graham Jackson, it will be demoted to the ranks of the Corbetts, junior cousins of the Scottish mountain aristocracy.
The hill only became a Munro in 1981,”
Munro, Corbett or nothing 😉 it is most definitely worth a visit as the smaller summit area makes this a much better viewpoint than Moruisg.
We returned by heading north from this top down the mainly grassy slopes on the northern ridge.
Towards the lower section of the northern shoulder we negotiated the crags of Creag a’Chait (the crag of the cat which I presume was once a haunt of wildcats) and picked up a stalkers’ path on the far side of the Alltan na Feola back to the railway underpass.
Although we were never certain of all the individual hills we saw on this wonderful clear day, the panorama included views of Liathach, Beinn Eighe, Knoydart, Skye, Eigg, Rhum. We didn’t see another soul for the whole day despite this being a glorious sunny July day. This is certainly the place to visit if you wish to avoid crowds.