Sgorr na Ciche; The Pap of Glencoe

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Sgorr na Ciche ('The Peak of the Breast'), better known to most of us as the Pap of Glencoe, is one of the most recognisable and attractive-looking peaks in the Glencoe area. It's far from the highest, which is probably why it isn't walked as much as you would expect – I’ve been guilty myself of dashing past on my way to something far grander. Yet it's a hill that is well worth the four-hour round trip.

The route starts from a car park at the eastern end of Glencoe Village. A short stretch of tarmac soon leads to the base of the hill. The path starts easily enough before rapidly gaining height and approaching the summit from the south. The final stretch to the top includes an easy scramble, but this can be avoided by using a path.

To return you can either retrace the outward route, or make an unlikely-looking descent to the west. (The western return option is not recommended if visibility is poor).

This is a short walk in terms of distance at a mere 7.28km and the hill itself is only 742 metres high (4.5 miles and 2,434ft in old money), but the ascent starts at ten metres above sea level, so there's a lot of 'up' for such a short walk. For those who normally walk the Lakes, Yorkshire Dales or similar, you may need to adjust to a change in scale and the lack of well-walked and maintained paths; this is the Highlands and the hills are wilder and more serious.

Having taken the time and effort to get there, the views from the top are amazing and cover a vast panorama. Try for a clear day and see what real mountain scenery is about. If, like me, you have driven past for years, you may wonder why you didn't do this sooner.

Scotland - Highlands and Islands - Highland - Glen Coe and Loch Leven

Features

Ancient Monument, Cafe, Food Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Museum, Pub, Public Transport, River, Sea, Tea Shop, Toilets, Woodland
17/10/2014 - Malcolm Watts

A great route for a short day, but as Paul says, aim for a clear day. The views, especially Westwards towards the Balachulish bridge are stunning. The path is very well defined all the way up and I must confess that I didn't find any scrambling, just a couple of steepish bits towards the summit, nothing to worry the average hillwalker. Can't vouch for the alternative descent, I returned by the ascent route. Highly recommended, thanks for the heads up on this one, so easily missed.