Analysing terrain data
2 - 3
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
Start in Coille na Glas-leitire, a thriving Scots pine wood and a showpiece of the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve (established in 1951 - Britain's first).
Running from the loch up through the woods to a rocky shoulder at about half height, the circular 'Mountain Trail' gives the most logical access route.
Though it's billed as one of the only waymarked mountain paths in the country this doesn't amount to much more than the occasional 'interpretive' cairn, and the route is as rough underfoot as any other in the area.
From the lochan-studded moonscape at the trail's high point it's a more or less path-free slog to the mountain's twin summits.
Descend via the other half of the Mountain Trail loop for the sake of variety. From the car park go through the underpass beneath the road then immediately turn left at a path junction for the eastern loop of the Mountain Trail.
The path is obvious, winding uphill through fantastic pine woods that are slowly regenerating thanks to the efforts of generations of Nature Reserve staff - there really should be lots more of this sort of thing in Scotland.
The trail climbs quite steeply out of the trees, with an opening view of Loch Maree and Slioch.
Pass through an area of rock slabs (some scrambling opportunities if you go off-path) to reach a cairn at a high point overlooking a lochan-splattered shoulder.
The summit dome of Meall a' Ghiubhais is now obvious ahead.
Descend from the knoll, following the path past a couple of lochans.
When you're beginning to think you've gone too far for the summit turn-off you'll reach another little pool among the rocks.
Turn left off the Mountain Trail here.
Therr's a vague path at first, but it's soon lost in the rough ground.
Keep climbing roughly west.
As the slope steepens and gets a little rocky err slightly left for the easiest ground leading to the broad saddle between the two rounded summits of Meall a'Ghiubhais.
The high point is the southwest top, marked with a cairn.
If it's a clear day then you're in luck - you can see Skye, Harris, An Teallach, A'Mhaighdean and most of Torridon from here (for starters).
Go down the way you came; once back on the Mountain Trail go left to descend its very scenic western loop, passing the deep wooded gorge of the Allt na h-Airighe.
In the lower woods there's a path junction; turn right for the quickest return to the car park. © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com, Oct 2011