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Meall Dubh and the threat of further imprisonment
by malky_c » Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:26 pm
Grahams included on this walk: Meall Dubh
Date walked: 19/12/2020
Time taken: 4.25 hours
Distance: 15 km
Ascent: 690m6 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Distance: 6 km (cycling), 9 km (walking).
Ascent: 150m (cycling), 540m (walking).
Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes.
Weather: Mild, grey with spots of sunshine, clear.
After a couple of weeks away from the hills, I spotted a weather window in the Ullapool area. Despite not feeling so great recently, Jackie reckoned she could probably drag herself up something, so I suggested Meall Dubh. We wouldn't usually bother using bikes to shorten a walk of this length but right now every little helps, so we loaded the bikes and headed off to Inverlael.
Beinn Mor Coigach and Loch Broom
There was strong sunshine as we set off through the initial field of cows, the track becoming better and less muddy as we entered the forest. Once across the river, there was a bit of a climb next to a relatively recent hydro pipeline (buried but marked by posts), before the zigzag we had hoped to use to take us higher up revealed itself to be rough and overgrown. Instead we ditched the bikes here and headed up steeply through the trees for the edge of the forest.
Up Glensguaib to Eididh nan Clach Geala
Cycling up the glen
Meall nam Ceapraichean and Beinn Dearg
The track stays pretty good beyond the forest edge (I'd been up here before but in deep snow) and climbs steeply up to the lower plateau in this area. We hag great views back to An Teallach and across to Beinn Dearg and co.
Beinn Dearg and Beinn Enaglair
Strath More and An Teallach
Western Fannaichs, Fisherfield and An Teallach
We decided to have lunch once we reached the end of the track - higher up was supposed to be quite breezy. A couple of herds of deer were spotted in the distance. On my last visit, the final section had been almost a white-out, so I was pleased to spot that there was actually a quad bike track to follow in the direction of the summit. In fact there were a couple going in different directions and we picked the wrong one initially. Easily corrected though.
Off the end of the good track
The faint track led us to the more westerly summit, which was just a flattening of the peat hags in the area. As soon as we spotted the other summit, it was obvious that it was the higher one, and very likely that on my last ascent 10 years ago, I didn't quite reach it! I had suspected that at the time, but given the lack of views and features, I could never really be sure. As Jackie pointed out - 'seems to be lots of hills you didn't quite make it to the top of previously!'. She exaggerates, but she was correct about this one and Ben Vorlich.
An Teallach from the summit
The eastern summit was a better viewpoint and a nicer spot, being a bit stonier. We spent a few minutes here taking photos - the hill deservedly has a reputation for being a good viewpoint, although I think we were spoiled by our recent wander over Beinn Eilideach nearby, which has better coastal views.
Fannaichs from the summit
Cnoc Damh and Loch nan Daimh
Canisp and Ben More Assynt
Stac Pollaidh to Cul Mor from Meall Dubh
An Teallach across the summit loch
Beinn Gobhlach and Loch Broom
After looping the summit loch, we opted for a similar route back down as Jackie was tiring, A quick stop at the end of the good track again gave us fuel for the final descent to the bikes.
Beinn Dearg across upper Gleann na Sguaib
Eididh nan Clach Geala to Beinn Dearg
The ride back to the car was almost entirely downhill, and took about a quarter of the time that it had taken to reach the start of the walk. This definitely made bringing them worthwhile, as the walk-out would probably have finished Jackie off. This time she had enough energy left to drive home, just as a heavy shower of rain came on. Good timing .
It was on the way home that we discovered that we would likely be back into lockdown after Christmas. None of the other changes made any odds to us (we were already planning to spend the holiday on our own), but it did possibly make our leisurely 2 weeks off with assorted hills and camping look a bit less likely to happen (although I'm still unclear how much the restrictions actually stop us doing things in the highlands), but it turned the following day from a day of leisure into another hill day just in case!
by BlackPanther » Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:01 pm
I was wondering about the wild camping/traveling restrictions as well. Kevin has some time off in March and if we are still in tier 4, could we possibly camp overnight somewhere in the Highlands? There is nothing in the gov guidance saying "wild camping within your tier is forbidden" but, quoting gov.scot:
"If you live in a Level 4 local authority area: you must, by law, remain within that area unless you have a reasonable excuse.
If you have to travel for essential purposes, you should follow the guidance on traveling safely. You should also keep journeys within the area to an absolute minimum."
It is a bit vague, isn't it? I bet government officials don't go wildcamping so they forgot to add specific instructions Hopefully things will improve soon and we will be moved back to a lower tier...
Happy New Year from me and Kevin
by Alteknacker » Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:11 am
Duncan's moved to Dundee, but I can't even visit him in the current lockdown .
All the best for the New Year, and especially hoping that Jackie makes a full recovery.
by Sunset tripper » Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:02 am
All the best to both of you & Cheers.
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