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Meall Dubh from Inverlael

Meall Dubh from Inverlael


Postby gld73 » Tue May 04, 2021 7:14 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Meall Dubh

Date walked: 14/04/2021

Time taken: 4.3 hours

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 670m

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Last day off before the travel restrictions were to be eased a couple of days later, so last chance to enjoy the relatively empty roads of the Highlands. But also the first post-lockdown hairdresser appointment I'd managed to get! So got the much-needed haircut out of the way in the morning and hit the road for another graham. Having been sticking closer to Inverness up to now, I went about 50 miles away this time ... but on the good road to Ullapool so still the same travel time as a 30 mile drive in the Loch ness/ Affric area!

Parked in the walkers car park at Inverlael, same start point as for the Beinn Dearg group. Only one other car there, with a couple of RAF vans parked on the access track as they were too high for the low barrier of the car park. Climbed over the locked gate warning of the potentially protective cows in the field and headed up the track past the cows (utterly indifferent today, no calves present), through the next gate and took the first bridge over the impressively gushing burn, then followed the hydro track going parallel to the burn on its north side. Ignored a couple of tracks heading off, and continued on the main one which took a left to head north alongside another burn, still with the occasional RWE Hydro pole marker on the way. Just a short distance up this track a grassier track headed off steeply up through the trees ...took a minute or two of studying the map to decide it looked like the way I wanted to go and right enough it took me steeply up, over a crossroad of tracks and onwards up to a gate, leaving the trees behind from there.
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After turning left to head up, I came to this junction of paths. Rather than continue up the main track, I took the one on the left heading up steeply through the woods, which turned out to be the correct route

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Over a crossroad of tracks and continuing up took me to this gate where the trees ended. Through the gate and continued on up the track

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Looking back to Beinn Dearg down the glen

Lovely views over to snow covered Beinn Dearg and neighbours, and as the track gained height, the views back south to the Fannichs and over to stunning An Teallach kicked in. Burns and waterfalls were in full flow with all the snow melt swelling them, not a day I'd have fancied doing anything with a river crossing, the vehicle track I was following was running like a river itself in places.

Reaching a flatter area with the final slopes of Meall Dubh directly ahead, the track ended and swampy ATV tracks seemed to start in the right direction - too muddy to bother following though so I don't know if they continued to the summit area. I found a point I could cross the burn safely and took a direct line up the hill, the waterproofing of my boots having well and truly given up by this point - it was, after all, a graham, I'd have been disappointed if there hadn't been pathless boggy ground to tramp through :lol:
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The melting snow made things pretty wet, the track was submerged once it got to the flatter areas

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Got difficult to tell what was a track and what was a stream as I headed towards to Meall Dubh slopes

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Was temporarily clearer as I reached the main burn to cross, but I headed upstream a bit to find a better crossing point and didn't bother trying to find the boggy ATV track again after that, just headed up the hill

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Regretted leaving my gaiters in the car park as I made my way across the sodden ground

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The views behind me were looking good though, south east to Beinn Dearg hills and the Fannichs...

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...south/south west to Fannichs, Fisherfields and An Teallach

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An Teallach

Emerging on to the top of the hill the frozen lochan looked quite atmospheric, especially with the backdrop of the Assynt hills now in view. I spent a while at the summit enjoying the view in all directions before heading back to the car the same way; nice to see Seana Bhraigh too, a hill I'll hopefully get done in the next few weeks now we've got longer days.
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Frozen lochan on the summit plateau and signs of blue skies

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Small summit cairn, big views..

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The Assynt hills north from Ben More Coigach on the left of the shot

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Think this is Ben Klibreck

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Seana Braigh, still on my to-do list



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gld73
 
Posts: 535
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Joined: Aug 11, 2015
Location: Inverness

Re: Meall Dubh from Inverlael

Postby BlackPanther » Thu May 06, 2021 1:55 pm

Ahh the infamous Meall Dubh. Kevin almost lost his foot to frostbite here :lol: :lol: :lol:
It probably looks just as wet every time of the year. Not a very popular hill, but I agree it's a quick one to get to from Inverness.

In the past, there was uncertainty about the true summit of this hill. The northern top is only 1m shorter, so to be 100% sure, Graham baggers had to climb both tops. In given conditions (wet-wet-wet) it would be a nightmare! I'm glad that the S top is higher. Thanks to the modern technology, it saved us a couple of miles of bog-hopping :wink:
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BlackPanther
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Re: Meall Dubh from Inverlael

Postby simon-b » Thu May 06, 2021 8:55 pm

Some nice views of the Assynt hills among others, gld. Seanna Bhraigh is one to look forward to, I hope you get a good day for it.
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Re: Meall Dubh from Inverlael

Postby gld73 » Fri May 07, 2021 11:34 am

BlackPanther wrote:Ahh the infamous Meall Dubh. Kevin almost lost his foot to frostbite here :lol: :lol: :lol:
It probably looks just as wet every time of the year. Not a very popular hill, but I agree it's a quick one to get to from Inverness.

In the past, there was uncertainty about the true summit of this hill. The northern top is only 1m shorter, so to be 100% sure, Graham baggers had to climb both tops. In given conditions (wet-wet-wet) it would be a nightmare! I'm glad that the S top is higher. Thanks to the modern technology, it saved us a couple of miles of bog-hopping :wink:


Yes, I remember reading your walk report - I made sure I was away from the edge of the lochan, plus had a spare pair of socks with me in case :lol:

simon-b wrote:Some nice views of the Assynt hills among others, gld. Seanna Bhraigh is one to look forward to, I hope you get a good day for it.

Thank you, I'd hoped to do it in the last few days, but winter has well and truly returned on the hills just now so I'll wait a while longer ... The strength of the hailstones this week knocked loads of pebbledashing off my house in Inverness, I wouldn't have fancied being in that up a mountain!
(Although the weather doesn't seem to have realised it's now May and winter is over, on the good side, at least the midges also haven't realised it's May, so none of them around yet!)
gld73
 
Posts: 535
Munros:135   Corbetts:54
Grahams:50   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:62   Hewitts:42
Wainwrights:58   Islands:13
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
Location: Inverness

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