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Meall Blair - next week can go take a run and jump!

Meall Blair - next week can go take a run and jump!

Postby Graeme D » Sun Nov 28, 2021 11:06 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Meall Blair

Date walked: 21/11/2021

Time taken: 2.8 hours

Distance: 8.7 km

Ascent: 670m

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Leaving Glenpean

We were up, packed and away sharpish from Glenpean Bothy for the routine yomp back along the path and track to the cars at Strathan. The initial plan for the weekend had been for Carn Mor from Glenpean on the Saturday (tick!) followed by Sgurr Mhurlagain from the car parking area on the Sunday. I think we had both been harbouring thoughts about just getting back down the road and not bothering with any hills but back at the cars, Kev was first to voice the idea.

I must admit that I was tempted, and after Kev left for the tortuous drive back along that road, I sat and pondered for a moment or two. Eventually I decided that life is just too short and that despite the fact that I could just go home and spend some of the remainder of the day doing some work which would make next week marginally less stressful than it would otherwise be, next week could just go and take a massive fe**ing run and jump into the sea. It was 9.30 on a glorious Sunday morning on the shores of Loch Arkaig and I'd be damned if I wasn't going to make the most of it. Only problem was that I didn't have the OS map for next door immediately to the east! My first thought had been to do the Graham of Glas Bheinn, the one I had inexplicably circumnavigated on the day that I had done the two neighbouring Corbetts, the day of the Wounded Knee incident in July 2018. Plan B then - Meall Blair. It had been catching some fine rays yesterday in the view east from Carn Mor and looked like it would fit the bill perfectly for today.

I parked up on the verge by the little Hydro Hut on the Allt Arcabhi and took to the steep stony track that would lead up to the little dam at the outflow of Loch Blair. It was like walking on a loose scree slope what with the number of loose stones scattered across the track. Going down was clearly going to be fun!

Gaor Bheinn, that bloody Corbett with the unpronounceable name I did one day with the clag down to my boot laces, and Streap. Streap - now there's a name for a hill! :lol:

After a lung bursting pull up the track in the surprisingly warm November sun, I hit the little dam where the track ended. The south western slopes of Meal Blair were clearly visible ahead to the right and it seemed like a simple case of picking the best line up the seemingly pathless slopes.

Dam at the top of the ATV track near the outflow of Loch Blair, south western slopes of Meall Blair beyond

Has Luna picked up the scent of a deer on the shores of Loch Blair?

There did seem to be a network of Argocat tracks across the hillside, some of which seemed to head off at improbable angles towards nowhere in particular. Some of them did seem to loosely link up through the wettest part of the lower slopes before petering out on the higher rockier slopes.

The Glenfinnan hills, Loch Arkaig and Sgurr Mhurlagain from the ascent of the south western slopes of Meall Blair

Spot the dog!

West to Sgurr Mhurlagain framed by the Glenfinnan and Dessary/Quoich Munros

This was now a glorious pad along a largely pathless yet dry ridge studded with little lochans and outcrops. It was November but it could quite easily have been a June or July evening. The decision to hill walk and let next week go screw itself had been thorough vindicated!

Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach catching some snow to the north

Summit ahead

Gairich and beyond to the North Loch Quoich and South Glen Shiel Munros

East from the summit across the other Grahams on the north side of Loch Arkaig to the distinctive cone of Ben Tee beyond

Gairich, Sgurr a'Maoraich, Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach from the summit - memories of three wonderful days. These hills have been unbelievably kind to me!

West from the summit - towards God's Country

There's something spoiling this photo of the view east from the summit but I can't quite put my finger on it!

West towards Knoydart

Eventually I pulled myself away from the summit and started on a descent route that would take me out to the eastern shores of Loch Blair and then back to the dam and the tortuous descent down the scree runnel of a track to the car.

Sunny Gairich

Loch Blair and more amazing mountains than you could possibly hope to wave a stick at!

Gairich, Sgurr an Fhuarain and Sgurr Mor across the scattered lochain to the north of Loch Blair

Gairich, Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach

Bogfest Argocat track alongside Loch Blair

Outflow at southern end of Loch Blair with Gaor Bheinn in the distance

Glenfinnan hills on the descent down the scree-like track

Across the beautifully manicured lawns of Caonich to the eastern slopes of Mullach Coire nan Geur-oirean and Beinn Bhan beyond

This had been a truly wonderful few hours on an unheralded little hill on a glorious late autumn/early winter day still trying to kid itself that it was late summer. As for the prospect of another tough week at work, well this just put it all firmly in perspective!

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Graeme D
Posts: 3773
Munros:237   Corbetts:117
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Wainwrights:27   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

Re: Meall Blair - next week can go take a run and jump!

Postby kevsbald » Mon Nov 29, 2021 6:42 pm

That looks stupendous. One to consider very soon.
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Munro compleatist
Posts: 2194
Munros:269   Corbetts:129
Grahams:80   Donalds:52
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Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Location: Glasgow

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