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Ben Ghlas, Ben Lawers and Meall Corranaich

Ben Ghlas, Ben Lawers and Meall Corranaich


Postby matt0129081 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:01 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers, Meall Corranaich

Date walked: 07/04/2012

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My girlfriend has now moved from Glasgow and so climbing Munros is not so easy. Therefore, we booked the Easter bank holiday to climb a few. We stayed at the Ben Lawers hotel, which I am sure is known to many of you, but if not then it is excellent. The food is really good and the breakfasts are especially good for setting you up for a day on the hills.

We were thinking of walking the Western three of the Lawers range as we could just set off straight from the hotel, but it was cloudy and I wasn't sure how snowy it would be and An Stuc in snow did not sound a great idea. So we decided on Ben Ghlas and Ben Lawers from the visitor centre car park. This was also our first Munros since last September so it made sense to go for something a little shorter.

Lots of people will have done these and written reports on them so I shall not write much except to say that there is a good path to follow all the way and although it had been snowing there were only a few patches here and there and mostly they could be walked around. It was snowing a little when we left on Monday so there may be more up there now.

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The route up

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The route up


It is about here I start to remember how big Munros actually are and about here I regret the size of breakfast I had.

It was cloudier as we got higher and at the top the ridge looked something like this:

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The ridge off Ben Ghlas


It was also strangely quite, both in terms of the number of people, but also the wind of which there was none. Normally you would expect it to be windy between the tops, but not here and it was a very nice walk down. Even if there were few views.

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between the hills

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Ben Lawers looking massive


Pretty uneventful journey up to the top of Ben Lawers except for the man we met who had frozen eyebrows (it got much colder and windier as ew got higher). This was about one of the best things I have seen on a mountain and it remains an ambition of mine to get a frosty beard (not a euphamism) just because it looks pretty manly. I managed a frosty hat (still not a euphamism)

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frosty hat


On the way back down we reached the beleach between Ben Lawers and Ghlas and took the path off to the right that skirts along under Ben Ghlas. It saved the climb back into the cloud and the view down the glen while we had lunch was nice.

IMG_0691.JPG


Whilst having lunch I noticed this:

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Meall Corranaich


This is Meall Corranaich and it looked very close and I was feeling pretty good despite this being my first Munro in ages. The problem was my girlfriend's mind was in the pub already she had earned a large cake and I could tell wanted it soon. So I had to think of a way to get her up this.

One reason to learn to navigate and not just follow people on the hills is they might do this to you. I just set off up Meall Corranaich knowing that she just follows me and as we were taking a different route back to the car park she might not notice. Surely enough she followed me and about halfway up she noticed and was not entirely pleased, but we were committed then.

I don't have pictures except from the cloudy top because I daren't stop in case I got pushed off the mountain. However, I am pleased we climbed Meall Corranaich this way because it was the most interesting part of the day. It is steep and it doesn't look like you should be able to get to the top that way, but there is a good path that winds back and forth (sometimes a little vertiginously) through crags and surprisingly with no scrambling. The top is reached very fast.

We then came down the ridge back towards the visitor centre car park. Again this was a nice choice because we were the only people on this ridge and we could see the Ben Ghlas ridge was getting busy.

The ridge is a series of flat grassy steps with each ending in a craggy drop. There is a path most of the way, but it is easy to lose at the ends of each grassy step. When this happened I just walked to the crags and had a look. There are nice views to Meall nan Tarmachan and also this loch:

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We were both ready for the car by the time we got back and in total it took 5hrs 51mins to do 8.18 miles. Mostly though I recommend climbing Meall Corranaich from this side and if you can when you do the first two because it really was the most interesting part of the day.
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IMG_0670.JPG
from the car park
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Re: Ben Ghlas, Ben Lawers and Meall Corranaich

Postby Driftwood » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:52 pm

I walked Meall Corranaich (and Meall a'Choire Leith) from this direction, although before rather than after Lawers and Beinn Ghlas. But, especially having read so many reports of bog-fests getting across to the Mealls from the road, I'd recommend the southeast side of MC too. It's steep, but short and sweet with a good path (at least, in the dry clear conditions that I enjoyed).

And you've an cunning navigation technique to get in that extra hill :lol:
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Re: Ben Ghlas, Ben Lawers and Meall Corranaich

Postby simon-b » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:01 pm

Matt, you chose a good route, I reckon.

This has always struck me as a good way to add other Munros after Beinn Ghlas and Ben Lawers. I did these three this way last August and added on Meall a' Choire Leith. The final walk back to car park from the summit of the road to Glen Lyon was a pleasant enough end to the day.

Later the same week Meall Greigh, Meall Garbh and An Stuc were done by the recommended WH route, from near the Lawers Hotel.

So all these seven of the Lawers group can be done in two walks, without the issue of getting back from Meall Greigh to the visitor centre car park. It also means tackling the An Stuc scramble uphill, probably the better way to do it. (I believe the very fit do all seven in a day from Glen Lyon.)

Matt, I agree with everything you say about the climb from the bealach below Beinn Ghlas to the top of Meall Corranaich. An enjoyable and interesting steep walk. Driftwood's route sounds a good one, too.

After An Stuc etc, I ate at the Lawers Hotel, as "payment" for using their car park. A nice place, I agree.
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Re: Ben Ghlas, Ben Lawers and Meall Corranaich

Postby matt0129081 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:28 am

Thanks Simon. I would have liked to add Meall a' Choire Leith, but I think that would definitely not have gone down well with the gf.

I do really like these hills and can't wait to get back for the rest. The Tarmachan ridge also looks a great walk. Next week is my first in time in the Lakes so fingers crossed for good weather and long walks then
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Re: Ben Ghlas, Ben Lawers and Meall Corranaich

Postby BoyVertiginous » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:58 pm

Nice one, Matt. Liked your pics of Beinn Ghlas as the summit was in cloud when I did it 10 days ago. I was eyeing Tarmachan on the way up for a future outing and, once off Ben Lawers to the NE, we were out of the cloud and I was having a good look at the slopes of Mealls Corranaich and a'Choire Leith, both of which appeared to have relatively good zig-zagging tracks from this side.

I'd be happy to do Beinn Ghlas and Ben Lawers again on a clear day and tackle the other two from this side, thanks for the tip.
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Re: Ben Ghlas, Ben Lawers and Meall Corranaich

Postby Avocetboy » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:07 pm

Good luck with the Frozen Beard, Matt. A true mountain look. I look forward to future photos.
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Re: Ben Ghlas, Ben Lawers and Meall Corranaich

Postby BoyVertiginous » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:39 pm

Avocetboy wrote:Good luck with the Frozen Beard, Matt. A true mountain look. I look forward to future photos.

Perv.
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Re: Ben Ghlas, Ben Lawers and Meall Corranaich

Postby simon-b » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:12 pm

matt0129081 wrote:I do really like these hills and can't wait to get back for the rest. The Tarmachan ridge also looks a great walk. Next week is my first in time in the Lakes so fingers crossed for good weather and long walks then


Tarmachan ridge has been one of my favourite Scottish walks so far. And there's nowhere else in England that matches the Lakes.

You've a lot to look forward to :D
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