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Trains, Sun, Views & Meall Chuaich

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:09 pm
by howzat
After bagging the spectacular Lochnagar a fortnight earlier I was itiching to get back on the hills. One problem... the wife (transport) was in London working so public transport it would have to be, thus limiting the options. With the weather forecast predicting a mostly sunny morning but with possible heavy showers and even thunderstorms in the afternoon I decided that Meall Chuaich would be the best bet. So I made an early start catching the 06.32 train from Edinburgh, via a change in Stirling, to Dalwhinnie, arriving on time in glorious sunshine at 09.20.
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Arriving at Dalwhinnie station
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Crossing the station footbridge - not a cloud to be seen anywhere!
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Dalwhinnie station
In order to avoid having to leg it over the A9 I turned right at the bottom of the station road in the opposite direction from the days desitination to pick up the track that runs from just south of Dalwhinnie right next to the aqueduct (path opposite Ben Alder Cottages on the map). Although the track next to the aqueduct is not that obvious on the map it is clear on the Google satellite view.
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Access to the path next to the Aqueduct opposite Ben Alder Cottages
After a short time I passed under the A9 and continued along the track, the Dalwhinnie distillery on the other side of the road.
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Crossing under the A9
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Dalwhinnie Distillery and the A9
After about 45 minutes from leaving the station I reached the junction of the path that leads to the layby being the normal starting point of the walk as described in the walk description. The path turned still following right next to the aqueduct towards Loch Cuaich and Meall Chuaich, past the power station, before getting a first sight of the loch before reaching a bothy.
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Aqueduct marks the way (Meall Chuaich centre)
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Cuaich Power Station
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First view of Loch Cuaich
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Bothy
From the bothy a couple of small foot bridges crossed over the Allt Corie Chuaich leading to the obvious path straight up Stac Meall Chuiach.
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Looking back to the bothy
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Path up Stac Meall Chuaich
The path was steep at first and somewhat boggy, but it soon became easier, giving fine views all the way.
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Loch Cuaich as height gained
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Spectacular views!
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More views!
After getting up towards the top of Stac Meall Chuaich the more stony path leading to the top of Meall Chuaich came into view.
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Target in sight
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Steeper section
After about 1hr 20 mins of graft from the start of the path at the bottom of Stac Meall Chuaich the summit cairn came into view and I'd made it, 2hrs 55 mins after departing the train station.
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Summit cairn in sight!
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Made it!
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After a quick bite to eat it was time to descend again taking in the views all the way down. Ok this may not be exactly the most picturesque of Munros but with fine weather the views are great.
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Taking in the views before descending
I got back to Dalwhinnie, stopping off for an ice cream and cold drink at the petrol station, reaching the station exactly 6 hours after setting off with about 30 minutes before my train was due at 15:52. Good timing which was handy as if I'd have missed this train it was a 4 hour wait for the next with no pub in Dalwhinnie to wait at! It was still gloriously sunny with no signs of any thunderstorms, indeed I'd now been burnt to a crisp (must remember the suncream). Rather amusingly as I boarded the train,and I was the only one, a somewhat startled train guard who'd poked her head out the train doors and alomost headbutted me said 'Ooh ooh someone's got on at Dalwhinnie', clearly must be an unusual event! I arrived back into Edinburgh 12 hours after setting off, bought a curry, a few cold beers, some aftersun cream and sat down to watch what turned out to be a glorious evening of GB success at the Olympics - Ennis, Farah et al. What a day.

Re: Trains, Sun, Views & Meall Chuaich

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:58 pm
by Chrisabelle
Can almost feel the satisfaction of a good walk, good report and cracking pics. :clap:

Re: Trains, Sun, Views & Meall Chuaich

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:32 pm
by KMHills
This is the best example of trick photography I have ever seen as I have never seen any of the Drumochter hills in anything but cloud (and generally rain)! Great looking day.

Re: Trains, Sun, Views & Meall Chuaich

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:53 pm
by Morris1636
Nice report and great photos. You had a cracking day for it. I'm planning on doing this on Sunday 14/10/18 so this is part of my research. :clap: