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First Solo (Y), Weather (Y), Excting Hill er, Meall Chuaich?

First Solo (Y), Weather (Y), Excting Hill er, Meall Chuaich?


Postby Jambo235 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:48 pm

Route description: Meall Chuaich, Drumochter

Date walked: 13/07/2012

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 22.6 km

Ascent: 687m

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Meall Chuaich is not known for being the most exciting Munro, but as it was my first solo munro and my first trip on my mountain bike, I was as excited as any climber on his way to Glen Coe. Sadly, not being able to drive meant public transport had to suffice and Dalwhinnie is not the best served rail station in the world. There wasn't a lot of time to spare between the first train in and last train home.

I headed off on my mountain bike down from the station and south on the A889 until I passed Loch Ericht on my right and turned left over a small bridge. There is an aquaduct that runs from Loch Chuaich to Dalwhinnie with a path alongside it which provides an easy mountain bike ride. I continued all the way to Loch Chuaich and then onwards along the land rover track until I crossed the Allt Coire Chuaich. Ditching the mountain bike in the heather I headed up on foot.

Base of Meall Chuaich from Allt Coire Chuaich:
Image

The initial section was quite boggy from heavy rain in the previous week, but not worryingly so. There wasn't a massively obvious path so I wasn't sure whether I was following the marked path or simply walking up a little stream, but either way it was easier than walking through the knee deep heather either side. I was heading up the broad west 'shoulder' of Meall Chuaich, towards the plateau next to Stac Meall Chuach. I got lazy with my navigation and never timed, paced or took a bearing for a while so when I eventually did I take a bearing, I did it off the wrong summit and thought I was miles further up the hill than I had imagined. I plodded along and when I first saw the summit and realised my progress wasn't as good as I thought, it was a bit of a let down! The path became obvious higher up and was simply to follow to the summit.

The views from the top were good down to Ben Alder and north along the Spey valley. Sadly I didn't have a camera with me, however, a phone I did have and sitting at the summit eating my lunch I got a phone call offering a job which I had been interviewed for earlier in the week. Then there was then the customary taunting phone call to my uni flatmate to remind him he was working that day and I was sitting gazing over Scotland, a bit of jealously was evoked.

View SW towards Ben Alder and Loch Ericht
Image

The return route was the same and I stopped off at the new cafe on the road up to the station. I can highly recommend it, they've just got an alcohol license and my pint after the first solo munro was well worth it. The waitress was also quite an attractive girl from Ben Alder Estate, who knows, maybe she'll be on this website, read this and remember me. Somehow I doubt it!

Final look at Meall Chuaich from Dalwhinnie (you can just see the summit in the top centre of the picture quite a distance away)
Image
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Last edited by Jambo235 on Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jambo235
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Re: First Solo (Y), Weather (Y), Excting Hill er, Meall Chua

Postby hills » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:57 pm

Well done on your first solo. Thanks for the recommendation for the cafe, havent been in there yet.
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Re: First Solo (Y), Weather (Y), Excting Hill er, Meall Chua

Postby Jambo235 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:56 pm

Cheers, although it wasn't exactly a difficult walk. After the bike ride to save time in order to make my train, it left barely 6km with 500m of assent which only took 95 minutes, with a 10 minute lunch break at the top - not much to shout about. And in that time I managed to put myself on the wrong place on the map!
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Re: First Solo (Y), Weather (Y), Excting Hill er, Meall Chua

Postby Johnny Corbett » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:36 pm

This is the busiest hill i've ever done. On my way down there was a party of 100 on their way up, for a final Munro celebration. :D
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Re: First Solo (Y), Weather (Y), Excting Hill er, Meall Chua

Postby basscadet » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:00 pm

Well done on your first solo trip.. I hope you have many more fine (but longer) days like this :)
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Re: First Solo (Y), Weather (Y), Excting Hill er, Meall Chua

Postby Jambo235 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:49 am

I can't describe how big the anti climax would be if this summit gave you the 283, I've ear marked a weekend on Mull for that one.

As for solo trips, I've done two this last week: Bynack More and Derry Cairngorm/Beinn Mheadhoin, the report for the later has just been done: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=24878
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