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Small hills for the shortest day - the Mealls of Amulree

Small hills for the shortest day - the Mealls of Amulree


Postby John Burgess » Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:49 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Meall nan Caorach, Meall Reamhar

Date walked: 22/12/2009

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 12 km

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To be honest I almost didn’t venture out – what a waste that would have been! I was supposed to be heading to Ben Vrackie with a friend but he rang early to say that he’d been unwell during the night and couldn’t make it. The weather didn’t look that great so I got on with a few jobs around home until, looking out of the window, I noticed the mist clearing and a lovely pinkish glow appearing on the hills. Hmm, quick change of plans. Late away on the shortest day – perfect for that pair of Grahams above Amulree I’ve kept meaning to climb. I thought I might be the first to put in a walk report for them but I see that Graeme got there before me :o
A drive up through picture postcard scenery had me parked at the (sadly closed) hotel by 10:30. A couple of minutes enjoying the view from the bridge then it was off south along the road until the track to Girron headed off left.

From the bridge in Amulree.JPG


The track to Girron.JPG


Girron.JPG



The sound of barking greeted me here and, sure enough, 5 frisky locals bounced and bounded in my direction rolling and frolicking in the snow. What is it with me and dogs :lol: At least they were good natured if rather energetic but they were clearly intent on joining me. Eventually the shepherd appeared and called them back – 2 still seemed to think walkies with me seemed more fun so I had to head back with them and hand them over to their rightful owner :(

Snow is SUCH fun.JPG


I followed the landrover track up to about 400m then followed some hare tracks which wandered up the slopes to Creag Ghorm. I’m told that the two paw prints in line at the rear are the front paws, the ones side by side at the front are the hind legs.
At one point on the track I found a spot where it appeared a bird had run round in circles a couple of times then collapsed in the snow. Perhaps he’d found the remains of some of the illicit whisky which used to be distilled around here.

Hare tracks.JPG


What went on here then.JPG


Looking towards Meall nan Caorach and Meall Reamhar.JPG


A friend of mine has worked for the local estate on and off for many years. He told me of a day over 30 years ago when they were demolishing an old cottage. Built into the wall behind the fireplace they found a still!

Hoar frost covered everything turning each blade of grass into ornaments of a wonderful delicacy.

Hoar Frost.JPG


As I gained height the view started to open out, and very impressive it was too. On these slopes of tussock and powder snow I was moving slowly enough to fully appreciate it :wink:

The view looking back.JPG


Beinn a'Ghlo.JPG


Amulree.JPG


Schiehallion.JPG


The Carn Mairg range.JPG


An Stuc, Meall Garbh and Meall Greigh.JPG


Glen Quaich and Loch Freuchie.JPG


Once past Creag Ghorm a couple of downs and ups brought me to the trig point on Meall nan Caorach.

Between Creag Ghorm and Meall nan Caorach.JPG


Meall nan Caorach trig point.JPG


From here it was a case of following the fence down and back up through powder snow and deep heather to Meall Reamhar. By the time I reached the summit the storm clouds which had been visible in the west all day seemed to be gradually moving my way and the sun was hidden behind them. There was still a fine view to the Lomonds of Fife however.

Onwards towards Meall Reamhar.JPG


Meall Reamhar Summit.JPG


The Lomonds.JPG


I headed back down to the col and then wandered along the landrover track.
For a while I followed a set of prints which I suspected to be a fox. Evenly spaced and almost in a straight line. Can anyone confirm that?

Meall Dearg behind Amulree.JPG


Fox tracks perhaps.JPG


The dogs of Girron were heard but not seen so I had time for a photo looking back to my hills. The storm clouds had receded again and the final stretch down to Amulree was a pleasant end to the day, a normally drab landscape improved no end by the snow. The moon was prominent by the time I was back at the car whose thermometer hit minus 12 on the drive back. Maybe we will get a real winter this year :D

The view back from Girron.JPG


Girron Burn.JPG


The only Moonshine found around here today.JPG
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John Burgess
 
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Re: Small hills for the shortest day - the Mealls of Amulree

Postby kevsbald » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:36 pm

Wonderful. Sustenance while in work. Wish I was out there.
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Re: Small hills for the shortest day - the Mealls of Amulree

Postby mountain coward » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:44 pm

Great report and pictures - you look to have had a great day! :D
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Re: Small hills for the shortest day - the Mealls of Amulree

Postby Paul Webster » Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:13 pm

Lovely report. Dangle a bit of holly from your monitor and it all looks very festive :D

Makes me feel guilty that we haven't made more of all the good cold weather this last week.
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Re: Small hills for the shortest day - the Mealls of Amulree

Postby John Burgess » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:31 am

Thanks and a Happy Christmas to one and all. Santa was good to me. He brought me a bottle of Highland Park. How COULD he have known :lol:
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Re: Small hills for the shortest day - the Mealls of Amulree

Postby Alan S » Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:57 pm

Great report again john 8) stunning pics
I looked at the pic marked meall dearg behind amulree and knew i had seen a similar shot on the "wheres the pic" thread it looks like they are taken from the same spot :shock:
CIMG1772.jpg
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Re: Small hills for the shortest day - the Mealls of Amulree

Postby John Burgess » Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:57 pm

alan sherry wrote:Great report again john 8) stunning pics
I looked at the pic marked meall dearg behind amulree and knew i had seen a similar shot on the "wheres the pic" thread it looks like they are taken from the same spot


Cheers Alan. Well remembered - I'd forgotten! I actually managed to recognise that 'where's the pic' shot without having been to the actual spot - the woods around Amulree are fairly distinctive :wink:

All the best,

John
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John Burgess
 
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Re: Small hills for the shortest day - the Mealls of Amulree

Postby Graeme D » Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:03 pm

Excellent stuff John. I really like the series of panoramic shots across to Schiehallion, the Lawers group and the Carn Mairg circuit. There's something about your snowy panorama shots! Very different from the day I did these two in the late summer, but nice to see them looking like this.
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Re: Small hills for the shortest day - the Mealls of Amulree

Postby Alan S » Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:43 pm

John Burgess wrote:
alan sherry wrote:Great report again john 8) stunning pics
I looked at the pic marked meall dearg behind amulree and knew i had seen a similar shot on the "wheres the pic" thread it looks like they are taken from the same spot


Cheers Alan. Well remembered - I'd forgotten! I actually managed to recognise that 'where's the pic' shot without having been to the actual spot - the woods around Amulree are fairly distinctive :wink:

All the best,

John


Thanks, it stuck in my head as i remember the pic when it came out and i knew it was amulree and was searching the map to see what the names of the hills where when somebody beat me to it :wink:
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Re: Small hills for the shortest day - the Mealls of Amulree

Postby hills » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:22 pm

Nice, i enjoyed these hills, didnt get views like that tho, so very nice!!
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