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A geography lesson on Meall Buidhe (Glen Lyon)

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 7:20 pm
by Second chance
It must have been all the talk this week of making Edinburgh more "Continental", that the weather finally took a tumble to itself and produced a couple of cracking summer like days. However when I set of on Tuesday morning there was a lot of dense mist around, and it felt more like December, especially when I was driving on the Bridge of Balgie road from Killin. This wee road is dodgy even in good weather, and is not for the faint hearted as there are some scary twists and turns coupled with sheer drops. So in dense mist the road was even more alarming.
In February this year I got stuck in a snow drift on this road. Needless to say I reached Bridge of Balgie in Glen Lyon, it was the back of nine by then and the mist was starting to clear. From the Bridge of Balgie its a short drive along another one track road until you come to a junction that goes up to the right. Its easy to miss this exit, its marked "Loch Estates". After going through a deer gate you soon reach the dam at Loch an Daimh and the parking area. See pic 1
There is good visitor board at the car park that's worth a look at as it gives you good safety info and advice. Meall Buidhe (Gaelic for yellow hill) is quite a small Munro and is quite straight forward. I followed the route as suggested in "WalkHighlands" and it was ok. Most of the way up is marshy, wet, and boggy even on a fine day, best to wear good boots and perhaps garters. The route mentions a faint path, faint is the word as its that boggy you tend to drift off to find a better footing. In times like this I use my compass and map and to keep to the direction of travel rather than depend on a path of dubious directions. See pic 2.
Once on the upper stages the route dries out but even at this time of year there was snow lying. See Pic 3.
Pressing on you reach the summit of Meall a'Phuill at 878m. See Pic 4. From here the walk to the summit of Meall Buidhe is a doddle, its a very broad ridge. It was quiet on the hills that day they must have all been away watching Prince Harry in the USA.
When you arrive at the Meall Buidhe cairn its a "WOW", it is like being in the middle of a large 3D map and being given a geography lesson by nature itself. The position of this Munro and lack of obstructions means that its a 360 degree view of all the mountain ranges - you feel like you are a small pawn in this enormous board game that is rolled out and being played in front of you.
See pic 5.
I must have stayed at the top for more than an hour, taking in the views and using my Munro map tried to identify every outline of every hill. eg, Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries, the Grampians, Schiehallion, the Lawers group, Meall Ghaordie, the Crainlarich Hills, the Mamlorn hills, the Bridge of Orchy hills, and Glencoe. If you haven't done this hill yet, I recommend it.
To descend you simply retrace your footsteps, but because its so boggy and wet just head in the direction of the dam, and watch and not slip. Once at the car park and if you have enough time and energy you can tackle Stuchd an Lochain to make it a full day. Or if your are an old timer like me, I'll keep it for another fine day on the hills. [i]See Pic 6.

Re: A geography lesson on Meall Buidhe (Glen Lyon)

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 9:10 pm
by ScottishLeaf
Some nice photos there, panos are great.
I was thinking about ticking these two off in the coming weeks, so a timely report for me.
Cheers for posting :)

Re: A geography lesson on Meall Buidhe (Glen Lyon)

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 1:26 pm
by simon-b
Great to see you got the views from there, SC. I missed them the day before, at least the clag didn't come right down to Loch an Daimh, so I saw that. It's nice to see your photos of the summit views, all I can remember is the cairn! I drove from Killin to Bridge of Balgie too, it was fun coming back over through the mist, especially when having to reverse to a passing place.