Meall an Tarsaid - 2.88km
Beinn a'Bhacaidh - 4.33km
Burach - 7.2km
The fine weather from the weekend was coming to an end as a front of cloudy wet weather swept over Scotland midweek. I did have Munro's planned for today however I decided to give it a miss as I'm not one for climbing without the views and poor visibility.
I chose to keep myself at low altitude and explore 3 subs at the south end of Loch Ness starting at Meall an Tarsaid.
Meall an Tarsaid
On the edge of the village White Bridge you can approach the sub and park at a double passing place just north of the summit. The OS map marked a track skirting around the north side which I felt was the easiest route, an old grassy and stony 4x4 track. As the track came to the nearest point of the fence on the OS, this was the point of crossing to start the climb up. It was here I noticed it wasn't any fence but a deer fence, not 1 but 2 This explains the track as access to erect the new fence.
Ok once clambered over, it was a steep heathery climb up to the summit. There is a cairn easily visible to follow up but this is just a false top, the highest point is a bit further south marked with another cairn. With out hanging about I returned the same route taking 1 hour 30 minutes to do.
2nd summit Beinn a'Bhacaidh is closer to Loch Ness promising fantastic views towards Fort Augustus. I parked at the end of a forestry track on the road to Knockie lodge. Taking this track gives an easy approach before climbing. I arrived at a deer gate which I passed through to find another metal gate off to the left. This is a rougher 4x4 track which isn't shown on the OS map, the path follows the tree line running on the south east of the summit.
When I felt I wasn't climbing any more on this track I chose to cut off north west to the summit. It was steep, heathery, rocky and boggy in places. A few deceiving false tops until I finally found the true summit, oh and wild goats to add to it. I walk back using the same route, returning after 1 hour 30 minutes.
I love the word Burach, the Scots/Gaelic for 'mess' The hill sort of lived up to its name in the sense it is a long slog to get to it. Driving through Fort Augustus on the A82 towards Inverness you come to the Allt na Criche forest walks car park on the left, an ideal start point for climbing Burach. There is a white trail which follows the Allt na Criche burn uphill. Ignore the OS map which shows a trail on the east side which seemed non existent until later. You will reach a vehicle bridge but continue on the west side of the burn uphill. You come to a 2nd bridge which you cross, a footbridge which continued a better footpath on the east side. At this point you come out the tree line and the path frizzles away. This becomes the slog... A grassy, heathery openness towards the visible summit. It's not steep just a gentle incline that goes on forever. I took a direct path across to the summit, taking the same route going back down. The full walk taking 2 hours 30 minutes.
Overall all 3 summits have some access getting so far but eventually you will end up into rough vegetation and some difficult terrain. Not ideal for an easy, comfortable walk. Only advisable for the intention on bagging.
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