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Meall Garbh, Meall Greigh and Stuc (well nearly)
by Frigate » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:42 pm
Munros included on this walk: An Stuc, Meall Garbh (Ben Lawers), Meall Greigh
Date walked: 09/11/2013
Time taken: 8.5 hours
Distance: 17.2 km
Ascent: 1395m2 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Until I hear that the Ski centre is opening - might be a difficult walk if there is that much snow about. So lets try somewhere a little more local, the Lawers range to finish off these hills.
Set off from the Lawers hotel carpark at 08:15 to do the Lochan nan Cat circuit. light drizzle walking up through the reserve. Caught up with two guys by the white bridge and had a we confab about the route or lack of a visible path going up Meall Greigh. All that could be seen was the hillside disappearing upwards into the mist covered by a light layer of snow.
Ended up walking the full round with Mike & Nicky, sharing the navigation as the views came and went in the low cloud. There was always the promise of blue sky directly over us in the mist as we climbed but it did not come to fruition.
Found the trace of a path which took us up through the gulley below Sron Mhor, quite steep but managable on the tussock grass. Snow got progressively deeper as we gained height, a little wind blown crust on top to break through. Made the top in 2hrs 50mins.
A strong wind was blowing by the top of Meall Greigh - time to layer up. Route finding was made easy by following the fence, almost to the top of Meall Garbh. Walking alongside it was harder though as there was a fair accumulation of soft snow, ankle deep average with the normal drop holes and drifts to mid thigh.
As we made the Lairig Innein two groups, a twin and a tripple with a dog, made the climb up the fence line in front of us having come straight up from the Lawers burn. Thanks guys lovely steps you kicked in. Did not see anything on Meall Garbh, just a battering by wind blown snow and cloud, topped out at 12.55. Apprehensive thoughts turned to An Stuc, what condition would it be in judging by the snow we had crossed, get there first then worry.
Couldn't see the Stuc until we were almost at the bottom of the bealach at the 991 spot height. Good job really as it was the largest iced cake I've ever seen. Luckily we arrived at the bottom in time for the groups we had been following to start their ascent. So we just hung back to give them room, err I mean had a fuel stop, and watched slack jawed as they climbed into the mist. Suddenly it was our turn - gulp.
It was an interesting climb, just snow steps, no touching of rock or grass all the way up. Some of the steps were starting to fail and new ones had to be made, punching the arms into the deep snow whilst kicking/compressing new steps.
A well deserved nip at the top courtesy of Mike, supprised that it had only taken an hour from Meall Garbh. One of the groups in front of us was planning to camp out at the top of Ben Lawers - respect, as we found later the forecast temp for Killin was -7.
Good sense of accomplishment as we dropped off the back of An Stuc to Bealach Dubh and started down Ravens gulley. I think the depth of snow made the descent easier except for going waist deep occasionally when finding the stream bed.
Bit of a slog round the lochans as the path was under the snow and the ground was very soft. Took a wee break at the dam then it was a gallop downhill to beat the dark.
Eight and a half hours in all, a good time considering the conditions. A quick change and time for a beer in the Hotel.
Thanks to Mike & Nicky for the craic and company, a most excellent day.
A word of warning though - the Hotel closes next weekend for refurbishment over the winter.
by mike baxter » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:30 am
by Ian Bayne » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:20 pm
by pigeon » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:13 pm
by Frigate » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:15 pm
mike baxter wrote:great report frigate. great walk, great craic, great company. and a very well deserved dram on stuc. see you again. Mike
Nice to meet you and Nicky, you could hang some of your excellent photos on the report, much better than my indistinct attempts.
Ian Bayne wrote:Good report Kev we never seen nothing when we done that clag and rain but cleared for Stuc Get in touch later about weekend fancy Glen Etive
Might have to be Sunday this weekend Ian as I have 'Beer & Skittles' on Saturday.
pigeon wrote:Well done Kev,looks a tough round in the snow,An Stuc must have been interesting Good that you got in tow with the lads as well
Wasn't that bad, you know me - drama queen. Needed the boys to help me with my zimmer frame.
by mike baxter » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:45 am
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