walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Meall nan Eagan - a quickie down the A9

Meall nan Eagan - a quickie down the A9


Postby BlackPanther » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:11 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Meall nan Eagan

Date walked: 04/12/2013

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 9 km

Ascent: 381m

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

The busiest time of the year is coming and our wallets are getting thin... Due to tight schedule during the week, Saturday/Sunday are the only days when we can hunt for Christmas gifts, but I wanted to fit in a hill walk as well, if only a short one. Having checked the forecast, Kevin told me to "find a quickie down the A9" :problem: :lol: :lol: Immediately, I thought about Meall nan Eagan. It's only a Graham but a good one, usually climbed as a combo with The Fara, but it can also be tackled on its own via a very nice glen.
We have already ticked off miss Fara, walked the whole length of the ridge and would do it again with pleasure, as it's one of the best ridgewalks in the eastern Highlands. This time, we concentrated on the Graham only. As a half-day's outing, this route is perfect for short winter days. If only there was snow on the summit... Aaah, one can't have everything! :lol:

Track_MEALL NAN EAGAN 01-12-13.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Parking may be an issue along A889, but as it was Sunday, we parked by the entrance to the quarry. There is space here for 2-3 cars:
Image
Basically next to the quarry, a private road leads down to Allt an't Sluic lodge:
Image
Our target hill cannot be seen from here, but walking was easy on the track:
Image
The track splits before the lodge and we took the left branch, down along the river. Just past the lodge, it ends abruptly, but the other track is only a few metres above. We turned right and climbed quickly up the heathery slope to reach the upper track. Looking behind, I noticed showers passing over Drummochter Munros:
Image
The track climbs slightly and then it drops down again into the glen. One option would be to follow this to the bottom of the hill (seen now in the distance) but we left this for the return route. Instead, we picked a higher path alongside the slopes:
Image
This higher path is obvious for about 1km, as it meanders between patches of heather. Good views down to the glen:
Image
Closer to the Graham, the path peters out, but it was easy enough to cross the heathery moorland towards our hill:
Image
The "easy enough" soon turned into "tuft-hopping". The ground here is quite boggy, but no big peat hags to negotiate, so as long as you have good waterproof boots, no problem :lol:
Weather was improving now and we even experienced a few rays of sunshine... Views opening up as well, but suddenly... All the pleasure was spoiled by the appearance of the big monsters :shock:
Image
It's the Beauly-Denny pylons!!!
Image
Strangely, it's not the pylons themselves that I find disturbing - they may be bigger than other powerlines but I'm sort-of used to seeing such shapes around. It's the access roads and all the mess and fuss around them that I don't like. Especially when the tracks are brutally bulldozed into the virgin-wild landscape :( And it will take time for such scars to mend...
Back to our route: as soon as we came across old fence posts, navigation became even easier :lol:
Image
The cloud was slowly lifting and though we never counted on full panoramas, now my hopes were growing for some nice views:
Image
About 200m of steep-ish climb took us to the summit area of Meall nan Eagan, with more good views emerging. The sun was out now, not a bad day after all:
Image
The summit is marked by one of the old fence posts:
Image
Weather has improved and as there wasn't much wind, we decided to have a longer break now. Not that we were too tired, but who knows when we'll get another day like that...
A few panoramas - enjoy:
Image
Beinn Eilde and Geal Charn behind:
Image
Creag Meagaidh covered in cloud:
Image
Zoom to the mountains in the south:
Image
We sat just below the summit, drinking tea and marvelling at the views. Shame that the sun was directly behind the Fara, so we struggled to take any good photos of the Dircs:
Image
The summit area may be used as a playground for cats :lol: :lol:
Image
Towards the Monadhliath:
Image
Zoomed:
Image
Creag Dubh looks like a cone from this angle, whereas it is indeed a long ridge. Another good Graham:
Image
Kevin posing by the summit post:
Image
About half an hour later, we eventually left the summit. We decided to take a direct route down the eastern slopes into the glen:
Image
It turned out to be the drier option and though a bit slippery in places, a quick way off the mountain. Soon we were down in the glen, where we picked up a faint VT track, which soon joined the main track along the river:
Image
Looking back to Meall nan Eagan:
Image
3.5 hours after we left, we were back in the car and as it was only half past one, we had enough time to pop in to Ruthven Barracks on the way back to Inverness. We have been there before and more than once, but during the last visit in 2012, the buildings were covered in scaffolding and some consolidation works were carried on. Now, it's all finished and the barracks are free to lurk inside again :D
Not the best light for pictures, but this ruin always impresses:
Image
This building was closed for the public, now it's open again. Shame there is no platform to climb onto the higher levels, it would be a good viewpoint:
Image
The well and the main building:
Image
So no epics last weekend, but a good day out. Meow!

With gale force winds predicted for the upcoming weekend we may not see the hills for the next couple of weeks... But I wouldn't mind some snow on the lower ground - to make sure we have white Christmas :D :D
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3756
Munros:260   Corbetts:172
Grahams:123   
Sub 2000:60   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Meall nan Eagan - a quickie down the A9

Postby The Rodmiester » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:17 pm

Very timely post BP, this ones on the Radar for this winter. Some nice photographs as usual, pity about all the scars on the hillside though, I'm a bit like you it's all the access roads and the damage to the surrounding vegetation that will take such a long time to repair if ever that I don't like. Hope you dropped by the distillery when you were in Dalwhinnie :D
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Walker
 
Posts: 3395
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:76   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:17
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Newbigging

Re: Meall nan Eagan - a quickie down the A9

Postby Gordie12 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:43 pm

Always wondered where that track went - now I know!
User avatar
Gordie12
Wanderer
 
Posts: 2021
Munros:114   Corbetts:64
Grahams:27   Donalds:38
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:30
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: Meall nan Eagan - a quickie down the A9

Postby Graeme D » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:57 pm

Nice hill. Shame about the visual blot on the landscape nearby!
User avatar
Graeme D
 
Posts: 3744
Munros:230   Corbetts:115
Grahams:68   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:57   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:27   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).




Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: amparopoch, colinwatson, JohnFaeGourdie, nigheandonn and 45 guests