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 Mor - Easter Ross

Meall Mor - Easter Ross


Postby heatheronthehills » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:59 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Meall Mor (Easter Ross)

Date walked: 13/01/2014

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 20 km

2 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).

Having been watching the hill forecasts keenly for weeks we finally decided to head out yesterday for our first proper hill day this year. We had thought of a couple of Munros in Glen Affric that I still have to do, but the forecast looked better further East. The big problem with going further East......there's a distinct lack of big hills :roll:

We didn't fancy Ben Wyvis again, as stunning as it looked first thing as the sunrise lit the snow clad slopes with a rosy hue. We settled on a Graham we've had our eye on for a while, Meall Mor. It's East of Ben Wyvis so we thought we should stay in sunshine for a good part of the day. We checked the hill reports on WH and decided to head up through the Novar Windfarm. Although a good chunk of the day would be spent amongst wind turbines, we realised that as we were setting out later than usual we would be descending as it got dark, and I felt happier on proper tracks if we had to have a headtorch descent.

The weather was stunning, clear blue skies and no wind for most of the ascent. The views in all directions were amazing, and it was clear that the North and East of the country was definitely getting the best of the sun. We set off along the windfarm track, past a farm and on up to the substation where we turned right. To our left 2 diggers were lifting clumps of earth ready for tree planting on the slopes opposite. The track steepened and we began our first section of ascent. A van had been up the road ahead of us clearing tracks in the snow making the going much easier, but I still felt the strain on my legs. How had I ever thought I'd be up to 2 munros at this time of year :roll: :roll:

We continued on and up and the mighty windfarms came into view. After about an hour we stopped for a cuppa and some Christmas cake in the sun, resting against the side of one of the huge turbines. Luckily this one wasn't working today so we could enjoy the snack in peace. The views out over Wyvis were already stunning, seeing the side of it which we don't often see. The corries had evidence of avalanche debris and some cornicing already. We soaked in the views and the sun before continuing along the track and through the windfarm. The weather was beautiful and the views stunning and even the wind tubines couldn't dampen my spirits today.

Eventually we got to the end of the windfarm and had to begin to make our own way to our summit, about 2.5km further on. By this time we were pretty high though so there wasn't too much in the way of further ascent. We were getting breathtaking views of the Ben and the hills beyond. The terrain was pretty haggy though, and Derek broke trail through the snow covered bogs, luckily, or maybe skillfully avoiding any deep bog! We made for a large boulder on the hillside, and could see the tracks of an all terrain vehicle heading across the side of the rolling hill ahead leading us towards the fence and the route to the summit.

Once through the worst of the peat hags the terrain was wonderfully flat and springy, covered in vast swathes of mosses and lichens. The air here is so pure and the habitats reflect this. We soon reached the fenceposts which lead right to the trig point. The sun had disappeared behind some high level clouds by this time, but we still had amazing views, down to Loch Glass, close ups of the East of Wyvis, and then up to the far North and into Sutherland. The sun kept coming and going behind clouds, giving off a lemony glow, but we didn't get the stunning sunset I had hoped for. As we took the summit photos an icy wind picked up from nowhere and chased us off and back down the hill.

A lovely hill offering unusual views of familiar landscapes. If you don't mind walking through windfarms it's a good route up, with only 5km of the 20km or so being pathless terrain. We headed back down without headtorches as the almost full moon provided enough light to see the windfarm tracks.

001 (640x481).jpg
Parking spot opposite farm entrance

012 (640x481).jpg
Tree planting near substation

015 (640x481).jpg
Novar Windfarm

030 (640x481).jpg
Making use of the wind turbine

034 (640x481).jpg
Heading through the vast windfarm

040 (640x481).jpg
More windfarm...

045 (640x481).jpg
Drifting snow

050 (640x481).jpg
Peat hags, East of Wyvis beyond

054 (481x640).jpg
Peathags

069 (640x481).jpg
Flat, rounded terrain

078 (640x481).jpg
Views down to end of Loch Glass

085 (640x481).jpg
Peat hags and icicles

097 (640x481).jpg
Fence leading to the summit

099 (640x481).jpg
Ben Wyvis from the East

107 (640x481).jpg
Final pull up to summit

111 (640x481).jpg
Trig shot

136 (640x481).jpg
Looking West

157 (640x481).jpg
Heading back down

178 (640x481).jpg
View back to summit
User avatar
heatheronthehills
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 166
Munros:207   Corbetts:82
Grahams:57   
Sub 2000:56   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:2   
Joined: Mar 5, 2012

Re: Meall Mor - Easter Ross

Postby malky_c » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:39 pm

Looked like a day to be out in the hills, not sitting at work :mrgreen:

Meall Mor is a great viewpoint for Ben Wyvis - Been up it twice now, but I think I'll be back again before long :D
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5933
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:267   Hewitts:256
Wainwrights:104   Islands:34
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Meall Mor - Easter Ross

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:35 pm

one of my local hills ..sure looks bonnie in the snow :) ..what a great day to be out :D ..today looked lovely aswell for anyone that was lucky enough to get out ...
User avatar
SAVAGEALICE
 
Posts: 614
Munros:282   Corbetts:177
Grahams:59   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:46   Hewitts:23
Wainwrights:33   Islands:21
Joined: Aug 26, 2008
Location: Alness, Ross-shire

Re: Meall Mor - Easter Ross

Postby pollyh33 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:19 am

Fantastic Heather, really enjoyed this. :clap: :clap:

Although I must confess to staring at the photo of all those wind turbines, I've never seen so many in such a beautiful setting :crazy: :crazy:
User avatar
pollyh33
Walker
 
Posts: 2577
Munros:282   Corbetts:17
Grahams:5   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Mar 30, 2011
Location: Rutherglen

2 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: arjh, johnathanx, Jordanmlamont, lesliebowie, PeteR, thepigguy and 51 guests