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A very windy Meall Buidhe

A very windy Meall Buidhe


Postby neilmckenzie » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:44 pm

Route description: Meall Buidhe

Munros included on this walk: Meall Buidhe (Glen Lyon)

Date walked: 13/04/2014

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 8.5 km

Ascent: 551m

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Building on Thursday's climb of Beinn Dubh, I had walking partner's this time so I thought start as I mean to go on and try one of the "easier" munros. This is all in training for a Walk of Ben Nevis for Macmillan Cancer Support in July. Cathy and Craig are of a similar fitness to me; Cathy having climbed one Munro(Ben Vane) and Craig about to pop his Munro Cherry.

We had planned to climb Schiehallion because there's a path and I won't require to do as much navigation, but life got in the way and we had to leave slightly later, so we plumped for Meall Buidhe. The drive to Meall Buidhe is a beautiful but arduous one - you head past Killin and then take the single track roads past Ben Lawers for miles and miles. Given that we'd changed plans last minute - I didn't check the google map direction in detail, so didn't know how far we'd driven when I realised that it just said "slight left", "partial right" and otherwise left you to it. Sooo... you keep on driving past Lawers Dam:

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Then you keep on driving until you get to Bridge of Balgie - turn left, drive for a couple of miles and turn right where it says "Loch estate" and then keep driving until you get to the dam on the walking guide posted here.

The next problem we had was that we had been quite leisurely about the drive up - we're doing this for fun right! Normally I send someone a text from the foot of the mountain to let them know my rough schedule. In this case I had sent out an email with the route plan, but we were behind schedule and the foot of the mountain is roughly an hour from phone signal - so it was a case of get on with it and hope that no one gets trigger happy on the phone to Mountain Rescue or ditch walking for the day. It was a lovely day so we opted for the former - but it was preying on my mind most of the way up. Mental note - be more specific about the emergency instructions...

Once we were out of the car, we realised that although the wonderful vistas of more arduous peaks were framed in blue skies - the wind was horrendous. We got our togs on and set off up the walking path to the right of the dam. The path off the road wasn't too obvious - we saw a walker coming off the hill on the correct path but thought it was a bit early so went a little further down the road. The incline was much of a muchness on the OS map all the way along and the notice board at the start of the estate told you to stick to specific walking paths between July and October so we thought we'd go a little off piste and climb up a little waterfall(really just a burn going downwards) a little further along as it gave us a fraction of shelter from the wind. It would wind up meeting the main path anyway.

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Once we were up on the first saddle, there was another saddle on the horizon, and a lot more wind. After a long drive, I had thought to relieve myself at base camp - but there were a few folk around, so I waited until we were in wilderness. Now that we were in wilderness, there was no chance without soaking my fellow walkers, so it was onwards until we reach the relative shelter of some small ridges further up to relieve ourselves and get a wee bite to eat.

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There's also the childlike excitement of seeing some snow... will this ever diminish with age?

As you climb further up the saddle you can see a peak to the left and a peak to the right. We needed the OS map to tell us that the peak on the left is Meall a' Phuill which we have to get on top of in order to reach a ridge walk that will take us to the Meall Buidhe.

The wind is now relentless, we can't really talk to each other, I'm clock watching and listening for helicopters and spirits are not particularly high. We take advantage of a wee concave filled with snow at Meall a' Phuill and chocolate improves team morale. The wee sugar high gets us to the top and then you can see the cairn of Meall Buidhe and all is good. Other than the wind which is now ripping our faces off. It's a chat free, frustrated trek through the elements and past some wonderful vistas that looked shorter than it really was:

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Eventually after struggling through the wind we reached the cairn:

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We didn't have much time to enjoy the summit, because the weather was dropping by the minute, vistas of Glencoe were now just a grey wash, and we staggered back along the ridge. Tt was so windy that at one point criag walked past cathy and he sheilded her from the wind she was leaning so hard against. Once the wind was gone, she fell over.

Once we were off Meall a' Phuill we could breathe a sigh if relief and talk once more. Filled with euphoria and a sense of achievement we made easy work of the boggy trek back down the mountain. Where possible we took advantage of any shelter we could get from the wind in wee valleys and watertrickles.

Our post climb reward was a whisky(Glenmorangie) and a feed at the falls of dochart inn in Killin. The service and the drink prices were atrocious, the food was pretty good.
neilmckenzie
Wanderer
 
Posts: 40
Munros:34   Corbetts:5
Grahams:4   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: Jan 17, 2012
Location: Glasgow

Re: A very windy Meall Buidhe

Postby neilmckenzie » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:12 am

In July, I am climbing Ben Nevis for Macmillan Cancer Support. Please consider donating to this very worthy cause. Every little helps:

http://www.justgiving.com/Neil-McKenzie2
neilmckenzie
Wanderer
 
Posts: 40
Munros:34   Corbetts:5
Grahams:4   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: Jan 17, 2012
Location: Glasgow

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