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The Tarmachan Ridge

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:01 pm
by davgil
6.10am - Left Greenock, quick petrol stop then over the Erskine Bridge heading for Perthshire.
7.45am - Passed the Ben Lawers car park where there were a few walkers gearing up, presumably ready for a trek up Ben Lawers. First to arrive and park at the access road.

8.00am - Boots on, car locked, heading up to the first summit - Meall nan Tarmachin.

I couldn’t believe just how warm it was and how different the route ahead looked without it’s recent winter coating of deep snow.

9.20am - Reached the summit and was surprised at the lack of snow on the highest tops and along the ridge.

There was hardly a breath of air all day which allowed for several stops along the ridge to sit down, relax and take in the stunning views in all directions.

Meall Garbh.

Meall Garbh & Beinn nan Eachan.

Meall Garbh.

Snow capped Ben More and Stob Binnein to the SouthWest behind Meall Garbh.

Photographers always have an eye out for a reflection so I was pleased to spot the summit of Meall Garbh in the puddle on the path :)

Meall Garbh Reflected.

Meall Garbh Reflected.

Meall Garbh.

Final Snowy ascent to the Meall Garbh summit.

Looking West along the ridge from the summit of Meall Garbh and over to Beinn nan Eachan

Looking back East along the ridge to the Meall Garbh summit.

A snow covered Ben Nevis and the CMD Arete was clearly visible to the NorthWest.

The bad step down at the end of the Meall Garbh ridge...a little scary!

I’d spent so much time wandering about taking photos and having lunch that people were now catching me up and human figures were appearing all along the trail behind me.

Looking ahead, West, to Ben nan Eachan.

Looking back, East, up to the bad step and up to the Meall Garbh summit.
You can just make out a lone figure on the summit.

Lunch for this chap just below the Beinn nan Eachan summit.

Looking SouthWest to Creag na Caillich.

Looking back up (I think) to Beinn nan Eachan.

A somewhat airy path round the far end of Creag na Caillich.

I explored around there for a while then walked back to the bealach between Beinn nan Eachan and Meall Garbh to descend and head SouthEast to intersect the access road at the old quarry.

I think it was about an hour along this road to the car and feet were beginning to ache :)

3.00pm back at the car...cuppa time :)

A most enjoyable walk with the bonus of great weather!
This walk can be done a lot quicker but on a day like this it's worth staying up there a bit longer.

Please note that directions given were just my best guess.
Comments welcome and if I’ve got anything wrong like names or directions please advise!



Re: The Tarmachan Ridge

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:06 pm
by Stretch
Splendid report Davgil! Great color from your camera on those shots. I'm hoping to do the ridge on a nice day soon, assuming I can get down the bad step :shock:

Re: The Tarmachan Ridge

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:32 pm
by Wanderlust
I did this walk last Sunday, there was a lot more snow on the ground - it seems to vanish very quickly at this time of year.

Might do a report of my own for this one.

Re: The Tarmachan Ridge

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:07 pm
by davgil
Thanks stretch!
I'd heard there was an alternative to the bad step but didn't see it till after I'd climbed down,
then an alternative path is quite clear.
I think you just have to go right slightly before the bad step and make your way round on the grass which becomes the path.
I'l definitely be going that way next time.

Wanderlust, this was my first time up there without snow.
I also did a couple of days in deep snow but didn't go past the summit of Meall Garbh.
Look forward to your report...the more the merrier :)

Re: The Tarmachan Ridge

PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:07 am
by mountain coward
There's at least 2 ways round the 'bad step' - one to the right as you descend, before you get to the edge - that's just a straight-forward but steep grassy slope. There's also a way down the back from around the summit area (but probably just before it) and round under the scramble which is just straightforward grass - you may have to back off the summit the way you came first though (can't remember). The 'airy path' round the side of Creag na Caillich is definitely avoidable and I did avoid it while Richard slithered his way on mud around it over the huge drop! (he likes that kind of excitement)...

Re: The Tarmachan Ridge

PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:37 pm
by davgil
Mountain Coward - That's good to know as it was quite wet and slippery on the climb down. I didn't even think about an alternative to the airy path on Creag na Caillich, as the ground at this point was stable and dry, but I wouldn't fancy it in the wet!