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Meall Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:40 pm
by yokehead

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Me and my 14 year old son, Chaz

The weather forecast was for a clear morning and strong wind, but with gales, snow and wind chill at -21 deg. in the afternoon so we decided to make an early start. However when we woke it was snowing and there was snow on the ground. We left Killin at 8.30 for a slow journey in snow on the single track roads to Loch na Daimh, so didn’t start the walk until 9.45. There was a lot of cloud on the journey but this had completely cleared by the time we started, the air seemed to sparkle and there were great views.

Although the temperature as we began was -1.5 deg, by the time we had started up the slopes on the path that leaves the track we were very warm so had to open coats and take off hats and gloves. With the wind blowing from the north west, at this point on the sheltered south facing slopes it was calm although we could hear the wind and see snow blowing from the peaks around us. We saw then heard deer that were higher up the mountain, a marvellous sound. The view down Loch na Daimh was crystal clear with an intriguing sight of the deep glens and very steep peaks at the end (the Corbett Sron a’ Choire Chnapanaich being the main one), definitely worth a visit some time in the future we decided.

start of the walk, west along Loch na Daimh

We steadily followed the path for 1.5 km, which was covered in around 2-4 cm of snow that hid the squelchy parts, but helped us in places where it was frozen. Very small patches of water about 30cm deep were awaiting a misplaced boot step but we managed to avoid them. We then aimed to the north west too soon and ended up floundering through peat hags, deepening snow and gullies, a frustrating combination but enjoyed, we should have continued to the north for a little further to gain the ridge just to the west of Meall a’ Phuill to avoid this. We eventually reached the ridge a little east of the head of Glas Choire and had a bit of a slope to climb through soft snow that had been blown from the main ridge and dumped in the lee, drifting to a depth of around 50 cm in places, excellent fun! We took a few photos then continued, making deep steps in the snow close to the corrie edge to reach the main ridge at 900m. There was a reasonable slope into the corrie so care was required although our position was stable and it provided a nice challenge.

panorama north towards the summit cairn

fun fun fun

There had been a fairly strong wind and blowing snow as we approached the ridge and we had had to batten down the clothing. On the ridge itself, visibility to the north west was superb only for a couple of minutes, leaving no time for photos before the wind strength increased substantially and visibility reduced with blowing snow. We could see the cairn at the summit just over 1km away and decided to make a fast move to get there and back before conditions worsened. We reached the cairn in 25 minutes; stopping a couple of times for photos, over ground that had been partly blown clear of snow with a few patches of ice. This was a great part of the walk, getting up a good stride through the wind and blowing snow. Just a few minutes were spent at the cairn and we took a few more photos in the dramatic conditions where snow on the whole of the ridge was being whipped up by the wind, a stunning sight with the sun still shining through. The sky was very clear to the south but to the north the tops of the higher peaks were in the cloud and more cloud was coming in.

zoom view of Stuchd an Lochain with Ben More & Stob Binnean in the distance

south to the Lawers group

Chaz with hatches battened

Descent to the calmer ground to the south of Meall a’ Phuill was fast, with the wind increasing but now blowing more from behind us. The drop from the ridge plateau through the deep snow was very enjoyable. Snow was whipping off the ridge above us and there were mini tornado-like whirls that came down the slope towards then over us; we stopped for a while to watch this and to take photos. Going on, we followed the faint trace of a path to the east before heading south so missed the worst of the troubles that we had encountered on the ascent.

The rest of the descent was uneventful, the snow having partially melted in the sun. We stopped to shelter behind the obvious boulder by the path at around 500m and had the soup and food that we had planned to eat at the summit. As we reached the car the cloud base lowered below the mountain tops; it started to snow and was much colder with the sun covered, we had timed our descent well. The drive along Glen Lyon was a delight, the snow on the road had melted and the colours of the autumn leaves were superb. On the road back to Killin we stopped to admire the north-facing corrie of Meall nan Tarmachan.

I have read accounts that this is a mundane mountain – not for us, as well as the weather giving us an exciting time and memorable visit we also thought that the mountain had character in those conditions, and great views in all directions.
I think we were the only people on the mountain today.

Re: Meall Bhuidhe 28 Oct 08

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:07 am
by canisp
Six great photo’s from what looked like an excellent day out with superb seeing conditions. Especially like the first shot looking up Loch an Daimh to the Corbetts. Thanks for sharing :D

Re: Meall Bhuidhe 28 Oct 08

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:37 am
by yokehead
Thanks canisp, yes it was the best visibility of our week in the area. There's just so much to be done now though what with Corbetts like that as well as Munros and me living in the wrong place! :lol:

Re: Meall Bhuidhe 28 Oct 08

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:49 pm
by Graeme D
Planning on doing Meall Bhuidhe tomorrow - just hope we get a day even half as nice and clear as this one! 8)

Re: Meall Bhuidhe 28 Oct 08

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:42 pm
by yokehead
Hope you enjoy the walk Graeme, the weather forecast is good I believe showing sun all day - hope it turns out that way!

Re: Meall Bhuidhe 28 Oct 08

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:36 pm
by Graeme D
Thanks Yokehead! It was a great day and decent weather too - views over to Lawers and Tarmachan ridges were good but the highlight was the view west of Rannoch and Glen Etive e.t.c just bathed in sunlight. Not a bad way to start 2009! Will try to get some pics up shortly.... :D :D

Re: Meall Bhuidhe 28 Oct 08

PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:30 pm
by monty
Done this munro today and got some nice pictures, but I love this report with the snow capped tops. Superb.