With mum and dad back from 6 years in Australia and keen to get back to their munro's we decided to do the classic round of Creag Meagaidh.
Not an area we have been to much before but it is in Poucher's Peaks so we knew it was worth a visit.
We set off from the Aberarder carpark at 10.30 having driven up from Glasgow and Mum/Dad from Aberdeenshire. I was a bit apprehensive by the 8-10 hour time frame and wondered if we would make it round before dark! We need not have worried!
Weather looked a bit iffy as we set off past the youth hostel and up the valley along the edge of a young brich and rowan forrest. We were looking for a path on our right which would lead us up towards the first summit of the day; Carn Liath but somehow missed it so walked up the valley to underneath Na Cnapanan and then just took a bee line up through the heather slope, hard work and slow going but otherwise not a problem. Up on the col we joined a rough path and followed this through many false summits to reach the summit cairn.
Once at the 1st summit a nice long ridge presented itself. We were walking directly into an icy NW wind but the forecast had it to ease during the day. Excellent views into the corrie.
Once at the 2nd munro we descended steeply but without difficulty towards the top of the 'window' for a nice sheltered lunch. After refueling we set off again up onto the summit plateau of Creag Meagaidh.
Once on the plateau a beautiful snow ridge lead up to the summit of Creag Meagaidh, lots of foot prints already made which was reassuring. It looked a bit scary but after a little bit of encouragement from my seniors we stepped out along it. It was easy and lots of fun in the end.
Then it was a nice easy walk across the snow (not many foot prints this way) over to the ridge leading up to Sron a' Choire. The other tops we could see to our left were beautiful and looked enticing. Dad was keen to get to the rest of the tops but a 40 minute detour was voted out by mum Weather improving all the way!
We even heard before we saw a small avalanche on the slopes above the lake, and could see lots of mud and rocks on the snow where many had been before.
We followed the ridge coming down off Sron a' Choire right to the end along an easy and stunning path.
On route we were lucky enough to cross the path of a pair of Ptarmigans, Alistair almost tripped up on the male. They then proceeded to try sneak very slowly and deliberately trying to to be noticed. Allowing for time for a good photo!
In the distance we could see the larger path on the left of the river winding out of the glen. We aimed for a grassy path on the right of the river. This was pretty wet underfoot, lots of wild flowers and a few slipper dippers..........
We were not sure if we would have to cross the river to join the main path but happily the grass road lead us right down the glen through a beautiful wood at the bottom and out to the car park - very easy.
Overall an great day of walking and a stunning place. Despite initially seeming like a very big undertaking time and distance wise the walk was easy with no technical difficulties, once up on the ridge we made good time. The small of snow was no problem and we made it down in 8.5 hours with plenty of time for an excellent pub dinner in Newtonmore. Highly recommend the walk and the Glen Hotel!
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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.