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Fabulous Views - a great day on the Hills

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:44 pm
by ChrisH
A great day on the Hills:
Fantastic spell of weather, very hot with only a slight breeze but fabulous views and a super walk (although see my comments about the descent route off).

I have previously done the route off Ben Lawers down the East ridge and along the track back to Lawers Burn and, although this route is longer and involves the ascent to Ben Lawers; I think this descent is preferable to the tricky grassy slopes down from the Bealach Dubh and the boggy footpath along to Lawers Burn.

Photos from the route:
Start at Machuim Farm :
Machum Farm the path leads off up the hill.JPG

Path emerges from the shady woodland onto the moor
Path emerges from the woods onto the moor with Meall Greigh behind.JPG

Meall Greigh.JPG

The path up Meall Greigh is initially indistinct, it trends left and then slopes right up onto Sron Mhor, the shoulder of Meall Greigh.
The slope is steep going but good views start to arrive, showing the next summits:
On the slog up Meall Greigh - the view acrod to Ben Lawers, An Stuc & Meall Garbh.JPG

A steady pull up to the summit of Meall Greigh:
Arriving at the Summit of Meall Greigh 1001m.JPG

Great views from the summit :
Ben Laswers, An Stuc & Meall Garbh from the summit of Meall Greigh.jpg

Summit of Meall Greigh fab views to the north West (Ben Nevis etc).jpg

The route across to Meall Garbh is obvious but in poor visibility the fenceposts would be useful:
On the Path from Meall Greigh across to Meall Garbh the fenceposts would be a good aid in poor visubility.jpg

The first part of the ascent up to Meall Garbh is a steep path but is mercifully short and the ridge to the 1st summit of Meall Garbh is very fine:
The final ridge up to the 1st summit of Meall Garbh.jpg

Views from the 1st summit of Meall Garbh:
Looking across to Ben Lawers from 1st summit of Meall Garbh.jpg

and back to Meall Greigh
Looking back to Meall Greigh from 1st summit of Meall Garbh.jpg

It's a short walk across to the main summit
Looking acroos to the main summit of Meall Garbh from the 1st summit with An Stuc to the left.jpg

Very fine views all around:
View (west) from Meall Garbh.jpg

As the rout description says An Stuc starts to loom large and on the descent path from Meall Garbh it is worth studying the line of ascent up the face of An Stuc.

The best route is a path which starts above the top of the snow patch in this photo and zig zags up the left hand side of the face. Near the top it goes slightly right up a loose gully slanting left to right
AnStuc - the ascent path zig zags up the left side before entering a loose gully slanting rightwards).jpg

In summer conditions this ascent is no problem for those with a head for heights. Care needed in descent to get the correct line.

Fab views from An Stuc summit:
The summit of An Stuc with Ben Lawers behind.jpg

Fab views from summit of An Stuc (Ben Nevis etc).jpg

The descent to Bealach Dubh between An Stuc and Ben Lawers is straightforward.
As the route description says a decision is required here whether to continue up to the summit of Ben Lawers (your 4th Munro of the day) and then descend to the East, OR to descend straight away following the stream and grassy slopes down to the Lochan nan Cat.
Having done both descents I would recommend continuing to Ben Lawers summit and descending down the East slope.

If you do decide to go down to the Lochan from the Bealach Dubh:--

The path down to the Lochan nan Cat starts promisingly:
The start of the path() down from Bealach Dubh to the Locahn nan Cat.jpg

However, there was a large, unstable, steep snow patch close to the stream which quickly forced me onto steep grassy slopes to the left (descending) into a steep but rocky/grassy gulley. At the bottom of this first section the slope eases and you can return to the main stream.

The grassy slopes steepen again and the main stream falls over some rocky cascades which are steep and slippery. I was forced out well to the right (descending) to a smaller stream picking my way down steep grassy slopes.
At the bottom the slope eases and I stayed well right of the Lochan to avoid boggy terrain.

This view back up to the Bealach Dubh from the Lochan shows the descent terrain. The top section, which starts by the snow patch is foreshortened.
Looking back to the route down from Bealach Dubh to The Lochan nan Cat.jpg

Once down by the Lochan there is a boggy, indistinct path which follows the right hand side of the Lochan and then right of the stream.
This section is wet and not easy walking until at last the Hydro track is reached.
The footpath forks left off the track at a small cairn and is a good going, above Lawers Burn until at the end it crosses the Burn at an odd footbridge before joining up with the starting track.

A great day out - even better if Ben Lawers is included and the better route down taken!

Re: Fabulous Views - a great day on the Hills

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:53 pm
by Alteknacker
Wasn't Thursday just the perfect day for the hills? I was out around Glen Etive, and the views, like yours, were to die for.