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Meall na Fearna by the Fin Glen

Meall na Fearna by the Fin Glen


Postby past my sell by date » Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:52 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Meall na Fearna

Date walked: 03/02/2016

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 875m

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I went up Meall na Fearna via the Fin Glen in April 2014 and posted a report - but without any photographs so I thought it was about time to repeat it with a camera. As you drive along the South Loch Earn Road, past the (awful) caravan site, you pass two gates marked "private" and then a third from which a track leads up through two more gates into the Fin Glen. Just a few metres further is a good parking place on the right.
01.jpg

02.jpg
Looking up Loch Earn from the parking place to Meall an-t-Seallach and Creag Mac Ranaich
From doing the South Loch Earn ridge I had dscovered that this track goes far further than is shown on the map - in fact almost to the 550m Col at the West end of that ridge.
03.jpg
A closer view of Craig Mac Ranaich
04.jpg
The third gate leads on to the open hillside
05.jpg
A side track on the R leads up to heathery ridge of Druim Chonnaidh that I ascended before
05a.jpg

06.jpg
The views widened as I climbed
07.jpg
The track keeps high on the West side of the glen just below the screes of the ridge
08.jpg
Where it divides the main track descends into a mass of peat hags below the col: I stayed on the smaller RH path
09.jpg
The path came to an end and I headed up to the obvious gap
10.jpg
Meall na Fearna with Ben Vorlich on the Right: I could see a traverse line around the head of the glen but the terrain - tall heather with boulders - was unappealing - particularly with pockets of deep snow
11.jpg
Looking East across the col to Meall Reamhar aand the South Loch Earn ridge
I decided at this point that I should leave Meall na Fearna for another day : I could have headed East along the South Loch Earn ridge, but it contains huge peat hags which need to be fully frozen, so I climbed up through the heather to the top of Beinn Bhan where there were good views .
12.jpg
Ben Lawers
13.jpg
Above a wider view: below the head of Loch Earn
13a.jpg

14.jpg
The heathery ridge is an easy descent
15.jpg
One way to draw a circle
16.jpg
A sudden shaft of sunlight on the Sgiath Chuil group
17.jpg
A final look at the track leading up towards the col

28th Feb
The weather was even better , the view down Loch Earn clearer and the wind almost non-existant
17a.jpg

I followed the same track to its end, but this time instead of heading up right, walked across to the two fence posts that seem to mark the col. (1.5hours). There was more snow higher up but the snowline was more sharply defined.
18.jpg
Looking up to Meall na Fearna - the 550m col is about halfway up the picture
19.jpg
Looking back from the col
20.jpg
Meall na Fearna from the col - Ben Vorlich back right
21.jpg
The descent diagonally Right from the col is easy - mainly on short grass - well worth the sacrifice of about 70m of altitude - view back from the low point
22.jpg
Looking East down the unnamed glen that joins Gleann Ghoinean
I set off directly towards the Corbett, but soon found myself thrashing about in a large area of peat hags, so I cut back right and followed easy grass slopes until I came across footprints heading right - walkers on the standard route.
23.jpg
Looking up to the peak
24.jpg
Looking back this is easy terrain :)
The last 30m is the only steep bit on this hill. I had forgotten the Ice axe I planned to bring, but as the two sets of footprints heading straight up clearly showed that the owners had no equipment, I assumed i would manage OK :lol: In fact there is only a 10m section that was any problem. In the conditions it had taken me 3.5 hours in all .
The views were superb :D
25.jpg
Vorlich and Stuc a Chroin look particularly impressive
26.jpg
Ben Challum et al
26a.jpg
South across Glen Artney - the sun in my eyes was very bright and Umha Beag only just made it into the picture :lol:
27.jpg

28.jpg

28a.jpg

I didn't greatly fancy descending the steep ascent slope, so I headed south and in no more than 20m found an easy-angled snow rake circling round to he its foot :roll: Doh! I could have saved 10 minutes at least by coming up this way.
29.jpg

There were lots of footprints here and I followed them back through the maze of small mounds that guard this hill. There is something quite nice and relaxing about following other peoples footprnts on the way back. You don't have to think too hard and as long as you don't find a body they're going to lead you home :lol:
30.jpg
Looking back
I made it home in 2.5 hours here are Just a few photos:-
31.jpg
Looking East into Gleann Ghoinean - Beinn Dearg
32.jpg
Looking back from near the col
33.jpg
Creag na-h-Iolaire and Meall na Fearna from where I rejoined the path
34.jpg
Tree silhouettes on the cliff again

What to think
Well I'm biased of course, but I think this is a much nicer way up the hill. The Naismith times are about the same, and while there is nothing wrong with the standard route, Glen Vorlich is very enclosed and rather dull - doubly so if you've already been up it to the Munroes. This route takes you into much wilder territory and you can come down the ridge if you prefer a slight variation. Anyone else's views would be more than welcome
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Last edited by past my sell by date on Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
past my sell by date
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Re: Meall na Fearna revisited

Postby jacob » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:16 pm

Some pretty impressive photos. They really show the roughness of the terrain. Well captured.
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Re: Meall na Fearna revisited

Postby past my sell by date » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:55 pm

jacob wrote:Some pretty impressive photos. They really show the roughness of the terrain. Well captured.

Yes it is rough terrain and well worth a visit.
I find it very depressing that so many people just get out the Munro or Corbett book and say "where do we start?"
In my youth there was no such thing as a guide book: You got out the map and made your own decision. The SMC books have done a huge amount to interest people in the hills, but they need (IMO) to be more expansive in suggesting alternatives
past my sell by date
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Posts: 814
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Re: Meall na Fearna by the Fin Glen

Postby rockhopper » Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:08 am

Interesting route and a bit different from the norm - nice day for it with some great views :thumbup:
Walked this hill from Ardvorlich in the snow last year which meant I could add on Ben Vorlich and Ben Our - nice winter hills - cheers :)
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Re: Meall na Fearna by the Fin Glen

Postby past my sell by date » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:27 am

rockhopper wrote:Interesting route and a bit different from the norm - nice day for it with some great views :thumbup:
Walked this hill from Ardvorlich in the snow last year which meant I could add on Ben Vorlich and Ben Our - nice winter hills - cheers :)

Yes - if you're going to include Vorlich, then the Ardvorlich approach is the only on that makes sense unless you have two cars. I'm afraid it's normally just one hill at a time for me nowadays :( :lol:
We've had a lot of brilliant clear days this winter
past my sell by date
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 814
Munros:282   Corbetts:84
Grahams:27   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:146
Wainwrights:159   
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