This was a variation on my walk with Thomas in August, but alone and in better weather. I had planned to drive down on the Friday evening but felt too tired from work and there were the usual problems at home to sort out like my younger son placing a battery into the hole in a subwoofer! So, I was up at 0500 on the Saturday morning with the car already loaded for a five-day trip to the Rannoch area.
Having done a similar walk so recently, I knew exactly where to park. As I headed up the track on my bike, I saw a couple of pick-ups heading down a forestry track that runs down Gleann Chomraidh. I sensed that the occupants were looking my way and sure enoughafter reaching the public road they headed up my way. I pulled my bike off the track to let them pass. To my surprise, the first vehicle did not stop to ask me what I was doing, but the second one did. He was, in fact, a very friendly chap who was taking clients stalking on Leagag and said that I was fine heading for the more distant Cam Chreag and Meall Buidhe.
I took several panoramic photos of Meall Buidhe on the way up, but each one seemed better than the previous, this one being taken high on the north ridge of Cam Chreag.
It had been quite a hard walk across from the end of the track above the Allt Easan Stalcair to the Allt Ruighe a' Mhadaidh, but the drier slopes of Cam Chreag were relatively easy going. I have read of someone approaching Cam Chreag from the bridge crossing the Allt Leac Ghiubhais but I doubt if it would be any easier. Either way, I was glad to reach the top and enjoy a bacon and chicken sandwich!
As is often the case with Corbetts, Cam Chreag is a great spot to survey and photograph the surrounding Munros: here looking south towards Ben Lawers and the Tarmachan Ridge.
Looking SSW towards the Chrianlarich hills; Stob Binnein and Ben More being the prominent peaks to the left.
Looking east: Schiehallion and the Carn Mair group. The Corbett, Beinn Dearg is the lower hill with the patch of forestry.
Zoomed in to Meall Garbh, An Stuc and Ben Lawers.
The walk across to Meall a' Phuill was easy enough. I was spurred on by the sight of two walkers up ahead. If I could catch them up it would save having to faff about with my tripod and time delay for the summit selfie.
As it was, they were just heading back as I approached the summit cairn of Meall Buidhe. I asked if they would join me back to the summit to take a photograph and one of them obliged, saying "As it's such a nice day....".
I continued to Garbh Mheall and down its broad north ridge to this well-built cairn; looking towards Schiehallion.
On my ascent, Ben Alder and Beinn Bheoil were in cloud and even when the cloud cleared, I could not obtain a good picture of the hills to the north but as I headed back down on my bike, I captured these hills. I was particularly pleased to have this clear view of these hills as my plan for the next day was Stob an Aonaich Mhoir, seen here to the right, before heading for Benalder Cottage and climbing Beinn Bheoil and Ben Alder the day after.
I had toyed with the idea of staying in a non-MBA "secret bothy", but I decided to save myself a 60km return trip and camp on the shore of Loch Rannoch. It was a little disturbing to see the amount of litter and why does there need to be three burnt patches when one fireplace should be enough? I cleared up the cleaner bits of rubbish, but did not want to fully investigate a heavier carrier bag that looked like it might contain a dead fish - I did not fancy it stinking out my car. Is the banning of wild camping in some lochside locations further south just displacing the problem? Discussing the matter with a local estate worker, he pointed out that there are large bins at the end of an estate road and they have no issues about the general public using them - it is preferable to leaving stuff at the side of the lochs.
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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.