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Meall Chuaich has it all ....... today.

Meall Chuaich has it all ....... today.


Postby JimboJim » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:18 pm

Route description: Meall Chuaich, Drumochter

Munros included on this walk: Meall Chuaich

Date walked: 20/01/2017

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 14.1 km

Ascent: 615m

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Great view over the inversion to Ben AlderBen left, Geal Charn, Carn Dearg, right. Buachaille Etive Beag through the gap.
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Over to the Cairngorm range.
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Stuart, Big Jesper and self, towards Ben Alder and Drumochter Hills.
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On the summit, looking north.
First trip to Munro's for this year and target was Meall Chuaich, Dalwhinnie. Forecast was looking so good that we were tempted to head for grander hills, but finally opted to stick with the plan and had new company in the shape of Stuart, to keep us right, if the fog didn't lift.

Usual early start. Five thirty, is just not right, however managed to keep the motor on the road and made it to the start point without mishap. Hills were well shrouded in clag, but forecast predicted clear sun by 9a.m. As we headed off another group of lads arrived and unloaded their bikes. Should we have done likewise? Anyway, we made good pace along the landrover track towards Loch Cuaich. There's quite a few roads criss-crossing here, however Charles kept us on the straight and narrow, or followed the cyclists, who passed us near the hydro plant.
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Summit in the distance.


Following the road round, there's an obvious cairn which marks the departure point up the hill. Fairly boggy for the first few hundred yards, but steadily becomes drier. As 10 a.m. approached, all sorts of questions were being asked about the Met Office prediction of clear sun, as we followed the very obvious path, eventually joining up with the 3 cyclists from Aberdeen area. Not long after, we emerged into a different world. A sea of cloud below us, stunning sunshine and not a breath of wind.
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The lads trying to catch up :)
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Yours truly.
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Jaf and Stuart appear from the clag.
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Carn na Caim, to left.
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First views having emerged from the cloud.


We were soon treated to a Fogbow and Brocken Spectre, although neither being the greatest examples and typically, I had left my camera at home :( Nearing the summit, gets into boulders and stones, requiring a bit more concentration, but nothing to really impair progress as the gradient is not steep. Only a few small pockets of snow. Before long we were at the summit, where we spent plenty time enjoying the vista of hills pressing above the cloud inversion, which was a great pleasure to see, finally topped off by a fly past by a Typhoon Eurofighter, then two other jets, heading the opposite way to finish off the spectacular display. Great views of surrounding hills and ranges. Indistinguished? - Not today :D
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Invisible fogbow :)
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Not the best example of Brocken Spectre this week.
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Faint outline of the disappearing fogbow. (It was there, honestly. Maybe the Aberdeen chaps might come up with a better view?)
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Passing by the fogbow.


Grub and drinks scoffed, we made our way down and back to the car in four hours, just as the bikers pulled in at our backs, so for us, we were happy enough having left the bikes at home. Bit of a long trek home, but a refreshment stop in Killin, to reflect on the days amazing images, always helps sooth the tiredness :lol:
Attachments
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Island in the sea.
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Creag Meagaidh rising above the inversion.
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Also, faint view of the spectre.
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JimboJim
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Re: Meall Chuaich has it all ....... today.

Postby katyhills » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:26 pm

Nice report Jim and a lovely set of photos. Shame you didn't get the full spectre. Inversions are stunning when you're lucky enough to get one though :D

I did this hill 18 months ago as my first new one after many years' break, and I had a beautiful day for it. It's quite a pleasant walk up to the hill even if it is a hydro road. Some good wildlife in summer too. Not the most thrilling, as you say, but when you get views like that, any hill is great!
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Re: Meall Chuaich has it all ....... today.

Postby JimboJim » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:19 pm

katyhills wrote:Nice report Jim and a lovely set of photos. Shame you didn't get the full spectre. Inversions are stunning when you're lucky enough to get one though :D

I did this hill 18 months ago as my first new one after many years' break, and I had a beautiful day for it. It's quite a pleasant walk up to the hill even if it is a hydro road. Some good wildlife in summer too. Not the most thrilling, as you say, but when you get views like that, any hill is great!


Thank you, Katy. Yes, not best examples of spectre, or fogbow, but a pleasure to see, all the same and inversion was pretty spectacular. A was said amongst ourselves, there's always something to remember about every trip - not always good :lol:
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Re: Meall Chuaich has it all ....... today.

Postby dogplodder » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:14 pm

What is it about inversions and such clarity above them..... Just stunning! :D
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Re: Meall Chuaich has it all ....... today.

Postby mrssanta » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:46 am

I really loved this hill, expected it to be just a slog for a tick but it was smashing.
your first picture made me go "ohhhh" :D
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Re: Meall Chuaich has it all ....... today.

Postby Jaxter » Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:45 pm

A perfect example that every hill has it's on perks :D :D

Lovely snaps :wink:
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Re: Meall Chuaich has it all ....... today.

Postby Big Jesper » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:54 pm

Another fantastic day out Jimbo and a nicer hill than was expecting.
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Re: Meall Chuaich has it all ....... today.

Postby Alteknacker » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:14 pm

As others have already rhetorically asked: what is it about an inversion - especially when you pop out of the top - that makes the heart skip a beat?

Absolutely beautiful. :clap: :clap: :clap:

When it's like this, no hill is a characterless lump!
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