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Meall a'Chrasgaidh via its East Ridge. A Different Approach

Meall a'Chrasgaidh via its East Ridge. A Different Approach


Postby Cairngorm creeper » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:13 am

Munros included on this walk: Meall a'Chrasgaidh

Date walked: 21/01/2017

Time taken: 6.7 hours

Distance: 12.5 km

Ascent: 811m

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Neither of us can remember where the idea of ascending Meall a Chrasgaidh via its east ridge originated from, but having studied the map it looked an interesting way of approaching what has been described as an unremarkable Munro. A bit of exploring helped us finalise our route viewtopic.php?f=9&t=69323 and on this unseasonably, glorious sunny January day we set off with high hopes of a mini adventure. :).
At 9:15 we parked in layby at Breamore junction, (where the A832 meets the A835) and walked a very short way up the road to join the track.
IMG_6039.JPG
The Route

The first km followed a very rutted track through forestry, where a large number of trees have recently been brought down by the wind, but it was not long before we were out of the woods and on the open moorland. The ground was frozen, the mud underfoot was crackling and crunching in a most sastfying way :D and the visibility and views in all directions were excellent.
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Low lying mist in the east
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AnTeallach
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First views of Carn Na Criche
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Looking back Across Loch Broom to Assynt

We followed the stream across the moor, over a hill and into a magical small glen. Magical both in appearance and the regularity with which the path across it appeared and disappeared amongst tussocks, hillocks, bogs and stream. :lol:. Our route finding was not helped by the brilliant sunlight as the only way we could see what was in front of us was to stop every few steps to shade our eyes. Eventually we reached the large cairn marking the Bealach between Meall a Bhainne and Creag Raineach Mor. From here it is easy walking to Creag Raineach Mor, a superb view point, of Loch a Mhadaidh and surrounding hills near and far. But we didn't linger, we were on a mission and could see our objective.
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11:20 Approaching Meall a'Chrasgaidh from Creag Raineach Mor
and as we got closer to Meall a Chrasgaidh the route became clearer.
IMG_6008.JPG
The Route

We went up the ridge on the right of the picture and came down the good path into Coire a Mhadaidh traversing the craggy side of Meall a Chrasgaidh.
The ridge exceeded our expectations :D We mostly followed a very steep grassy path that wound its way through crags with some short sections of unavoidable easy scrambling but it looked as though you could scramble fairly continuously all the way up the ridge on good rock.
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The start of the east ridge
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Winding our way through the rock
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Looking up the gully
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And down the gully
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Short sections easy scrambling
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Impressive when you look down

Thank fully there were no impassable obstacles and although we could have descended our route it may have involved crawling backwards on the steeper sections. :lol: All too soon it was all over and we were on the grassy slope leading to Meall a Chrasgaidh summit.
IMG_6020.JPG
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Looking between TheFannich peaks to the south
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12:45 The summit
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A nice shelter for lunch with a view across to Assynt.

Refreshed and revitalised it was time to make our way down this time following a better known but still impressive and enjoyable path down Am Burach and traversing the craggy east face of Meall a Chrasgaidh.
IMG_6024.JPG
Bealch with Carn Na Crich

The path was extremely icy and we were glad of the Kahtoola KTS crampons, but when it came to crossing a couple of steep snow gullies the Kahtoolas did feel very secure and I regretted not bringing an ice axe.
IMG_6025.JPG
Wishing I had an Ice Axe

The path became a little wider, and the ice avoidable but the situation and views remained spectacular.
IMG_6026.JPG
Traversing the craggy face of Meall a'Chrasgaidh
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Looking across to Bein Dearg
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Loch a Mhadaidh

Time to recross the magical Glen
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We have to cross the Glen somehow
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An Teallach in the evening sun

back through the forest
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Troublesome Tree

A very satisfying and fun mini adventure and anyone finding Meall a Chrasgaidh unremarkable should try approaching it a different way.
Last edited by Cairngorm creeper on Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Meall a'Chrasgaidh via its East Ridge. A Different Appro

Postby jmarkb » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:14 am

Nice report! Looks good: I'm always on the lookout for interesting "off-piste" routes, so thanks for posting this! :clap:
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Re: Meall a'Chrasgaidh via its East Ridge. A Different Appro

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:09 pm

If you do go that way I hope you enjoy it and I would be interested to know what you think of the scrambling on the ridge.
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Re: Meall a'Chrasgaidh via its East Ridge. A Different Appro

Postby BlackPanther » Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:32 pm

I think most of us walk over MC en route to Sgurr nan Clach Geala, without even realizing, we passed over a Munro! :lol:

Interesting approach, will keep it in mind for the future. I'm running out of new local hills to climb, so an alternative route for a repeat is always welcome.
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Re: Meall a'Chrasgaidh via its East Ridge. A Different Appro

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:57 am

BlackPanther wrote:I think most of us walk over MC en route to Sgurr nan Clach Geala, without even realizing, we passed over a Munro! :lol:

Interesting approach, will keep it in mind for the future. I'm running out of new local hills to climb, so an alternative route for a repeat is always welcome.


It. Is a good one for a short day (alough the Coire would be treacherous in snow) but also could be used as an approach to Sgurr nan Clach Geala if you are looking for something different.
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Re: Meall a'Chrasgaidh via its East Ridge. A Different Appro

Postby jmarkb » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:58 am

BlackPanther wrote:Interesting approach, will keep it in mind for the future. I'm running out of new local hills to climb, so an alternative route for a repeat is always welcome.


I once walked in from Lochdrum to Loch a' Mhadaidh and did a round over Sgurr Mor and BLMF. You could easily include this ridge in that which would make a good day out.
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Re: Meall a'Chrasgaidh via its East Ridge. A Different Appro

Postby Jaxter » Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:36 pm

This looks like great fun!! And you picked a good day for it too :wink:

Might see if I can work this into my plans for these hills :D
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Re: Meall a'Chrasgaidh via its East Ridge. A Different Appro

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:08 pm

Jaxter wrote:This looks like great fun!! And you picked a good day for it too :wink:

Might see if I can work this into my plans for these hills :D

It was fun and a lovely day but pleased to see the snow back now :D
I am sure you would like the ridge if it fitted on your route, really surprised it does seem to get a mention anywhere.
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Re: Meall a'Chrasgaidh via its East Ridge. A Different Appro

Postby Coop » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:44 pm

So annoying when you've exerted all that energy climbing a mountain and someone blocks your path with a pesky tree :D

Great report and good reading. Well in
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Re: Meall a'Chrasgaidh via its East Ridge. A Different Appro

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:35 pm

Coop wrote:So annoying when you've exerted all that energy climbing a mountain and someone blocks your path with a pesky tree :D

Great report and good reading. Well in

Thanks Coop, that tree was the crux of the route :lol: :lol:
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Re: Meall a'Chrasgaidh via its East Ridge. A Different Appro

Postby litljortindan » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:50 pm

Interesting indeed. Not sure about your limbo dancing technique at the end there though!
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Re: Meall a'Chrasgaidh via its East Ridge. A Different Appro

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:14 pm

litljortindan wrote:Interesting indeed. Not sure about your limbo dancing technique at the end there though!

Definitely more limbo practice required :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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