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Sron a'Choire Gairbh and Meall na Teanga from Laggan Locks

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 7:48 pm
by colinwatson
This walk was the second day of our long weekend at the Great Glen Hostel.

After a comfortable night, we had the luxury of not having to drive to the hill - but the downside was starting the day with a short section along the A82, albeit with a bit of verge to follow. We picked up the Great Glen Way just north of the hostel and it was a lovely walk from there down to Laggan Locks. The track was above the Caledonian Canal and the sound of woodland birds was just lovely. We came to the Locks and at this point crossed the Great Glen. We then followed the minor road to Kilfinnan. In retrospect, I would have taken the car here to save a bit on what was actually quite a long day. My first ascent of these hills was also from the hostel, back in 1981......I must have been fitter (or keener) then! From Kilfinnan, it is a pleasant walk through the South Laggan Forest to the start of the stalkers' path, which is clearly marked.

The path climbed steadily through the trees at a good angle, before emerging and heading up easily towards the col. As we gained height, the wind increased, but not to an unpleasant level. As we were enclosed by the hills at this stage, there wasn't much of a change in the view, but it was encouraging to see Loch Lochy get further away.

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Looking down at Loch Lochy from near the col

Once at the col, we decided to head to Sron a'Choire Ghairbh first, so took the magnificently constructed zig zag path towards the plateau. I cannot think how many hours it must have taken to construct this path. As we gained height, the view of Meall na Teanga became clearer.

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Meall na Teanga from the stalkers' path

Once we had gained the plateau, it was only a short walk to the cairn, where the panorama was great - Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries, Knoydart, Kintail, the big glens further north and the Great Glen.

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Looking up the Great Glen

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The Knoydart peaks with Loch Quoich to the right

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The view north

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Happy faces at the cairn!

After the customary photos, we headed back towards the col. There is a huge boulder about a third of the way down that was an excellent spot for lunch. From there it didn't take long to reach the col and start the climb of Meall na Teanga. Although there is not a path marked, one has been beaten out by walkers' feet.

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Meall na Teanga from the col

It was quite a pull up from there, with quite a bit of erosion on the path and some boggy terrain to get across. I spent the ascent watching my son pull further away from me. However, I was encouraged to see him stop beside a cairn that I assumed to be the top. It was only when I got there that I discovered that the cairn was a little further on.

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My son and heir raising my hopes at the false summit

However, it was only a few more minutes before we were at the summit, with great views up and down the Great Glen, with Loch Linnhe looking great.

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The pesky youth at the summit

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Looking towards the Ben and the Grey Corries

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Looking down to Loch Lochy

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An old man stands at the cairn. Loch Linnhe behind

We then started to make our way back to the col.

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Sron a'Choire Ghairbh from above the col, with the stalkers' path visible

All that remained then was the long trudge out, but at least I could reflect on some great views - on my first trip, although dry, the cloud was low. I hope that I reached the true summit of Meall na Teanga and didn't stop at the first cairn - but it's far to long ago to remember with any accuracy.