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Carn Liath (Creag Meagaidh Nature Reserve)

Carn Liath (Creag Meagaidh Nature Reserve)

Postby gorillazee » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:13 pm

Munros included on this walk: Càrn Liath (Creag Meagaidh)

Date walked: 20/07/2017

Time taken: 4 hours

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Since I didn't find one when I was searching... Hopefully this will help others find that path to the summit .... but in the clouds, this would be an easy hill to get lost on for the inexperienced and those without a map and compass.

Park up at Craig Meagaidh Nature Reserve. (Free parking at time of writing). Look up at the mountain ... It was steeper than it looked but I didn't realise until the descent.
Notice no path to the summit is obvious.

Head straight up the path to the mountain (runs alongside the road) to reach the white tourist hub buildings and picnic area. Continue along the nature trail path to the viewpoint. (A wheelchair compatible path)
Nature reserve path.

From here a post points the way to Coire Ardair. This is the path to follow, (Wheelchair hostile) but if the weather is really bad then you might want to adjust plans and follow this obvious path to the loch at the head of the glen/valley.
Looking down across Lock Laggan from the highly accessible nature reserve path.

First time I missed the original turn off to climb Carn Liath and ended up going through the woodland area on the way to Coire Ardair. If your deep in these woodlands on the obvious path, as pleasant as that may be, you've gone too far.

So what to look out for on the path off to the right .... I hope these pictures help others find it.
Notice the drainage channel before the turn to the right, before the woods bulk up ...

The path overgrown with grass and bracken in mid July is not obvious even with a map.
That wooded area to the right is the path. The cairn is those few rocks hidden behind the clump of heather. Don't count on that being present. Can't see it. You're not the only one.

Once you've found the path the fun begins. This is not a path in the classical sense. You share the way with the stream bed and boggy mountain side. Occasional the mountain might try to steal your footwear once out of the woodlands. I wouldn't want to try this in wet season!
Yep. This is a path. A fun path when dry.

In sunshine it is a little bit of fun to scramble through the dense forest. Eventually you exit the forest and start going up the hillside through boggy heather areas, even after the sunshine. This brings you to the Na Cnapanan hill.
Looking up from Na Cnapanan to the summit of Carn Liath.

Beyond here the path becomes very indistinct so I guess many follow their own route. But you can follow a line of old iron fence posts towards the summit. This will have varying success depending on weather since it is not continuous and rock slides (or maybe snow and ice) have squished sections into the ground so not a reliable navigation marker. I weaved my own way through boggish ground and rocks. Probably not the most efficient route but it was what I felt safe with.

Congrats if you find the impassable gate!
Fortunately the gate isn't locked. So you can pass through it freely.

Continue weaving your way between boggy heather/moss and bits of rock scape to the summit. It is great to have firm rock footing on the way up but spongy heather on the way down.
At the summit looking towards a climb for the future.

To get back down re-wind what you just did on the way up.
Munro compleatist
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 30, 2014

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