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Great Glen & Meet

Great Glen & Meet

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:45 am

Munros included on this walk: Meall na Teanga, Sgurr a'Mhaoraich, Sron a'Choire Ghairbh

Date walked: 12/11/2017

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It seems hardly any time since the last Autumn Meet in Ratagan, but here we are, a year on at the Great Glen Hostel. My usual 3 day weekend was truncated by work commitments in Edinburgh on Friday, so we had a night at Mortonhall and a drive to Loch Lochy on Friday afternoon, arriving before the darkness fell. We'd chosen to stay in the tent rather than avail ourselves of the many delights of the Hostel, but it was good to meet up with lots of familiar and new faces. Didn't have particularly taxing plans for the weekend - the Loch Lochy Munros for Saturday (hopefully with a few Simms tagged on) and Sgurr a'Mhaoraich for Sunday to net Allison another required Top.

A lot of rain overnight on Friday was- i suspected - going to be translated onto snow on the hills. This caused a bit of a rethink on routes - I'd originally intended to go up Meall nan Dearcag and along the ridge up to Sron a'Choire Ghairbh but that would involve rougher terrain and more ascent/descent. Also, JacH had asked if she could join us on the walk and it seemed cruel to subject other walkers to the pursuit of Simms, so the standard approach up the track was opted for. Forecast for the day was for episodic snow showers, which is what we got. Off reasonably early (for a meet) with snow-gear packed just in case. Walk up from Kilfinnan was pleasant enough - some attempts seem to have been made to repair erosion on the track up to the bealach (or maybe I've just got used to walking on much more eroded tracks in the few years since we first did these hills). We decided on Sron a'Choire Ghairbh first, trying (and just failing) to get to the summit before the black clouds dumped their load of snow on us and the visibility fell. We took some shelter on the lower reaches of the zigzag path to have lunch before setting off up Meall na Teanga.

lochy.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

track to the bealach
ImageP1180120 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180122 by Al, on Flickr

Meall Dubh (L) and Teanga
ImageP1180123 by Al, on Flickr

Ben Tee
ImageP1180124 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180126 by Al, on Flickr

The ridge that we'd originally intended to come up
ImageP1180128 by Al, on Flickr

JacH and Allison summit Sron a'Choire Ghairbh
ImageP1180129 by Al, on Flickr

I was particularly keen to get a view from the top of this one and kept fingers crossed for the clouds to be kind to us. They were - and the views were worth the hype. At this point there was a choice - I intended to go on to the Simmof Meall Coire Lochain, just south from the summit, then take in Meall Dubh on the descent from Teanga. JacH opted to return (not surprising after having had a long drive up, only arriving at the Hostel at 2am the night before) Allison went off with her, leaving me to enjoy a worthwhile climb up to the top of Lochain (for more fine views) then a more laboured ascent of 130m or so up to Meall Dubh. Unfortunately the weather had closed in somewhat by that time but i'd say both of these extra summits have their virtues. Back along the track, meeting a couple of teens pushing bikes up - I really don't know where they were going at almost 3pm, with scant clothing - hope they hadn't mistaken the track for the Great Glen Way.

Meall Dubh from Teanga
ImageP1180132 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180134 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Lochain
ImageP1180135 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180136 by Al, on Flickr

Teanga from Lochain
ImageP1180141 by Al, on Flickr

Teanga from Dubh
ImageP1180145 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180146 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180149 by Al, on Flickr

An enjoyable evening followed with the usual quiz and overindulgence in food and drink.

ImageP1180151 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180152 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180153 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180154 by Al, on Flickr

Sunday morning found me feeling OK and Allison somewhat fragile. We said our farewells and headed off to Loch Quoich where we planned to attempt Mhaoraich (not before having to return for Allison's boots which were still in the drying room :roll: ) It was a lovely morning driving lochside, all the hills over towards Loch Arkaig having a healthy topping of snow. The twists and turns of the road were not helping Allison's queasiness and indeed by the time we arrived at the parking place i was feeling none too clever myself. We were greeted by a mob of stags at the beginning of the stalkers path. What followed was a sort of death march up the hillside, encountering snow early on and having to deal with the odd deep drift. I felt so sluggish and wretched although it didn't entirely stop me from enjoying the snowy vistas.

sam.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Loch Quoich
ImageP1180156 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180157 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180159 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180161 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180164 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180167 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180168 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180171 by Al, on Flickr

We stopped for lunch at 12.30 and it took a further two hours to get to the Munro summit. This gave me a bit of a shake up - last time I'd done this route it had taken me less than 3 hours in total. we needed to get a crack on if we were not going to be coming down in the dark. I pressed on, urgency making the body's complaints less pressing - we got to the Munro Top in 10 minutes or so. There was now a choice to make - i had a route on my GPS that went down the southern shoulder of Mhaoraich but we had yesterday's paper map with us which wasn't particularly helpful. In poor visibility it was maybe preferable to go back the way we'd come, despite more ascent. We elected to do this and had some fine views of the sun coming down over Sgurr na Ciche and friends.

ImageP1180177 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180178 by Al, on Flickr

South Shiel Ridge
ImageP1180180 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Mhaoraich
ImageP1180181 by Al, on Flickr

Mhaoraich Beag
ImageP1180182 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180183 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Arkaig hills
ImageP1180188 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180189 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180190 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180193 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180196 by Al, on Flickr

Spindrift on Sgurr Mor
ImageP1180197 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180198 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180199 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1180200 by Al, on Flickr

We got back to the car just before 5, with the darkness just about to descend. It would have been fine to pitch the tent, have a sleep and another day in these hills tomorrow, but sadly that wasn't going to happen. A four hour drive back home in the dark and hopes that the weather is going to be similar next weekend will have to do.
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Re: Great Glen & Meet

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:29 pm

Great report and some cracking pictures...had to laugh about the boots... :lol: :lol: Well done for having such a long day despite of Alisons hungover :clap: :clap: It was great seeing the two of you again at the meet!
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Re: Great Glen & Meet

Postby spiderwebb » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:47 pm

Glad I stayed for Friday, great to see you. That road is enough to give you a hangover without a drink :lol:
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Re: Great Glen & Meet

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:18 pm

Some really cracking pics there. I especially like the lighting on pic 1180132, also the stag pics on the second day, and the final sequence.

I was up the Ballachulish 2 on the Sunday, and had similarly brilliant weather.
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Re: Great Glen & Meet

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:05 am

Oh deer! I like the stag snaps, too!

It was the first autumn meet in a few years when we actually had snow higher up... and some decent views from the summits!

Great to see you again :D Weather was much better than forecast, maybe the WH curse has been reversed?
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Re: Great Glen & Meet

Postby malky_c » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:58 pm

I didn't think Alison was planning to get out of the car, so quite a good effort considering :D . Weather on Sunday was startlingly good, if a bit on the chilly side.
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