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Creag Meagaidh: 11 years later

Creag Meagaidh: 11 years later

Postby BlackPanther » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:17 pm

Route description: Creag Meagaidh circuit

Munros included on this walk: Càrn Liath (Creag Meagaidh), Creag Meagaidh, Stob Poite Coire Àrdair

Date walked: 25/08/2018

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 21.8 km

Ascent: 1226m

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The Creag Meagaidh circuit had been the first triple Munro walk in my career, so long ago that I'm not really sure it really happened :lol: I always wanted to come back and enjoy this route in early autumn weather, as it is situated in Scottish Natural Heritage land and there are no stalking issues. Since our last visit, the paths have been nicely upgraded and there is a new visitors hut with toilets (ha ha, no peeing in the bush!). Kevin's recovery was going well and he said he was OK for a longer walk as long as it didn't contain any scrambling or very steep slopes. The short walk up the stone shute in the window can hardly be called very steep, but we still had an option of doing only Creag Meagaidh via Coire Ardair (and returning the same way) if my chum was not able to finish the round. As it happened, he was all right to continue over Stob Poite Coire Ardair and Carn Liath as long as we didn't push it too quickly.
Our route followed the classic Megi circuit. I was tempted by the outlying tops (they look like little re-ascent :lol: ) but I didn't want to stretch it too far, 3 Munros was enough for my husband at the moment.

Track_CREAG MEAGAIDH 25-08-18.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Plus it was our 11th wedding anniversary. Last year for the round decade, we wanted to do something special, but all our plans went upside down because Kevin caught shingles :( :( I noticed that August must be his unlucky month, a few years ago he painfully injured his back and that was in August, too! At least this time, the torn muscle was almost healed so we could do our anniversary walk with big smiles :D
11 years after walking down the aisle, Black Panther is walking up the path :D
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 003.JPG

New display boards have been placed on the initial stages of this route:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 004.JPG

The path into Coire Ardair is such an easy way to gain height without even noticing the ascent!
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 010.JPG

The morning was cloudy but the low clag was lifting slowly and the forecast was good for the afternoon. Yeahaaaay! Bring on a sunny day!
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 012.JPG

First rays of sunshine and blue sky popping up above the cliffs of Coire Ardair:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 027.JPG

The window:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 035.JPG

There were plenty of walkers, both in front and behind us, some overtook us but we didn't care. I saw no sense in trying to break the speed record, preferred to take it steady and make sure Kevin didn't make his injury any worse.
Of course, we took a short break by Lochan a'Choire, to take some panoramas:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 036.JPG

...before tackling the steepest section of the climb. The Window is quite bouldery but a well worn path avoids all difficulties. It's become more eroded and loose since the last time we were here, but the route is extremely popular, especially on weekend days.
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 040.JPG

Surprisingly, Kevin overtook me up the loose scree and then he took his pleasure in photographing me from above, in the most embarrassing moments, when I struggled for balance on the eroded path :lol: :lol:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 053.JPG

I wanted to prove to Kevin that even after 11 years of chasing him up Scottish mountains, I was still in good form, so I took off from the top of the window like... well, like a cat chasing its prey!
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 062.JPG

Lochan Uaine and the northern cliffs of Creag Meagaidh:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 070.JPG

The impressive view down to the glen of Allt Coire Ardair, Loch Laggan on the horizon:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 078.JPG

The paths up Creag Meagaidh are easy to follow. Soon we were on the main plateau and heading for the Mad Meg's Cairn:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 081.JPG

Not long after, we reached the summit cairn of Megi itself. A group of people were just leaving when we arrived. Shortly after, another walker has arrived and we had a friendly chat about mountains and weather. Despite it being a repeat for us both, we felt like we have achieved another milestone, especially Kevin, who lasted in this marriage for the whole 11 years and didn't run for the hills :lol: :lol:
Lucy was the only one celebrating a new Munro, her 88th one:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 086.JPG

View south from the summit:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 088.JPG

We had something to eat and drink and then I asked Kevin if he felt OK for the other two Munros? He was fine. To be honest, there is hardly any reascent between them (at least it doesn't feel like much) so it was a perfect route for Kevin to regain his confidence as well as his fitness.
Looking back at Creag Meagaidh from the slopes of Stob Poite Coire Ardair:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 090.JPG

View down into Coire Ardair:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 091.JPG

A busy ridge:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 094.JPG

There are two summit cairns on Stob Poite Coire Ardair, not sure which one is higher (they look even to me) and frankly it doesn't matter as you will walk past both when doing the circular route. My snap was taken by the eastern one:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 100.JPG

As we continued along the wide ridge connecting the second Munro with Carn Liath, the best views were definitely to the south, to the corrie below us. Kevin took the opportunity to take more panoramas:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 099.JPG

2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 108.JPG

View north-west, with Loch Lochy Munros and Benn Tee on the horizon:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 110.JPG

The ridge continues to Carn Liath:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 116.JPG

Lucy on Carn Liath - her 90th Munro! Soon she will be celebrating her ton, probably the first mountain lamb to do so :lol: :lol: :lol:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 118.JPG

We took a longer break on the summit of the last Munro. It was nice and warm now, so we stretched our legs by the cairn, enjoying the afternoon sun. Probably the last touch of summer...
Creag Meagaidh and Stob Poite Coire Ardair from Carn Liath:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 119.JPG

Black Panther 11 years later :D
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 124.JPG

It was a fine day after all and even the steep-ish descent didn't spoil our good mood. In wet conditions, the well-worn path from Na Cnapanan would be very slippery, but it was relatively dry so not too bad underfoot. So far so good.
On the way down, looking back into Coire Ardair:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 132.JPG

Looking across Loch Laggan to Binnein Shios and Shuas, the Laggan Twins:
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 135.JPG

The only unpleasant bit was the final meters of descent (before returning to the main path again). It was very eroded, wet and so overgrown that it felt a little like the scenery to the Adventures of Indiana Jones and Kevin joked that next time he'd bring a machete :lol: :lol:
A white Highland cooo :D
2018-08-25 creag meagaidh 138.JPG

Overall, it was a successful walk. I'm glad Kevin is returning to form before the coming winter. Hard to believe that 11 years have passed since we started our journey together. And it's the walking side by side I always appreciated most. As mr Saint Exupéry said once, “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together.“ In our case, it's looking together towards the summit of one more mountain :D And then another one...
One more TR left to post, another repeat Munro on a very windy day, but with fantastic views. To come soon.
Last edited by BlackPanther on Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Creag Meagaidh: 11 years later

Postby Phil the Hill » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:54 pm

Happy Anniversary!

Doubt I'd manage to persuade my other half to climb 3 Munros to celebrate our anniversary - though I did once get her to go to North Uist :)
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Re: Creag Meagaidh: 11 years later

Postby Butterscotch » Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:35 am

Fantastic :clap:
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