For variety this was an anti-clockwise circuit of the Glen Arney Donalds, but this time including Meall Clachach that I'd missed through ignorance of its status in 2016.Starting at 9am from the church car park I was soon walking up beside the Water of Ruchill and crossing the bridge above the waterfall on its tributary. From there an easy rising traverse around Am Beannan approached the summit of Meall Clachach from the north. The top is about about 120m west of the fence jenction on the summit ridge. As I headed south to the main summit of Uamh Bheag I met another solo walker who told me that he'd been involded in measuring the altitudes of the various tops of that hill with precision GPS equipment. They'd found that the bump north of the trig point was the highest. My 2016 walk with my Garmin GPSmap 64s's with its barometric altimeter had given the west top as the highest by a couple of metres, so I decided to check again. I stopped for a snack on what I still think is the main summit at NN 69116 11847. The altitude at ground level by the cairn measured a consistent 669m (uncalibrated) for ten minutes. I then headed for the trig point at NN 69613 11752 where the altitude at the bench mark measured as 665m with an occasional dip to 664m. The stones on the other top at NN 69647 11833 appeared slightly higher giving a consistent 665m reading at ground level. I suppose the breeze flowing over the hilltops could lead to varying pressure drops thanks to Mr Bernoulli's principle, and make the west top appear higher than the others, but it you want to be sure of claiming that top you should probably visit all three bumps. From there it was down past a couple of well-built cairns and on, or rather into, the peat hags that are the main story from the col up towards Beinn Odhar then again on the descent from it and up to and over the summit of Beinn nan Eun. A very eroded peat maze with a fencepost marked my final summit of the day. It is about 40 to 50m from the spot height on the OS 1:25,000 map. I wandered across to that spot and decided it was lower. After a look down into the Findhu Glen and a final bout of peat hags an easy descent took me down to a bridge over the Findhuglen Water. The track led to the road where I had to climb the fence beside the padlocked gate. They bore a notice barring all unauthorised access, but I was leaving not entering!
It had been fine all day. Starting with low cloud over the hills, the sun appeared by 10:30, and from then on it was sunny all the way. Though there was a breeze the temperature rose and despite taking extra, my water bottles were empty by the time I was back at the road. The car's temperature guage was reading 18C as I drove away and peaked at 20C on the A9 a short time later. Summer has arrived - but not for long.
Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.