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Meall Ghaordaidh and the Ogre

Meall Ghaordaidh and the Ogre

Postby Quincy » Sun May 05, 2019 5:38 pm

Munros included on this walk: Meall Ghaordaidh

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn nan Oighreag

Date walked: 28/04/2019

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 16.5 km

Ascent: 1181m

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Looking at various reports I decided it would make a fine day of walking to add the Corbett Beinn nan Oighreag to this munro expedition. That and the fact it might entice my munro completist friend to keep me company. So on the way back from a shopping trip to the city I dropped by Lynne’s for the night and we planned our best route for the next day. Blackpanthers walk report was pretty helpful too as it showed a route through the crags between the two hills. We arrived at the start about 10am the next day after a fab cooked breakfast. There was only one car in the small parking area so we could turn round easily ready for a quick getaway.

01 Parking for four.jpg
Parking at the start

02 Sign for the track.jpg
The large sign you can't miss

There’s a nice big modern sign at the start of this walk so you can’t miss it. The only downside is having to climb over the first gate which is padlocked. From here a track heads to the corner of the field through another gate thankfully not padlocked as it would have been a high fence to scale. The track then heads up through the fields following the line of trees and ravine to the right. It steadily climbs up towards a sheiling. There’s then a cairn and a large pole which is pretty hard to miss pointing out the path heading up the ridge.

03 Looking back down the track.jpg
Looking back down the track

04 Cairn and pole.jpg
Cairn marking the path up the ridge

The path although a little muddy wasn’t too difficult to follow. We thought it might have been a bit fainter from the description but given the time of year it wasn’t yet getting overgrown with vegetation. As we steadily climbed we could see a lone walker behind us probably the guy that pulled in as we left and then a large group of people beyond scaling the stile we’d passed. As we hiked up the grassy boggy ridge there were a few very large sink holes on the path. If I wasn’t saving my energy I would have got in one to check for size! Not something you want to come across in the snow!

06 Sink holes on the way up.jpg
Sink holes on the way up

05 Towards the summit.jpg
Looking towards the crags and the summit

We soon came to the crags ahead looming out the mist and we could see a couple of figures ahead. Initially we thought they were on the top and got excited we were making such good time but as it turned out we still had a bit to go and the two figures turned into four. The top was quite a bit further on still hidden in the mist. From here it took about another half hour of steady climbing to reach the top. There's a trig point surrounded by a nice big shelter. We were still shrouded in mist but as we stopped for a bit of lunch gradually glimpses of the reservoir started to appear below.

07 Summit.jpg

07 Start of the views.jpg
Start of the views

The loan walker behind us made it to the top not long after us and when we got into conversation about our proposed route he showed a bit of interest that there was an alternative. The temperature started to drop as the wind picked up a little so we packed up and took a bearing just to make sure we didn't head off back the way we'd come. We were quickly out the mist and could see the ridge quite clearly heading towards Cam Chreag and the arm out to Creag an Tulabhain. There's a little torr at Cam Chreag with views to the munro and Corbett though we couldn't see down to the beallach at this stage.

08 Looking down the ridge to Corbett.jpg
Looking down the ridge to the Corbett

09 Reclining Lynne.jpg
Reclining Lynne

11 Ants on the top.jpg
The large group coming off the top in the distance

Further on along the ridge just before the descent to Creag an Tulabhain there's a set of fence posts that looked very tempting to follow but judging by the map they were on the boundary and straight over the crags. So we decended north to the beallach a little further on and as it flattened out headed east down the steep grassy slope to the Allt na h-Iolaire below and what looked like a lot of peat hags to cross. We stopped before we'd gone too far and looked at the possibility of taking a route just north of the summit or below the crags to the south of the summit.

12 Dont follow this fence.jpg
Don't follow the fence!

14 Dilemma left.jpg
Dilemma to go north of the top

15 Dilemma right.jpg
or south of the top beyond the crags

13 Deer spotted.jpg
Deer spotting

In the end we went for the tried and tested route (by previous walkhighlanders to the south) and continued to head down to the stream below. When we got closer we could work out a route between the peat hags and it didn't take long at all to cross to the steep slopes of Beinn nan Oighreag.

16 Coaxed with jelly babies.jpg
Coaxed up the final pull by jelly babies

17 Crags to avoid.jpg
Looking back at the crags we avoided

We could see the fence posts now heading in a straight line back up and over the crags. We zigzagged up the steep grass just a little south of this and when the gradient started to ease we cut back across missing out the first top and coming back to the fence posts again. From here it was very easy to follow the fence posts virtually to the summit. The cairn at the top was a lot less impressive with a handful of rocks sitting on a large boulder. There's a slightly larger cairn a little further on so we visited this too so as not to be short changed! The views across to Tarmachan ridge are quite impressive and the Corbett being about 100m lower we had some great views.

20 Summit 2.jpg
Beinn nan Oighreag summit cairn!

25 Looking back to Meall Ghaordaidh.jpg
Looking back to Meall Ghaordhaidh

We had lunch stop number 2 then headed back down the ridge this time following a faint path. We followed the slopes down till we got to the heather and the path became a little harder to follow. We did come upon an atv track which then veered off in a different direction so we kept on a bearing towards the sheiling near where we turned off. We passed a very distinct mushroom boulder as we continued and eventually as we crossed one of the Alt na h-Iolaire tributaries came back to a vehicle track which we followed back down to the path we turned off on.

21 Mushroom Rock.jpg
Mushroom rock

22 Back on track.jpg
Back on the track

23 Back to the Corbett.jpg
Looking back to Beinn nan Oighreag

We came to another cairn just before the junction which seemed to show a second route to the path up the ridge (just incase the first on was missed I guess).

24 Back to the track.jpg
Track back to the start

From here we followed the same track back to the start and our much slower climb over the padlocked gate to finish! It turned out a great days walking and definitely a loop worth doing.
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Mountain Walker
Posts: 120
Munros:124   Corbetts:24
Grahams:5   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:15
Joined: Mar 30, 2015
Location: Argyll

Re: Meall Ghaordaidh and the Ogre

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue May 07, 2019 11:04 am

Great photos! Good idea to add Beinn nan Oighreag onto this fine Munro which we really enjoyed back in January.

Butterfield's book detailing all the Munros and Tops says "Meall Ghaordaidh is quite the dullest hill in the Southern Highlands." Have to disagree with that one!

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Mountain Walker
Posts: 807
Munros:95   Corbetts:10
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Joined: Mar 11, 2015

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