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Meall na Fearna

Meall na Fearna

Postby bootsandpaddles » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:06 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Meall na Fearna

Date walked: 13/04/2009

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Doing Meall na Fearna from Callander might seem like an odd choice of route but for me it is a much shorter drive than either of the routes recommended in "The Corbetts" i.e from Glenartney or from Ardvorlich. And I fancied a really long walk. So I left the car at the Bracklin Falls car park and set off north up the narrow road. You can drive as far as the gate just before Braeleny farm but then you would miss the primroses all along the way.
After passing through the farmyard at Braeleny the road gives way to an unsurfaced track and descends after a couple of kilometres to a river.
keltie water.jpg
Although it appears from the map that there is a bridge here, there isn't. :( The water was deep in places and quite fast flowing. The river branches just west of where the bridge should be and the first branch was quite easy to cross. The second branch looked a much more hazardous prospect so not wanting wet feet so early in the day I followed the river up stream to its source at the reservoir about a kilometre away. Here you can cross using the walkway on top of the dam.
At this stage in the day the hills were still covered in cloud but as I walked up to the bealach just west of Meall na h-Iolaire the clouds started to lift and gradually Ben Each came into view.
ben each.jpg
There were more signs of spring underfoot - mountain avens.
mountain avens.jpg
There wasn't much of a path but eventually I came to a gate and a stile. After that the path was much more well defined but once on the ridge I left it behind as it continued up towards Stuc a Chroin. About two and a quarter hours after starting out I had my first glimpse of Meall na Fearna.
meall na fearna.jpg
Unfortunately it was necessary to lose a lot of the height I had gained but fortified by a hot cross bun and a cup of tea I descended a rather boggy area to Gleannan Dubh Choirein. Crossing the burn presented no problems and I then followed another small burn north. After about a kilometre I crossed this burn and ascended the steep slopes of Meall na Fearna. A large herd of deer ran past
and about three and half hours after leaving the car I arrived at the summit with its small cairn. Along the way the views of Stuc a Chroin and Ben Vorlich had been spectacular and I could see two tiny people making their way up the ridge to the summit of Ben Vorlich.
ben vorlich.jpg
stuc a chroin.jpg
There was also an excellent view over to Ben Lawers.
ben lawers.jpg

From the summit there are several choices. You can go back the way you came - didn't fancy that. Or if you have lots of energy you could go over Ben Vorlich and Stuc a Chroin - definitely didn't fancy that. Or you can descend more or less east and pick up the ridge that ends in Carn Labhruinn. This ridge overlooks Srath a Ghlinne and the Forest of Glenarteny and is quite boggy with lots of peat hags. You can avoid most of the damp stuff by sticking to the easterly edge of the ridge where there is a narrow path in places. I dropped off the ridge to cross the bridge at 662156 but you can carry on to the end and use the bridge at 674146. Along the glen there were some great swimming pools - too early in the season yet though. A good track leads back to the hut at Arivurichardich from where you can drop down to the reservoir again over a stile. Then it is merely a matter of retracing your steps back to the car. Don't make the mistake that I made though. I crossed the wrong branch of the river :? and had to cross back again before crossing the right branch to get back to the track back to Braeleny. The whole walk took about eight and a half hours and I reckon it is approaching 30 kilometres. I only saw a couple of people all day - until I got back to Braeleny and Callander. Callander is definitely not a good place to visit on a holiday weekend!
stuc a chroin and ben vorlich.jpg
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Re: Meall na Fearna

Postby Paul Webster » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:30 pm

Great report and good to read of a different take on a hill... I tried to approach Stuc a'Chroin from that direction a few years back and couldn't even get across the first branch of the river, which was a raging torrent.
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