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Panther gets her extra Meall

Panther gets her extra Meall


Postby BlackPanther » Wed May 29, 2019 4:52 pm

Route description: Meall Corranaich and Meall a'Choire Lèith

Munros included on this walk: Meall a' Choire Lèith, Meall Corranaich

Corbetts included on this walk: Meall nam Maigheach

Date walked: 28/04/2019

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 13 km

Ascent: 974m

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I really need to sit down and write all my backlog TRs, this is beginning to look like "Last year's diary" rather than a mountain blog...

This one is from the last weekend of April, when weather turned sour for a short time. Rain and low cloud returned after a couple of weeks of summerlike conditions around Easter. We didn't really feel like going for anything long and remote, but a shorter walk over some easy Munros, well, why not. The best forecast was for the south-east, so we decided to visit part of the Lawers ridge.
Our first visit to Meall a'Choire Leith and Meall Corranaich was in spring 2015 when we walked over them in the mist, no views whatsoever. It was a wet, gloomy day, no wonder we didn't fancy adding the neighbouring Corbett, Meall nam Maigheach. This time we hoped to rectify this omission. Will panther get her extra Meall?...
Meall nam Maigheach can be easily added to the classic route over the two Munros - just cross Gleann Da-Eig and climb the extra 200m to the summit:

Track_MEALL NAM MAIGHEACH 28-04-19.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


We started from the usual point, a small car park near the summit of Lairig an Lochain. We got up at 5am to arrive there early, so we could grab a space. If the car park is full, there is more off-road parking on the verges a bit further up the road.
Cloudy morning over Lochan na Lairige:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 001.JPG

I remembered from our previous visit, that the lower reaches of Meall Corranaich are boggy and peat haggy - nothing surprising in Scotland!
The way up:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 006.JPG

We preferred to do the circuit anticlockwise, to walk over the Munros first then add the Corbett. Which by the way, was now cloud free...
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 002.JPG

...whereas the summit of Meall Corranaich was still hidden in the lingering mist:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 016.JPG

Not much to say about the ascent of the first Munro. A bit of a slog, there is a well-worn path, squelchy here and there, one slightly steeper sections just before the summit. There were two other walking groups, one before us, one just behind, but we could hardly see them in the clag...
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 017.JPG

We reached the summit cairn and didin't even bother taking photos, it was still cloudy and we had been here before. Even Lucy couldn't be bothered to celebrate a new Munro :lol:
Kevin was fed up with the morning cloud and headed straight down along the ridge. It is important to be careful with navigating when leaving the summit, as the more obvious path heads for Ben Lawers not for Meall a'Choire Leith. We almost made that mistake four years ago, this time we knew we had to turn left and follow the less obvious path:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 121.JPG

The best part of the traverse of these two Munros is the lovely ridge connecting them. As soon as we started the descent, views began to emerge from the mist:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 023.JPG

Looking back to the summit of Meall Corranaich, the mist still hanging on:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 029.JPG

The path was now more than obvious and I was beginning to feel like meowing!
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 037.JPG

Across the glen to the right hand side, An Stuc and the other two Mealls emerged from the mist:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 043.JPG

We took our time wandering down the easy slopes, as the clag slowly lifted, revealing the surrounding landscape of mountains and glens...
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 130.JPG

Gloomy Ben Lawers:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 132.JPG

Meall a'Choire Leith is actually just "a pimple on the ridge" by my standards. One of those hills, you see it and can't stop wondering, why was this promoted to be a Munro?
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 047.JPG

Kevin facing the giants:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 135.JPG

The ridge drops to 775m then a short climb of roughly 150m leads to the summit of the second Munro. We took ample stops for photos. Yes, the cloud still lingered but there is something magical about partially misty landscape:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 057.JPG

Closing on the summit, Ben Lawers nad An Stuc behind me:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 061.JPG

The summit of Meall a'Choire Leith was clag free as it's much lower than its neighbour. Lucy celebrated her 105th Munro, Kevin marked his third visit to this particular hill:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 158.JPG

Nothing new for me, but so far I really enjoyed this easy mountaineering, and the new hill was still to come!
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 066.JPG

Lucy and the view west to Loch an Daimh:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 068.JPG

At least we got some views from this duo the second time! Our next target in the foreground:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 073.JPG

The mighty Lawers ridge:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 075.JPG

2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 076.JPG

Back to Meall Corranaich:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 064.JPG

To add Meall nam Maigheach to the tally, we headed west down the grassy slopes, to cross Allt Gleann Da-Eig below:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 085.JPG

There was little water in the stream, but this is not a big river and should be easy to cross in any conditions:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 086.JPG

"Somewhere up there wanders a headless deer" said Kevin when I spotted a deer skull in upside-down position. Spooky :shock:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 167.JPG

The climb is easy on grass, moss and short heather. When we emerged on the main ridge, we wondered about the return route. It is possible to drop to the road on the other side of the hill, but we decided to walk down the ridge back to the starting point.
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 093.JPG

...but first we had to reach the summit. The main ridge is peat haggy but nothing too drastic, would be a nightmare in winter conditions though, so easy to step into a wet hole hidden under snow! Views from the Corbett are nice though, the two neighbouring Munros dominating the view to the east:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 096.JPG

Clag burning off above Tarmachan Ridge:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 099.JPG

The summit is marked with a small cairn and doesn't really have anything special about it, apart from the good vistas, mainly to the nearby mountains, including Meall nan Tarmachan. Lucy ticked off her 97th Corbett...
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 110.JPG

...and for us it was no. 159. Next one will be a round no. 160, Kevin said, I wonder which one we should pick for that purpose?
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 177.JPG

Looking north towards the hills of Glen Lyon:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 107.JPG

The ridge of Stuc an Lochain:
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 103.JPG

Panther happy, she's got her extra Meall!
2019-04-28 meall nam maigheach 178.JPG

To return to the car park, we descended the peat-haggy southern shoulder of Meall nam Maigheach, following sheep paths and jumping over boggy puddles. Maybe dropping straight to the road from the summit is a drier option, hard to say. The whole walk, done at a leisurely pace, took only 5.5 hours. It might not be an exhilarating circuit with narrow ridges and mind-boggling views, but it's nice enough especially with the addition of the Corbett.
................
In my next TR, I'll tell the story of our 160th Corbett and how it made us long for brother Lui :wink:
Last edited by BlackPanther on Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3686
Munros:260   Corbetts:172
Grahams:123   
Sub 2000:56   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Panther gets her extra Meall

Postby past my sell by date » Wed May 29, 2019 6:49 pm

Yes Meall a Choire Leith must rank high among the dullest Munros. We did it on a poor day - we didn't want to spoil Ben Lawers :) My partner grumbled about why we were doing it at all. When I told her it was a Munro she still grumbled - but a bit less :lol:
past my sell by date
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 877
Munros:282   Corbetts:85
Grahams:27   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:4   Hewitts:145
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Joined: Apr 24, 2013

Re: Panther gets her extra Meall

Postby BlackPanther » Thu May 30, 2019 11:47 am

past my sell by date wrote:Yes Meall a Choire Leith must rank high among the dullest Munros. We did it on a poor day - we didn't want to spoil Ben Lawers :) My partner grumbled about why we were doing it at all. When I told her it was a Munro she still grumbled - but a bit less :lol:


If it wasn't for the extra Corbett we would probably never bother to return to this duo... Especially in cloudy conditions. Maybe approaching them from Glen Lyon would give the climb some character, but I'm not going to volunteer to check that :lol:
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3686
Munros:260   Corbetts:172
Grahams:123   
Sub 2000:56   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Panther gets her extra Meall

Postby past my sell by date » Thu May 30, 2019 12:26 pm

BlackPanther wrote:
past my sell by date wrote:Yes Meall a Choire Leith must rank high among the dullest Munros. We did it on a poor day - we didn't want to spoil Ben Lawers :) My partner grumbled about why we were doing it at all. When I told her it was a Munro she still grumbled - but a bit less :lol:


If it wasn't for the extra Corbett we would probably never bother to return to this duo... Especially in cloudy conditions. Maybe approaching them from Glen Lyon would give the climb some character, but I'm not going to volunteer to check that :lol:

I did that corbett with the one across the road - as suggested in my corbett book. They're both very short from the high pass
past my sell by date
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Posts: 877
Munros:282   Corbetts:85
Grahams:27   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:4   Hewitts:145
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Joined: Apr 24, 2013

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