walkhighlands

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.

The TROMIEndous start to 2020!

The TROMIEndous start to 2020!


Postby BlackPanther » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:09 pm

Route description: Meallach Mhor and Croidh-la, Glen Tromie

Corbetts included on this walk: Meallach Mhor

Date walked: 19/01/2020

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 24 km

Ascent: 674m

4 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

After weeks of battling viruses, at last time has come to start the new season! Good weather forecast for Sunday meant we poured over different maps and guides. It was obvious we'd have to repeat something (we have long run out of new hills within 2hrs drive from home) but it didn't matter to us - at last we wouldn't waste a weekend!

The original plan was to revisit some of the Drummochter Pass Munros, but because Kevin was still caughing a bit and I wasn't sure whether I should push him too far, I suggested an easier walk to a little known Corbett Meallach Mhor. It's been 7 years since we walked the Glen Tromie approach via Croidh-la. It's a long-ish route (24km according to our GPS) but the walk-in is on a good tarmac road, quick going plus Glen Tromie offers lovely views even from low levels. The final climb itself is less than 400m on relatively easy terrain. From the summit there are extensive views to the Cairngorms, Glen Feshie hills and especially to the Gaick Pass. The easiest option is to retrace your steps, but much more scenic version returns over the northern ridge of the Corbett, over Clach-mheall and Criodh-la. I always had the easy escape in mind just in case Kevin was still too weak to hop over high heather for longer distances, but I needn't have worried. He complained a bit about sore throat and rubbing boots, but in the end he kept his pace better than me :lol:

Track_MEALLACH MHOR 24KM.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Parking at the entrance to Glen Tromie is not permitted, but there is ample space in the nearby forest (on the minor road going to Drumguish):
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 001.JPG

Past the village of Drumguish, we quickly joined the tarmac road into the glen and enjoyed a couple of hours of easy walking. The morning was cold and the high cloud made the landscape look a bit dark and depressing, but we felt miles away from depression, quite the opposite. We were buzzing inside, so excited to start the new season!
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 011.JPG

For most of the walk-in, the dominating feature on the horizon was Meall Chuaich, seen here wearing white:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 013.JPG

It is usually climbed from the other side, from A9, but as we had already done that route twice (once in full winter conditions), we suddenly started to discuss an option to climb Meall Chuaich from Glen Tromie, via the ATV track up Cairn Thomais. It would be a long day plus the crossing of River Tromie could be a problem (there are a couple of footbridges marked on the 1-25k map but I'm not sure they exist any more), but we like challenges and with so few new Munros left to do, we are happy to look for new routes to revisit the ones we already know well :D
Meall Chuaich and the track in upper Glen Tromie:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 023.JPG

But that's something for the future. At the moment, we were more interested in our current target, Meallach Mhor:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 024.JPG

Not much snow on the summit, but we hoped for some snow-covered views from higher up. Kevin said he needed a break to adjust his boots, I just lurked around :lol:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 031.JPG

We walked as far as the bridge over River Tromie. Just before reaching the house by the bridge, we spotted a faint ATV track heading up Meallach Mhor. It doesn't go very high up but it's a good start to the climbing:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 044.JPG

Very quickly, fantastic views to the Gaick Pass opened up, and we could,'t resist stopping every 10 minutes to take photos, despite the high cloud turning the views into "fake sunset mode":
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 045.JPG

The first glance towards Monadhliath plateau:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 043.JPG

Zoom to the Gaick Pass:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 054.JPG

Panther with TROMIEndous views behind :lol:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 052 - Copy.JPG

About 100m below the summit, we entered the snow zone - only a thin layer of the white stuff but at least it felt a bit like winter!
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 076.JPG

One more glance to the Gaick pass form near the summit of Meallach Mhor:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 064.JPG

I was surprised to discover the summit cairn had been demolished :shock: There used to be a substantial pile of stones here (see my old report), Now the rock is scattered around in a large, flat circle. It didn't matter to Lucy, who was happy to pose even on a flat stony area, as long as it was a new Corbett for her (109th to be precise):
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 084.JPG

Views, just as we expected, were great and even the "fake sunset" light didn't take anything away from the beauty of the snow-capped mountains. The Cairngorms revealed themselves to the NW of the summit:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 087.JPG

Looking north to the tops of the Monadhliath:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 089.JPG

We descended a bit from the summit to find a sheltered spot and have a hot cuppa. Here, we took the final decision, whether to continue along the ridge (and keep the views for longer) or return to the track. Kevin said he felt OK and a bit of chesty cough wouldn't stop him, so we decided to stay on the higher route, which is much more scenic:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 093.JPG

We descended easily to the first col. I was tempted to add Meallach Beag, but didn't even mention it to Kevin - that would be pushing it to far!
Looking back to Meallach Mhor (middle) and Beag (right) from the first col:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 102.JPG

The "fake sunset" effect was increasing in the afternoon light , we managed to catch some interesting snaps of orange sky over Meall Chuaich and the Monadhliath:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 117.JPG

2020-01-19 meallach mhor 107.JPG

We walked over the middle top, Clach Mheall, where Kevin took another panoramic photo of Meallach Mhor and the surrounding tops:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 128.JPG

At some point we picked a reasonable path through the heather - it's worth sticking to it, it will take you all the way back to the track in Glen Tromie! This route must be more popular than I thought.
The summit ridge of Croidh-la has several small cairns:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 133.JPG

...and a trig point, too!
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 149.JPG

The Cairngorms from Croidh-la:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 137.JPG

One last glance at the ridge we just walked:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 139.JPG

I think the sun is setting for real now... The Gaick Pass and Meall Chuaich:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 140.JPG

More sunset mode:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 143.JPG

A new access track is currently being constructed up Croidh-la from Gleann Chomchraig, but we resisted the temptation and stayed on the narrow path through the heather:
2020-01-19 meallach mhor 155.JPG

This path descends through the heather and eventually we returned to the tarmac, about 2km from the starting point. The final walk to the car was then formality. It took us much longer than anticipated to complete the circuit, but we are both still a bit weak from the dreadful flu we had. I was actually surprised we managed to walk 24km and didn't feel too tired. A few blisters on our feet were the only wounds we sustained in the Battle of Tromie :lol: but overall, the day was Tromie-ndous and we can't wait for the next opportunity to visit the hills!
Last edited by BlackPanther on Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3456
Munros:260   Corbetts:165
Grahams:114   
Sub 2000:48   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: The TROMIEndous start to 2020!

Postby Chris Mac » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:00 am

Nice report and pics, that looks like a much more scenic area than Beinn Dearg, Carn a' Chlamain and the other Atholl hills further south. The first half of your report reminds me a lot of the walk to Sail Chalmadale on Arran, the Sub2000 Marilyn inbetween the Corbetts and Beinn Bharrain. The landscape as you walk along with the Iorsa Water on your right is similar to the River Tromie. Lots of off-path rambling on that walk too but not quite as long a walk as your one! :D
User avatar
Chris Mac
 
Posts: 821
Munros:40   Corbetts:22
Grahams:10   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:49   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Sep 11, 2014

Re: The TROMIEndous start to 2020!

Postby gaffr » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:41 am

DSC02394.JPG

The bridge below Bhran Cottage....looks like a recently resurrected one brought to the Tromie..ideal for reaching Cuaich :)
User avatar
gaffr
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1844
Munros:281   Corbetts:203
Grahams:33   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:11   Hewitts:25
Wainwrights:11   
Joined: Oct 25, 2009
Location: Highland.

Re: The TROMIEndous start to 2020!

Postby dogplodder » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:40 pm

Wonder who knocked the cairn down? Just checked my photos and there was definitely one in 2017 - but it wouldn't have taken too much effort to demolish it. 8)
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3659
Munros:230   Corbetts:57
Grahams:17   
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: The TROMIEndous start to 2020!

Postby BlackPanther » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:58 pm

Many thanks all :D

Chris Mac wrote:Nice report and pics, that looks like a much more scenic area than Beinn Dearg, Carn a' Chlamain and the other Atholl hills further south. The first half of your report reminds me a lot of the walk to Sail Chalmadale on Arran, the Sub2000 Marilyn inbetween the Corbetts and Beinn Bharrain. The landscape as you walk along with the Iorsa Water on your right is similar to the River Tromie. Lots of off-path rambling on that walk too but not quite as long a walk as your one!


I haven't been to Arran yet, it's on to-do list at some point in the future, especially the Corbetts!

I don't know why but I always had a week spot for Glen Tilt and all hills climbed from this glen. My favourite is Beinn Mheadhonach, a shy Corbett hidden behind Carn a' Chlamain.

gaffr wrote:The bridge below Bhran Cottage....looks like a recently resurrected one brought to the Tromie..ideal for reaching Cuaich


Wow, that's good news, thank you :D No need to carry flipflops then! Must be well hidden in the trees, since we didn't spot it!

dogplodder wrote:Wonder who knocked the cairn down? Just checked my photos and there was definitely one in 2017 - but it wouldn't have taken too much effort to demolish it.


I think Sherlock Holmes would be useful here! I don't see any reason why dismantle the cairn? The area around the summit is flat and stony anyway and the cairn didn't obstruct the views. Whoever did it, must have been a mountain vandal! :wink:
I found a picture of the cairn from our previous visit in 2013:
meallach mhor 094.JPG
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3456
Munros:260   Corbetts:165
Grahams:114   
Sub 2000:48   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: The TROMIEndous start to 2020!

Postby malky_c » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:50 pm

A nice wander - will probably go back up this one again at some point :) . I have also been considering Meall Cuaich from this side...well both sides actually, probably as a long traverse from Dalwhinnie to Kingussie.

As for the cairn, is it a co-incidence that this hill is practically in the back garden of that famed cairn-kicker Cameron McNeish? Just saying... :wink: . I’ve been up more than one hill in the last couple of years where sometimes quite substantial cairns have been torn down.
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5969
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:267   Hewitts:269
Wainwrights:122   Islands:34
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: The TROMIEndous start to 2020!

Postby Sgurr » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:58 pm

I thought that C. Mcneish only objected to cairns on things that weren't summits. ...but maybe I am wrong.
I can see a case for marker cairns where inexperienced walkers might fall over a cliff as on Ben Nevis, but apart from that, even viewpoint cairns seem a bit superfluous.


Nice report, if a bit on the gloomy side, but who wants wall to wall sun every day.
User avatar
Sgurr
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 4300
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:569   Hewitts:139
Wainwrights:160   Islands:58
Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Location: Fife

Re: The TROMIEndous start to 2020!

Postby Mountainlove » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:05 am

That sounded like a nice walk out. Doing a tarmac road first is a winner for me. Tarmac on the return always kills my legs. Who would destroy a cairn I wonder? Lol it needs to be rebuild I think :lol:
User avatar
Mountainlove
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1252
Munros:60   Corbetts:25
Grahams:7   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:3   
Islands:9
Joined: Feb 2, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: The TROMIEndous start to 2020!

Postby Sgurr » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:14 pm

Checked with Hillbagging.com and they claim that the high point is a blocky embedded boulder see
http://www.hill-bagging.co.uk/mountaindetails.php?qu=S&rf=420
Maybe a purist for summits pulled it down.

But then they have a photo of the cairn as "Hill summit" The last person to log it as bagged was "bolton" in September 2019

PS The cairn appears in the weaselmaster WR of August 26th
User avatar
Sgurr
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 4300
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:569   Hewitts:139
Wainwrights:160   Islands:58
Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Location: Fife

Re: The TROMIEndous start to 2020!

Postby BlackPanther » Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:37 pm

Thanks again for all comments and research :D Interesting, that the cairn must have been knocked down recently. I had a look on geograph.org.uk, but they don't have any recent photos of the summit area. I think not even Sherlock could solve the mystery of the vanishing cairn (sounds like a good title for a Holmes short story though :lol: ).

I wondered about Mr McNeish, too, but as far as I understand, he knocks down cairns along paths, up wide slopes etc. because he thinks people should be able to navigate without them. Summit cairns shouldn't fall in this category? :problem:
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3456
Munros:260   Corbetts:165
Grahams:114   
Sub 2000:48   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

4 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests