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Last hill before a painful break

Last hill before a painful break


Postby dogplodder » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:28 pm

Route description: Meall Buidhe

Munros included on this walk: Meall Buidhe (Glen Lyon)

Date walked: 16/08/2010

Distance: 8.5 km

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This pandemic has closed the hills to us right at the start of spring, cancelling all those trips we'd been planning over the winter. I don't know about you but for me lockdown would be okay if I could escape to the hills for an occasional day. But that's not happening and with the death toll rising daily it's not likely to. All we can do is stay at home, get into cooking or gardening and applaud the key workers who are out there risking their own safety to save lives and keep us safe. And for some of us, being stuck at home and needing a hill fix, it might mean looking back at old photos of hills we'd forgotten.

For me unassuming Meall Buidhe was one of those. I think for two reasons.

1. It doesn't have the character of its neighbour Stuchd an Lochain (which a group of us climbed in 1997 to celebrate son Doug's 21st).

2. The events of the day were overshadowed by what happened two weeks later.

Back in 2010 Moira was about to retire from teaching. She liked the idea of being on a hill the day the schools went back so we planned to do that during a week Pete and I had booked a cottage by Loch Tummel.

Cottage by Loch Tummel
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It had no mobile signal, no Wifi and no TV.

But it welcomed dogs and had a secure garden - more important to us than the above.

Dogs welcome
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Secure garden
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Dog heaven
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Maps at the ready
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Loch Tummel from north side
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Our cottage was on south side at foot of Farragon Hill
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The morning of the day the schools went back we parked by the Giorra dam of Loch an Daimh and followed the track initially up to the right then left as it traversed the hillside above the loch. I don't remember the peat hags mentioned in the WH description so they can't have been that bad.

Loch an Daimh and Meall Ghaordhaidh
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West end of Loch an Daimh
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I'm guessing this cairn marks the South Top (917m)
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Jack
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From the south top it was an easy stroll to the summit (932m)

View south to Meall Ghaordaidh (left) and Stuchd an Lochain (right)
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Meall Phuill in near distance round to the left
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Moira and dogs at Meall Buidhe summit
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It was a fitting way to mark Moira's first day of retirement and we looked forward to future days going out midweek whenever the weather was good. But Meall Buidhe turned out to be Moira's last Munro for much longer than we could have imagined. Two weeks later she broke her ankle boulder-hopping over wet ground near Loch Etchachan on our way up Beinn Mheadhoin. And in that moment any more hills to celebrate her new freedom ground to a painful halt.

Ankle broken in three places but still smiling
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Probably because help had arrived
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It took 8 days in hospital, surgery to reconstruct the ankle, months of physio, then more surgery a year later to remove the metalwork and repair a torn tendon before things were back to normal. But with patience and perseverance she got there and apart from an understandable dislike of similar terrain she's happy to tackle anything.

During the rest of the week Pete and I explored both sides of Loch Tummel, found an opsrey's nest a short walk from the cottage, climbed Meall Ghaordaidh, visited Loch Laidon from Rannoch station and went to spy out the Queen's View.

Row of houses on north side of loch
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Somewhere around here was the Queen's View
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Queen Victoria is said to have remarked that the view was named after her when she visited the area in 1866. What nobody liked to tell her was that the view was probably named after King Robert the Bruce’s wife, Queen Isabella of Scotland, over 550 years earlier.

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Schiehallion
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Clachan (Gaelic for village)
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Tess with her stick
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Partially restored black house
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A black house was a simple stone dwelling with a turf or heather roof and no chimney. So the inside was coated in soot, hence the name 'black house'.

Allean Forest Trail
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Miss this boy
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We had a great week by Loch Tummel and I'd go back. A fine place to stay, places to visit and hills to climb - even if I did forget to write up Meall Buidhe!
Last edited by dogplodder on Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Last hill before a painful break

Postby lowland » Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:53 pm

:) In the light of what happened later, the sofa had a certain appeal!
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Re: Last hill before a painful break

Postby R1ggered » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:37 pm

:clap: :clap:
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Re: Last hill before a painful break

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Fri Apr 10, 2020 4:33 pm

Unassuming Meall Buidhe may be but my recollection of this hill is that there are fabulous views of the Central Highlands from the summit. Good to see the hill getting an outing. :D :D
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Re: Last hill before a painful break

Postby dogplodder » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:51 am

lowland wrote::) In the light of what happened later, the sofa had a certain appeal!


The sofa always has a certain appeal! :wink:
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Re: Last hill before a painful break

Postby dogplodder » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:01 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Unassuming Meall Buidhe may be but my recollection of this hill is that there are fabulous views of the Central Highlands from the summit. Good to see the hill getting an outing. :D :D


It does have good views but I can't have been in view capturing mode that day. It was pre report writing for WH so there wasn't the same incentive to document a walk then. 8)
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