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Inversion on Meall nan Tarmachan

Inversion on Meall nan Tarmachan

Postby EuanWardrop » Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:43 am

Munros included on this walk: Meall nan Tarmachan

Date walked: 15/08/2020

Time taken: 6 hours

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With good weather promised and hoping to get some good views we decided on heading up to the Tarmachan ridge. Hoping to get some more practice of scrambling/ridge walking before tackling some of the bigger climbs in the future!

We were a bit later setting off than usual due to a work night out the night before and a couple of fuzzy heads. A pit stop at McDonalds before setting off and we were good to go.

The weather wasn't looking too promising on the drive up, with lots of low lying cloud. We arrived at the car park about 8.30, it was already very busy. We couldn't hang about as the midges were out in force!!
Car park of the midges!

We set off up the path and began to ascend, the cloud was very thick here and visibility was limited. It gave a strange atmosphere to be shrouded in the cloud, also hard to tell how much progress we had made. We soon crossed over the track and the climb became a bit steeper. We passed some old machinery, I presume that this was part of the disused quarry?
Ascending through the cloud

Old Machinery

Old Machinery

As we pressed on up the hill it was certainly becoming brighter and as we came to the grassy peak (923m) the sun broke through all of a sudden. We climbed the last few meters and when we hit the peak we were treated to an incredible inversion! We could see Ben Lawers across to the East and Vorlich and Stuc a Chroin to the South. Looking ahead of us we could see Meall Nan Tarmachan straight ahead and the ridge going round to the West. Poking above the cloud it was as if it was floating.

Looking to Ben Lawers range

Dropping down off the top we headed to the base of the climb up to the munro proper. This is a very steep section but doesn't take too long to reach the top. When we arrived the inversion was even more impressive, a completely different world to the murky darkness beneath the cloud. We stopped for some food and drink and to take in the amazing views. We could see the bulk of Ben Nevis to the far north and many other hills to all directions looking like islands on a white sea.
Cooper cooling off in the Lochan

After refuelling we headed down to the lochan to let Cooper cool off for a bit before ascending to take on the ridge. I had wanted to get some more experience of ridge walking and this certainly didn't disappoint! Nothing too hairy but very exposed and we were both grateful that there had been no wind at all.
Looking to the ridge

The next obstacle was the "bad step" scramble. We stopped and I went to have a look, I think it would be pretty easy to get down but as we had the dog we felt the bypass route to the right would be more sensible. This is still pretty narrow and steep but a bit easier than the step. We joined back up with the main path and I went for a look at the scramble from the bottom. I did think about going back up and coming down it but decided against it in the end. Another steep climb followed to Beinn nan Eachan. These climbs were quite short but the gradient coupled with the heat above the clouds really took it out of us!
Path down

After the final summit we began the descent, heading back down into the cloud. This was followed by a slight navigational error on my part. We had descended a little and seen a faint path heading down towards the quarry track. Given the route description had mentioned a faint track I assumed this was it. We headed down some pretty boggy ground, we were back in the cloud so visibility was quite limited. We kept heading SE but it was clear we had missed the proper track, I think we had come off the main path too early. Luckily we could hear some voices after about 30 mins of heading across the bog and came across the proper path which we followed to the old quarry track. About an hour along this and we head back down the narrow path back to the now overflowing car park.

Another fantastic day, buzzing to see the inversion and to have done the ridge walk! A quick dip to cool off in Loch Earn and we headed home!
Cooper enjoying the mud as usual!

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Re: Inversion on Meall nan Tarmachan

Postby cobblergreen » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:16 pm

really nice report, great pictures and cooper as usual in the bogs.
Munro compleatist
Posts: 5
Munros:268   Corbetts:5
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Dec 13, 2010

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