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Meall Mor - fitness boost and gilet trial up Glen Isla way

Meall Mor - fitness boost and gilet trial up Glen Isla way


Postby Graeme D » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:08 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Meall Mor (Angus)

Date walked: 08/11/2012

Time taken: 1.3 hours

Distance: 2.1 km

Ascent: 180m

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I wasn't working today and with the weather looking good, I decided to head out for a wee leg stretcher. I had a new Arc'teryx gilet which I wanted to put through its paces. It is replacing my old faithful Paramo one which has basically seen more action and taken more abuse in 3 years than any item of clothing deserves. It still does a good job but as I wear it for a lot more than just hill days (dog walking, generally just nipping out to the shops e.t.c.), it is beginning to come apart around the neck. I also didn't want to be heading up to the Glencoe meet in a fortnight with my last hill walking having been back on 17th October on Beinn Eunaich and Beinn a'Chochuill, so this was also a bit of a fitness booster before the big weekend at the end of the month. I didn't have that much time though by the time I'd done a few things that needed doing first thing in the morning, so I was looking for something light and easy. My eyes were drawn to Glen Isla and the group of Sub2K Marilyns scattered around that neck of the woods and over towards Backwater Reservoir.

I quickly threw a daypack together and hit the road, pulling in at the end of the track coming down off the flanks of Meall Mor just to the east of Drumore Loch.

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Start of the track

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Nether Craig

I recalled reading some reports on this little hill in the past and remembered that the most direct line of ascent (and the one that avoids plantation issues) leaves the track almost immediately and heads up the drystane dyke hugging the side of the trees.

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Starting the ascent

There was a rough strip of tussocky ground about 3 or 4 metres wide between the dyke and a deer fence which I used for the ascent until reaching a wooden fence entirely blocking the way. I could have got over it but Lucy had no options so we backtracked a little to find a gap in the wall and nipped across.

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Lucy on the Strip

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Across to Drumore Loch

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Nether Craig and Over Craig

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Gradient easing slightly

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Northwest towards Beinn a'Ghlo

We were soon up onto the summit ridge at the meeting of a trio of drystane dykes and the summit cairn was clearly visible a short distance to the west.

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Mount Blair

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Badandun Hill

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Drumore Loch

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Lucy wall hopping 1

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Lucy wall hopping 2

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Mount Blair and Glen Isla

I was at the summit in little over 30 minutes, and that with a fair amount of stoppage time for snapping photos and stopping to put names to the jumble of hills of various heights and shapes all around me.

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Mount Blair from the summit of Meall Mor

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Summit self-timed shot

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Distant Mayar and Driesh

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Zoomed in on the Lomond Hills in Fife

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Crock (with the firebreak ascent route clearly visible)

A quick mug of hot juice at the cairn and we headed off. I decided to drop down more directly towards the eastern end of Drumore Loch to see if I could pick up the track that the OS sheet showed heading into and ending in the trees below the summit. After a while I picked up a clear animal track that eventually headed into a rough break in the trees.

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Into the trees

The going was difficult but we battled on and emerged onto the track a couple of hundred metres up from the car.

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Rough descent

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Back onto the track


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My original thinking had been to then continue east to Freuchies to tackle the wonderfully named Crock, but Lucy had begun to limp rather badly - the deep heather on the steep ascent and the rough terrain in the fire break on the descent seemed to have played havoc with her gammy leg - so I headed for home, fitness nicely boosted and new gilet broken in and not found wanting.

I stopped off en route at Drumore Loch and nipped down to the loch side to investigate the old boat house - quite creepy in a sinister, abandoned sort of way.

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Drumore Loch Boathouse from the east

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Closer up

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From the west
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Graeme D
 
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Re: Meall Mor - fitness boost and gilet trial up Glen Isla w

Postby The Rodmiester » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:22 pm

Thanks for posting Graeme D :D , that looks a good wee leg stretch, does the strip up off the road compare with the tussocky track down off Kings Seat, but maybe not quite as wet?, it certainly looks similar but not nearly so long. There seems to be quite a few below 2000 hills in this area, none which I have done yet, but fine for the shorter days :) .
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Re: Meall Mor - fitness boost and gilet trial up Glen Isla w

Postby Graeme D » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:38 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:Thanks for posting Graeme D :D , that looks a good wee leg stretch, does the strip up off the road compare with the tussocky track down off Kings Seat, but maybe not quite as wet?, it certainly looks similar but not nearly so long. There seems to be quite a few below 2000 hills in this area, none which I have done yet, but fine for the shorter days :) .


Yeah, I remember that bogfest skirting down off Kings Seat Hill!

The ascent of MM is very straightforward, if steep. However, it is relatively short and very dry underfoot. The only real issue is that it is very heathery and tussocky with a few big holes for the unsuspecting foot and ankle to disappear into.
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Re: Meall Mor - fitness boost and gilet trial up Glen Isla w

Postby rockhopper » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:57 pm

a nice wee wander Graeme and the gilet seems to be working - you're having more success than me....don't know when I'll be able to get back out :( - cheers :)
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Re: Meall Mor - fitness boost and gilet trial up Glen Isla w

Postby Bod » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:29 am

Nice one Graeme, like the gilet and why weren't you working today you rascal! :)
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Re: Meall Mor - fitness boost and gilet trial up Glen Isla w

Postby laconic surf » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:36 am

Nice to see reports on the wee hills, some lovely photos there Graeme. Also glad to see you and Lucy not violating the "highway code" and trudging over some Jolly Farmer's land :wink:
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Re: Meall Mor - fitness boost and gilet trial up Glen Isla w

Postby malky_c » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:25 am

Looked at this briefly when I was driving back from Mount Blair, but didn't give it much more attention. Looks like one of the hidden corners of Angus though - lovely colours and nice rocky scenery :D
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Re: Meall Mor - fitness boost and gilet trial up Glen Isla w

Postby ChrisW » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:57 pm

Cracking wee wander Graeme, love that photo of Mount Blair and all the colours from your standing point to the distant summit. Shame to hear that Lucy was limping along toward the end as she was looking good leaping over the wall early on. I guess age catches up with us all eventually.......if we're lucky :wink:
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Re: Meall Mor - fitness boost and gilet trial up Glen Isla w

Postby Graeme D » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:58 pm

rockhopper wrote:a nice wee wander Graeme and the gilet seems to be working - you're having more success than me....don't know when I'll be able to get back out :( - cheers :)


Yeah, the gilet is a big success. Money well spent! I've never been disappointed by Arc'teryx gear. Not cheap, but then they say you get what you pay for....... :D Hope you manage out soon!

Bod wrote:Nice one Graeme, like the gilet and why weren't you working today you rascal! :)


Flexible Working Time Arrangement?????? :think: :think: :think: :think: :think:

laconic surf wrote:Nice to see reports on the wee hills, some lovely photos there Graeme. Also glad to see you and Lucy not violating the "highway code" and trudging over some Jolly Farmer's land :wink:


Yep, a very quiet day on the Angus Sub2Ks! Don't know where all the bad dudes were! :?

malky_c wrote:Looked at this briefly when I was driving back from Mount Blair, but didn't give it much more attention. Looks like one of the hidden corners of Angus though - lovely colours and nice rocky scenery :D


There's not a great deal to it malky, but worth an hour or so if you're in the vicinity. :thumbup: I really liked the rocky scenery too.

ChrisW wrote:Cracking wee wander Graeme, love that photo of Mount Blair and all the colours from your standing point to the distant summit. Shame to hear that Lucy was limping along toward the end as she was looking good leaping over the wall early on. I guess age catches up with us all eventually.......if we're lucky :wink:


Sadly Lucy is nearing the end of her hillwalking days Chris. She will not do another big Munro day, put it that way. The run in with the car a few years back, and advancing years coupled with the natural tendency for Labs to suffer from arthritis in later years, have caught up with her. She'll be 9 in a few weeks time, so she is getting on. It's sad, especially when I look back at some of my reports on here that she has accompanied me on - Buachaille Etive Mor, the South Glen Shiel Ridge, Ben Alligin, Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird to name but a few epics. Not to mention the countless nights in a tent when I have had a wet dog snuggled up close for company! I have to say I was quite shocked at how much a little daunder like this made her stiffen up by the time we got back home...... :(
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Re: Meall Mor - fitness boost and gilet trial up Glen Isla w

Postby Gordie12 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:46 pm

Interesting little hill, I hadn't even noticed it before...............assume you could do Mount Blair at the same time without the hassle of moving the car??
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Re: Meall Mor - fitness boost and gilet trial up Glen Isla w

Postby ChrisW » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:31 am

Sadly Lucy is nearing the end of her hillwalking days Chris. She will not do another big Munro day, put it that way. The run in with the car a few years back, and advancing years coupled with the natural tendency for Labs to suffer from arthritis in later years, have caught up with her. She'll be 9 in a few weeks time, so she is getting on. It's sad, especially when I look back at some of my reports on here that she has accompanied me on - Buachaille Etive Mor, the South Glen Shiel Ridge, Ben Alligin, Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird to name but a few epics. Not to mention the countless nights in a tent when I have had a wet dog snuggled up close for company! I have to say I was quite shocked at how much a little daunder like this made her stiffen up by the time we got back home......

My son has a lab too, he's 9 and stiff as a board after a short walk....we 'talk around' the subject of his final days without ever getting into what he's going to do :cry:
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Re: Meall Mor - fitness boost and gilet trial up Glen Isla w

Postby Graeme D » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:29 pm

Gordie12 wrote:Interesting little hill, I hadn't even noticed it before...............assume you could do Mount Blair at the same time without the hassle of moving the car??


Yeah, guess so. Would be a longer and rougher looking way of tackling Mount Blair than the more traditional ascent from the other side, but looks manageable.

ChrisW wrote:My son has a lab too, he's 9 and stiff as a board after a short walk....we 'talk around' the subject of his final days without ever getting into what he's going to do


The black lab we had when I was a lad made it to nearly 14. I think that's about par for the course for a lab. I'm sure Lucy has a few years left in her yet, just that her hill bagging days are behind her! :(
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Re: Meall Mor - fitness boost and gilet trial up Glen Isla w

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:31 am

A handy hill good clarity in the photos a bhalaich :D
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