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Meall nan Eun and Bridge of Orchy outrage

Meall nan Eun and Bridge of Orchy outrage


Postby weedavie » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:24 am

Munros included on this walk: Meall nan Eun

Date walked: 03/10/2016

Time taken: 4.8 hours

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 870m

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The distance is just for the walk. I’d come from Bridge of Orchy station, so that’s an extra 13k cycle each way.

This was a revisit of a route that two of us found by accident about ten years ago. We’d left Forest Lodge without having decided where we were going. We reached Meall nan Eun on the east side and could only see up a couple of hundred metres below the cloud. It looked possible so we went. It was only after that we found out the Munro book says there’s no route on this side.

Last time we’d crossed the ridge from Clashgour Farm which the Munro book says is far better than stumbling along the side of Loch Dochart. In this case the book's right. I was going to try to add Stob Coir'an Albannaich so Loch Dochart seemed better. Anyway an estate worker told me they were stalking in the corrie so the Clashgour route was out (embarrassingly I’d forgotten to check before).

It was a 75 minute cycle to the loch, which seemed a bit long. It was an interminable stumble across to Meall nan Eun, made worse because I tried to contour higher to avoid the wet. I photographed some of the approach but cameras kind of intimidate me. I’d filled the memory at this point and in vaguely stabbing at delete buttons without my glasses I got rid of my pictures of the trip so far.

It doesn't look approachable from below but the trick is to climb the north bank of the gully then shift to the south and cross the corrie.
3 690.jpg
Top of the gully
Or that’s what I remembered. In fact I missed my turn and went up over some boilerplates that I was a bit less happy reversing.
4  690.jpg
Gully from above
I’d thought the upper half was a hanging corrie but there’s just a slightly shallower slope.
5 690.jpg
Not really a corrie
I crossed it to get to the ease of the south east ridge.
6 690.jpg
From the south east ridge


This ridge then leads easily to the summit.
7 690.jpg
There’s some disparaging comments on the site about it as a viewpoint. I liked it. I’d now used 4 hours of my day and I started towards Stob Coir'an Albannaich. But I reckoned that the summit was another hour and that would leave me three hours to get back to the train. I didn’t fancy an attempt to cross the bogs behind Loch Dochart at speed, so I decided to go for a pint instead.

I dropped into Coire Chaorach and then took a straight line back to the head of the loch. An animal track I followed was better than the attempt to traverse on the way in.
2 690.jpg

I took this picture as I retreated. The way up is on the far side of the obvious gully, swapping sides at the first outcrop.
8 690.jpg
It was a relief to get back to the stepping stones.
1 690.jpg

The cycle back was downhill and fast. You don’t notice the height you’re gaining on the way in, just think you’re getting slow. I was back in Bridge of Orchy with time for a plate of soup and a couple of pints.

Real ale is a good news, bad news subject around here. The good news is availability. They were selling Bitter and Twisted and a few weeks ago in Crianlarich I was served Jarl. The bad news is the cost. It was £4.50 a pint in both places which is outrageous. Most Wednesday afternoons I have a couple of pints of an excellent local real ale in Hudson’s in East Kilbride at £1.99 a pint. It looks a concrete dive but it’s a really well run shop. If you’re getting back to your roots, it’s next door to a bookie’s and a chippie. On the other hand if you’re going up a hill the nearest is the windfarm-covered Corse Hill.

But when I was young, you could walk into a pub anywhere in Scotland and know what your pint would cost. That would be 11p, though the bad news would be it was a bogging pint of Tartan Special and the pub would be a smoky hovel. So there have been improvements but neither of these hotels are particularly well-appointed, transport costs are far less than they were and that mark-up is impossible to justify. Ah, the West Highland Way. Let’s rip off the tourists.


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weedavie
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Re: Meall nan Eun and Bridge of Orchy outrage

Postby Graeme D » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:50 pm

I love Jarl, but possibly not at that price! :shock: Nice pics though! :D
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Re: Meall nan Eun and Bridge of Orchy outrage

Postby malky_c » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:22 pm

Interesting route - I have thought about approaching some of these hills from Victoria Bridge, but it never occurred to me that there might be a direct way onto Meall nan Eun.

As for the beer, it's swings and roundabouts. The main benefit of beer being trendy at the moment is that you can get a decent pint in many places like Bridge of Orchy (when you might have had to settle for a crappy pint of Tennants in the past). The downside is that it costs an arm and a leg.
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Re: Meall nan Eun and Bridge of Orchy outrage

Postby weedavie » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:47 am

malky_c wrote:Interesting route - I have thought about approaching some of these hills from Victoria Bridge, but it never occurred to me that there might be a direct way onto Meall nan Eun.


Aye, it's an obscure choice but it's straightforward, the odd use of hands but not a scramble. It's just why would you use it, a traverse, perhaps? We once descended it on the way back from Stob Coir'an Albannaich but that was no bikes and must have been way in excess of 8 hours from Forest Lodge.
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Re: Meall nan Eun and Bridge of Orchy outrage

Postby weedavie » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:49 am

Graeme D wrote:I love Jarl, but possibly not at that price!

Yes, I saw you were supping Moulin Ales recently. I've never tried them on their home ground but at the Atholl Arms yesterday I'd a very decent pint at £3.30.

£4.50 seems a WHW price - I ran into the same at the marina at Ardlui last year. It's maybe time to start a Real Ale pricing hall of shame.
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Re: Meall nan Eun and Bridge of Orchy outrage

Postby IanEzzi » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:02 pm

Hah, that's Edinburgh pricing also, albeit Edinburgh pricing in nice pubs with good selections of cask/craft beer.

I don't begrudge places like Bridge of Orchy selling pints at the upper end of the price range. Every time I've gone in there it's been warm, dry, fire roaring, good food, great selection of beer (Old Engine Oil on tap? Yes please) and they've even let me sneak off with some firewood for the bothy in the past.

They don't get a regular footfall of visitors like a city pub, even with the West Highland Way I'll bet they're dead for half the winter during the week. If they have to supplement this with slightly higher beer prices then so be it.

Could name some other west highland pubs that might be cheaper but also still haven't grasped the basics of good customer service... :roll:
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Re: Meall nan Eun and Bridge of Orchy outrage

Postby BobMcBob » Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:43 pm

As someone who until recently spent a great deal of time in London, I think wistfully of the days when real ale was only £4.50 a pint :) And you don't even get a decent view to go with it. ;)
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Re: Meall nan Eun and Bridge of Orchy outrage

Postby Phil the Hill » Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:34 pm

That's helpful. This is my last of the Etive Munros to do and I'd been trying to work out a route from that direction for a different approach, and it's not at all clear from just studying the map. Helpful to know how far you can cycle too.

Sadly, coming from London, I'm used to those prices for beer. But at least you can get a good variety of decent pints in Scotland nowadays.
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Re: Meall nan Eun and Bridge of Orchy outrage

Postby weedavie » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:54 pm

Phil the Hill wrote:That's helpful. This is my last of the Etive Munros to do and I'd been trying to work out a route from that direction for a different approach, and it's not at all clear from just studying the map. Helpful to know how far you can cycle too.
.

If you’re just doing Meall nan Eun, it’s easier leaving the bikes at Clashgour farm and following the path up and over the Mam nan Sac. A bit longer and more climbing but massively better under foot. If you’re really feeling your oats, you can then go north from Meall nan Eun to Meall Odhar and follow the ridge to Stob Ghabhar. Descend back to the Mam nan Sac.
If you are going to Loch Dochart, you’re better cycling the track to the farm rather than following the path on the riverside after the Clashgour hut in spite of the signs. This has become a bit of a cycling classic and it’s clear the farm’s a bit hacked with lycra-clad ninnies.
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Re: Meall nan Eun and Bridge of Orchy outrage

Postby Phil the Hill » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:41 pm

weedavie wrote:
Phil the Hill wrote:That's helpful. This is my last of the Etive Munros to do and I'd been trying to work out a route from that direction for a different approach, and it's not at all clear from just studying the map. Helpful to know how far you can cycle too.
.

If you’re just doing Meall nan Eun, it’s easier leaving the bikes at Clashgour farm and following the path up and over the Mam nan Sac. A bit longer and more climbing but massively better under foot. If you’re really feeling your oats, you can then go north from Meall nan Eun to Meall Odhar and follow the ridge to Stob Ghabhar. Descend back to the Mam nan Sac.
If you are going to Loch Dochart, you’re better cycling the track to the farm rather than following the path on the riverside after the Clashgour hut in spite of the signs. This has become a bit of a cycling classic and it’s clear the farm’s a bit hacked with lycra-clad ninnies.


Lots of options to consider, thanks. I did Stob Ghabhar in the clag, so maybe worth a revisit if the conditions are good.
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