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Meall Greigh Meall Garbh and An Stuc
by gary » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:29 pm
Munros included on this walk: An Stuc, Meall Garbh (Ben Lawers), Meall Greigh
Date walked: 17/10/20111 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I was on my own apart from my dog Ruby and my parents dog Tess. I had asked a few folk but had no takers. I arrived at the car park at Ben Lawers hotel just before nine and was ready to set off by the hour, the short walk back along the road requires a bit of care because there are not really many wide verges to take to when a car comes but is was not long and I was passed the horn craft workshop then up the track behind it towards the farm,it is well sign posted and you cant go wrong,after the farm the track narrows to a small path which was very muddy all the way up over a few bridges and stiles. After I crossed the first stile I came across three guys who were just packing up their tent,stopped for a quick blether and it turns out they were planning to cover all the munros on the Lawers range over two days,wished them good luck and was on my way,the muddy path continues for a short while then another stile.Went over that it really opens up after that.
The path was now less muddy but just generally waterlogged and boggy,then I got my first glimpse of An Stuc and my initial reaction was no chance I will be up that.
I put any thoughts of An Stuc to the back of my mind and focused on getting up Meall Greigh first,it was a bit of a slog through the boggy path and a very small cairn marked the point which I left the main path to head up a faint but still very boggy path.After a while the path faded out and it was just a case of heading up next to a small stream,I was finding the going quite hard by now and had a small breather,by now I could see three people in front of me and I assume it was the three guys camping behind me and another couple just in front of them.After what felt like ages I headed away from the stream and towards the summit,after a while the path started again and although it was quite steep going it was good to get out of the boggy ground for a bit.The wind was rising considerably now making it rather cold and quite unpleasant, I reached the summit not long after the three in front and stopped for a short breather, one of the group asked me to take a photo of the three of them together to which I obliged,they then set off again,I was not far behind them as the wind was showing no signs of dying. Even the view at the time was not great as a heavy rain shower had just finished and the clouds were still lingering.
The descent was easy enough and the path clear although it was still waterlogged in a lot of places,stopped again for a short five minute break before I begun the ascent up Meall Garbh which looked worse than the previous ascent.At least I was a bit more sheltered from the wind now. The skies were clearing and the views improving with every step.
Think I had my second wind now as I made it up to the summit without any problem, the winds were still strong although the views were fabulous.
The group of three were there, again just before me and I took their photo for them and asked if they were heading for An Stuc, which they were. The guy that was with the group asked if I was not a bit worried about the dogs going up An Stuc to which I replied "No,but am worried about myself". It still looked as daunting and I decided to find a sheltered spot for lunch then maybe give it a go hoping the other three would go first to give me an idea of the route and would just have felt better if i saw someone else doing it.
I had my lunch out of the wind and was ready to give it a go, the other group had stopped to and I decided to go for it, I reached the bottom just as two farmers were herding their sheep up the hills and stopped for a quick chat with them, one of them told me the ascent from here is a lot easier now as you can see path everyone takes whereas five years ago there was nothing.
Feeling a bit more confident now, away up I went dogs in front thinking nothing of it, me thinking it's not too bad,found it easy enough to start with and maybe a bit in the middle is tricky but only for a few minutes,after that is it is just steep but it was not nearly as difficult as I thought!
I got to the summit cairn quite pleased with myself,even feeling a bit silly for worrying about it and as for the dogs they managed no problem and I think they might have managed a few different routes up! The views were great again from the summit.The group of three were just behind me and this time I asked if they would take my photo, which they did.
I took a few more pics then headed down the other side which seemed a much easier route although it was extremley windy at this point and the group in front were being blown off the path.I followed the path down and along past the stream then it disappeared so I decided to stay close by the stream for the descent down the gully which I found to be quite tricky as it was steep and wet making it very slippery and before long I landed on my backside and slid about six feet down the hill, I got up, had a look about, nobody saw me and I was OK but wondering if I had made the right choice in sticking so close to the stream. Took extra care from here to the bottom and looking back up think it probably was the easiest route, I did however notice the group of three I had followed most of the way had went further along before descending and seemed to take them ages to get down, but I think that it looked worse the further you went.
From here I found a path which was very boggy and just followed it all the way to the dam. After that I went along the wider track for a few minutes then off again along the top of the ravine and I missed the path off to the footbridge but just headed down further along and crossed the burn easily, then back up onto the path where we started, I got back to the car park and went into the hotel to pay my £5 for parking as I had no time for food or drinks in the bar because I did not want to leave the dogs in the car and although the sign says it is dog friendly they were both really dirty and a bit smelly.
by pigeon » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:43 pm
by gary » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:29 pm
The scramble was nothing like I had imagined,think it would be tricky coming down it so once I was past a certain point there was no way I was turning about.
Really enjoying it now, just started looking on the site for local low level walks, had never considered Munros before but read reports and such on here and thought I would give it a go,now I cant wait for weekends off to get out and about.
by pigeon » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:39 pm
by 147cjl » Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:36 pm
by gary » Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:30 pm
pigeon wrote:Stuc a chroin which is not that far from Lawers has a similar scramble,probably a bit trickier though so take care,it's a good day when done with Ben Vorlich
Thanks for the advice pigeon, think it will be next year before I get up there, not keen on walking in the snow yet!
147cjl wrote:Sounds like a good day out. These 3 are next on my list but not had a chance to get out last 3 weeks. Glad to hear An Stuc wasn't as bad as you thought, in your picture is that the path visible going up left of centre?
Yeah, it was enjoyable. You can just see the path in the picture but it is a lot more clear when you get to it and I am sure you will manage no problem. Good luck for when the time comes