East Glenshee 4

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Attachment(s) Munros: Cairn of Claise, Carn an Tuirc, Creag Leacach, Glas Maol
Date walked: 31/08/2020
Distance: 21km
Ascent: 881m
Views: 7

Meall Chuaich - buzzing on a sunny Sunday

Route: Meall Chuaich, Drumochter

Munros: Meall Chuaich

Date walked: 16/08/2020

Time taken: 5.05 hours

Distance: 15.9km

Ascent: 608m

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Sunday the forecast for the Dalwhinnie area was looking good so decided to knock off the last of the Drumochter Munroes on my to-do list - Meall Chuaich. The drive up from Glasgow was in persistent drizzle but as I pulled in to Lay-by 94 the sun appeared and never went away all day - it was a glorious day for hill walking.

The first part of the walk is a pleasant stroll along a track that runs alongside an aqueduct. After a couple of kms you arrive at Cuaich Power Station and shortly after this a fork in the road - take the left hand fork to continue following the track alongside the Alt Cuaich towards Loch Cuaich (for some reason the hill seems to have acquired an extra "h" in its name).

Track leading into the hills

Cuaich Power Station

There's a handy wee sign planted among the heather that points you in the right direction at the fork in the road.

Sign pointing the way to Meall Chuaich

As you approach Loch Cuaich you'll notice some colourful boxes among the heather. Probably best not to do what I did and take a closer look - they are beehives and the place around here was buzzing with bees. Ignore the path leading down to the loch and instead follow the main track round to the right. Just round the corner is a bothy and shortly after a bridge - just after crossing the bridge the path to Meall Chuach branches off to the left and starts climbing up the hill.

Beehives at Loch Cuaich

Start of the path up Meall Chuaich

The path up the hill is easy going mostly - a bit boggy in places and I'm sure it's a major pain in wetter conditions. There are some steep sections but they don't last long, and it's pretty eroded especially in the lower slopes.

Signpost keeping walkers on the right path

Eroded path on the final approach

As you gain height the views really open up - mostly behind you so a perfect excuse for plenty of breathers to take in the surroundings!

Looking back to Loch Ericht and Ben Alder

Only on the final few hundred metres of approach does the summit cairn come into view, which is surprising because it is enormous!

Summit cairn

The best views from the summit are looking east into the heart of the Cairngorms - not sure what hills I could see but they looked pretty big and impressive.

Looking east from the summit

There was only the gentlest of breezes even on the summit, so it was a perfect spot to have lunch and take in the glorious surroundings. Once refreshed I headed back but somehow managed to lose the path and started wandering off in the wrong direction. Luckily I quickly realised I was off course and just contoured round the hill through the heather to pick up the path again. Loch Cuaich was looking inviting and I was tempted to take a detour for a brief paddle but decided to just get the head down and head back to the car.

Loch Cuaich

Crossing the Allt Coire Chuaich at the bothy

Once back on level ground it's about an hour's walk back to the lay-by. This hill has most of the things I don't like - hydro infrastructure, boring round lump, heavily eroded path - but I must say I did enjoy this walk. The weather helped obviously but I think I would have enjoyed it even if it didn't feel like Majorca rather than Drumochter. However if you are allergic to bees (or just scared of them) I would give this one a miss during the spring and summer months. They are everywhere around the bothy - and who can blame them with all that lovely heather to get stuck into!

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Comments: 2

Meall Ghaordaidh

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Attachment(s) Munros: Meall Ghaordaidh
Date walked: 09/08/2020
Distance: 11.6km
Ascent: 921m
Views: 37

A Dalwhinnie Double - Carn na Caim and A'Bhuidheanach Bheag

Attachment(s) Munros: A' Bhuidheanach Bheag, Carn na Caim
Date walked: 02/08/2020
Distance: 20km
Ascent: 936m
Views: 151

John Muir Way Day 5 - Falkirk to Linlithgow

Attachment(s) Date walked: 31/07/2020
Distance: 15.5km
Ascent: 195m
Views: 91

John Muir Way Day 4 - Croy to Falkirk

Attachment(s) Date walked: 19/07/2020
Distance: 20.73km
Ascent: 200m
Views: 104

John Muir Way Day 3 - Strathblane to Croy

Attachment(s) Date walked: 19/03/2020
Distance: 21.25km
Ascent: 213m
Views: 201

John Muir Way Day 2 - Balloch to Strathblane

Attachment(s) Date walked: 05/03/2020
Distance: 30km
Ascent: 500m
Views: 307

Birns Hill

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Date walked: 01/02/2020
Distance: 6.5km
Ascent: 162m
Views: 73


This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Date walked: 24/11/2019
Distance: 8.27km
Ascent: 128m
Views: 76


Activity: Hill Bagger
Pub: Horseshoe
Mountain: Goatfell
Place: Orkney
Gear: gps
Member: none
Ideal day out: Ridge walk

Munros: 73
Corbetts: 6
Grahams: 3
Donalds: 1
Wainwrights: 1
Sub 2000: 7
Islands: 17
Long Distance routes: Clyde Walkway   

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Joined: Apr 03, 2013
Last visited: Sep 29, 2020
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