Meall na Fearna from Callander

Corbetts: Meall na Fearna

Date walked: 30/04/2022

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 24km

Ascent: 1212m

This walk is preceded by 'Stuc 'a Chroin & Ben Vorlich from Beinn Each'.

0 summit thumb.JPG
The spectacle of Munros, Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorlich can be seen from the summit.

00 Meall na Fearna.JPG
Meall na Fearna seen from Ben Vorlich's summit (the day before).

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Yesterday's success with Vorlich and company left me with this tantalizing outlayer which could bring a neat sense of completion to the sector. I felt some trepidation, however, as a bit of skim researching on WH presented me with words such as 'dark side', 'doghouse', 'hidden horrors' and, last but not least - 'boggy'. I have done plenty of boggy already in my fledgling Scotland career, and with the lengthy access for this cuddly Corbett I did not relish the prospect of 'lots of boggy'. My fears were unfounded. For a start, approaching it from Callander entails a good stretch of tarmac, which turns into a good stretch of gravelled track before needing to walk on so much as a tuft of sheep dropping decorated grass. What's more, the balmy climate of recent days had left the moorland itself in very friendly condition. The only wet sock experience I was to have all day was due to being stupid enough to slither off a damp rock, on crossing the Dhub Choirein burn where I could see that my boot would not grip on said rock but I stepped on it anyway. No matter, I'd remember the walk fondly, as we shall see...

1 Callander.JPG
An April Callander.

2 road.JPG
The road to the wilds.

3 cloughs.JPG
Did not have to negotiate that.

4 vastness.JPG

5 pass ahead.JPG
The pass ahead (Meall Odhar).

6 up the pass.JPG
Up to the pass on Meall Odhar.

In hindsight I realised I could have taken the car much closer, instead of leaving it a Callander's Bracklinn Falls carpark, but I would have missed out on miles of uplifting stroll where vast expanses of elementally-gouged moorland can be gazed at. The weather started off as almost as warm as yesterday but much more overcast. The pass at Meall Odhar (not to be confused with the Donald Beinn Odhar a few miles east), gradually came closer and would lead into the real wilderness. From the top of it, there was little in the way of path, but I made good time nonetheless. On cresting it, and noting that it would make a fine way to access Stuc a' Chroin (which is where a good path does actually lead), I could see my Corbett looming into view. By now there was a hint of rain in the air and it was cooler, and this brought on a creeping sense of isolation when put with the aura ('dark side' indeed) of this glen. It would be a significant psychological challenge alone in winter snow and clag.

7 the col.JPG
Excitement! The peak of Meall na Fearna comes into view as I cross the pass.

8 Vorlich & Meall.JPG
Ben Vorlich rises in front of Meall na Fearna.

9 Meall na Fearna.JPG
Meall na Fearna, a wild beauty she is.

10 fording.JPG
Fording was little problem today.

11 gorge.JPG
Water has its way with the landscape.

12 made of this.JPG
Meall na Fearna is made of this.

I was slightly worried about getting across a confluence of three burns at Dubh Choirein, but needn't have been. Not today at least. From there, it was a case of plodding up the heathered slopes of Meall na Fearna in more or less a beeline for the summit. The exhiliration of the vantage point the area offers on the ridges of Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorlich was rather tempered for me by the onset of... snow? Yes, as I got higher and almost on cue at the summit itself, I found I was in a touch of mini-blizzard. Indeed the earlier overcast was now obviously turning into a complete weather front which at first smothered the peaks, then steadily sank over lower terrain. I had taken a chance on minimal underlayers and my lightweight waterproof, because I knew I would not be on high ground for long, and the steady drizzle that was with me for the entire return trek was the limit of what that gear could handle. I was one euphoric English Alpinist, though, after a 3-day excursion complete with all 10 peaks I had hoped for and just about all the right decisions (for once!). I'd most strongly recommend this route as a way to do an excellent horseshoe of Chroin and Vorlich, especially for those who like to take bikes along for access.

13 Chroin & Vorlich.JPG
The excellence of Chroin and Vorlich from near the summit.

14 summit.JPG
Meall na Fearna, 2,654 feet (809m), as the weather begins to close in.

15 return quarters.JPG
The return: descent from Fearna, and crossing of the pass of Odhar once again.

16 vastness in reverse.JPG
Vastness reversed.

PS It peed down for the rest of the day and the whole of the return journey to England, Saturday 30th April.

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Stuc a' Chroin & Ben Vorlich from Beinn Each

Attachment(s) Munros: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn), Stùc a' Chròin
Corbetts: Beinn Each
Grahams: Sgiath a' Chaise
Date walked: 29/04/2022
Distance: 21km
Ascent: 1957m
Views: 256

A Fistful of Donalds

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Hart Fell
Donalds: Hart Fell, Swatte Fell, Whitehope Heights
Date walked: 28/04/2022
Distance: 29km
Ascent: 1376m
Views: 209

A Claggy Corbett, but Superb

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Mam na Gualainn
Date walked: 03/03/2022
Distance: 18km
Ascent: 1203m
Comments: 4
Views: 428

Dispirited in the Mamores: Na Gruagaichean

Attachment(s) Date walked: 02/03/2022
Distance: 13km
Ascent: 1162m
Comments: 9
Views: 746

March in the Mamores: Sgurr Eilde Mor

Attachment(s) Munros: Sgùrr Èilde Mòr
Date walked: 01/03/2022
Distance: 18km
Ascent: 1399m
Views: 303

Easily my hardest experience in the mountains

Attachment(s) Munros: An Caisteal, Beinn a' Chròin, Beinn Chabhair
Date walked: 09/02/2022
Distance: 19km
Ascent: 1662m
Comments: 8
Views: 1482


Attachment(s) Grahams: Blackhope Scar
Donalds: Blackhope Scar, Bowbeat Hill, Dundreich
Date walked: 29/01/2022
Distance: 24km
Ascent: 699m
Comments: 1
Views: 655

My First Donalds

Attachment(s) Grahams: Windlestraw Law
Donalds: Whitehope Law, Windlestraw Law
Date walked: 28/01/2022
Distance: 22.5km
Ascent: 1184m
Comments: 6
Views: 668

From Boar to Baugh in December Splendour

Attachment(s) Hewitts: Baugh Fell (Tarn Rigg Hill), Swarth Fell, Wild Boar Fell
Date walked: 18/12/2021
Distance: 28km
Ascent: 1170m
Comments: 5
Views: 590

The English Alpinist

User avatar
Location: Lancashire England.
Occupation: Food delivery driver.
Interests: Mountaineering, music, movies, writing.
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Loch Lomond Arms
Mountain: Ben Nevis.
Place: Strathmore, Sutherland.
Gear: DMM cirque mountain axe.
Camera: Digital camcorder.
Ideal day out: An epic ridge-walk such as CMD Arete, or a horsehoe such as Helvellyn.
Ambition: All the British mountains

Munros: 16
Corbetts: 7
Grahams: 9
Donalds: 8
Wainwrights: 214
Hewitts: 133
Sub 2000: 1

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Joined: Oct 27, 2015
Last visited: May 11, 2022
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