Meall Greigh and Meall Garbh

Munros: Meall Garbh (Ben Lawers), Meall Greigh

Date walked: 30/07/2011

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 13km

Ascent: 1000m

As I am of the younger generation of this world before now I had never climbed a Munro, so it took much deliberation to find a Munro that satisfied my wish for something interesting and my father's wish for it to be a reasonable drive. Eventually we decided on Meall Greigh and Meall Garbh, partly because its only a 2 and a half hour drive,my dad had never done Greigh before and it looked like a suitably interesting hill.

After setting off at an unknown time to a teenager like me, 0730 we drove for 2 and a half hours we arrived at almost exactly 10. I say arrived there is no where really to arrive. The book that had suggested this walk said that you could park on a farmers track at a place called Machium. Either the farmer also had that book or had cottoned on to the fact that people did that, and banned it. So after a 5 minutes of wondering where to park we bit the bullet and parked in the layby just off the track. Unfortunately this costs five pounds a day however fortunately it all goes to charity so that's somewhat more acceptable.

You begin by ascending the farmer's track that you have been forbidden to park upon and then up a path which has been signposted. This is surrounded by ferns and is most unpleasant if it is warm. After that you are reunited with clean air and in temperatures over 10C a drink will be mandatory. You can then see Meall Greigh and some of the Lawers Burn. We stuck to this for a while before turning right to ascend Meall Greigh. If in reduced visibility then I would suggest sticking to the Burn to ensure you aren't tricked into climbing a false summit to your left ascending the hill. We turned off at one of the many streams that run down the hill. We later realised we should have continued with the Burn until the dam and turn off then. The ascent provides stunning views over Loch Tay and for a first time Munro-ist the views are like nothing else I had ever seen.
View over Loch Tay from half way up Meall Greigh

Continuing climbing the clouds cleared to unveil Meall Garbh, An Stuc and Ben Lawers. The route I used, provided several points of reference to determine how far we were from the summit and more importantly, lunch. The last few hundred metres was unfortunately pretty steep and marshy, as we hadn't gone all the way to the dam we had very few options as to what to do to make it easier. Coming from the dam would have meant a diagonal ascent to the summit thus making it less difficult however coming from where we did meant a straight ascent so small zig zags were all that we could do.

At the top we stopped for a short lunch which was over by 1330 meaning the ascent up Meall Greigh had taken much longer than expected as we had aimed to be up Meall Garbh by 1410, in-keeping with the 4 hours up 3 hours down logic. Descending Meall Greigh wasn't difficult other than perhaps the occasional bog and a few random waist deep holes that would all too easily ruin a day walking with a broken ankle or otherwise.

The ascent of Meall Garbh was furnished with a path unlike Meall Greigh. Another thing that Meall Garbh had that Meall Greigh didn't was large mud pools. Speaking from personal experience, don't end up sunk in one. I did and it was at least up to my ankle. Thank god for waterproof boots. Although rocky and occasionally loose the path is almost hazard-free. Be aware though especially in low visibility that the cairn that you first arrive at is not the summit, you must instead retrace your steps slightly and then head on another path that takes you to the actual summit which is also marked with a cairn. If the weather is on your side as it was for us the views extend for miles.
View of Ben Lawers, Meall Corranaich, Meall Choire a Leith and An Stuc from Meall Garbh

We could even see Ben Nevis from the summit.
View out from Meall Garbh

We descended using the same path as the ascent before turning right at the base of the two mountains. There is the occasional worn area but it is mainly sheep tracks. You soon rejoin the Lawers Burn and we stuck pretty close to it until the dam. At the dam we crossed it before continuing along the South side of the Burn. You must take care not to continue along the gravel road and instead turn left and continue along a grassy path which runs parallel to the Burn, you follow this until the small bridge which you cross and then you are in known territory as this is where you began the walk. We continued along the North side until we returned to the path surrounded by ferns which you descend via before being reunited with your car and most important of all a comfy seat.

All things considered a very enjoyable walk, although maybe more like 5 hours up, two hours down and perhaps not the best for a first time Munro walker however as the weather was excellent, views was spectacular. The first two Munros, certainly not the last.

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Comments: 1


Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: none
Place: the Islands
Member: none
Ideal day out: idyllic ramble round a loch

Munros: 76
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 2
Sub 2000: 8

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Trips: 1
Distance: 13 km
Ascent: 1000m
Munros: 2

Joined: Jun 17, 2011
Last visited: May 24, 2022
Total posts: 1 | Search posts