987 m. |
Translation: Slabby rock
Pronuncation: krayk lyechach
One day after the fine tour of Beinn a’Ghlo Frank and me had set our sights on something shorter. Glas Maol and Creag Leacach are easy Munros as both can be climbed from the Cairnwell pass. We had driven up to the pass by Glen Shee and reached the parking opposite the Cairnwell at eleven o’clock in the morning. The weather was acceptable: Wind, a little rain and sleet on the higher ground.
We used the landrover track that gives access to the café and ski tows on Meall Odhar’sslopes. Soon we reached the flat summit of this hill. The route ahead was obvious and we saw other hikers ahead of us who climbed the steep flank of Glas Maol. Via the flat stretch of the connecting ridge we soon reached the foot of this steep section and then climbed up the path to the level summit plateau of Glas Mol. A heavy snow shower and gusty wind greeted us at the summit cairn of this first Munro of the day. Frank put on his waterproof trousers and I wanted to follow his example only to realize that mine were in the car. Ok, nevermind. Wet trousers in driving wind are not too bad as long as you keep moving!
So very soon we turned south west and trodded towards the ridge that connects the two hills and which forms a nice sweeping arc. After half an hour of strolling along the broad ridge the terrain became more defined until finally leading to the nice sharpish summit of Creag Leacach. There we sat in the sunshine, ate our provisions, drank some tea and I felt my trousers slowly drying in the wind. With the showers having subsided and the sun creating illuminative effects on the hillsides the day became more and more pleasant. We then left the summit and headed back to Meall Odhar. Instead of getting there via the summit of Glas Maol we decided to use the path that skirts the western flank of the hill. There were some remaining steep snowfields on this side of Glas Maol and crossing them was tricky in one or two places given the fact that we had erred too far up the slope where it is really steep in places thus adding a little innocent thrill to the hike.
All too soon Meall Odhar was reached and with it the landrover track to the Cairnwell pass. We reached the car just as the next rain shower started. Well, that’s Scotland, I thought and my trousers, which had dried by then, greeted the fresh water from above with a mixture of annoyance and smiling admission of defeat :-). A fine short hike on two very different hills. One rounded and bulky. The other more pointed and sharp. Nice viewpoints too.
Max elevation: 1072 m
Min elevation: 431 m
Total climbing: 1099 m
Total descent: -857 m
Total time: 04:01:08
Description Glas Maol is a bare rounded mountain at the south-west corner of the Mounth plateau above the A93 road where it crosses the pass from Glen Shee to Glen Clunie. Its western slopes and north-east corrie, the Coire Fionn, are scarred by the ski tows and snow fences of the Glen Shee ski centre, but the eastern side of the mountain is very different, dropping in high cliffs into the Caenlochan Glen where the River Isla has its source. The contrast between the two opposite sides of Glas Maol is very striking. To its south a long ridge runs out for several kilometres on the east side of Gleann Beag, and 2 kilometres along this ridge is the summit of Creag Leacach. This is unusual among the hills of the Mounth in having quite a narrow summit ridge which drops steeply on both sides in long slopes of scree and boulders.The traverse of these two mountains can be started from the A93 about 2 kilometres south of the summit of the road. Follow a path east for about ½ kilometre and then go north up a grassy ridge to reach a collection of huts and ski tows on the north-west ridge of Meall Odhar. Go up this ridge and across a slight dip to the final steep slope leading to the flat summit of Glas Maol. Descend south-west to the start of the narrow and in places rocky ridge which leads to Creag Leacach. From the summit of Creag Leacach continue along the ridge to the South-west Top, then descend steeply north-west down stony slopes to the col below Meall Gorm. Turn north down a grassy corrie and regain the path of the uphill route.