M91 | 1042 m. | 3419 ft.
Translation: Hill of sorrow
Pronuncation: kaarn mairg

This round of four Munros was the main reason for us renting a cottage on the Roro estate in Glen Lyon for the 2011 bagging exercise. Located on the south bank of the River Lyon we had an unobstructed view of Carn Gorm’s western and southern side from the cottage. Quite a bulk of a mountain.

Even though the hill was very close Frank and I nonetheless drove the four kilometres to the start of the hike by car. We set out from the parking in Invervar, crossed the street, opened the gate and were on our way. Shortly after having reached the rim of the forest we left the land rover track behind us and climbed due east on a good stalkers path on the southern flank of the ridge leading to Meall nan Aighean our first Munro of the day. The path’s good layout allowed for easy progress. Higher up the going became a little less easy since there were some steeper sections and the path tended to disappear and reappear. Soon, however, the path deposited us on the crest of the ridge at an altitude of about 550 to 600m. From there it was a steady walk up the ridge which tended to level off once the summit got close.

The terrain being easy we enjoyed the views of the Lawers range to the south and of the ridge walk that lay ahead of us to the north. At the summit of Meall nan Aighean we paused for some cookies and water. Then we retraced the steps of our ascent for a few hundred metres. Soon, however, another track led us in a northerly direction and delivered us at the bottom of the south-eastern flank of Carn Mairg which is a steep grass slope strewn with boulders and interspersed with rubble and some scree. On this easy ridge walk this was the day’s only intimation of more difficult terrain. Nice for a change! Once on the wide plateau-ish summit slopes of Carn Mairg Frank and I soon reached the cairn of Munro No. 2. Beautiful views of Shiehallion! At the cairn we turned in a westerly direction and “embarked” on the long walk to Meall a’Bharr, Meall Garbh and Carn Gorm.

It was quite windy but also quite sunny that day so the walk was a coldish but also a quite cheerful one and the obvious line of fence posts was not needed for orientation. Once the summit of Meall Garbh was reached and the cairn was touched we slumped down for another break in the vicinity of the cairn. Then, descending the western slopes of Meall Garbh we reached the 830m col between the Munro and An Sgorr which we outflanked on the north-west loosing too much height which necessitated a climb back to the col between this intermediate bump on the ridge and Carn Gorm. Then there was the final steep-ish climb up to the fourth Munro of the day. The path debuts quite sharply on the small summit plateau first reaching the cairn and a couple of dozens of steps further the summit cairn. We stopped for a few minutes waiting for clouds to clear; there had been some intermittent clouds covering the high points of the tour from time to time. Soon the final stretch of the walk became visible, though, and we descended in an east-south-easterly direction down the broad south-east ridge of Carn Gorm. This again was a very pleasant walk on a path leading through easy grass. Some steeper sections varied the character of the descent.

Soon we reached the rim of the forest/plantation and the crest of the steep right-hand bank of the Invervar Burn which we followed for a few hundred metres before we crossed over to the left-hand side using the footbridge provided. From there an easy stroll on the land rover track brought us back to Invervar and our faithful car waiting for us.

A very nice day out on the hills, a satisfying ridge walk which due to the good weather had a very benevolent character. Just as we had planned and hoped for: perfect!

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Total distance: 18915 m
Max elevation: 1048 m
Min elevation: 209 m
Total climbing: 1397 m
Total descent: -1394 m
Total time: 06:21:11

Description This group of hills, known collectively as the Carn Mairg group, forms a big arc on the north side of Glen Lyon above Invervar. The nature of the hills along their broad ridges is more characteristic of the Cairngorms or eastern Grampians than of the neighbouring Breadalbane hills such as Ben Lawers. The four Munros are linked by an undulating ridge with fairly small drops between their summits, but the distances between them are quite long, so that the traverse of all four mountains is an excellent high-level hillwalk. Start at Invervar and go up the Invervar Burn to Carn Gorm and continue along the broad ridges, in places following the remains of an old fence, to Meall Garbh, Carn Mairg and finally Meall nan Aighean. Descend west from there to return to Invervar.