1001 m. |
Translation: Hill of horse studs
Pronuncation: myowl gray
2011 Staying in Glen Lyon on the Roro Estate allowed us to gain easy access to two great foursomes. One to the north – The Glen Lyon Four – and one to the south – Meall Greigh to Ben Lawers.
The tour of the second row of four Munros was the aim of this day. Staying on the private road along the south bank of the River Lyon we drove our car to Roromore. Works close by forced us to leave the car half a kilometre west of the farm. We followed the track past Roromore through the meadows along the River Lyon for a few kilometres, reached the large tree plantation south of the track and stayed on the track until we reached Inverinain. Maybe two hundred metres past the cottage a steep and caterpillar-marked track climbs diagonally through the trees for about 200m. At a height of 350 to 400m it turns due west and leads around the crags of Creag Dubh. Then the track zig-zags up to a height of 550m and peters out on grassy and and squishy terrain. Heading southeast first and gradually in a more southerly direction Frank and I climbed the north ridge of Meall Greigh more or less sticking to the obvious line of fence posts. The combination of undulating terrain and strong westerly winds made progress a little slower and energy consuming than we had expected. But the views were good and especially the dark north-east face of Meall Garbh was interesting. Before final pull to Meall Greigh we paused and replenished our batteries.
After that the main east-west ridge was not far away anymore and we were greeted by very strong winds indeed. Walking upright to Munro No. 1 of the day was not easy at all. However, finally we both touched the summit cairn and immediately retraced our steps to the beallach between Meall Greigh and Meall Garbh. There the winds eased off a bit since the bulk of Meall Garbh protected us from the worst. Up the well-defined and east ridge of Meall Garbh was the next leg of this ridge walk. Again we gained the summit quickly (cairn duly touched) and were greeted by HEAVY wind which made walking VERY difficult indeed. On the narrower sections of the ridge which lead to the Meall Garbh/An Stuc beallach we were both blown over once or twice: Scary considering the drops on both sides! But then the beallach greeted us with relative calm.
I for my part remembered that I had already done An Stuc and Ben Lawers years earlier. So we split up. Frank continued up the steep east face of An Stuc and headed on for Ben Lawers. I took a break at the beallach and then contoured around An Stuc’s north face on steep grass until I reached An Stuc’s north ridge. There I lay waiting for Frank for about an hour, watching sheep on the steep slopes of Meall Garbh’s north ridge, enjoying the change from sunlit intervals and clouds that came racing from the west. The occasional outburst of hail and sleet from the clouds making for unwelcome diversions.
It was starting to get cold and Frank would not appear. I had finally made up my mind to go looking and searching for him in the direction of Ben Lawers, when Frank suddenly appeared a hundred metres below me. Our vectors gradually converged and we met at a height of 850m. Frank’s face was very red since he had fronted ferocious winds on the way to Ben Lawers and back. OK. Four Munros ticked. No views from Ben Lawers. Then it was down the pleasant north ridge of An Stuc, across the mouth of the Fin Glen and down to the flat terrain by the Allt a’Chobhair. Soon we reached the land-rover track which lead us towards Glen Lyon and our car. The last two or three kilometres were a nice stroll. A great day, bad winds, tour completed, good views and a very short drive back to our cosy cottage. Thanks Alba!
Max elevation: 1214 m
Min elevation: 179 m
Total climbing: 1855 m
Total descent: -1870 m
Total time: 07:59:27
Description These three peaks stand in an arc round the head of the Lawers Burn at the north-east end of the Lawers range. An Stuc is a particularly fine peak for it has a craggy east face above Lochan nan Cat and its north ridge leading to the col below Meall Garbh is also steep and rocky. It is the only part of the traverse of the main Lawers ridge that is likely to cause difficulty in winter. Meall Garbh also rises steeply above Lochan nan Cat, but it is less craggy, and Meall Greigh 3 kilometres to the east is a grassy hill with no outstanding features.The route to these hills starts from the A827 road at the bridge over the Lawers Burn (very limited space for parking cars). Go up the path on the east side of the burn for 2 kilometres, then climb north to Meall Greigh. From there a broad grassy ridge leads to Meall Garbh. Descend a narrow ridge to the next col and climb steeply to An Stuc. Descend its south ridge easily to the Bealach Dubh and go down a grassy gully to Lochan nan Cat. Return to the road down the Lawers Burn.