959 m. |
Translation: Greenish-grey hill
Pronuncation: myowl glas
These are no hills you will find within the top 10 of most Munro baggers list of favourite hills. But you need to climb them and they are located in beautiful Glen Lochay. From our cottage in Glen Lyon Frank and I drove to Kenknock via the private Glen Lyon to Glen Lochay hydro road. This was the third time we used this connection between the two glens and we already knew how to circumnavigate the deepest potholes :-).
At Kenknock we crossed the River Lochay and followed the land-rover track leading through the fir plantation. At the top end of the plantation, close to Where the pipeline emerges from the ground, we headed due south into the open grassy corrie holding the Allt Innisdaimh. First we erred to far to the left (east) but then crossed the Allt which was in spate after the rain of the last few days. Even though the Allt Innisdaimh is not a really wide burn the crossing was not too easy and we had to walk upstream for a few hundred metres to find a suitable spot. A little later we were on the back of the north ridge of Meall a’Churain. A steady plod up this ridge (or rather, this whale back) helped to gain height quickly. The steeper upper slopes were covered in clouds – as usual in 2011 :-(. Then all the efforts ended and the path we had followed deposited us at the summit of Meall a’Churain. Of course we did not stop for long but continued along the ridge to the summit crags of Sgiath Chuil, where we hid from the strongish wind behind some rocks and had a short break. The clouds cleared the summit and we enjoyed the unimpeded views down to Glen Dochart and over to Ben More. Very fine.
Then we retraced our steps and headed due north along the ridge. After maybe 300 metres we turned left and headed down the very steep grass slopes into the wide grassy and boggy corrie between Sgiath Chuil and Meall Ghlas. The grass was dry enough to make this exceedingly steep descent doable but you would not want to tackle that slope in rain or with sleet on the ground. No Sir! Soon we reached the flat open corrie floor and started the climb first up steepish grass slopes then through bands of crags further up heading for the summit of Meall Ghlas. When the crags had been left behind the ground became flatter again and a pleasant hike ensued, up to the point where the final steepening starts which we climbed. In a few minutes we had reached the flat summit dome of Meall Ghlas and sat down beside the cairn of Munro No. 2 of the day. The views to the west were great with Ben Challum filling the skyline ahead. We did not linger at the summit for long since the low temperature and the strong winds made this an un-welcoming spot.
With refreshed resolve we then started the last leg of the day, the return to Kenknock via the mountain’s North West ridge and the intervening summit of Beinn Cheathaich. From this top we walked down easy grass slopes in a northerly direction. Having lost about 300 metres of altitude we then picked up the land-rover track leading to Lubchurran and the ford in the River Lochay. The upper stretch of the land-rover track was covered by green moss of a particularly bright colour. So apart from softening or steps the moss also was very eye-catching. Nice indeed. The track curves down the hillside becoming a little steeper further down. It led us to Lubchurran House, the flat meadows by the river and the ford. Now, the River Lochay held a lot of water that day and we were too lazy to wade it barefoot and with our trousers rolled up over our knees. So, this being the last day, we just crossed the ford with our boots on and our rain trousers tightly fastened. And would you believe it, we almost made it to the north bank of the river with dry socks in our boots, well, almost ;-)! Then it was another two kilometres beside the beautiful river to Kenknock. A very nice finish to an interesting day. We liked walking these two Munros! Not a dull day at all.
Max elevation: 961 m
Min elevation: 203 m
Total climbing: 1559 m
Total descent: -1550 m
Total time: 06:28:52
Description Between Glen Dochart and Glen Lochay there is an extensive range of low hills. Meall Glas and Sgiath Chuil are the only Munros in this area. From Glen Dochart, from where these hills are usually climbed, Meall Glas is not well seen, appearing as the crest of an expanse of rising moorland, but Sgiath Chuil looks more impressive, showing the steep southern end of its summit ridge. Start from the A85 road in Glen Dochart at Auchessan. Go past the farm and continue northwards past Creag nan Uan and in the same direction up gradually rising moorland to Meall Glas. From there go east then north-east to Beinn Cheathaich. Descend steeply eastwards and climb again to Meall Chuarain and continue south along a level ridge to Sgiath Chuil. Descend south-west to rejoin the uphill route near Creag nan Uan.