Wednesday 22 July 2015

Meall Buidhe

Loch an Daimh dam - looking west 

Another damp forecast - heavy showers throughout the day - Aww well, we get what we're given. We planned a short walk to a single Munro - Meall Buidhe - and hoped to miss the showers.

Loch an Daimh

We drove over into lovely Glen Lyon and then into Gleann Diamh, in sunshine, and parked up in the little car parking area below the Giorra dam, ready for a leg stretch.

Just at that point the heavens opened. It really chucked it down. We sat and watched the rain bouncing off the windscreen and the puddles in the car park. Mmmmmm....

Ten minutes later it had eased off, but the rain was still falling... Stop whinging and get on with it! Boots on, we set off in light rain.

Freddie looks back to Loch an Daimh dam and Ben Lawers

The guide book had stated that, 600m from the track junction at NN508468, take a faint path up the Meall a Phuill south ridge - we paced out 600m, then another 100m and then we gave up and headed off up the open hillside when we spied a likely route! - don't believe everything you read in the guide book.

Weather closing in - Loch an Daimh

The going was reasonable, rather soggy and somewhat boggy most of the time, but as we ascended, the vaguest of paths appeared, making the going easier.

Jim and Rafe - ascent of Meall Buidhe

The weather forecast was spot on today... Waterproofs definitely required!

Looking back over the lower slopes of Meall Buidhe - views south to Lawers range

As we ascended, the views opened up, close by, Loch an Daimh and Stucd an Loachain and further to the south, our more recent hill walks Beinn Ghlas and Ben Lawers, and Meall Corranaich and Meall a'Choire Leith.

Stucd an Lochain and Loch an Daimh from ascent to Meall Buidhe

After a bit of a slog through the heather and a bit of bog trotting we came out on the summit plateau at Meall Buidhe South Top, in a heavy shower - the wind was breezing in from the west - it really wasn't nice. We leaned into the weather and headed northish towards the summit.

Meall Buidhe South Top (917m)

Freddie, Jim and Rafe on Meall Buidhe summit plateau

By the time we neared the summit, the squall was over - the wind had dropped and the skies brightened - the clouds peeled back and we had expansive views.

Stucd an Lochan and Loch an Daimh from Meall Buidhe summit plateau

Rafe and Jim near Meall Buidhe summit

It was a pleasant stroll the final few metres to the summit - Meall Buidhe (Munro 248, 932m) - Glencoe was visible in the north west over Rannoch Moor, Ben Alder and the Cairngorms in the north east - wonderful.

A hazy Glencoe and Rannoch Moor from Meall Buidhe summit

Looking back along the summit platueau from Meall Buidhe summit (Munro 248, 932m)

Pretty good place for a spot of lunch - we had the summit to ourselves, so we propped ourselves up on the summit cairn, out of the breeze and tucked in. Rafe found a stone to play with. Everyone was happy...

Rafe enjoys the brief sunshine on Meall Buidhe summit

Jim - near Meall Buidhe summit

It wasn't sunbathing weather, so we were soon up and moving again, back the way we had come, south across the summit plateau - the views to the south much more expansive now that the weather had cleared.

Ben Lawers range from Meall Buidhe summit plateau

We found a better path, further to the west, for our descent. But it still went through patches of bog which required a certain amount of hopping between the hummocks.

A boggy descent from Meall Buidhe

Rafe, Jim and Freddie - descent from Meall Buidhe - views to Ben Lawers and Stucd an Lochan

We soon dropped off the plateau and made a quick descent into the glen, another shower dampening us as we walked. But the day was improving, the sun winning...

Loch an Daimh

Another good day...

Freddie, Jim and Rafe near the end of the walk - Loch an Daimh dam

As the path hit the track by Loch an Daimh we realised it was the path we should have taken for our ascent, as per the guide book. We paced out the distance back to the track junction, more like 850m!! But it would have been a better ascent route.

Plenty of time for a cream tea at Glenlyon Tearoom, I think...

The cairn and path that we missed on the way up!

Route:  Car park at end of Loch an Daimh road (off Glen Lyon road) (NN511463), stony track north from car park, continue left at junction (NN512467) for 500m approx, faint intermittant boggy path N onto open hillside via Coire nam Miseach (avoiding wet ground as best as can), continue to Meall Buibhe South Top (917m), Meall Buidhe (Munro 248, 932m), return to start.

Statistics:  Distance; 8.5km  Ascent: 550m  Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Map:  OS Explorer 378 - Ben Lawers and Glen Lyon

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