Tuesday 21 July 2015

Meall Corranaich and Meall a'Choire Leith

Lochan na Lairige - views south from near the start of the walk

We set off from the little car parking area at the side of the high point (549m!) of the pass between Loch Tay and Glen Lyon, up onto the pathless moor above Gleann Da-Eig, heading for Meall Corranaich's south west "ridge".

Jim - Meall Corranaich from our ascent route above Gleann Da-Eig

It was cloudy and cool, but we were hoping for a dry day for our ascent of two more Munro's - Meall Corranaich and Meall a'Choire Leith - close neighbours of Beinn Ghlas and Ben Lawers, where we received a bit of a soaking just a couple of days before.

Freddie and Jim - ascent of Meall Corranaich, nearing the bogs

The weather might be forecast dry, but underfoot, it was a trifle soggy! Route-finding across the peat hags and marsh was interesting and led to rather more bog hopping than we were used to. We could see where we wanted to be, but getting there involved some detouring...

Frieedie and Jim crossing the bogs (NN605415 approx)

Meall Corranaich's bogs (NN605415 approx)

We were soon past the worst of it, and as we started to ascend, the conditions dried out - a path appeared!

Freddie looks back across Gleann Da-Eig

Rafe  - that's not the summit! - Meall Corranaich

Ascent of Meall Corranaich - views to Gleann Da-Eig

The ascent stiffened and we started to get the views as we moved upwards - across to Meall nan Tarmachan in the west and the wild lands to the north of Glen Lyon in the north.

Jim and Freddie - Ascent of Meall Corranaich - views north

Jim - Ascent of Meall Corranaich

Views north from the ascent of Meall Corranaich

We were soon on the wide south west slopes of Meall Corranaich - feeling like we were getting somewhere at last.

Jim and Freddie - Ascent of Meall Corranaich

The sun had come out, the sky was blue - it was starting to feel like summer. We were very soon at the summit - Meall Corranaich (Munro 68, 1069m).

Meall Corranaich summit (Munro 68, 1069m) - views to An Stuc and Ben Lawers

The views went on forever - Ben Lawers, just over Gleann Allt a'Chobhair, sharp and clear against the sky - we could see lines of people worming their way up to the trig point - many walkers out in the nice weather.

We had these hills to ourselves!

Descent from Meall Corranaich with views to Meall a'Choire Leith

We continued along the wide ridge - easy, airy walking.

Freddie and Jim - ridge between Meall Corranaich and Meall a'Choire Leith

Looking back to Meall Corranaich with Beinn Ghlas beyond

We found a few rocks amongst the sea of green above Coire Leith, with a great view of Beinn Ghlas and Ben Lawers, for our lunch. It was nice to be able to sit comfortably, it wasn't cold, it wasn't windy, it wasn't wet - bliss...

Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas from Bealach Coire Liath - a good place for lunch

Meall nan Tarmachan from Bealach Coire Liath

We were soon moving on, though - Meall a'Choire Leith lay ahead - at the other end of the wide undulating, grassy ridge.

Looking back to Meall Corranaich

Freddie and Jim - ridge between Meall Corranaich and Meall a'Choire Leith

Rafe and Jim - ridge between Meall Corrainaich and Meall a'Choire Leith

Looking back to our descent route from Meall Corranaich

Freddie - ascent or Meall a'Choire Leith with views back to Meall Corranaich

Jim - ascent of Meall a'Choire Leith

Views south from ascent of Meall a'Choire Leith
Ben Lawers, Beinn Ghlas and Meall Corranaich

Jim and Rafe nearing the summit of Meall a'Choire Leith

A final, short, steepish pull led us to the wide summit plateau of Meall a'Choire Leith (Munro 261, 926m). A small cairn/pile of stones marked the summit of my 100th Munro. Hooray! Only another 182 to go.

Meall a'Choire Leith summit (Munro 261, 926m)
Views to Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas

After lots of photo snapping, we walked on, south west, on a vague path into Coire Gorm.

Jim and Rafe - descent from Meall a'Choire Leith into Coire Gorm

A quick descent on easy slopes led us to a lovely spot on Allt Coire Gorm - 5 minutes were spent sunbathing on a warm rock - and Rafie just had to be in the water.

Rafe has a plodge in Allt Coire Gorm

Coire Gorm below Meall a'Choire Leith

Rafe - that's not the summit! - in Coire Gorm

It was a short yomp down to an intake dam on Allt Gleann Da-Eig - a chance for Rafe to get right into the water - and time for a second lunch! And a chance to watch the little trout in the pool above the dam.

Rafe has a swim in Allt Gleann da-Eig (NN599433)

We kind of felt that we were back, that we had finished the walk - but we still had a bit of a tramp to go - across pathless moor again, over the bealach south of Meall nan Eun.

Meall a'Choire Leith from Gleann Da-Eig

More of a slog than we expected, heather and bog again - hard work...

Freddie and Jim on the bealach below Meall nan Eun with views to Meall nan Tarmachan

But we were soon at the top, and it was only a short way down the hillside to the start point.

Another enjoyable hill day - and the 100 Munro mark up!

Descent back to Lochan na Lairige

Route:  Layby beside unclassified road from Loch Tay to Glenlyon 250m N of Lochan na Lairige (NN593415), footpath NE to bealach SE of Meall nan Eun, vague path following old fence posts SE over hill (sh 669m), and continue up broad ridge then NE up Meall Corranaich's SW ridge, Meall Corranaich (Munro 68, 1069m), continue N along ridge to sh 1018m, NNE to top of cliffs above Coire Liath, bealach (sh 775m), path N, then NW to Meall a'Choire Leith (Munro 261, 926m), descend following vague boggy path SW to intake on Allt Gleann Da-Eig at (NN602425), continue on vague boggy path over bealach SE of Meall nan Eun and back to start.

Statistics:  Distance: 10 km  Ascent: 755m  Time: 5 hours

Map:  OS Explorer 378 - Ben Lawers and Glen Lyon

Meall Corranaich

Meall a'Choire Leith

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