Meall nam Maigheach – a short day

Meall nam Maigheach wasn’t my initial target on what started off as a very wet day.  I decided a longer walk at lower level followed by a reasonably quick ascent of a single Corbett was in order.  Car parked, waterproofs on and a steady pace set on the road up the valley.  Unfortunately in less than half a mile I had retreated, a rather large bull was blocking my way.  I am no expert in bull behaviour but this one didn’t look friendly and there was no alternative route

Large bull
This rather large bull, with its surrounding cows encouraged me to change my proposed route.  Just after I took the photograph he moved into the middle of the road.

Due the bull incident and the weather, a shorter walk was in order. I also considered whether it was worth actually heading out for a walk. Over the years I have probably spent hundreds of days wandering around the mountains of the U.K. in the rain and have to admit it is gradually loosing its appeal. On the other hand Jersey to Killin is quite some distance and I wasn’t sure when I would be passing this way again, so the decision was made, on with the waterproofs and boots.
The one advantage of the hills around the Ben Lawers range is the height at which you start walking. There is a small parking area near the large cairn and the northern end of Lochran na Lairige, I wasn’t the first person to arrive but did manage to squeeze in, taking the last place.
The walk up Meall nan Maigheach was described as a pleasant walk to do on a sunny evening, actually doing it on a rainy Friday afternoon free’s up days with better weather for more suitable challenges.
In common with every other walk that I have done this week I didn’t see another person once I left the road but today’s highlight was the number of grouse that I encountered. Strangely there were plenty on the way up but none on the way down. They were the first grouse that I had seen all week. The path quickly faded and in places the going was rather damp under foot, hardly surprising with the rain that has fallen over the last few days. Amazingly though the cloud lifted above the nearby summits giving tantalizing views of past walks and future possibilities.

Meall nam Maigheach summit
Looking north west from Meall nam Maigheach. Loch an Daimh is visible in the centre.

Lunch was taken on the summit and playing the ViewRanger app quickly gave an idea of what was hidden behind the clouds. Before too much criticism heads my way I know that you can use a paper map but everybody enjoys playing with new toys.
A quick return to the car and a drive to Killin for coffee and cake plus the obligatory visit to the Killin Outdoor Centre and Shop, where I normally find something to purchase.
Actually quite a satisfying day despite the weather and the early encounter with the bull. Just a small mountain, only 3.5 miles walked and 927 feet of ascent but Meall nam Maigheach is somewhere worth saving for a sunny evening or a wet afternoon.

Mountain Lake
Looking back towards Lochan na Lairige as I climbed away from the road. the water level was surprisingly low.
ViewRanger picture
If you are not certain what is behind the clouds just use the ViewRanger App to find out. Sadly Schiehallion wasn’t visible today.
An Stuc
The cloud lifted allowing views of some of the dramatic summits along the Ben Lawers ridge including An Stuc.

India Walk About – Day 3

India Walk About – Day 3
After a bitterly cold night, I can’t remember the last time I slept in my down jacket inside my sleeping bag, we woke to a beautiful blue sky.  We were camped at 3390 metres, with some of the group starting to feel the impact of the altitude.  Today had been planned as part of the acclimatization process, walk up a nearby peak, which was just over 3700 metres before dropping back to the camp site.  For some relaxtion before moving higher the following day.
As we were pretty much above the tree line, the walk had a totally different feel to the previous couple of days.  Open mountain sides and distant views, it was almost like walking in the British mountains apart from the occasional glimpse of glaciers.
The climb up the peak took much less time than we anticipated so the afternoon was spent catching up on sleep, reading and just generally relaxing.  Tomorrow we head higher.
India Day 3
It took quite a while for the frost to melt, particularly in the shady areas.
India Day 3
The toilet tents had a superb view. Our route for the day was along the ridge to the right of the tents.
India Day 3
t was always good to start the day with some group stretching or, as on this day, with some laughing yoga.
Indai Day 3
This could almost be the Welsh mountains, if it wasn’t for the altitude.
India Day 3
This was our high point for the day at 3740 metres. It had been quite warm as we climbed the ridge and lunch on the summit started off as a very pleasant affair with great views and some reasonably warm sunshine.
India Day 3
Within minutes though the temperature plummeted as the clouds swept in, obscuring distant views and forcing a speedy search for warmer clothing. This wasn’t a day for hanging around for too long.
India Day 3
Clothing for the descent was somewhat different to what we had been wearing about an hour earlier as we came up the ridge. People were generally looking forward to a couple of hours relaxing in the tent or reading during the afternoon.
India Day 3
Back at the camp site at 3390 metres. There were some pretty large clouds building on the surrounding peaks, fortunately where we were camped remained clear but the weather indications for the next few days were not looking good.
Indai Day 3
The views across the mountain ranges were always quite special. What surprised me at night though was just how many lights appeared on the hillsides. During the day you could pretend that you were the only people in the area but at night the lights indicated just how many people called this area home.