The Seven Lawers Munros
Wednesday 15th May 2013

Weather/Conditions: Stunning day, still cold, but big blue skies and a warm(ish..) sunfor once. Weather definitely on the change and all the snow melting off the hills, too.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 20.4km / 1850m / 8h 35m
Accompanying: Andy

For once, the weather has relented. I scheduled the Lawers 7 with Andy, and it worked out a great success.

Andy picked me up from the Capercaillie in Killin this morning. For a town at the base of a large clutch of Munros, it's quite amazing that Killin has no hostel of any kind for walkers; at least none that the tourist office could point me to. From looking at Trip Advisor, I gather the only one shut down. After the An Caisteal trio, I headed east with dad to Killin and we looked for anyhere to stay. It's all expensive guesthouses and B&B's here.

This morning, Andy and I headed to Lochan na Lairige and parked up for the Lawers 7. I'd done these hills in November 2011, so knew what to expect. The hills arrive in rapid-fire and we took each in turn. The air has been cold, and hail occasionally arrived in big sweeping showers - though generally it was sunny.

What a relief to climb Munro #1, Meall a' Choire Leith, and stand in the sun untroubled by driving rain or worrying if I'm going to get too cold before I get the next summits done. Sure the air was cold and it wasn't quite a time to relax, but the sun was high, the skies were blue, and we could see the huge arc of mountains north of Rannoch Moor, from Ben Nevis in the west, over to Drumochter in the east.

Meall Corranaich followed. We shot cool-looking photos on sculpted ridges of snow, Beinn Ghlas arrived and went, and in the afternoon, we stood on top of Beinn Lawers, the tenth highest mountain in Scotland, and the highest hill I'd so far climbed on my Round.

The next one, An Stuc would be an interesting one. It has a steep north-east face that you have to descend to reach #6, Meall Garbh. In the current conditions, it might be a problem: every hill is covered in patches of thawing snow, wet and unstable. This is fine on modest hills, but on steep terrain it's deadly. Andy hadn't brought an ice axe, which sealed the deal: we'd go down the north ridge and traverse under the face to reach easier ground below.

The plan worked out, but it was time consuming. I think the colder weather and occasional hail storm made the group feel longer than they had when I sped across in 2011. (At least hail bounces off and doesn't wet you. Much better than rain.) But Meall Garbh was reached, and soon after, Meall Greigh.

Seven Munros in the bag, time to go down. We headed down to the Ben Lawers Hotel and came across dad outside filming.

It's been a long day, but it feels superb to have given the Munro tally a big boost. I've heard the Lawers Munros described as dull with regards to views, but I can't think of a much more intersting viewpoint: you pretty much get all of Scotland in view on a clear day; every principle Highland range south of the Great Glen. One of the great things about today was to see every range picked out by enormous quantities of snow - most of which fell just two days ago! It is melting fast, however, and the coming days promise good weather.

Tomorrow, I'm going to head up Beinn Dorain, Dothaidh, Achaladair, Chreachain and Mhanach. My plan is to do a lot of rucksack dropping (done correctly, I don't need to take camping kit to any summit), but still, it will be a big day. I'll be fueling myself up for this well... it could be a tough one!

Another interesting thing to notice, was that on the hill today, I couldn't bear the thought of doing all the Orchy Munros tomorrow. Things were starting to get tedious by hour seven. The minute I got off the hill, I got a seat, some food and drink and chatted to dad about upcoming plans. Within ten minutes I was quite settled again and when I heard the good forecast, the Orchy 5 was suddenly on. I'm really excited about it.

Last of all, my plan is to camp tomorrow night at the head of Loch Lyon, which has no road access and definitely no internet access. I'll then climb Creag Mhor, Beinn Heasgarnich, and descend to the Glen Lochay road end. All going to plan, my next update will be in a couple of days.

360° Panoramas

Meall a' Choire Leith

Meall Corranaich

Beinn Ghlas

Ben Lawers

An Stuc

Meall Garbh

Meall Greigh
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 9.05am Parking beyond Lochan na Lairige
(1.20) 10.25am Meall a' Choire Leith
(2.35) 11.40am Meall Corranaich
(3.22) 12.27pm Beinn Ghlas
(4.20) 1.25pm Ben Lawers
(5.10) 2.15pm An Stuc
(6.00) 3.05pm Meall Garbh
(7.10) 4.15pm Meall Greigh
(8.35) 5.40pm Lawers Hotel

Uploaded: 2018-10-14