Cam Chreag - 862m
Meall nam Maigheach - 741m
Meall a' Mhuic - 745m
Beinn Dearg - 830m

Sunday 5th November 2017

Weather/Conditions: Stunning weather. Unexpected mist on the first top, then clear, golden light for the rest. Cold wind - was good to get back down into the glens.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 20.6km / 1430m / 6h 40m
Accompanying: Struan

Sub3000 hill bagging days with Struan are always brilliant, and this was no exception. We met in Killin and took one car over the high road to Innerwick, Glen Lyon. The forecast was good and these hills, positioned to the north of Glen Lyon, were new for both of us.

Glen Lyon seemed a fresh place in the morning light. Very little snow had fallen here compared to the west. Stob Ghabhar and the Black Mount had seemed plastered by comparison, but we had just a dusting on the high tops. We left the car parked up at Innerwick and headed up forestry tracks to our first hill, Cam Chreag.

Cam Chreag is a long, indistinct ridge running south to north, and landrover tracks go quite close to the top. This is all heavily worked and managed land; deer forest it seems intertwined with commercial plantation. But it still had a beauty that sometimes gets lost among the development. Cam Chreag was a good slog; good to have the legs moving and working. For a while the skies were heavy, which was unexpected. And when we finally reached the ridge, the summit was lightly enveloped in cloud.

But there were breaks too, and from the cairn we could catch glimpses to distant views. Predictably, the mist all tore apart and we walked eastward under a strong, stunning sun. We descended into a tight little valley to find some shielings tucked in among the streams. This would have been a quiet place before - it is even quieter now. Some deer ran by in a panic. Meall a' Mhuic, now ahead, is the pigs hill, and was not much more than a gentle rise to a cairn.

The following lairig has been more altered by humans, now boasting a couple of parallel tracks scoring the pass. This is the Lairig Ghallabhaich, perhaps something to do with gall; lowlanders? It's not immedaitely obvious.

Beinn Dearg was a cold hill, and with the afternoon sun growing weaker we walked to the top, surprised to see a couple folk appear on the hill just behind us. Perhaps we shouldn't have been; it was a sunny weekend after all. But until then we'd seen nobody. Beinn Dearg is a simple and lovely hill, to some extent overshadowed by the higher tops to the east, Carn Gorm, and by the hills to the south; Lawers, etc.

Our route off Beinn Dearg initially brought us back the way we came, before dropping into some multi-coloured pine plantation, lit by the golden sun. I love moments like these. You can feel the days efforts in your muscles, but relaxation and peace is so pronounced. There is the enjoyment of finding new summits and fresh views, and certainty of being finished. I was just so relaxed. I could almost have stayed in the glen another day.

We followed tracks back down to Innerwick and the car, finally driving out of Glen Lyon as the sun disappeared behind high horizons. The cafe was shut, and in the absence of hot drinks we just got on our way home. I was suddenly knocked out by the effort, the price for having (yet-another) cold.

I filled myself up at the Real Food Cafe, then continued north in darkness again. It was a brilliantly clear night, until I clicked; how long until the full Moon was up? I phoned dad, to which he replied 'just about now!'. I hung up and fired on up to the summit of Rannoch Moor. Then behind a hillock the full Moon burst into view, bang on the horizon, massive and honey-coloured. It illuminated Rannoch Moor in soft light, both an incredibly vivid sight and surreal together.

I stopped to take some photos, then continued onto the Buachaille for more snaps. I was home just fifteen minutes later! Start to end; this was one of those truly good days when everything lines up almost inexplicably. I should get cracking on with my sub3000s...

360° Panoramas

Meall a' Mhuic

Beinn Dearg
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 9.50am Innerwick
(1.28) 11.18am Cam Chreag
(3.10) 1.00pm Meall nam Maigheach
(4.10) 2.00pm Meall a' Mhuic
(5.35) 3.25pm Beinn Dearg
(6.40) 4.30pm Innerwick
Written: 2017-12-07