Monday 11 April 2011

Hill of the Ptarmigans

The forecast for Saturday was set to be nice and as we aren't winter walkers, it was an ideal weekend to get back into the walking. Incidentally though, it was changed to Sunday so Grant would be out the house in an effort to let Rona get a kip after nightshift. So, with the seed planted, it was time to find a hill. I knew just the place to look - Steven Fallon's site. Having done 14 rounds of the Munros, his route knowledge is pretty extensive but the best bit is the '10 easiest Munros' list that he has compiled. My suggested hill for the expedition was Meall nan Tarmachan in the Loch Tay region just opposite the Ben Lawlers range.

So, Sunday morning arrived and it was time to go. Leaving Greenock at 08:00, we parked up at 10:00 ready for the trek. It wouldn't usually take 2 hours for the drive, but we stopped en route in Inveruglas to take a photo of the glass like Loch. This route wasn't scheduled to take ages, but as we have been off it for a while we just decided to take our time but try and keep a good pace. It was quite steady going and the weather was getting better and clearer as the day went on.

While walking, we saw the above peak in the near distance, but I knew it seemed to appear too quick so I had a feeling there was more to come. My suspicions were confirmed when I heard Grant just in front shouting "You're not going to like this."

And he was correct, I didn't expect what was now ahead of us. It turns out we were now standing on the 923m SE peak of Meall nan Tarmachan with the proper submit 100m upwards.

After a steep ascent up the crags and a patch of snow to navigate, we made it. Munro no. 8 for me was in the bag. What was surprising, was the fact we still had a phone signal. So after a few novelty texts and Facebook/Twitter updates and lunch it was time to descend.

When we came to this bit on the way up, I immediately started to fear the way back down. It actually turned out to be not that bad. With the worst over, the rest of the descent was fairly pleasant and we arrived back at the car less than 4 hours after starting.

So, that is that. The first proper walk of the year and the bug is properly back. Roll on the next one.

2011-04-10 - Meall nan Tarmachan

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