An easy day and a climbing companion on Meall Ghaordaidh.

Climber on summit of Meall Ghaordaidh
Harry on summit of Meall Ghaordaidh

Most Munros I’ve completed solo but today was an exception (Munros Completed : Meall Ghaordaidh (66)).

The forecast was again for another dry day with little wind, some sun & good visibility. It turned out to be slightly more cloudy but most of the mountain tops were cloud free. I had decided on an easier day, having a long hike in Glen Etive the previous day so decided to climb Meall Ghaordaidh which I planned should only be about 3.5-4.5 hrs. The approach is on a single track road just outside Killin but it is in good condition and flat along a river valley for about 4 km.

I wasn’t exactly sure where the layby parking was but was surprised to see another hiker in this remote area walking along the road so I stopped to ask. It turned out he was intending to do the same route so after a brief chat we decided to do the route together. Harry is of similar age to me, retired & travelling around in a white van climbing the Munros! Must say I was quite envious. He told me that he had completed about 35 Munros already & was attempting to complete them all in the next 5 years.

 

We took our time to gear up and left at 10:15, having parked in a layby near the farm. There’s a track up by the river to just before an abandoned dwelling before you head up to the left up the hill. It’s a moderate slope all the way and it wasn’t long before we hit the snowline. Visibility was excellent for most of the way but the top 100-200m was hidden in the cloud. Two thirds of the way up, there’s a plateau where we stopped to put on crampons, before the slope rises again. Here the wind picked up & on the top blowing hard when we summitted at 12:45 pm. Being an easterly wind it was bitterly cold on top, so we weren’t able to remain too long even shielded somewhat by the large circular cairn on the top. Meall Ghaordaidh is a very easy Munro by comparison & the slopes are so moderate that neither of us actually felt the need to use our ice axes at any time.

We eventually returned to the car at 2:45 pm and I was glad of the short, easy day. I wished Harry good luck on his Munro adventures and departed leaving him merrily brewing up some tea in his converted van.