Climbing Meall Ghaordaidh

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Meall Ghaordaidh is in-between Glen Lyon and Glen Lochay, and is usually climbed from Glen Lochay  (according to my guide books) but it makes a more interesting route from Glen Lyon.  We decided to start at Stronuich, in Glen Lyon, and since the OS maps show a bridge at Kenknock we planned to leave a car there, and come back via Beinn nan Oichreag.  We parked just at the bridge leading to Stronuich, and followed the stream up the corrie, then turned east to climb up to the ridge, about NN529409.  

We then followed the ridge round, although we were actually just to the north of it, until we came to a large rock at NN522398.  At this point a large herd of deer came over the hill, climbing up from the Glen Lochay side.  They came very close, travelling in single file.

Deer on a ridge above Glen Lochay

Once they had passed we set off for the summit, climbing up the north-east side and at this stage we started to hit intermittent cloud cover.  

Clouds over Creag an Tulabhain

The clouds did clear at the top, and we got some excellent views into the surrounding glens.  It was the end of September, so the temperature wasn't so good, but it was quite pleasant enough out of the wind to sit down for a picnic.

We followed the same route back to the ridge, then followed it round almost to the bealach and crossed over Allt na h-lolaire, then climbed up to the ridge and on to the summit of Beinn nan Oichreag.  

Looking towards the summit of Beinn nan Oichreag


On the way back down, we followed the tracks of some wheeled vehicle down from the summit, following Cnoc na h-lolaire.  I don't know what kind of vehicle it was, but it seemed to be able climb extremely steep gradients. 

View down to Loch Stronuich



Soon we started to see a few trees along the side of the burn.

Trees in Glen Lyon

We'd already noticed there wasn't any bridge across the River Lyon (despite the map) at Kenknock, so when we reached it we just rolled up our trousers and crossed, since the water was about knee hight.  Unfortunately one of the party slipped and fell in, but escaped with no more than a soaking.  At some times of year I expect it would be impossible to ford here.

River Lyon at Kenknock (there's no bridge here)



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