Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

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Sunday, 11 October 2009

Meall Garbh, An Stuc and Ben Lawers (with special guest appearances?), 11th October 2009

With a half decent forecast, and the chance of the strong winds easing (ha ha), we headed for the Lawers Hotel on the NW side of Loch Tay. We parked the car and set off for Machuim Farm and the track that leads NW up towards Lochan nan Cat via the Lawers Burn. Once at the dam works on the burn, we struck off N-NW to the bealach between Meall Greigh and Meall Garbh, and into the wind! It was here that Lorna decided she'd had enough and turned back whilst I battled with the wind up to Meall Garbh at 1118m.
After a couple of near horizontal moments at the summit, I managed to get this pic of the North side of Ben Lawers, with (half of) An Stuc on the right - it was windy!

At the foot of An Stuc (above), soon realised it wasn't the "beast" it has been made out to be. Of course winter or maybe heavy rain would make the scrambly path more interesting, but today it was just a scrambly path!

At the summit of An Stuc, 1118m, the wind eased (a little) and the cloud finally cleared. Just after this photo, I got talking to three Dutch guys, here on holiday - Munro bagging. One had just ticked off 50 on Lawers summit, that's more than I've done and he lives in Holland!

And then five minutes later, I bumped into two old (as in time not age, ahem) friends as they were on their way up to An Stuc. Stuart and Sheena are two of the Kilimanjaro crew from 2006, just proving what a small world we live in. It was great to see them, and no doubt we will catch up with them again on a distant hill somewhere...

After that pleasant surprise and a quick photo of Lochan nan Cat to my left, it was head down for the final windy slog up the North side of Ben Lawers to it's summit at 1214m, followed by a quick sandwich and a cup of tea, before descending the East ridge and cross country for about 4km to get back to the Lawers Burn and out of the wind. I didn't take anymore photos as keeping upright on the rocky descent took up all my concentration, and looking back West for some good shots of my route was a waste of time as my eyeballs were almost blown out of their sockets. It was a relief to finally find shelter in the lower slopes, and form there back to the Lawers Hotel for a well earned pint!

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