Creag Meagaidh from Moy. December 2009

Date: Saturday 12th December 2009
Distance: 13.5km
Ascent: 920m

Winter hills mean different opportunities and routes. For us we prefer south approaches with views to maximise sunshine and vistas.

Transferring from NW to Cairngorms we thought a revisit to Creag Meagaidh was in order.

The usual approach is along the magnificent Coire Ardrair, or over the other 2 munros. We wanted a reasonably short day with vistas so we picked the less fashionable approach from Moy – easy-angled with views of Lochaber and south.

Parked in the dark at the parking loop at NN 428 830. The plan was to walk back along the road to ascend the W side of the Moy burn. Error number 1 was to be distracted by a track after a burn and assuming we were there – 100m along the track the rumble of water informed us we were E of the burn.

Error number 2 was saying “wtf” and heading uphill anyway. The vegetation is a bit rough here so hard work with head torches. Found a spot in the Moy Burn for a crossing with a minor boot dampness. No aquabatics this time.

Beinn a Chaorainn:

Easains and Grey Corries.

South to Beinn a Chlachair:

Boggy but passable terrain uphill to cross the outflow of Lochan na Calliche. From here a quick yomp to eat breakfast and watch dawn at a flat area NN 410 838.

Alpenglow on Stob Coire Claurigh – Ed may be a pixel on this in which case I have captured his soul:

Alpenglow on Beinn a Chaorainn:

The ascent of Creag na Calliche is an easy series of grassy ramps. Icier underfoot towards the summit.

Deer grass at dawn:

There’s a crazy wall runs up most of this arm.

Not much to say about the route – an easy-angled 4.5km arm to the summit – very relaxed walking.

Last time we were here was much cloudier:

Hazel at 1000m:

End of the wall:

The snow was only marginally consolidated – we had hoped for a bit of crampon work just to test the kit but Microspikes did the job for the whole walk.

Unusual to see deer on an overhang at 1100m:

The Ben and Aonachs appear over Beinn a Chaorainn:

As we ascended we could see a cloud-inversion to the S and E. As the day progressed this advanced N and W to consume various hills – it was a bit eye-watering to think of the walkers under the clag down there.

Bridge of Orchy hills being swamped:

Inversion lapping up to the South Cairngorms.

Once on the summit plateau an amazing vista of the NW highlands opened up – could see round from Lochaber and Ardgour to Morven in Easter Ross with low cloud in the Moray Firth and the Great Glen. Stunning. 😯

Skye Cuillin:

Bidean a Chabhair and cloud on Loch Arkaig:

NW – Lochaber to Wyvis:

Summit plateau to Lochaber:

Beinn na Lap being consumed by inversion:

Happy snapping:

Leisurely lunch and then an amble back down the ridge.

Ben Lui keeping it’s head above the clouds:

Cloud hats on the Easains:

Back down into deceptively warm looking sunshine on Creag na Calliche:

Back across the bog – no problems this time. Creag na Calliche:

For reference there’s a gate in the deer fence in a dip opposite the road to the houses at Moy (NN 419 826).

A good easy day with stunning views. The hill is very central and quite high so the views are extensive. Rewardingly easy.

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