Date: Saturday 12th December 2009
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.
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.
The ascent of Creag na Calliche is an easy series of grassy ramps. Icier underfoot towards the summit.
Not much to say about the route – an easy-angled 4.5km arm to the summit – very relaxed walking.
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.
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.
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. 😯
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.