Distance: 18km, Ascent: 1260m, Solo
See actual route in new window
We were away in the Southern Highlands for our first weekend away with Isabel, and I was able to sneak in a day's Munro bagging! Lynsey dropped me off at Lawers village at around 10:15am and I headed up the path alongside the Lawers Burn. Soon it started to rain so I donned waterproofs, which ensured the rain soon stopped!
After a brief break I headed up into the mist roughly following the line of a stream. After around 300m of ascent, the ground levelled out into a bog. In strengthening winds, I ascended the final 200m up to the summit of Meall Greigh (Munro). I dropped down the NE slopes a few metres to get out of the wind for lunch, where I was soon joined by a group of four other walkers.
Despite the strong winds, I decided to continue with my planned walk on the assumption that the wind would be become less strong as the ridge became much broader, which turned out to be correct. There was a reasonably clear path for much of the way, roughly following the line of fence; although it was somewhat vague through the boggier areas.
After a couple of km, I reached a bealach and started my ascent of Meall Garbh. I got buffeted by the wind quite a bit on the ascent, especially where the ridge narrowed, and the rain continued to fall relentlessly. I detoured off the path to visit a rocky knoll, which turned out not to be the summit. However, soon I did reach the true summit of Meall Garbh (Munro).
After a quick break, I continued along the SW ridge from Meall Garbh. After descending to a bealach, I then ascended the steep slopes of An Stuc, which involved occassional bits of easy scrambling. There seemed to be several different well worn routes up the craggy slope that I could make out in the mist. Soon I was on the summit of of An Stuc (Munro), stopping for another quick break.
I descended to the bealach to the south of An Stuc, where I had to decide whether to continue to Ben Lawers or whether to descend. As it was now 3:30pm and the weather was still vile, I decided that I would descend. There was a faint path descending from the bealach, which I followed, but it soon petered out so I picked a route down staying close to the stream. The stream went over a few waterfalls where the ground became craggy, but I was able to find a route down through the crags.
Eventually I reached Lochan nan Cat, where the mist began to clear. I followed the north shore to it's east end and then followed a faint path down to the head of the vehicle track. From there I followed the path alongside the Lawers Burn back to the A827 and thence back to the car, where I arrived just before 6pm.